Norse Places and Things

Also see: Norse Gods & Norse Dictionary (pdf)

ALFHEIM (alf-hame): Land of the Light Elves.

ANDVARI (and-varri): Dwarf; shapeshifter who lived as a pike in a pool in Svartalfheim. He was a gold collector who cursed the gold he had to give to Loki. The cursed gold later caused Fafnir to turn himself into a dragon and brought the hero Sigurd into the story.

ANGRBODA (anger-bodda): "DistressBringer"; "Grief Boda"; a Giantess. She had three monster children by Loki: Fenrir, Hel, and Jormungand. Disguised as Gulveig-Hoder, she became Freyja's maid, thus becoming a spy within Asgard for the Giants.

ASGARD (ass-guard): Home of the Aesir gods.

BERGELMIR (bare-ghel-mere): A Giant; father of all Giants. He and his wife were the only two Giants to survive the flood of Ymir's blood.

BESTLA (best-lah): A Frost Giantess; daughter of Ymir; wife of Borr; mother of Odhinn, Vili and Ve.

BIFROST (bee-frost): Rainbow bridge between Asgard and Midgard; guarded by Heimdall.

BILLING: Elf of the twilight or west.

BILSKIRNIR (bill-skier-near): "Lightning"; Thorr and Sif's great hail in Asgard.

BOLVERK (boll-verk): The Giant disguise used by Odhinn to get the Mead of Poetry.

BORR (bore): A supernatural man, son of Bun and father of Odhinn.

BREIDABLIK (brade-a-blick): Balder and Nanna's hall in Asgard.

BRISINGAMEN (briss-ing-a-men): "Necklace of the Brisings"; Freyja's necklace made by four Dwarves. The Brisings were called the descendants of the Shining Ones. The goddess obtained it by spending a night with each of its makers. This ornament can be worn either as a belt or a necklace depending upon how Freyja plans to use it. Brisingamen is the magical counterpart of the Midgard Serpent, and is under Freyja's control.

BROKK (brock): Dwarf; superb smith and jeweler. With Eitri he made the gold boar Gullinbursti, Odhinn's arm-ring and Thorr's hammer Mjollnir. He was pictured as small and blackened from the smithy.

BRYNHILD (brin-hild): A Valkyrie and servant to Odhinn; a shape-shifter who often used a swan disguise. This beautiful being fell in love with the hero Sigurd.

BURI (boo-ree): Supernatural being licked from the ice by Audhumla. Grandfather to the Gods.

BYGUL (bee-gool) "Bee-Gold" or honey & TRJEGUL (tree-gool) "Tree-Gold" or amber: Freyja's cats that pulled her chariot.

DARK ELVES: See Elves.

DELLING: Red Elf of the dawn or east; lover of Nott or Nat.

DISIR: Supernatural beings. See Hamingja.

DWARVES: Small human-shaped beings created by the gods from maggots in Ymir's flesh. They live in caves and mountains in Svartalfheim; do not like daylight. They are skilled crafters, jewelers, and miners, but tend to hoard precious metals and gems. The four Dwarves sent to hold up the sky are Nordhri (North), Austri (East), Sudhri (South), and Vestri (West).

EITRI (a-tree): Dwarf and metal-worker. See Brokk.

ELVES: In Old Norse the world is alfar, "the shining-white one." Small human-shaped beings who have much wisdom and lore to impart. Light Elves live in Ljossalfheim or Alfheim and are helpful. Dark Elf may be another name for Dwarf. Elves live in almost every wood and stream of Midgard. Bowls of milk were left out for them.

EMBLA (em-bla): "Elm"; the first human woman created by Odhinn from a tree.

FAFNIR (fahf-near): Son of a magician/farmer, he turned into a dragon because of his greed for a hoard of gold. He was killed by his nephew Sigurd.

FARBAUTI (far-bowt-ee): "Cruel Striker"; a Fire Giant; father of Loki.

FENRIR (fen-rear) /FENRIS WOLF: Wolfmonster son of Loki; enemy of the Gods. He was so vicious that the Gods had to finally chain him.

FOUNTAIN OF MIMIR: Well in Midgard (or perhaps Jotunheim); also known as the Fountain of Knowledge.

FJALAR (fyah-lar): Dwarf and brother of Galar; they killed Kvasir and made the Mead of Poetry from his blood.

FULLA (fool-ah): Sister of Frigg. She cares for Frigg's magic box and slippers. May have been one of the Asynjor.

GALAR (gay-lar): See Fjalar.

GARM: Monster dog who guards the island where Loki and his wolf-son are chained. Hound of the Underworld.

GERD/GERDA (gird): Frost Giantess who married Freyr. She is known for her shining beauty.

GERI (gir-ee) or Greedy & FREKI (frik-ee) or Voracious: Odhinn's great wolves.

