Where was Vanaheim Land of Vanir Gods in Norse mythology?

Posted by Ms Elly on

Where was Vanaheim Land of Vanir Gods in Norse mythology?

There were up to two god tribes in Norse mythology: the Aesir and the Vanir. Yet, Norse mythology seemed to revolve around the Aesir more than the Vanir. The land of Aesir gods were in Asgard stronghold located somewhere on the top branches of Yggdrasil Tree of Life. The land of Vanir Vanaheim, however, was located somewhere obscure. The question here is where was Vanaheim in Norse mythology?

Where is the Vanaheim?

So by far, this question has triggered off debates among scholars. Opinions varied from one another. Vanaheim was only known as the land of the Vanir god the tribe that was more associated with nature and magic while the Aesir focused more on weapons. In most medieval sagas and Poetic Edda, the Aesir was much more important (got mentioned more) than the Vanir. While Asgard was located on the top branch of Yggdrasil Tree, the place of Vanir gods was unknown. 

Hilda Ellis Davidson an English scholar specialised on Germanic paganism and Celtic paganism believed that Vanaheim was located somewhere near or in the underworld. The underworld in Norse mythology was Helheim the land of the dead ruled over by Hel daughter of Loki. However, this assumption didn't meet with many agreements. 

Long ago, the Vanir and the Aesir waged war against each other. The war stretched for a long time with each tribe gaining the upper hand. Until the day both tribes grew tired of battling, they wanted to call out a peace treaty. And the truce was to exchange hostage to secure peace and relationship between two tribes. Mimir and Hoenir from Aesir gods came to live in Vanaheim while major gods of the Vanir like Njord (King), Freyr (Prince), and Freya (Princess) came to live as hostage in Asgard. This suggested the Aesir was of more importance compared with the Vanir. From this, a group of scholars agreed that the Vanaheim located somewhere below the Asgard. 

Another theory was that Vanaheim lay beneath Asgard and Midgard. It was somewhere "in-between". With this theory, the Vanir gods acted as the mediators between the Midgardsmen and the Aesir gods

Freyr and Freya in Norse mythology were the prince and princess of Vanir gods

Freyr was the God of Summer and Fertility. He was riding on his golden boar Gullinbursti holding the antler which was his weapon. Freya was the goddess of War and beauty in Norse mythology. She was accompanied by two cats. 

Was Vanaheim the creation of the 13th century

Discussing about the locations of each world in the Nine Worlds could trigger off heated debates only to end up nowhere. Because sagas seldom mentioned the precise locations of each realm. 

Some scholars put forward the idea that Vanaheim was the creation of the 13th century. Snorri Sturluson was the one we should be grateful for his work collecting and writing down Norse sagas. But because his work was written down centuries after the demise of the Vikings. So he could have added details so that the Christian readers could understand it. That is not to mention Snorri himself was a Christian and his writing orientation could have been altered to be Christian. 

Although the home of Vanir gods remains a mystery, the Vanir gods have always been important. From the beginning of the cosmos, the Vanir and the Aesir once waged war against each other. The war ended when both tribes grew tired of fighting and neither of them was the winners of this war. 

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