In Old Norse, Æsir (or áss, ás, ǫ́ss, plural æsir, feminine ásynja, plural ásynjur) is the term denoting a member of the principal groups of gods of the pantheon of Norse paganism. They include many of the major figures, such as Odin, Frigg, Thor, Baldr and Týr. They are one of the two groups of gods, the other being the Vanir. In Norse mythology, the two are described as having waged war against one another in the Æsir-Vanir War, resulting in the unification of the two into a single tribe of gods.
The cognate term in Old English is ōs (plural ēse) denoting a deity in Anglo-Saxon paganism. The Old High German is ans, plural ensî. The Gothic language had ans- (based only on Jordanes who glossed anses with uncertain meaning, possibly 'demi-god' and presumably a Latinized form of actual plural *anseis). The reconstructed Proto-Germanic form is *ansuz (plural *ansiwiz). The ansuz rune, ᚫ, was named after the æsir.
Unlike the Old English word god (and Old Norse goð), the term ōs (áss) was never adopted into Christian use.
- Odin is the greatest and oldest of the Æsir. He is god of wisdom, victory & magic. He is the Allfather of the gods, the husband of Frigg, and King of Asgard. He is the son of Borr and giantess Bestla. Borr was the son of Buri (the first god) and a giantess.
- Thor is Odin's first and oldest son by Jörð (the Earth giantess). His is the god of thunder. He is married to Sif.
- Baldr is Odin's second son and son of Frigg. He is the god of light and beauty. He is husband of Nanna and father of Forseti. He is killed by Höðr (tricked by Loki) and avenged by Váli.
- Týr is the god of war and many warriors pray to him for victory in battle. His hand was bitten off by the Fenris Wolf. He is the son of Odin and the goddess Sága.
- Bragi is the god of poetry and skaldship. He is husband of Iðunn and son of Odin and Frigg.
- Höðr is the son of Odin and twin brother of Baldr. Höðr was blind. He killed Baldr unknowingly (he was manipulated by Loki) and was in turn killed by Váli.
- Heimdallr is the son of Odin and the nine wave goddesses, daughters of Æsir the sea-giant and Ran. He guards the Bifrost bridge and at Ragnarök will blow the Gjallarhorn to signal the beginning of battle, where he will kill and be killed by Loki.
- Ullr is the son of Sif and an unknown giant. He is step-son of Thor and is god of skiing and archery. After Skaði married Njord, the sea god, she was unhappy and left for her wintery mountain home. She eventually married Ullr.
- Hœnir is a son of Odin. After the Aesir-Vanir war, he was sent to Vanaheimr to become chief of that pantheon of gods.
- Hermóðr is a messenger god and son of Odin. He was tasked with riding to Niflheim to beg for the return of Baldr to the realm of the living.
- Víðarr is the son of giantess Gríðr (violence) and Odin. He is the second strongest asa.
- Váli is the son of Odin and Rindr (a Russian princess). His sole purpose on Earth was to avenge Baldr by killing Höðr.
- Forseti is the son of Baldr and Nanna. He is the god of judgement.
- Loki is actually a giant (son of giant Farbauti and giantess Laufey), but blood-brother of Odin. He is the trickster god and god of fire.
- Vili is the brother of Odin and god of intelligence and the sense of touch, giving these to the first humans (Ask and Embla).
- Vé is the brother of Odin and god of countenance (appearance, facial expression), speech, hearing, and sight.
- Máni is the god of the moon and was created by Odin and his brothers.
- Magni is the son of Thor and Sif.
- Móði is the brother of Magni and both are gods of strength.
- Hjuki was a mortal who was carried up by Mani (along with his sister Bil) and now follows him across the sky.
- Frigg is the goddess of marriage, fertility & motherhood; keeper of Domestic Arts, and Queen of Asgard. She is the wife of Odin, and daughter of the giants.
