Norse mythology was a fountain of myth of North Germanic people originating from the Norse paganism and survives to these times though not all of them. Among the system of numerous characters, Norse gods were favored the most. Let’s take a quick look at the Norse Pantheon.
There were two main god tribes in Norse mythology: the Aesir (pronounced “ICE-ear) and the Vanir (pronounced “VAN-ear). Both of them were the ancient branches of Norse gods. The Aesir gods were mainly associated with the power of weapons and the forces of nature. Meanwhile, the Vanir were famous for their power of magic and fertility.
Who were the Aesir and Vanir?
The leader of the Aesir gods was Odin the Allfather. Odin was the god of sky, death, war, wisdom, and poetry. He was born by a giant during the Norse World Creation and became the most famous Norse gods. Thor, son of Odin, was another famous god wielding Mjolnir hammer to create lightning and thunder. Other important Aesir gods included Frigg wife of Odin, Baldur God of Light, Heimdall the Asgard watchman, Tyr God of Justice, etc.
Odin The Allfather Leader of the Aesir Gods
The leader of the Vanir gods was Njord the Ocean God. Njord had twin children, Freyr and Freya. Freyr was the god of Sunshine and Weather. His sister, Freya was the god of beauty, love, and war. Freya shared half of the fallen warriors with Odin and welcomed them in her palace of Folkvangr. Some accounts told that Freyr was the ruler of Alfheim – the land of beautiful light elves.
Mapping the Nine Worlds on Yggdrasill Tree of Life
The Aesir tribe lived in the uppermost branch of Yggdrasil. Their land was called Asgard. Asgard stronghold was the most civilized and orderly place that would offer its inhabitants the feeling of happiness and comfort. The Vanir, on the other hand, dwelled in the land of Vanaheim. However, there were no surviving materials that told the exact position of Vanaheim. One poem in Poetic Edda told god Njord went eastward to come to Asgard; thereby, we may assume that Vanaheim laid somewhere to the west of Asgard.
Aesir and Vanir War
In fact, there once was a conflict between the two tribes. They waged war against each another only to end up as a unified pantheon. The truce was declared by two tribes exchanging the gods. Njord, Freyr, and Freya came to live in Asgard while Mimir and Hoenir (pronounced HIGH-neer). The last peace treaty was the formation of Kvasir the Norse wisest being. After the unification of the Norse pantheon, the Aesir and Vanir Gods together took part in Ragnarok to battle with the giant.
Aesir and Vanir War