Interesting quotes involving the Norse god Odin


“He [Gylfi] saw three thrones one above the other, and there were three men, one sitting in each.  Then he asked what the name of the ruler was.  The man who had brought him in replied that the one that sat in the lowest throne was king and was called High, next to him the one called Just-as-high, and the one sitting at the top was called Third [these three names happen to be different names for Odin suggesting that the three men were, in fact, Odin himself].”

Gangleri:  “Who is the highest and most ancient of all gods?”  High said:  “He is called All-father in our language, but in Old Asgard he had twelve names:

  1. All-father
  2. Herran or Herian
  3. Nikar or Hnikar
  4. Nikuz or Hnikud
  5. Fiolnir
  6. Oski
  7. Omi
  8. Biflidi or Biflindi
  9. Svidar
  10. Svidrir
  11. Vidrir
  12. Ialg or Ialk”

Gangleri:  “Where is this god, what power has he, and what great works has he performed?”  High said:  “He lives throughout the ages and rules all his kingdom and governs all things great and small.”  Then spoke Just-as-high:  “He made heaven and earth and the skies and everything in them.” Then spoke Third:  “But his greatest work is that he made man and gave him a soul that shall live and never perish through the body decay to dust or burn to ashes.  And all men who are righteous shall live and dwell with him himself in the place called Gimle or Vingolf, but wicked men go to Hel and on to Niflhel;  that is down in the ninth world.”

Gangleri:  “What was he doing before heaven and earth were made?”  High replied:  “Then he was among the frost-giants.”

“And it is my belief that this Odin and his brothers must be the rulers of heaven and earth;  it is our opinion that this must be what he is called.  This is the name of the one who is the greatest and most glorious that we know, and you would do well to agree to call him that too.”

“Bor’s sons [Odin and his two brothers] killed Ymir.”

“They [Odin and his two brothers] took Ymir and transported him to the middle of Ginnungagap, and out of him made the earth, out of his blood the sea and the lakes.”

“As Bor’s sons [Odin and his brothers] walked along the sea shore, they came across two logs and created people out of them.  The first gave breath and life, the second consciousness and movement, the third a face, speech and hearing and sight;  they gave them clothes and names.”

“In the city [Asgard] there is a seat called Hlidskialf, and when Odin sat in that throne he saw over all worlds, and every man’s activity and understood everything he saw.”

“All-father (Odin) went there (Mimir’s well) and asked for a single drink from the well, but he did not get one until he placed his eye as a pledge.”

“I know it all, Odin, where you deposited your eye, in that renowned well of Mimir.  Mimir drinks mead every morning from Val-Father’s pledge.”

“Odin is highest and most ancient of the Aesir.  He rules all things, and mighty though the other gods are, yet they all submit to him like children to their father.”

“Odin is called All-father, for he is father of all gods.”

“He is also called Val-father [father of the slain], since all those who fall in battle are his adopted sons.  He assigns them places in Val-hall and Vingolf, and they are then know as Einheriar.”

“. . . most names (the many names of Odin) have been given him as a result of the fact that with all the branches of languages in the world, each nation finds it necessary to adopt his name to their language for invocation and prayers for themselves, but some events giving rise to these names have taken place in his travels and  have been made the subject of stories, and you cannot claim to be a wise man if you are unable to tell of these important happenings.”

“Odin sends them to every battle [the valkyries].  They allot death to men and govern victory.”

“The food that stands on his [Odin’s] table he gives to two wolves of his called Geri and Freki.  He himself needs no food;  wine is for him both drink and meat.”

“Geri and Freki the battle-accustomed father of hosts feeds, but on wine alone spendidly weaponed Odin ever lives.”

“Two ravens sit on his shoulders and speak into his ear all the news they see or hear.  Their names are Hugin and Munin.  He sends them out at dawn to fly over all all the world and they return at dinner-time.  As a result, he gets to find out about many events.  From this he gets the name raven-god.”

“But it was Odin who took this injury the hardest [the death of Balder] in that he had the best idea what great deprivation and loss the death of Balder would cause the Aesir.”

“Odin layed upon the pyre [of Balder] a gold arm-ring called Draupnir.  It afterwords had the property that every ninth night there dropped from it eight gold rings of the same weight.”

“Then Hermod got up and Baldr went with him out of the hall and took the right Draupnir and sent it to Odin as a keepsake . . .”

“Then Odin will ride to Mimir’s well and consult Mimir on his own and his people’s behalf [when Heimdall blows the horn Giallarhorn, announcing the coming of Ragnarok].”

