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Vanir

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Freyja by John Bauer (1882–1918)

Freyja by John Bauer (1882–1918).

In Norse mythology, the Vanir (/ˈvɑːnɪr/; singular Vanr) are a group of gods associated with fertility, wisdom, nature, magic, and the ability to see the future. The Vanir are one of two groups of gods (the other being the Æsir) and are the namesake of the location Vanaheimr (Old Norse "Home of the Vanir"). After the Æsir-Vanir War, the Vanir became a subgroup of the Æsir. Subsequently, members of the Vanir are sometimes also referred to as members of the Æsir.

The Vanir are attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, both written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; and in the poetry of skalds. The Vanir are only attested in these Old Norse sources. Vanir is sometimes anglicized to Wanes (singular Wane).

All sources describe the deities Njörðr, Freyr and Freyja as members of the Vanir. A euhemerized prose account in Heimskringla adds that Njörðr's sister—whose name is not provided—and Kvasir were Vanir. In addition, Heimskringla reports a tale involving king Sveigðir's visit to Vanaheimr, where he meets a woman by the name of Vana and the two produce a child named Vanlandi (whose name means "Man from the Land of the Vanir").

While not attested as Vanir, the gods Heimdallr and Ullr have been theorized as potential members of the group. In the Prose Edda, a name listed for boars is "Van-child". Scholars have theorized that the Vanir may be connected to small pieces of gold foil found in Scandinavia at some building sites from the Migration Period to the Viking Age and occasionally in graves. They have speculated whether the Vanir originally represented pre-Indo-European deities or Indo-European fertility gods, and have theorized a form of the gods as venerated by the pagan Anglo-Saxons.

Some Vanir include:

  • Njörðr (God of the Sea)
  • Nerthus (Sister and wife of Njörðr as well as a fertility goddess)
  • Skaði (Later wife of Njörðr, goddess of winter and hunt)
  • Freyja (Goddess of fertility and daughter of Njörðr. Married to Óðr)
  • Freyr (Son of Njörðr and a god of fertility and fair weather. Ruler of Alfheim)
  • Ullr (Son of Sif and her first husband, stepson of Thor, and god of the hunt)
  • Heimdallr (Guardian of the Bifröst Bridge in Asgard)
  • Óðr (Husband of Freyja. Some identify him as a form of Odin)
  • Hnoss (Daughter of Freyja)
  • Gersemi (Daughter of Freyja)
  • Skírnir (Servant of Freyr)
  • Vana (Unknown goddess. Married Sveigdr, mortal king of Sweden. Mother of Vanlandi)
  • Kvasir (God of Wisdom. Killed by dwarves who mixed his blood with honey to create the mead of poetry

Family TreeEdit

Vanir Genealogy in Norse mythology Names in Bold are Giants/Giantesses Names in Italics are Æsir Frigg was mother to Baldr and Höðr by Odin Sif was mother to Magni, Móði and Þrúðr by Thor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fjörgynn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nótt
 
Dellingr
 
Njörðr
 
Nerthus
 
Mandilfari
 
Hretha
 
Frigg
 
Odin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dagr
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Freyja
 
Óðr
 
Skírnir
 
Svalingr
 
Sinthgunt
 
 
 
Wayland
 
Sunna
 
Thor
 
Sif
 
Unknown
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gerðr
 
Freyr
 
 
Gersemi
 
Hnoss
 
 
 
 
 
Sjöfn
 
Snotra
 
Lofn
 
Sigyn
 
Loki
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ullr
 
Skaði
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Váli
 
 
 
 
Narfi

GalleryEdit

See Also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit


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

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