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Realms of the World Tree

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Yggdrasil and the Nine Realms of Norse cosmology

The Yggdrasil, or the World Tree, was a cosmic tree upon which the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology exist.

The Nine WorldsEdit


Muspellheim is the world of the Fire Giants. They are lead by Surtr, who is destined to kill the god Frey and engulf the world in flames. Muspellheim is the southernmost of the realms.


Alfheim, the realm of the good elves is above Muspellheim.


Vanaheim, the home of the Vanir gods, associated with wisdom, fertility and the future. Vanaheim is the original home of Kvasir, Njord, Freyr and Freyja. Vanaheim is located above Alfheim. The Aesir and Vanir go to war, with the result being the swapping of Kvasir, Njord, Freyr and Freyja of the Vanir with Hoenir and Mimir of the Aesir.


Asgard, also known as Godheim, is the realm of the Aesir gods, associated with war. There are twelve Aesir (with the exception being Loki, a giant, Njord and Freyr, originally of the Vanir) and fourteen Asynjur (goddesses) (with the exception of Freyja, originally of the Vanir).


Midgard, or Manheim, is the world of man. The Aesir sometimes visit upon the Bifrost bridge (a rainbow). Midgard is located above Asgard.


Jotunheim is the world of the giants. The giants are constantly at war with the Aesir. The jotun have many leaders and strongholds within their world. The most notable are Thrymheim, the abode of Thiazi, his brothers Gangr and Idi, their father Olvaldi and the original home of Thiazi's daughter Skadi, who later joins the Asynjur.


Svartalfheim (meaning home of the svart alfs or black elves) is the abode of the dark elves, or svartalfar. The Svartalfar are masters of metalworking. Two of their number, Brokk and Eitri (collectively known as the sons of Ivaldi) made magnificent gifts for the gods, for Freyr, Skidbaldnir (Freyr's ship, that may be folded into hsi pocket when not in use), Gullinbursti (a golden boar), for Odin, Draupnir (a magic golden ring that duplicates by eight itelf every nine nights) and Gungnir (a magic spear), for Sif a new wig of gold (after Loki cut off her real hair) and Mjolnir the Hammer for Thor. The chains that bound the legendary Fenrir were also forged in Svartalfheim.


Helheim is the world of the dead and is ruled by Hel, daughter of Loki, who is described as having half her body alive and the other half a rotting corpse. Only the dead who die in sleep of cowardly (not in battle) end up here. It is the home of the Niddhog, a dragon who eats at the roots of the tree that bind it.


Niflheim is the northernmost realm and the world of ice. Niflheim and Muspellsheim are the primeval worlds, the ice from Niflheim and the sparks of fire from Muspellsheim created the Ginnungagap, and eventually resulted in the creation of Ymir and thus all life.


Norse mythology articles
Major Deities Odin | Thor | Freyr | Freya | Frigg | Loki | Balder | Tyr | Njord
Races Æsir | Vanir | Jotnar | Elves | Dwarves | Valkyries | Einherjar | Norns
Worlds Asgard | Álfheimr | Midgard | Jötunheimr | Vanaheimr | Muspelheim | Niflheim | Svartálfaheim | Helheim
Locations Bifröst | Utgard | Valhalla | Fólkvangr
Topics Yggdrasil | Ginnungagap | Ragnarök | Poetic Edda | Prose Edda | The Sagas

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