Norse Mythology

The Nine Worlds

The Nine Worlds in Norse Mythology


Yggdrasil: The tree of life

In Norse Mythology, there are nine worlds, and these are divided into three levels.

In the first level is Asgard, the home of the Aesir.

Vanaheim, the home of the Vanir.

Alfheim, the home of the Light Elves.

In the middle is Midgard "Middle Earth", the home of the Humans. Midgard is connected to Asgard by Bifrost "The Rainbow Bridge".

Jotunheim, the home of the Giants.

Svartalfheim, the home of the Dark Elves.

Nidavellir, the home of the Dwarfs.

Niflheim is to the north, somewhere in Niflheim under the ground is Helheim home of the dead.

Muspelheim is to the south, it is the home of the fire Giants and Demons.

Niflheim: The World of Fog and Mist

Niflheim(Niflheimr) "Mist home" is the darkest and coldest region in the world. Niflheim was the first of the nine worlds; Niflheim is placed in the northern region of Ginnungagap. In the lands of Niflheim there is located the eldest of the three wells, which is called Hvergelmir "bubbling boiling spring" protected by the huge dragon called Nidhug (Níðhöggr).


Niflheim: the world of fog and mist

It is said that all cold rivers come from Hvergelmir, and it is said to be the source of the eleven rivers. Hvergelmir is the origin of all living and the place where every living will go back.

Elivagar "ice waves" are the rivers which existed in Niflheim at the beginning of the world. They were the streams floating out of Hvergelmir. The water from Elivagar flowed down the mountains to the plains of Ginnungagap, where it solidified to frost and ice, which gradually formed a very dense layer. That is the reason that there is very cold in the northern plains. As the world tree Yggdrasil grew up into the sky, it stretched one of its three large roots far into Niflheim, and drew water from the spring Hvergelmir.

Muspelheim: The Land of Fire

Muspelheim (In Old Norse: Múspellsheimr) was created far to the south of the world. Muspelheim is a burning hot place, filled with lava, flames, sparks and soot. Muspelheim is the home the of fire giants, fire demons and ruled by the giant Surt. He is a sworn enemy of the Aesir. Surt will ride out with his flaming sword in his hand at Ragnarök "the end of the world" Surt will then attack Asgard, "the home of the gods" and turn it into a flaming inferno.


Muspelheim: the land of fire

Asgard: Home of the Gods

In the middle of the world, high up in the sky is Asgard. It is the home of the gods and goddesses. The male gods in Asgard, are called Aesir, and the female gods are called Asynjur. Odin is the ruler of Asgard, and the chief of the Aesir. Odin is married to Frigg; she is the Queen of the Aesir. Inside the gates of Asgard is Valhalla; it is the place where the Vikings "Einherjer" that died in battle will go for the afterlife.


Asgard: home of the Gods and Goddesses

Valhalla was in Asgard: Home of the fallen Vikings

Valhalla (In Old Norse Valhöll) is located in Asgard, the front of the big city of Asgard there are 540 doors. The doors are so wide that through each huge door, 800 warriors can walk side by side. The roof is covered with golden shields, and the walls around Valhalla are made from wooden spear shafts. This is the place were half of the Vikings who had died in a battle would come for their afterlife. The other half of the Vikings are given to the goddess Freya; she always has the first choice from every dead warrior. Each and every morning the Vikings in Valhalla will take their weapons and put on their armor and then walk out to the big plains in Asgard and fight. It did not matter if they got their arms, legs or head cut off. Because when the great dinner in the evening came they would all be restored to normal.


Walhall by Emil

In the evening they will return home to Valhalla and sit down and eat and drink. Saehrimnir “A giant pig” the pig is a magical pig. When the cook Andhrimnir cut steaks from the side of the pig, it will grow back immediately. There is also a goat named Heidrun, it is standing on the roof of Valhalla, and eates from the branches of the tree of life “Yggdrasil” While from its udder floats a lot of mead, down to a huge tub, big enough to make everyone in Valhalla drunk every day. The Valkyries will serve the Vikings, pork and mead.

