Aegir and Ran: Giants That Vikings Feared The Most

Posted by Ms Elly on

Aegir and Ran: Giants That Vikings Feared The Most

Aegir and Ran were a giant couple in Norse mythology. They were one of the most powerful figures in the belief of the Vikings for the couple ruled over the ocean. 

Aegir ("EYE-gir") and Ran ("Ran") were mentioned many many times in Norse mythology. However, not many sources of the couple survived the test of time. Therefore, things about the couple that we can find in modern times were quite a few. Some scholars put forward theories that whether the sources we have now are the original sources because they believe some Christian traits have been added. 

Aegir and Ran were, respectively, husband and wife. Their house was a great hall beneath the ocean. They had nine beautiful daughters whom we know as the Nine Sea Maidens. 

Although Aegir and Ran always appeared together, their personal characteristics had nothing in common. Aegir "Ocean" was nice and kind and he often threw many parties for gods and his friends. Aegir was accordingly famous for his friendliness. He had a magic cauldron from which he could brew the best mead to serve his guests. 

Aegir, nine maidens, and his magic cauldron

Aegir and Nine Maidens brew meads

Meanwhile, his wife appeared to be a very hot-tempered woman. Ran "Robber" was often mentioned as the power source that derived the seafarers of their lives. This made the Vikings feared Aegir and Ran for the Viking life was deeply associated with ocean. If the seafarers happened to make the couple, especially Ran, angry, they had better not set sail. 

Ran drowned a seafarer

Ran tried to drown a seafarer

The archaeologists once excavated many offerings in the lake Tissø. This made the archaeologists and scholars conclude that the Vikings once wish for protection and blessings from someone dwelling under the ocean. And possibly who? Aegir and Ran.

One more interesting thing about Aegir and Ran was that they had a famous son-in-law. He was Odin the Allfather who loved the Nine Maidens at first sight. Odin and the Nine Maidens had a son who was Heimdall. This Heimdall God stayed with his mothers in the ocean until the day he grew up and joined Asgard. Heimdall became the guardsman of Asgard. 

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