Kobold Press

Odin, Ruler of Asgard

Odin by Chris McFann

(Illustration by Chris McFann)

Refill your flagons! Jarrod Camiré continues to bring you new material to use with Northlands: Roleplaying in Winter’s Chill. The fourth of four parts, this week we learn a little more about Odin.

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Odin is one of the most important gods of Norse mythology and the supreme ruler of Asgard. Venerated under the name Wōden by the Anglo-Saxons and known as Wotan by the German peoples, this prominent figure is associated with battle, death, the hunt, magic, poetry, prophecy, victory, war, and wisdom.

Odin is one of the three gods who made Earth, using Ymir’s body to do so, and he gave life to Ask and Embla, the first human beings. To acquire the necessary wisdom to rule the Nine Worlds, he hung from Yggdrasil, the World Tree, for nine days and nights, pierced by his own magical spear, Gungnir, thus winning the runes and their magic. No stranger to sacrifice, he also given an eye to drink from Mimir’s well and gain even more wisdom and intelligence…

Odin has extensively traveled the Nine Worlds, often disguised as an old wanderer, visiting important kings and other figures, and once even started a long argument with his son Thor while disguised as a ferryman. He is known under many names—more than 200—that embody his numerous accomplishments, Odin is one of the most widely worshipped Norse gods.

Names and Meanings

• Aldaföðr: “Father of Men,” “Father of the Age,” or “Father of the World”

• Alföðr or Alfodr: “Allfather” or “Father of All”

• Atriðr or Atriði: “Attacking Rider”

• Asagrim or Ásagrimmr: “Lord of the Aesir”

• Bági Ulfs: “Enemy of the Wolf”

• Báleygr, Baleyg, Bileygr, or Bileyg: “Flaming Eye,” “Shifty Eyed,” “Flashing Eye,” or “Wavering Eye”

• Biflindi or Byrlindi: “Spear Shaker” or “Shield Shaker”

• Blindi or Blindr: “Blind”

• Brúni or Brúnn: “Brown” or “Bear”

• Böðgæðir: “Battle Enhancer”

• Bölverkr: “Bale-Worker,” “Evil Worker,” or “Evil Deed”

• Bragi: “Chieftain”

• Darraðr or Dorruðr: “Spearman”

• Draugadróttinn: “Lord of the Undead”

• Ein Sköpuðr Galdra: “Sole Creator of Magical Songs”

• Faðr Galdrs: “Father of Magical Songs”

• Farmaguð, Farmatýr, Farmagud, or Farmatyr: “God of Cargoes” or “God of Burdens”

• Fimbultýr or Fimbultyr: “Mighty God”

• Fjölnir or Fjolnir: “Wise One”

• Fjölsviðr, Fjolsvid, or Fjolsvin: “Very Wise”

• Foldardróttinn: “Lord of the Earth”

• Forni: “Ancient One”

• Fráríðr or Fráríði: “The One Who Rides Forth”

• Galdraföðr: “Father of Magical Songs”

• Gangari, Ganglari, or Gangleri: “Wanderer”

• Geirvaldr: “Spear Master”

• Glapsviðr, Glapsvid, or Glapsvin: “Swift in Deceit,” “Swift Tricker,” “Maddener,” or “Wise in Magical Spells”

• Goðjaðarr: “God Protector”

• Göllnir, Gollorr, or Göllungr: “Yeller”

• Göndlir or Gondlir: “Wand-Bearer” or “Wand-Wielder”

• Gramr Hliðskjálfar: “King of Hliðskjalf”

• Grímnir or Grimnir: “Hooded” or “Masked One”

• Grímr or Grim: “Mask”

• Hagvirkr: “Skilful Worker”

• Hangaguð, Hangatýr, Hangagud, or Hangatyr: “God of the Hanged”

• Hangi: “Hanged One”

• Haptabeiðir: “Commander of Leaders”