GIANTS/GIANTESSES: Supernatural beings who are known as Frost, Fire or Mountain (Rock) Giants. All but a few are enemies of the Gods. In Old Norse the word risi meant a true Giant of great size, capable of intermarrying with humans; they were usually beautiful and good. The jotnar, singular jotunn, had great strength and age and were also called etins. The thursar, singular thurs, were antagonistic, destructive, and stupid. Utgard, the Giant stronghold, lies in Jotunheim. Frost Giants are extremely cold; Fire Giants hot-tempered; Mountain Giants hard as rock. All are shape-shifters and quick to do violence.

GIMLI (geem-lee): Golden-roofed hall in Asgard for righteous men after death.

GINNUNGAGAP (ghin-un-ga-gap): Great wasteland between Niflheim and Muspell. Midgard is said to be in the center of this world

GJALL (gyall)/GJALLARHORN: Heimdall's mighty horn.

GJALLARBRU (gyall-ar-broo): "Resounding Bridge"; bridge crossed by Hermod on his way to Hel's realm in search of Balder.

GLADSHEIM (glahds-hame): Part of Asgard for the gods.

GNA (gnah): Servant of Frigg and a Asynjor. A messenger; her horse was called Hofvarpnir.

GRID (greed): Giantess who warned Thorr against Geirrod and Loki. She gave Thorr his magic strength belt and iron gloves.

GRIMNIR (grim-near): A disguise Odhinn used when visiting a king's court. He appeared wearing a blue cloak and large hat. The king's dogs would not bark at him.

GULLFAXI (gool-fax-ee): "Golden Mane"; horse of the Giant Hrungnir, he could gallop through the air. Thorr got him when he killed the Giant, but gave the horse to his son Magni.

GULLINBURSTI (gool-in-burst-ee): "Golden Bristles"; a boar made by the Dwarves and given to Freyr; pulls Freyr's chariot at a fantastic speed.

GULLTOP (gool-top): Heimdall's horse with a golden mane; he can fly with great speed.

GUNGNIR (goong-near): Odhinn's magic spear that always returns to his hand.

UNNLOD (goon-lod ) / GUNNLAUTH / GUNNLOED: Giantess daughter of Suttung; she guards the Mead of Poetry in an underground-cavern.

GYMIR (guy-meer): Giant father of Gerd, Freyr's wife.

HAMINGJUR: Lifelong guardians of humans, they appear to give warnings and advice by dreams. Similar to guardian angels.

HARBARD (hahr-bard): Ferryman disguise of Odhinn.

HATI (hah-tee): Son of the Giantess of Iron Wood; a huge wolf who chases the Moon.

HEIDRUN (hide-roon): The goat which provides the mead for Valhalla and feeds on the World Tree.

HEL (hell): Realm of the Dead; also the name of the Goddess of Death.

HELGRIND: "Death Gate"; barrier between the worlds of the living and the dead.

HILDISVINI (hill-dee-sveen-ee): "Battle Pig"; sow belonging to Freyja; she travels at great speeds.

HLIDSKJALF (hlid-skyalf): Odhinn's throne in the hall Valaskjalf.

HREIDMAR (hrade-mar:): Farmer/magician and father of Fafnir.

HRUNGNIR (hroong-near): Giant who raced with Odhinn. When Thorr killed him, a piece of the Giant's whetstone lodged in Thorn's head.
HUGGINN (hoog-in) "Thought" & MUNNIN (moon-in) "Memory": Giant ravens who bring news of the nine worlds to Odhinn.

HYMIR (him-ear): Tyr's Giant mother; she did not like the Gods. Also the name of the Giant who was with Thorr when he caught Jormungand while fishing.
HYNDLA (hinnd-la): Giantess who keeps the genealogy lists and the Memory Beer.

HYRROKIN (hirro-kin): Giantess who launched Balder's funeral boat. She rides a wolf and uses a serpent for reins.

IRON WOOD: An old dark forest in Midgard; inhabited by the mother of Hati and Skoll.

IVALDI: Also called Vidfinner and Svigdar (Champion Drinker). His family was one of two families of Elf-smiths who worked in Asgard.

JARNSAXA (yarn-sax-a): Giantess lover of Thorr and mother of his sons Magni and Modi. May have been one of the Asynjor.

JORD (joord)/JORTH: "Earth"; Giantess mother of Thorr by Odhinn.

JORMUNGAND (yore-mun-gand)/MIDGARDSORMR: World-Serpent; monster son of Loki who inhabits the Ocean surrounding Midgard.

JOTUNHEIM (yot-oon-hame): Mountain home of the Giants or Jotuns, east of Midgard or over the Ocean.
KOBOLDS (co-bolds): Small human-shaped beings who live in or near barns and stables. If treated kindly, they are friendly.
KVASIR (kvah-seer): A wise human created by the Gods. The Mead of Poetry was made from his blood.
LAUFEY (lowf-ee): "Wooded Isle"; Fire Giantess mother of Loki.


LOGI (lo-ghee): Giant who lived in Utgard.

MAGNI (mag-nee): Son of Thorr and Jarnsaxa; extremely strong at birth.

MIDGARD (mid-guard): Earth; home of humans.

MJOLLNIR (myoll-near): Thorr's magic hammer and symbol.

