Oden is the patron father. Actually he has 3 sons, Tor, Balder and Loke (I spell it swedis
Oden is the patron father.
Actually he has 3 sons, Tor, Balder and Loke (I spell it swedish).
Tor was god of thunder and lightning. When there was thunder
it was Tor who rode the skies with his wagon drawn by 2 goats
named tandagnostir and tandagnestir (not 100% sure on exact names :).
They where quite nice, because Tor had them for dinner every night,
and put their bones and skins in a heap, and in the morning they
where whole again (talk about recycling :)
He had a warhammer named Mj:olner (:o <-> oe) who he struck the clouds
with, and lighting flared.
Loke was god of lies, mischief and thievery. But was accepted until
he did one *practical joke* to much. He was the cause of Balders
death, and got punished in the end by being tied up under the world
tree, Yggdrasil. In the tree there is an asp that drips its poison
in Lokes eyes, if not for his fateful wife was not there collecting
the poison in a jar.
However, once in a while she has to empty it and then a few drops
will drop into Lokes eye - then he will cringe in pain and the earth
will shake (earthquakes - which are VERY rare in scandinavia, only
Iceland got them as far as I know).
Loke was father of three horrible beasts: Fenrisulven (the Fenris
Wolf), Midg.ardormen (.a = oa, the Midgaardsserpent) and Nidhugg
(a dragon in Hel, realm of death, aka Nidhogg etc.).
Balder was the god of bravery, poetry and music. Everyone liked him
so much that all living creatures on the earth had made a promise
never to harm him, everything nonliving as well..
So he often let people shoot arrows at him and so on (since the
arrows where nice enough not to harm him at all :)
However, Loke (who was a jealous person) was unhappy seeing Balder
getting everyones attention. So he tried to find a way to hurt him.
At last he found a little plant growing on the oaks (and noone had
asked it to promise not to hurt Balder since they didn't realize
that it was not a part of the tree) - misteltoe.
And Loke made an arrow out of misteltoe who he gave to a man who
was having a sport shooting arrows at the smiling Balder.
The man shot him in the heart and Balder died - to everyones suprise.
Now the gods was fed up with Loke and he got tied up under Yggdrasil
About Tyr finally. Yes he was the god of war and warfare, though
wikings (as the warriors where called) often tended to pray to
Oden or Tor before entering battle.
He only had one hand, because he sacrificed his right arm when the
gods captured the Fenriswolf.
If you are interrested in Norse mythos or tales here are two
reccomendations (though I read them in swedish :-) :
Red Worm (orig. R:ode Orm), by Frans G Bengtson
Tales of Njal (orig. Njals saga), historical tales from old times
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank