Ullr: Step Son of Thor, Obscure God of Glory

Posted by Ms Elly on

Ullr: Step Son of Thor, Obscure God of Glory

Ullr is not a famous Norse god name that everyone will notice like Thor or Odin. He was an obscure god in Norse mythology because accounts about him are sparse and none of them tell us about his personality and role in Pre-Christian religion. 

He was the son of Sif the Bride of Thor. This meant Ullr was the step son of Thor god of Thunder and Storm. Ullr was commonly known as a talented hunter, skater, and skier. He was handsome, tall, and warlike. His home was "Ydalir" which could be translated into "Yew Dales". Yew was a type of ideal wood that people could use for making bows. 

So be it with thee, Atli!

as toward Gunnar thou hast held

the oft-sworn oaths,

formerly taken -by the southward

verging sun,

and by Sigtý’s hill,

the secluded bed of rest,

and by Ullr’s ring.

Odin once was caught in the middle of two fires. He promised the blessings for "Ullr and all the gods" on who would rescue him. This suggested a quite high position of prominence for Ullr in Norse Pantheon along with other deities. 

Ullr god of glory in norse mythology

The Atlakvida, an Old Norse poem, told a story of swearing of solemn oaths wherein the last and most solemn oath would be sworn on the ring of god Ullr.

Ullr’s and all the gods’

favour shall have,

whoever first shall look to the fire;

for open will the dwelling be,

to the Æsir's sons,

when the kettles are lifted off.

The meaning of his name has been remaining as a mystery. Some suggested that "Ullr" originated in Germanic roots and it meant "glory" and "honor". 

The majority of scholars agreed that Ullr was more an important god in his time than in the time that the Norse mythology was written down by the Christianized writers. 

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