MODGUD (mode-good): The maiden who keeps the bridge on the road into Hel.

MODI (mode-ee): Son of Thorr and Jarnsaxa; very brave.

MUSPELL (moo-spell): Part of the lower level of nine worlds; an area of fire.

NARFI (nah-vee) & VALI (vah-lee): Sons of Sigyn and Loki.

NIDAVELLIR: Land of the Dwarves.

NIDHOGG (need-hoog): Dragon that guards the Spring of Hvergelmir in Nifiheim.

NIFLHEIM (niffle-hame): Lowest level of the nine worlds; a land of ice and snow.

NOATUN (noah-toon): "Shipyard"; "Anchorage"; Njord's hall by the sea.

NOTT/NAT (noot): "Night"; grandmother of Thorr. Daughter of Mimir and the sister of Urd; mother of Jord and grandmother of Thorr. Her lover is Delling, red Elf of the dawn, and their son is Dag (Day). She brings refreshment and inspiration to humans.

OCEAN: Vast stretch of water around Midgard; Jormungand dwells there. (duh!)

RAGNAROK (rag-na-rock): "Twilight of the Gods"; "Doom of the Gods"; great battle that will be fought between the Gods and the Giants at the end of the world. Actually, Ragnarok will be more a transformation than total destruction.

RATATOSK (rat-ah-tosk): Squirrel who lives in Yggdrasil; runs up and down the trunk carrying insults between the dragon Nidhogg and the eagle who dwells in the top branches.

SAGA (sah-gah): "Seeress"; Giantess associated with the sign of Pisces. She has a dwelling in Asgard called Sokkvabekk (Deep Stream). One of the Asynjor.

SESSRUMNIR (sess-room-near): "Many Seats"; Freyja's hall in Asgard.

SIGURD (sig-urd)/SIGURDHR: Human lover of Brynhild; could understand the speech of birds. He killed the dragon Fafnir.

SINDRI: Elf-smith who worked in Asgand. Brokk was his brother.

SKIDBLADNIR (skid-blad-near): Freyr's magic ship; made by Dwarves.

SKOLL (skol): Monster wolf-son of the Giantess of Iron Wood; he chases the Sun.

SKRYMIR (skree-meer): "Big Boy"; disguise used by Utgard-Loki, king of the Giants.

SLEIPNIR (slape-near): 8-legged horse of Odhinn and child of Loki; can gallop overland, sea or through the air. He is cloud-grey in color and has sacred runes engraved on his teeth.

SPRING OF HVERGELMIR (hvare-ghelmeer): Well in Niflheim guarded by the dragon Nidhogg.

SURT (sert): "Black"; Fire Giant who guards the gates of Muspell and rules the fiery beings there. He carries a flaming sword.
SUTTUNG (soo-toong): Giant who guards the Mead of Poetry.

SVADILFARI (svad-ill-far-ee): Horse who belonged to a Rock Giant; mated with Loki and produced Sleipnir.

SVARTALFHEIM (svart-alf-hame): Home of the Dark Elves.

THJATSI/THIAZI (thyah-tzee): Giant and shape-shifter; father of Skadi.

THOK/THOKK: Loki's Giantess disguise when he refused to weep for Balder.

THRUD: "Strength"; daughter of Thorr and Sif.

THRYM (thrim): Giant who stole Mjollnir and demanded Fneyja as his wife.

TANGRISNI & TANJOST: "Toothgnasher" & "Toothgrinder" ; Giant goats who pull Thorr's chariot. They can be eaten and revived.

TROLLS: Huge supernatural beings with great strength; enemies of the gods, especially Thorr. Very bad-tempered.

UTGARD (oot-guard): Giants' stronghold in Jotunheim.

UTGARD-LOKI (oot-guard-low-kee): King of the Utgard Giants.

VALASKJALF (val-ah-skyalf): "Seat of the Slain"; one of Odhinn's halls in Asgard. In this hall stands the throne Hlidskjalf; from it Odhinn can see into all the nine worlds.

VALHALLA (val-hal-ah): "Hall of the Slain"; Odhinn's second hall in Asgard and home of the dead warriors. Valhalla has 640 doors, rafters of huge shining spears and tiles of golden shields.

VANAHEIM (van-ah-hame): Land of the Vanir gods; on the same level as Asgard.

VE (vay) & VILI (vill-ee): Brothers of Odhinn, they helped to kill Ymir and create the nine worlds. Vili or Villi may also be identified as Lodur or Loki. Ve could also be called Hoener.

VIDAR (vee-dar): Son of Odhinn and Grid; will avenge Odhinn by killing Fenrir at Ragnarok; and will become one of the new Gods.

VIGARD (vee-guard): Huge plain where the last battle of the Ragnarok will be fought.

VINGOLF (veen-gulf): Part of Asgard for the goddesses.

WADE: Father of Weland the smith; a Giant connected with great stones and the sea.

WELL OF URD (oord): Well in Asgard tended by the Norns.

YGGDRASIL (ig-dra-sill): World Tree; giant ash or yew tree which holds the nine worlds in place by its three roots.