10 Things about Dwarves in Norse myth You Don't Know
Among all creatures, the dwarves were the least common ones to be mentioned in Norse mythology. The roles of the dwarves were obscure and supporting only. But without the dwarves, many key details in Norse mythology would not have existed. Below are 10 things about the Norse Dwarves that you are yet to know.
1. Dwarves' ancestors were maggots
According to the creation of the cosmos, the dwarves evolved from the maggots that crawled out from the corpse of Ymir - the first giant in Norse mythology. Odin and his brothers were supposed to slay Ymir. And from the corpse of the giant Ymir came out the maggots that later became the dwarves.
From the Ymir's corpse came the maggots that later evolved into dwarves
2. Dwarves held the sky.
When the gods were about to finish fashioning the world, they were afraid that the sky would collapse. So Odin sent out four dwarves to four different directions to hold up the sky. The four dwarves were Austri, Vestri, Nordri, and Sudri, respectively representing East, West, North, and South.
Four dwarves were responsible for holding up the sky
3. Svartalfheim was the homeland
If Asgard was the homeland of gods, the land of dwarves was Svartalfheim. It was described as a dark and cold place. The dwarves lived inside the cave or under the rock in Svartalfheim.
4. Dwarf brothers murdered the wisest creature to brew the Mead of Poetry
Two dwarves, whose names were Fjalar and Galar, murdered Kvasir the wisest creature in Norse mythology. They stored Kvasir's blood and brewed it to make the Mead of Poetry. Being asked about Kvasir, they answered he died because of knowledge overload.
The dwarves killed Kvasir and stored his blood in a vat to brew the Mead of Poetry
5. The best blacksmith in the cosmos was dwarf.
Dwarves were the most talented blacksmith in Norse mythology. Many weapons of Norse gods were created by the dwarves. For example, Mjolnir hammer of Thor or Gungnir spear of Odin were forged by dwarves in Svartalfheim. So without the dwarves, there would have been no powerful weapons for the gods to defend themselves.
No creature in Norse mythology could rival the dwarves when it came to forging skills
6. How the dwarves looked like remains a mystery
That the dwarves were short remains to be seen. Because no Norse sources mentioned the dwarves as the short creatures. However, in legendary tales, they were small and ugly ones.
The dwarves were the ugly creatures according to legendary tales
7. Fafnir the Dragon was Dwarf Prince
Fafnir, one of the notorious dragons in Norse mythology, was actually a dwarf. Fafnir was the dwarf prince who was greedy and got cursed to turn into a dragon guarding the hoard. His father, the king of dwarf had a hoard full of gold and silver. Fafnir was so greedy that he got cursed. He killed his father to store the hoard for himself. With the curse, he turned into a dragon guarding the treasure for himself deep in the woods.
Fafnir the Cursed Dragon guarded his treasure
8. A dwarf was sacrificed in Baldur's funeral.
A dwarf merrily danced in the funeral of Baldur which was so impolite and annoying that Thor kicked him to the burning pyre as a sacrifice to Baldur's death.
9. Alviss the dwarf almost became the son-in-law of Thor God of Thunder and Storm.
A dwarf named Alviss was promised the hand of Thor's daughter. But Thor didn't like this little dwarf to become his son-in-law. God of thunder planned to ask the dwarf multiple of questions all day long. Alviss was wise and he could answer nearly all questions and he kept talking from dawn to dusk. And when the dawn broke on the sky, the first sunlight reached Alviss, the dwarf turned into stone.
10. The dwarf was Black Elf
Many scholars believe that dwarves were black elves due to the word "Svartalfheim" - homeland of the dwarf. "Svartalf" meant "black elf". And in Norse mythology, the elves lived in the land known as "Alfheim".