“Odin will ride out in front with golden helmet and fine coat of mail and his spear called Gungnir [at Ragnarok].  He will make for Fenriswolf . . .”

“The wolf [Fenriswolf] will swallow Odin.  That will be the cause of his death.”


“And in the evening when they were about to start the drinking, Odin had swords brought into the hall and they were so bright that light shone from them, and no other light was used while they sat drinking.”

“It is said that Odin, as compensation for her [the death of Thiassi], he did this:  he took Thiassi’s eyes and threw them up into the sky and out of them made two stars.”

“He [Odin] asked if they would like him to hone their scythes [to nine slaves who were mowing hay].  They said yes.  Then he took a whetstone from his belt and honed, and they thought the scythes were cutting very much better and asked if they could buy the whetstone.  The price he set on it was that he who wished to buy must give what was reasonable for it, and they all said they wanted to and bade him sell it to them, but he threw the whetstone up in the air, and when all tried to catch it they dealt with each other in such a way they they all cut each other’s throats with the scythes.”

” . . . he [Odin] offered to take over the work of nine men [who were killed above] for Baugi, and stipulated as his payment one drink of Sottung’s mead [made from the blood of Kvasir].”

“Then Bolverk [Odin] got out an auger called Rati and instructed Baugi to bore a hole in the mountain, if the auger would cut.  He did so.  Then Baugi said that the mountain was bored through, but Bolverk blew into the auger-hole and the bits flew back at him.  Then he realized that Baugi was trying to cheat him, and told him to bore through the mountain.  Baugi bored again.  And when Bolverk blew a second time, the bits flew inwards.  Then Bolverk turned himself into the form of a snake and crawled into the auger-hole, and Baugi stabbed after him with the auger, and missed him.”

“Bolverk [Odin] went to where Gunnlod was and lay with her for three nights and then she let him drink three draughts of the mead.  In the first draught he drank everything out of Odrerir, and in the second out of Bodn, in the third out of Son, and then he had all the mead.”

“And then he turned himself into the form of an eagle and flew as hard as he could.  And when Sottung saw the eagle’s flight he got his own eagle shape and flew after him.  And when the Aesir saw Odin flying they put their containers out in the courtyard, and when Odin came in over Asgard he spat out the mead into the containers, but it was such a close thing for him that Suttong might have caught him that he sent some of the mead out backwards, and this was disregarded. Anyone took it that wanted it, and it is what we call the rhymester’s share.  But Odin gave Suttong’s mead to the Aesir and to those people who are skilled at composing poetry.  Thus we call poetry Odin’s booty and find, and his drink and his gift and the Aesir’s drink.”


” . . . soul gave Othin, sense gave Honir, heat gave Lothur and goodly hue.”

“On the host his spear did Othin hurl, then in the world did war first come . . .”

“I know where Othin’s eyes is hidden, deep in the wide-famed well of Mimir;  mead from the pledge of Othin each morn does Mimir drink:  would you know yet more?”


“I rede [council] thee, Loddfafnir!  and hear thou my rede, profit thou hast if thou hearest, great thy gain if thou learnest . . .”

“I saw and was silent, I saw and thought, and heard the speech of Hor [Odin].”

“I ween that I hung on the windy tree, hung there for nights full nine;  with the spear I was wounded, and offered I was to Othin, myself to myself, on the tree that none may ever know what root beneath it runs.”

“None made me happy with loaf or horn, and there below I looked;  I took up the runes, shrieking I took them, and forthwith back I fell.”

“Then began I to thrive, and wisdom to get, I grew and well I was;  each word led me on to another word, each deed to another deed.”

“Runes shalt thou find, and fateful signs, that the king of singers colored, and the mighty gods have made;  full strong the signs, full mighty the signs that the ruler of gods doth write.”

“Better no prayer than too big an offering, by thy getting measure thy gift;  better is none than too big a sacrifice.”

“The best [song] is what none but one’s self doth know . . .”


“In wisdom old with the giant wise myself to seek to match.”

“Much have I fared, much have I found, much have I got from the gods . . .”

“If a poor man reaches the home of the rich, lt him wisely speak or be still.”

Vafthruthnir says:  “No man can tell what in olden time thou spaks’t in the ears of thy son [Balder, at his funeral pyre] . . . with Othin in knowledge now have I striven, and ever the wiser thou art.”


“Othin and Frigg sat in Hlithskjolf and looked over all the worlds.”

“A single name have I never had since first among men I fared.”

“Much hast thou lost, for help no more from me or my heroes thou hast.”

This entry was posted in Books, movies, and music, Vikings - Odin, Thor, the Norse, and such and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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