• Haptaguð or Haptagud: “God of Prisoners”

• Hárbarðr or Harbard: “Hoary Beard” or “Grey Beard”

• Hárr or Har: “High”

• Harri Hliðskjálfar: “Lord of Hliðskjalf”

• Hávi, Havi, or Hovi: “High One”

• Heimþinguðr Hanga: “Visitor of the Hanged”

• Herföðr, Herjaföðr, Herfodr, or Herjafodr: “Father of Hosts”

• Herjan: “Warrior,” “Harrier,” or “Lord”

• Herteitr or Herteit: “War-Merry”

• Hildolfr: “Battle Wolf”

• Hjaldrgegnir: “Engager of Battle”

• Hjaldrgoð: “God of Battle”

• Hjálmberi or Hjalmberi: “Helmet Bearer”

• Hjarrandi: “Screamer”

• Hnikarr, Hnikar, Hnikuðr, or Hnikud: “Overthrower” or “Thruster”

• Hoárr: “One Eyed”

• Hrafnaguð or Hrafnagud: “Raven God”

• Hrjóðr: “Roarer”

• Hroptr, Hroptatýr, Hropt or Hroptatyr: “Sage”

• Hrosshársgrani: “Horse Hair Moustache”

• Hvatmóðr: “Courage of the Whet-Stone”

• Hveðrungr: “Weather-Maker”

• Itreker: “Splendid Ruler”

• Jarngrímr: “Iron Mask”

• Langbarðr or Langbard: “Long Beard”

• Löndungr or Loðungr: “Shaggy Cloak Wearer”

• Óski or Oski: “God of Wishes”

• Rauðgrani: “Red Mustache”

• Reiðartýr: “Wagon God” or “God of Riders”

• Rögnir: “Chief”

• Rúnatýr: “God of Runes”

• Runni Vagna: “Mover of Constellations”

• Síðgrani, Sidgrani, Síðskeggr, or Sidskegg: “Long Beard”

• Síðhöttr or Sidhott: “Broad Hat”

• Sigðir: “Victory Giver”

• Sigföðr or Sigfodr: “Father of Victory” or “War Father”

• Sigrúnnr: “Victory Tree”

• Sigtryggr: “Victory-True”

• Sigtýr or Sigtyr: “God of Victory” or “War God”

• Sigþrór: “Successful in Victory” or “Thriving in Victory”

• Skollvaldr: “Ruler of Treachery”

• Sviðurr or Svidur: “Wise One”

• Svipall: “Changing,” “Fleeting,” or “Shape-Shifter”

• Tvíblindi or Tviblindi: “Twice Blind”

• Þrasarr: “Quarreler”

• Þróttr or Thrott: “Strength”

• Þundr or Thund: “Thunderer”

• Uðr, Ud, or Unn: “Loved,” “Beloved,” or “Striver”

• Váfuðr, Vafud, or Vegtam: “Wanderer”

• Váfuðr Gungnis: “Swinger of Gungnir”

• Váði Vitnis: “Foe of the Wolf”

• Valdr Galga: “Ruler of Gallows”

• Valdr Vagnbrautar: “Ruler of Heaven”

• Valföðr or Valfodr: “Father of the Slain”

• Valkjosandi: “Chooser of the Slain”

• Valtýr: “Slain God”

• Valþognir: “Slain Receiver”

• Viðfräger: “Wide Famed”

• Viðrir or Vidrir: “Stormer”

• Viðurr or Vidur: “Killer”

• Vingnir: “Swinger”

• Völundr Rómu: “Smith of Battle”

• Yggr or Ygg: “Terrible One”

Other Names

Alemannic: Wuodan
Anglo-Saxon and Old Saxon: Woden
German: Wotan or Wothan
Lombardic: Godan
Old Franconian: Wodan
Old Norse: Odínn

When travelling among humans Odin has frequently used the aliases Vak and Valtam. Other variations of his name include Othinn and Oden.