- Sága is the goddess of of prophecy and wisdom. She is the mother of Týr, son of Odin.
- Eir is the goddess of magical healing and daughter of Frigg and Odin. Eir knew the secret powers of herbs, with which she could even resurrect the dead
- Gefjun is the goddess of maidens and daughter of Odin and Frigg. Those who die maids become her hand-maidens.
- Fulla is sister of Gefjun and is Frigg's hand-maiden
- Sjöfn is the goddess of love and daughter of Frigg and Odin
- Lofn is the sister of Sjöfn and is another goddess of love
- Vár is the daughter of Odin and Frigg and is goddess of oaths and promises
- Vör is the daughter of Frigg and Odin and is so wise that nothing can be concealed from her.
- Syn is the sister of Vor and Var. She guards the door of the hall, and closes it against to those who are not to enter
- Hlin guards those men whom Frigg wants to protect from any danger and is Frigg's daughter
- Snotra , who is wise and courtly, is the daughter of Frigg
- Sól is the goddess of the sun and was created by Odin and his brothers along with Mani
- Gná , whom Frigg sends on her errands into various worlds
- Bil was a mortal who was carried p by Mani (along with her brother Hjuki) and now follows him across the sky
- Iðunn is the daughter of Odin and Frigg, wife of Bragi and owner of the Apples of Eternal Youth.
- Sif is the wife of Thor, and mother of Magni and Móði.
- Þrúðr is the daughter of Thor and the giantess Jarnsaxa.
- Nanna is the daughter of Nep (giant) and an unknown giantess. She is the wife of Baldr.
- Sigyn is the wife of Loki. She is of unknown parentage.
|Gods and goddesses of Norse mythology|
|Æsir||Baldr • Bragi • Dellingr • Forseti • Heimdallr • Hermóðr • Höðr • Hœnir • Ítreksjóð • Lóðurr • Magni • Meili • Móði • Odin • Thor • Týr • Váli • Vé • Víðarr • Vili|
|Asynjur||Bil • Eir • Frigg • Fulla • Gerðr • Gefjun • Gná • Hlín • Ilmr • Iðunn • Lofn • Nanna • Njörun • Rán • Sága • Sif • Sigyn • Sjöfn • Snotra • Sól • Syn • Þrúðr • Vár • Vör|
|Vanir||Dagr • Freyja • Freyr • Gersemi • Hnoss • Kvasir • Nerthus • Njörðr • Óðr • Skaði • Skírnir • Ullr|
|Jötunn||Ægir • Angrboða • Býleistr • Fárbauti • Fornjót • Hel • Helblindi • Jörð • Laufey • Loki • Mímir • Surtr • Útgarða-Loki • Ymir|
|Others||Bifröst • Borr • Búri • Einherjar • Elf • Máni • Norns • Valkyries|
|Realms||Álfheimr • Asgard • Jötunheimr • Midgard • Muspelheim • Niðavellir • Niflheim • Svartálfaheim • Vanaheimr|
|Abodes||Breidablik • Fólkvangr • Þrúðheimr • Utgard • Valhalla|
|Topics||Æsir-Vanir War • Ginnungagap • Poetic Edda • Prose Edda • Ragnarök • The Sagas • Yggdrasil|
|Norse mythology articles|
|Major Deities||Odin | Thor | Freyr | Freyja | Frigg | Loki | Baldr | Týr | Njörðr|
|Races||Æsir | Vanir | Jötunn | Elves | Dwarves | Valkyries | Einherjar | Norns|
|Realms||Álfheimr | Asgard | Jötunheimr | Midgard | Muspelheim | Niðavellir | Niflheim | Svartálfaheim | Vanaheimr|
|Abodes||Breidablik | Fólkvangr | Þrúðheimr | Utgard | Valhalla|
|Topics||Æsir-Vanir War | Ginnungagap | Poetic Edda | Prose Edda | Ragnarök | The Sagas | Yggdrasil|