Norse monsters are an important and defining source or evidence of the Norwegian belief systems. In fact, to anyone interested in a deeper understanding of the Norwegians myths and beliefs, the monster provides a sneak peek into what may turn out to be a source of great knowledge about the people.
In Norse mythology, the Norse gods were not the only powerful creatures. Instead, some creatures constantly appeared to terrorize men and challenge the gods. Some of the crazy creatures in Norse mythology include giants, dwarfs, Elves.
Dwarves are small creatures that originated from the corpse of Ymir as maggots. They were regarded as lesser beings, and they lived underground in Svartalfheim that was believed to be a warren of forges and mines. The dwarves are considered as the beings that crafted the finest jewelry and weapons, including Gungnir, Thor’s hammer, Mjollnir, and the spear of Odin.
For some myths, the dwarves are portrayed to turn to stone when exposed to sunlight. An example is Alviss, one of the dwarfs that claimed Thors, daughter’s hand in marriage. Unfortunately, he was tricked into talking till daybreak when the sun hit him and made him turn to stone.
In Norse mythology, Fenrir was the most popular wolves creature, and he was the son of giantess Angroboda and the god Loki. Fenrir was raised by the gods of Asgard in stopping him from wreaking havoc in the nine worlds. However, he grew fast and caused trouble making him be chained.
Fenrir was chained when the gods convinced him to let them chain him as they were playing a game in seeing his strength. Besides, he easily broke each bond. In the end, the gods were forced to have the dwarfs develop a unique chain that was light but stronger. Since he was suspicious of the chain, he made one of the gods put his hands in Fenrir’s mouth as a symbol of good faith.
In Norse mythology, Fenrir is not believed to be an evil creature but as life’s natural order. For instance, he was chained since the gods knew that he would kill Odin at Ragnarok. While being chained, a sword was placed in his mouth to keep them open, and that resulted in drool which formed Expectation, a foamy river.
Jormungandr, also known as World Serpent or Midgard Serpent, was Fenrir’s brother. He played a crucial role during Ragnarok. He worked towards keeping everything on earth in place. Odin tossed Jormungandr into the water to keep him from trouble. Nevertheless, the servant grew large that he was capable of surrounding Midgard as well as grasping his tail.
Valkyries were the female spirits that serviced the god Odin. They ferried slain to the battle and even gave birth to dead heroes to Valhalla, which was the home of the fallen army of Odin while waiting for Ragnarok. Apart from working for Odin, Valkyries ‘choosers of the slain’ would live and even die in battles using malicious magic in enhancing their preferences.
In Norse mythology, there were two kinds of trolls, including small trolls looking like gnomes that lived underground and ugly rolls that lived in the forests and mountains. They were malevolent, but in some cases, they would show kindness but only in exchange for a favor. Most of them also had prophetic and magical powers. It is believed that in the Scandinavian countryside, most of the boulders were developed when the trolls were caught in sunlight, and they turned to stones.
Norse mythology is not complete without the mention of zombies. The Draugr are considered undead beings with a stench of decay and superhuman strength. They had the ability to swim through the solid rocks, and this explains the reason they exited their tombs. They spent their days protecting treasures while in the graves and even crushed individuals who tried to rob them.
Sleipnir was Odin’s eight-legged horse and Loki’s offspring. It is the best of the horses which attempted to distract the owner of a stallion in the guise of a mare. Also, Sleipnir was considered a beautiful and powerful steed who had a stormy grey coat. The issue made Odin take good care of him and even rode him while going to war.
The Norse mythology had two different types of Elves, including Ljosalfar, who were the light creatures, and Dokkalfar, dark creatures. They were tall and slim demigods that had pale hair and skin. They were believed to be more beautiful as compared to the sun. The Elves kept themselves away from the affairs of human beings, and in occasional cases, they would appear to cure or cause illness based on their whims.
Fossegrim was also referred to as Grim, are a creature and water spirit playing music on the violin. They are normally considered beautiful, semi-naked males and can be induced to teach the skill. The creature typically needs an offering such as a white goat that is thrown with its head-turning from a waterfall flowing northwards. Another sacrifice that it requires is smoked mutton that is stolen from the storehouse of a neighbor four Thursdays in a row.
Kraken is considered a famous sea monster believed to be an octopus and gigantic squid. Its body is so large that most individuals believe that it is an island. Any individual setting foot on the island would sink and die, and that was food for the monster.
In luring fish, Kraken released its excrement that had a think consistency into the water. Besides, it had a fishy and strong smell attracting other fish so it could devour them. Kraken’s inspiration was giant squid that could grow up in huge sizes.
Huldra is the forest warden that protects various locations. The female Huldra is seductive and beautiful, and the backs are covered in the back. In some cases, they can come in the form of young women walking in the men’s world. The illusion of power is only broken in a case where an individual sees their tail.
Jotnar creatures are hard to define. Apart from being considered giants, their size is the same as that of humans. They are usually believed to be at the war of Vanir and Æsir. Also, they are considered chaotic spirits, mainly during the night, winter, and darkness.
The Mare creatures gave humans bad dreams during the night by sitting on them while sleeping. They were believed to be the souls of living people. People also thought that they were witches that took animal forms.
In Norse Mythology, the Norns were the most dominant creatures as they governed the lives of mortals and gods. They also had the capacity to decide what would happen, how, and when. The three Norns that existed included Skuld, Verdandi, and Wyrd.
Ratatoskr is a squirrel that ran up and down in the world tree, Ygdrasil. It ferried messages between eagle Veðrfölnir and Níðhöggr, the serpent that lived beneath the tree’s tree roots. The creature is believed t have a sinister motive to convince two adversaries to use their powers to destroy the tree.