Asgard le royaume des dieux dans la mythologie nordique

Asgard: the Kingdom of the Gods in Norse Mythology

Like Mount Olympus in Greek mythology, Asgard is the home of the Norse gods . In the middle of the eight other worlds of Scandinavian mythology, Asgard is the one that dominates the sky. In the midst of Odin, who is its chief, the Ases live there peacefully .

Where is the kingdom of Asgard located?

Where is Asgard?

There are nine worlds , in total, in Norse mythology. And all are connected in the Yggdrasil tree : Niflheim, Muspelheim, Midgard, Jotunheim, Vanaheim, Alfheim, Svartalfheim, Helheim and finally Asgard. The latter is located in the center of it all, just above Midgard . It dominates the sky and shelters the goddesses and the Nordic gods belonging to the group of Aesir.

Asgard is an almost impenetrable world. The only way to get there is to cross the Bifrost , the rainbow bridge guarded by Heimdall . The latter acts as a bridge between the Earth (Midgard) and the world of the gods , but is therefore not accessible to mortals.

The legend around the creation of Asgard

creation asgard horse

It was the three brothers, Odin, Vili and Vé who built Asgard , after they created human beings. Over time, the gods have erected their temples there.

But it had been a while since the Aesir had been tested by the recurrent and violent attacks of the Giants . To take shelter, they accepted the tempting proposal of a master builder named Hrimthurs : the latter proposed to the Aesir to build them the largest and most powerful fortress, around Asgard. In exchange, however, Hrimthurs claimed the sun, the moon, and the lovely Freyja .

Of course, the gods found the market conditions excessive. But the deceitful god Loki had an idea: if the fortress was built in just three semesters, then Hrimthurs would receive what he had asked for . Otherwise, he would receive nothing at all. Loki set his own conditions: the master builder had to work alone and at night only. And the deal was done.

Hrimthurs worked as fast as he could for days and nights, and the gods were soon worried. Enough to send Loki to spy on the construction site. There, Loki spotted Hrimthurs using a horse to carry his stones after dark. Three days before the expiration of the delivery deadline and faced with the progress of the work, Loki decided to act. He turned into a mare in heat and galloped around the building site all night long... alongside Hrimthurs' horse who only followed him. Loki repeated his deceit the next day, and the day after too. Eventually, Hrimthurs took longer than expected to build the fortress, and he left empty-handed and angry. So much so that Thor had to kill him with his hammer Mjöllnir . But the Ases finally had their fortress, and the goddess Freyja obviously remained at their side within Asgard.

Who lives in Asgard?

Asgard Temples

The gods found in Asgard are called the Ases . The goddesses are called the Asynjur . All are the main gods of the pantheon, but the greatest of them and the one who is the chief of all remains Odin , god of war, death, wisdom and magic.

Of the most important gods and goddesses of Norse mythology, twelve have their own temples in Asgard, on the Ivadoll Plain.

Here is the list of temples / halls in Asgard:

  • Odin , whose hall is called Gladsheim
  • Baldr , whose hall is called Breidablik .
  • Freyja , whose hall is called Folkvangr
  • Heimdall , whose hall is called Himinbjörg
  • Freyr , whose hall is called Alfheimr .
  • Ullr , whose hall is called Ydalir
  • Vali , whose hall is called Valaskjalf
  • Saga , whose hall is called Sökkvabekkr
  • Skadi , whose hall is called Thrymheimr
  • Forseti , whose hall is called Glitnir
  • Njörd , whose hall is called Noatun
  • Vidar , whose hall is called Landvidi

Of course, the Aesir are much more numerous. Among the best known we find among others: Thor, Loki, Höd, Frigg.

Did the Vanes live in Asgard?

War Vanes and Aesir

If today the people of the Aesir are the only ones to live in Asgard, there was a time when the Vanes also lived there . This other tribe was composed of fertile deities, ruling the land and the sea. But one day, a war broke out between the Aesir and the Vanes , against the backdrop of the differences of the two groups. The texts reveal little information about this battle, but the legend says that it was not won by either group. As a form of peace, this confrontation ended in an exchange of hostages. Njörd, Freyr and Freyja, for example, become members of the Aesir after the battle.

Odin, the chief god of Asgard

Odin Chief of the Viking Gods

Odin is the most powerful of the gods of Asgard and rules over the world of Aesir. He is the son of Bestla and Bor, and the brother of Vili and Ve. Odin is married to the goddess Frigg , with whom he has two sons: Baldr and Hod. Some say that the king of Asgard would also be the father of Thor, born of a relationship with the beautiful giantess Fjörgyn.

Where does the god Odin, king of Asgard, live?

He who is associated with royalty, death, wisdom or even poetry lives in an abode called Valaskialf , which is inside his temple Gladsheim . His house is the largest and finest in Asgard. Inside it, at the very top of a tower, Odin has a throne named Hlidskialf . As soon as he sits there, the king of Asgard can see the nine worlds .

Who Destroyed Asgard?

Surt Destroyer of Asgard

Asgard disappears at the end of Ragnarök , the end of the prophetic world of Norse mythology. After the great battle, the shadow and the light disappeared. Just like gods and men. Only three gods and two humans survive the tragedy. These last two, Lif and Liftrasin are responsible for repopulating the world, after the gods have brought back the prairies.

The details of the destruction of Asgard are not so well known from historical texts. On the other hand, it is staged in the film “Thor: Ragnarok”, of the series of Marvels. As Thor battles Hela, the Goddess of Death who has returned to take Odin's Tuna, Loki goes to Odin's Vault and brings Surtur (one of Asgard's most powerful enemies) back to life. , in the form of a fire demon . The giant towers over Asgard and destroys everything in its path. He ends up sinking his sword into the core of Asgard and destroys, along with Hela, the kingdom of the gods.

What about Asgard in popular culture?

Asgard in Marvels Comics

The kingdom of Asgard appeared for the very first time in 1962. It was then imagined by the publishing house Marvel Comics for the Comic Book Journey into Mystery n°85. Based on the mythical city of the Norse gods, Asgard is once again home to the Aesir.

And it is on the screen that the kingdom is then taken over. Asgard can be found in the 2011 Marvel Cinematic Universe film "Thor" , as well as in the film's sequels.

Finally, the world of Asgard also appears in the video game "Assassin's Creed Valhalla" .

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