Many people were introduced to three of the Norse Gods. Thor, Odin, and Loki through the adaption of Marvel’s comic, Thor in 2013. The film lightly touches on the Gods but fails to go into detail of the mythology behind the characters. It is a good way to introduce those unfamiliar with Norse mythology to the characters, but additional research required to fully appreciate their roles in history.
Odin is the King of Asgard, one of the nine realms, and holds many titles. Odin is recognized as being the God of War, but also serves as the God of Death. He is often seen in accompany with two ravens, named Huginn and Muninn, plus two wolves, named Geri and Freki. The creatures would send him messages or slaughter those that tried to deceive Odin with false information. Odin charges into battle atop an eight-legged horse, named Sleipnir. His spear, named Gungnir, forged by dwarves.
Odin is the God of Wisdom, yet he obtained much of his knowledge by drinking from the Well of Urðr located near the tree of life called Yggdrasil. He resides in the palace of Valaskjálf providing him to oversee all that occurs within the nine realms. Despite the wealth of knowledge obtained from the Well of Urðr. Odin also receives secret information from the severed head of Mímir.
The creatures that fought for Odin called Valkyries. Valkyries were women that would attend fields of battle collecting souls of fallen heroes to take back to Valhalla. Those serving Odin hoped to die a heroic death to land in Valhalla, a grand hall of continuous feasts and battle. Although, those who committed suicide, or a non-honorable death ended up in Nofheim Hel’s domain.
Odin is the son of Borr and the frost giant Bestla and married to the Goddess Frigg. He is the father of the twin Gods Baldr and Höðr. His eldest son is Thor God of Thunder, whose mother is Jörð, the personification of the Earth. Odin took in Loki as his son after killing his father, the frost giant Fárbauti.
Despite the Marvel film introducing me to Norse mythology, there are a few errors I discovered after doing some research of the Norse myths. The film portrays him more of a father figure and not the cruel, powerful entity in legends. In the films, he banishes Thor for picking a fight with the frost giants, where his victory in combat should have been honored.
Furthermore, Odin was a God feared and traded his left eye for magic and is known as a high shaman called a seidr. There are many similarities and differences between the Norse myth of Odin, and the character seen in the Thor films, but both adapt the basic characteristics of the God of Wisdom.