Les neuf mondes Vikings

The 9 Viking Worlds (Norse Mythology)

The cosmogony in Norse mythology is a very interesting aspect. At the start, as in the Christian religion, everything was nothing. It is thereafter that worlds will be created. In this article we are going to discover which are these nine worlds which live or nourish the cosmic tree Yggdrasil.
The 9 Viking Worlds
Here is the list of these worlds:

The World of Niflheim

The world of Niflheim

What is this?

The realm of Niflheim is a place of ice . It is first of all composed of mist and fog but also of darkness and darkness. This world is considered the darkest and coldest of all. This makes it an unhospitable and icy world. However, this is where the origin of the universe will be created.


The Niflheim has many other names:

  • Niflheimr
  • Neiflheim
  • Niflheimur
  • Nibelheim
  • Nebelheim

Note that it should not be confused with the Niflhel which is only part of the kingdom of the dead, the Helheim.
However, according to some, the Niflheim is the equivalent of the realm of the dead of old age and disease, Helheim.


This world is said to be north of Ginnungagap , the gaping void in Old Norse. On the other side of this chasm is the world of Musspelheim, to the south. Niflheim is found under the third root of the world tree Yggdrasil .

In the center of Niflheimr, we find Hvergelmir, the meeting between ice and lava. This place is where life begins but also where it ends. It is protected by the dragon or serpent Nidhug which gnaws a root of the Yggdrasil ash tree (also called Nídhögg) depending on the version.

From here, the eleven rivers of Élivágar (the name of these rivers) depart. From these rivers come poisonous effluvia in the form of frost. This frost coming into contact with the heat of the world of Musspelheim will form the giant Ymir and the cow Audhumla in Ginnungagap.

This giant will be at the origin of the creation of the rest of the universe but we will dwell on this aspect in future articles.

The world of Muspelheim

The world of Muspelheim

What is this?

Just like its neighbor, the Niflheim, this world of fire is a creator world of the Viking universe . It is a land of heat, of lava and flame, of spark and burning soot.

The Giant Surt

He is the head of this kingdom of fire . Surt leads the fire giants and fire demons. He carries with him his flaming sword with which he will destroy the nine kingdoms of Yggdrasil during Ragnarok. He is the enemy of the Ases and especially of the god Thor who hates this race of giants.


The Muspelheim is found south of Gunnningagap and will aid in the training of the giant Ymir and the cow Audhumla.

The world of Asgard

The world of Asgard

What is this?

Asgard is a fortress, home of the gods and goddesses of Norse mythology. It is connected to the kingdom of men, Midgard via the Bifrost bridge. Asgard was created after Midgard by Odin, Vili and Vé, the sons of Borr. Odin being the leader of all deities. The name Asgard comes from Ásgarðr which means "enclosure of the Aesir".

This is where Valhalla is located , the afterlife resting place for all Einherjer who died in battle while attacking.

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Idavoll is the name of the plain where the gods reign . On it are twelve temples for the twelve main gods of the Viking pantheon .

Here is the list of temples associated with their god:

  • Ýdalir - Ullr
  • Alfheimr - Freyr
  • Valaskjalf - Vali
  • Sökkvabekkr - Sága
  • Gladsheim - Odin
  • Thrymheimr - Skadi
  • Breidablik - Balder
  • Himinbjörg - Heimdall
  • Folkvangr - Freyja
  • Glitnir - Forseti
  • Nóatún - Njörd
  • Landvidi - Vidar

The wall of Asgard

As explained at the beginning, Asgard is a stronghold of the Ases gods. This fortress was rebuilt by a giant after the war against the Vanes.

According to legend, the builder (who was actually a giant) would receive the moon, the sun and the goddess Freyja if he managed to build the wall in less than half a year . With the help of his horse Svaðilfari, he set to work.

The duo happened to be remarkably efficient, so by day three they were pretty much done. The gods, displeased, therefore asked Loki to find a stratagem or a ruse to overcome this.

