Who Was Associated With Ice in Norse Mythology?

Posted by Ms Elly on

Who Was Associated With Ice in Norse Mythology?

Fire and Ice were the two key elements constructing the whole cosmos. As the ice from Niflheim met the fire from Muspelheim, there came the first giant Ymir from whom many creatures were born. In the myth, there were creatures that were associated with these two important elements: Surtr the Fire Giant and Skadi who was the Ice Giantess. 

Skadi the Ice Giantess

Skadi (Skaði) or sometimes Skade was a true giantess. She was the giantess of skiing, winter, and mountains. Skadi was the daughter of the giant Thjazi who kidnapped Idunn the guardian of youth apples. As the gods killed Thjazi, they offered god Njord to be the bridegroom of Skadi. This giantess Skadi was responsible for placing the snake that dropped the venom into Loki when gods punished Loki for his tricks. 

Image of Skadi giantess

Depiction of giantess Skadi

The word "Skadi" can be pronounced as "SKAHD-ee". It was believed that the word "Skadi" meant "harm" or "shadow". Many scholars claimed that the name of Skadi gave birth to the word Scandinavia which may derive from Skadi's island. But whether this was true or not remained to be seen. 

The famous but failed marriage 

Knowing that the Norse pantheon had brutally killed her father Thjazi, Skadi set out to take revenge on Norse gods. She crashed into Asgard but soon was convinced to accept three reparations instead of seeking revenge. 

First, Odin took out the eyes of giant Thjazi and placed them into the sky as one of the brightest stars up there. 

Second, the gods would try many ways to make Skadi laugh. Many tried but all failed. As everyone became weary and seemingly no one would continue, Loki managed to do the task. He somehow made giantess Skadi chuckle. 

Third, Skadi was allowed to pick one of the Gods as her groom. But she could only choose her groom through the look at his legs and feet alone. She picked the fairest pair of legs, thinking that they belonged to god Baldur. But as a matter of fact, it turned out to be Njord the Vanir sea god. 

Image of Skadi and Njord unhappy marriage

Skadi and Njord broke up

After they had held a magnificent wedding, they decided where to live in. There were two main options: Noatun (Land of Ships) - home of Njord or Thrymheim (Thunder Home) - home of Skadi. The couple decided to spend their first nine nights in Thrymheim. However, as the last day came to pass and they set out to go elsewhere, Njord declared that time in Thrymheim was unbearable to him He would love the sounds of the swan rather than those of the wolves in Thrymheim. After nine nights in Noatun, Skadi had the similar opinion over the sunny home of Njord. The sounds of the seabirds were the most terrible to her as it made her unable to sleep. Then she left the mountains and the two quickly broke up. 


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