Two Cruel Punishments in Norse Mythology

Posted by Ms Elly on

Two Cruel Punishments in Norse Mythology 

For those who had done something wrong, punishment should be applied. This was one of the most common thinking ways in any mythologies. Same things happened in Norse mythology. In this blog post, we will discover two cruel punishments that you might encounter when reading Norse mythology. 

The Vanir gods beheaded Mimir

Long long ago, there was a war between the gods. There were two god tribes in Norse mythology and before they could sit along in one feasting table, they had declared war on one another. 

Wars carried on after wars. And there came a day when the gods felt tired about what they had been doing. They decided to draw the white flags and assembled for a peace treaty. 

The way to seal peace for both parties according to the gods was to exchange hosts. The Aesir gods named Hoenir and Mimir would come to Vanaheim to live and the Vanir gods named Njord, Freyr, and Freya would come to Asgard. The point was, three of the Vanir gods were respectively the chief god, the prince, and the princess of Vanaheim. Meanwhile, Hoenir and Mimir were only minor gods. 

Coming to Vanaheim, both Aesir gods were welcomed, especially Hoenir who managed to persuade the Vanir gods that he was the most benevolent figure in the cosmos. Vanir gods thought that Hoenir could answer any question but they didn't think that Hoenir could do because Mimir told him the answer. And the truth was revealed when Mimir didn't accompany Hoenir. 

Vanir gods came to realize that they had been tricked with this hostage exchange. They decided to behead Mimir immediately. The body of Mimir was thrown away while the head was sent back to Asgard, straight to Odin the Allfather. 

Mimir the beheaded one in NOrse mythology

Mimir was beheaded by the Vanir gods 

Aesir gods punished Loki

Loki was the one who must take responsibility for the death of Baldur - son of Odin. When the gods knew Loki was culprit, they set out to capture this trickster. 

The gods found Loki hiding on the top of a mountain, capturing him and bringing him to a dark cave. 

They also brought the sons of Loki to the cave as well. Their names were Nari or Narfi (according to Snorri Sturluson). The gods turned one of Loki's sons into a wolf and did some magic to make the siblings kill one another. And the wolf killed his brother. And there came the punishment of Loki.

The punishment of Loki in Norse mythology

The punishment of Loki

Loki then was bound to the rock with the entrails of his own son. Skadi the giantess of ice and frost placed a snake just above the head of Loki. The snake dropped its venom to the face of the trickster. Every time the venom touched the face of Loki, it caused him in great pain. 

If it had not been for the help of Loki's faithful wife, Sygin, Loki would have endured tons of pain. Sigyn accompanied Loki in his punishment holding a bowl to collect all drops of venom. Whenever Sigyn turned away to empty the bowl, the venom dripped on Loki's face leaving him in great pain.

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