Thus, Loki made a beautiful mare appear in front of the stallion Svaðilfari. He stopped working and chased the mare. The builder tried somehow to catch up with his horse but it was too late. The time was up and the wall was not finished.

The builder then revealed his true nature as a giant and Thor, the god of thunder, killed him with his short-mashed hammer, the Mjollnir.

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The world of Midgard

The world of Midgard

What is this?

Also called Middle-earth, Midgard is the realm of humans. It lies under Asgard to which it is connected by the rainbow Bifrost which is itself protected by the god Heimdal.

Midgard is surrounded by an impassable ocean. This is inhabited by the Midgard Serpent, Jormungand. It is said that the latter is so large that it can swallow the end of its tail. It is this snake that will destroy the world of men during Ragnarok, the end of the world according to the Vikings (in reality, it is also the beginning of a new era).

Midgard Jewelry

Creation of humans

It is the divinities Odin, Vili and Vé who, from an ash tree trunk, will shape humans.

Genesis of the world of Midgard

It all starts with the death of the giant Ymir who is killed by Odin and his two brothers. These three brothers decide to create a new world. So they set to work.

From the eyelashes of Ymir , they formed the wall that will protect the human world from the Jotuns of Jotunheim. With his flesh they made the earth, the oceans with his blood, the mountains with his bones and the cliffs with his teeth.
Of his hair they made trees and of his brain clouds.

This is how, according to Viking mythology, they made the world of humans.

The world of Jotunheim

The world of Jotunheim

What is this?

This is the world of giants, also called Jotuns. They are the representatives of the chaotic forces and the first enemies of the Aesir.

This realm is a place of rocks and wild, dense forests. Everything is snowy there and there are many rivers and seas. Most of the population living near the coast, they live from fishing and hunting forest animals.


Jotunheim is separated from Asgard by the River Iving. This one has the particularity of never freezing. This realm is found under the central root of the cosmic tree Yggdrasil. It is also here that we find the well of wisdom Mimir. Mimir being a character from Norse mythology.

In Jotunheim is also the strength of Utgard directed by Utgardloki.


Jotunheim has several names including:

  • Jotunheimar
  • Jotunheimr
  • The latter literally meaning "land of the giants"

The world of Vanaheim

The world of Vanaheim

What is this?

We have very little information about this world. This is the residence of the Vanes gods. These represent fecundity, knowledge, fertility, witchcraft, magic and are able to predict the future.

Vanaheimr means "house of the Vanes"

The world of Alfheim

The world of Alfheim

What is this?

Alfheim is the residence of the light elves. These are considered minor gods of nature and fertility. They can annoy humans or help them with their magical powers. They can therefore be considered as guardian angels.

These creatures of light are a source of inspiration for art and music.


Álfheim, as its name suggests is the residence of the elves ("world of the elves" in Old Norse).

It has two other names which are:

  • Ljosalfheim
  • Lightalfheim

The world of Svartalfheim or Nidavellir

The world of Svartalfheim or Nidavellir

Depending on the version, there is either the world of Svartalfheim or that of Nidavellir. Or the two are the same world. The sources diverge and are not very clear about this.


This realm is considered to be that of the dark elves . In contrast to the light elves living in Alfheim.


It is the kingdom of the dwarves. These live underground, in caves and under rocks. They are very skilled creatures that are capable of many things in craftsmanship. For example, they forged the ring of Drapnir or the spear Gungnir. At their head is King Hreidmar.

The world of Helheim

The world of Helheim

What is this?

Helheim is the realm of the dead. This includes the dead of old age or disease, the dishonored, thieves or even murderers. In short, anyone not brave enough to go to Valhalla or Forlkvangr.

This world is ruled by the goddess Hel, daughter of the evil god Loki. It is a dark and sinister place where joy and good humor no longer exist.

People who join this world will be part of the army that will fight the gods of Asgard during Ragnarok.


This country is at the very bottom of the universe. It is made up of Hel, the antechamber, and Niflhel, which is the exact place where the dead go and is even darker.

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