Odin, the mythological figure of Scandinavian and old Germany, was the most important god of them all. Scandinavians feared him because he was said to wander around the mortals with a staff.
Odin was the god of war, wisdom and victory. Most legends say that he only had one eye because he traded it for "infinite wisdom" which he later acquired and thus; he could easily see everything as he wished.
Odin's main attribute was a spear which never failed - he could kill any target with only one shot and he could never fail. Obviously, most Vikings attempted to imitate this being and most of them praised him widely and prayed to him in the eve of a battle.
Odin married Frigg (goddess of marriages) and had many sons. He was the father of the well-known god Thor who was extremely feared as well.
It was the belief in Odin which kept pushing the Vikings into conquering more parts of medieval Europe. He eventually failed because of the expansion of Christianity which reached Scandinavia in the XII century.
Even though Christianity was strong in Scandinavia, Odin was not forgotten for many more centuries and even today some Scandinavians (mainly from Iceland) believe in him.
Vikings themselves were very scared of their gods. The power they handed over to them was enormous and enough to control most of their life in many ways.
The movie, The Lord of the Ring has an enormous influence from Norse mythology remarking trolls, and most creatures. Additionally, Gandalf himself is very similar to the mythical god Odin who was in a way omniscient.
Norse mythology has inspired not only that movie, but countless books, stories and games which are all parallel to such beliefs. Norse mythology also influenced other religions including the Catholic church which can be seen to the implementation of such words as "Friday" (Frigg Day, godess of marriage).
Religion for most Scandinavian countries was very similar. The only exception was Finland which did have many differences - but nevertheless; there is a very big similarity.
An interesting subject is the similarities between Norse Mythology and Aztec (pre-hispanic) mythology in America. Of course there is no direct link, but nevertheless; similarities do exist. I will leave this to a future article in this blog for you to discover later. In the mean time I will focus mostly in a brief introduction to Norse mythology.
The main god for all Vikings was Odin - who was the father of all the other gods. An exact number of the gods in Norse mythology is unknown because of uncertainties while having an objective review.
It was the Norse gods who led Vikings into conquering many parts of Europe.
You can view all the articles about this subject in the Norse Mythology section of this blog.
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