Who Were Norse Gods of Bravery? Not Always Thor
We always assume that Thor was the Norse god of strength and bravery. Indeed, he was. But not only was Thor the god of bravery, but there were also other gods of bravery in Norse mythology.
Tyr was often known as the God of Justice and Honor. Because he always treated others with fairness. In the Binding of Wolf Fenrir, Norse gods captured and took Fenrir to Asgard and raised him up. But in the prophecy, Fenrir was destinated to swallow Odin the Allfather in their final battle of Ragnarok, everyone was scared of Fenrir.
The only one who showed no fear and was always ready to approach and feed Fenrir was Tyr.
Tyr God of Justice and Honor was the only one who volunteered to put his hand in Fenrir's mouth. When Fenrir realised that he was tricked by the gods, he bit off the hand of Tyr.
Tyr was a god of bravery in Norse mythology too. When Fenrir grew up at an incredible speed, the gods decided Fenrir couldn't stay in Asgard any longer. But they couldn't release Fenrir for they were afraid that Fenrir would trigger off Ragnarok. Then they thought of tricking to tie Fenrir. In the binding of Wolf Fenrir, two times Norse gods lured Fenrir to try the magical chain, two times Fenrir easily broke the chain.
In the third attempt, Norse gods commissioned the dwarves to make a magical chain to bind Fenrir and they brought it to trick the wolf one more time. Smelling a rat this time, the wolf demanded a god to put their hand in his mouth as a promise that if Fenrir could break the chain, they would release him.
Tyr was the only god who volunteered to put his hand in the mouth of the wolf. When Fenrir knew that he had been tricked by the gods, he bit off a hand of Tyr for going back on their promise.
This occasion suggested that Tyr deserved the title of God of Bravery.
Hermod was an obscure figure in Norse mythology. He was sometimes known as the son of Odin, yet sometimes the servant of Odin "Odin's boy".
In the death of Baldur, Hermod proved himself to be a god of bravery. Everyone was devastated and broken on hearing the death of Baldur. The first to calmed herself was Frigg who declared to give all her love to anyone who dared to ride to Hel and rescue Baldur.
Hermod was that brave man. Odin lent him the eight-legged Sleipnir and allowed him to go to Helheim. At the gate of the Helheim, Baldur met a servant who said that she had seen Baldur crossed to the connecting bridge and he was probably inside. He came to the gate, dismounted Sleipnir, tightened the girth, and mounted again. With Sleipnir, Hermod leapt above the wall entering the land of Hel.
He confessed to Hel that the cosmos was saddened because of Baldur's death and she should release Baldur.
Hermod went to negotiate with Hel the Queen of the Dead to release Baldur
But no one could ever change the mind of Hel. She demanded Hermod to turn back and said if everyone, dead and alive, was ready to cry for the death of Baldur, she would release Baldur.
Even though the gods couldn't manage to ask for everyone's tear, it helps us realize how brave Hermod was when he travelled alone to the land of the dead.
One cool fact was that Hermod's name meant "war-spirit" which of course included bravery.
The reason why Vidar was in the list was that he killed Fenrir the Wolf.
Vidar was an obscure son of Odin the Allfather. Originally, he was known as Norse God of Silence. He spent the majority of his time sitting in his garden and gazing at the plants there.
In Ragnarok, the giant (enemies of the gods) waged war against Norse gods. Fenrir the Wolf was prophesied to swallow Odin the Allfather marking the collapse of Nore Pantheon.
Vidar sought revenge on Fenrir the Wolf who swallowed Odin in the battle of Ragnarok
Vidar was the brave son of Odin who stepped out to seek revenge for his father's death. He wore his magical shoe which was designed for this moment only. He stepped one foot in Fenrir's mouth thrusting his mighty sword through the mouth of Fenrir. A hand of Vidar then split the mouth of Fenrir apart.
It was true that Vidar might be fuelled with hatred and desire for revenge. We cannot deny that Vidar made a very courageous deed.
*This article is based on the personal viewpoint of the author