Midgard: Home of the Humans

Midgard (In Old Norse Miðgarðr) “middle earth” is located in the middle of the world, below Asgard. Midgard and Asgard is connected by Bifrost the Rainbow Bridge. Midgard is surrounded by a huge ocean that is impassable. The Ocean is occupied by a huge sea serpent, the Midgard Serpent. The Midgard serpent is so huge that it encircles the world entirely, and biting its own tail. Odin and his two brothers Vili and Ve, created the humans from an Ash log, the man and from an elm log, the woman.


Midgard: the home of the Norse

Jotunheim: Home of the Giants

Jotunheim (Jǫtunheimr) is the home of the jotuns(giants). They are the sworn enemies of the Aesir. Jotunheim consist mostly of rocks, wilderness and dense forests, so the giants lives from the fish in the rivers, and the animals in the forest, because there is no fertile land in Jotunheim. The whole world was created from the corpse of the first Jotun, named Ymir. It was Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve, who killed Ymir.


Jotunheim: the land of the Giants

The Jotuns and the Aesir are constantly fighting, but it also happens from time to time, that love affairs will occur. Odin, Thor and a few others, had lovers who were Jotuns. Loki also came from Jotunheim, but he was accepted by the Aesir and lived in Asgard. Jotunheim is separated from Asgard by the river Iving, which never freezes over. It lies in the snowy regions on the outermost shores of the ocean. Mimir's well of wisdom is in Jotunheim, beneath the Midgard root of the ash tree Yggdrasil. The stronghold of Utgard is so big that it is hard to see the top of it. And there the feared Jotun king Utgard-Loki lives. Utgard is carved from blocks of snow and glistening icicles.

Vanaheim: Home of the Vanir

Vanaheim (In Old Norse Vanaheimr) is the home of the Vanir gods. The Vanir gods is an old branch of gods. The Vanir are masters of sorcery and magic. They are also widely acknowledged for their talent to predict the future. Nobody knows where exactly the land, Vanaheim i located, or even how it looks like. When the war between the Aesir and the Vanir ended, three of the Vanir came to live in Asgard, Njord and his children Freya and Freyr


Vanaheim: the home of the Vanir

Alfheim: Home of the Light Elves

Alfheim (In Old Norse Ālfheimr) is right next to Asgard in the heaven. The light elves are beautiful creatures. They are considered the "guardian angels" The god Freyr, is the ruler of Alfheim. The Light elves are minor gods of nature and fertility; they can help or hinder humans with their knowledge of magical powers. They also often delivered an inspiration to art or music.


Alfheim: the home of the light elves

Svartalfheim: Home of the Dark Elves

Svartalfheim (In Old Norse Svartálfr) is the home of the dark elves. The dark elves hates the sun so they live in the murky underground. They are hideous and can be of a great pain in the neck to the humans many describe them as being extreme annoying. The dark elves are nothing but trouble.


Svartalfheim: the home of the dark elves

Many Norse thought that dark elves were also responsible for nightmares. These dark elves were called mare. A mare would sit on a sleeping person’s chest and whisper bad dreams to haunt the person. A mare can also haunt animals, particularly horses. The dark elves can not be exposed to the sun, if the sun’s beams of light reached them they would instantly turn into stones.

Nidavellir: Home of the Dwarves

Nildavellir (In Old Norse Niðavellir) is the home of the dwarves, they live under the rocks, in caves and underground. Hreidmar was the king of Nidavellir, Nidavellir means Dark fields. The dwarves are masters of craftsmanship. The gods of Asgard, the Aesir have received many powerful gifts. Like Thor's hammer, the magical ring Draupnir and also Gungnir, Odin's spear.


Nildavellir: the home of the dwarfs

Author of page content Martin Højbjerg