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15 Mighty Facts About the Norse God Odin

These Viking god facts all about the might Odin are a must read for anyone obsessed with Norse mythology! Check them out an learn all about the king of the gods!

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Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  September 28th 2023

Odin is the most powerful and revered of all the gods in Asgard! But how much do you know about Odin and the myths and legends that surround him? It's time to see with these 15 mighty facts! Discover the story how Odin made the world, why he has only one eye, and which day of the week is named after him! How many of these legendary facts did you already know? You'll be RAVEN to your friends about them! (Sorry). And if you liked these, we've got more Norse myth facts for you! How about some terrifying Thor facts? Or what about finding out about everyone's favourite mischievous trickster god, Loki? Or check out even more Viking god facts here! And if that's not enough, we've got hundreds more facts about animals, myths, and everything random right here!

1. Odin Is a Norse God

Odin is the head of the Norse Gods, the gods worshipped by a European people called the Vikings about 1,000 years ago. The Vikings lived in present day Scandanavia, and colonised other places like Iceland and Britain too. The Vikings has a religion known as Paganism, and believed in lots of gods, all of whom did different things.

2. He Created the World (Sort of)

Odin was the King of the Aesir, a group of Viking gods who lived in another realm from humans. He is supposed to be responsible for creating the world, killing the giant Ymir and using his body (yuck!) to create the land, sea and sky. Apparently his eyebrows were used to create the human world!

3. He lives in Valhalla

Odin lives in Valhalla, a part of Asgard (The famous home of the gods). Valhalla is a great hall, and the Vikings believed that Valhalla was home to slain warriors, who would go there after death to feast and celebrate forever with Odin. Sounds fun!

4. He Has Two Brothers

Odin has two brothers - Vili and Vé. It was these brothers who helped him slay Ymir, and they also sometimes rule over Asgard, although they don’t seem to get up to as much as Odin! Together, the three brothers are supposed to be incredibly powerful.

5. He’s Got Lots of Different Names

We’re calling him Odin, but he’s got a few different names, most notably Woden, or Wotan. However, he’s also known by ever more names due to the different languages, dialects and disguises in Norse mythology. In fact, Wikipedia has a whole page just for Odin’s names! We can’t fit them all in here! Some of those names represented his traits, like wisdom, and some were names he took on when in disguise.

6. He’s a War God

Odin is primarily a war god, and his main job is to protect heroes. Viking would often pray to Odin for luck before a big battle. However, he was also quite fond of starting wars too, and liked to meddle in the affairs of humans! Vikings admired him though, because of his bravery, courage and skill on the battle field.

7. He’s Got Some Magic Friends

Odin is a real Dr Doolittle – he’s got lots of talking animal friends! These include the ravens Hugin and Munin (Thought and Memory) who were meant to aide him in his wisdom. He also has two pet wolves Geri and Freki, so that he was never lonely. It must be very noisy when you’re hanging out with Odin!

8. His Horse Is Pretty weird

Odin’s horse Sleipnir is almost as famous as Odin, but for a very weird reason – he has EIGHT legs! Yup, Viking artwork shows Odin’s horse has a tangle of legs which is probably meant to make him go even faster than a normal horse, although we can’t help thinking that many legs would probably just trip you up!

9. He’s Only Got One Eye

Odin is usually depicted as a brave warrior, with one usual feature – he only has one eye! Why? Well, apparently he scarified his eye to the god Mimir in exchange for wisdom! Mimir is the wisest god, and the keeper of a well which gives the drinker boundless knowledge and wisdom. Apparently he really wanted Odin’s eye in exchange for a drink! So Odin is now one of the wisest gods, but this also means he must have terrible depth perception!

10. He’s Got a Day Named After Him

If you know anything about Norse mythology, it’s probably that many of the Viking gods leant their names to our days of the week! This includes Tiwan’s day (Tuesday) Thor’s day (Thursday) and Frigg’s Day (Friday). And Odin also has a day  - Odin’s Day, or Woden’s Day (Wednesday)!

11. He Has a Big Family

Like many gods, Odin has a big family to take care of. As well as his two brothers, he has a wife, Frigg, the goddess of marriage and fertility. He also has several children, including the thunder god Thor, and the gods Baldr, Hoor, Vioarr and Vali. The Valykries (female warriors who brought the dead to Valhalla) are sometimes called his daughters, but sometimes not – Norse mythology is quite complicated! Either way, Christmas must be noisy round Odin’s house!

12. He Has an Iconic Look

As well as the one eye, Odin is known for several different looks. These include his classic garb as a warrior, but also his long beard, cloak and wide brimmed hat which he wears when he’s being wise Odin not warrior Odin. He often carries a spear too, called Gungnir (everything seems to have a name in Norse mythology!) Gungnir is supposed to always hit its target, no matter what.

13. He Could Change Shape

Odin was not just a warrior, but also a shape shifter. He could turn not just into people, but animals too. He often appears as an old man, probably to symbolise his wisdom, and also so that he wouldn’t be noticed.

14. He is Similar to Other Gods

Odin is similar to several other gods, most noticeably the Greek god Zeus and the Roman god Saturn. Both are fatherly gods who rule over their dominions, and both are meant to be very wise. He’s also quite similar to the Roman god Mars and the Greek god Ares, both gods of war. Like these more fiery gods, Odin often likes to cause trouble just for the sake of it. And just like Zeus, Odin loves to shapeshift into different people and animals!

15. He’s a Big Part of Pop Culture

Thor | Marvel Studios | Paramount Pictures | Kevin Feige | Kenneth Branagh

Odin still pops up in books, film and art today! The Victorians loved to paint the Norse gods, seeing them as wild and romantic, and books like The Lord of the Rings series were said to be inspired by the Norse gods. Most recently (and most famously) Odin appears in the Marvel universe as the ruler of Asgard and father of avenger Thor and his mischievous brother Loki. He’s played by Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins and appears in several movies.