Viking God Names

An exhaustive list of Viking god names and their meanings

Vikings, the seafaring people who roamed Europe between the 8th and 11th centuries, believed in many gods. The Viking belief system was based in Norse mythology gods, most of whom represented one or several aspects of nature or warfare. In this article, we explore Viking god names and the meanings behind them.

Due to these beliefs, Viking god names carried meaning as well — for example, Thor, perhaps the best-known Viking god, was believed to be the god of thunder and the name Thor derives from the Old Norse word for thunder.

Norse god names range from the ones that remain well-known in modern society, like Odin, to ones that have become more obscure, like Heimdall.

Who were the Viking gods?

In Norse mythology, gods were originally divided into two groups: the Aesir and the Vanir. Vikings worshiped the Aesir gods for strength in warfare and the Vanir gods for prosperity and fertility.

The Aesir gods included many of the most central figures in Norse mythology, including Odin and his most famous son, Thor. Among the Vanir gods were Freya, her twin brother, Freyr, and Njord.

The two groups of gods were believed to have been at war for a long time, before eventually joining their forces for the betterment of the world.

Viking god names were popular among Viking parents, who named their children after the gods as tribute and in the hopes of passing some of the best traits of the gods onto the babies. The aforementioned Freya and Freyer, for example, were the goddess and god of fertility.

Some Viking names are still in use today, particularly in Scandinavia.

Who were the most important Norse gods?

The most famous Norse god names

The most important Norse god was Odin, the Allfather (ruler of the gods) of the Aesin and the god of war. Odin was also the god of wisdom and poetry, which resulted in Vikings relying on him for all kinds of guidance.

Odin was known to use hundreds of names for himself and walk among mortals in disguise to observe their behavior.

Out of Odin’s many sons, Thor was the most famous and very powerful in his own right. Thor was the god of thunder and the protector of humanity, likely best known for the hammer he wielded.

Other important Norse gods include Frigg, who was Odin’s wife and the goddess of beauty and love, Loki, who was technically not a god but was treated like the god of trickery regardless, and Balder, who was also Odin’s son and represented kindness and fairness.

A definitive list of Viking gods and goddess names

Viking God Names
Credit: Gunther Falchner


Odin, the Allfather of the Aesir gods, was the highest power among Nordic gods. Odin is best known for being the god of war, but he represented many things; among them, poetry and knowledge.

He indeed craved knowledge and owned two ravens that spied for him around the world. Odin himself was known to spend time among mortals in disguise and to use countless different names to hide his true identity.

Odin’s wisdom was not obtained without sacrifice. He gave one of his eyes to a giant, Mimir, in exchange for all the wisdom in the world.

Although Odin’s son, Thor, is likely better known in today’s world due to the Marvel film series, Odin’s legacy remains palpable in ways that may not be immediately obvious: the word Wednesday derives from “day of Woden” — Odin was known in Old English as Woden.

In some languages, Wednesday still directly translates to “Woden’s day”.

Viking God Names


Frigg was Odin’s wife and the queen of all the goddesses. Frigg represented fertility, marriage, and beauty, and provided her husband with valuable wisdom.

Their partnership was not without issues, however, as Frigg was known for her mighty temper, but the couple remained by each other’s side.

Many may not realize that most of the names of our weekdays derive from Norse god names; as Wednesday was named after Odin and Thursday after Thor, the word Friday comes from “Frigg’s Day”.

Frigg’s influence has carried throughout centuries and her story has been depicted in many plays and works of art.

The name Frigg can also be spelled as Frija (not to be confused with the goddess Freya), Friia, and Fria, although none of the names are particularly common in modern day Scandinavia.

Several places and brands, however, have taken their name from Frigg and the various spellings of the name.

Viking God Names
Credit: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg)


Odin had many sons and while some of the others were gods as well, Thor was the most famous of his father’s sons. Thor was a god of thunder and a protector that wielded a powerful hammer, known as Mjölnir.

Thor was at times regarded to be even stronger and more powerful than his father, due to his role as the protector of humanity and Asgard, where the gods lived.

Thor is not only the best-known Viking god today — mostly due to the Marvel Universe that depicts his battles — but is also among the most famous Viking god names.

Just as Wednesday is named after Thor’s father, Odin (also known as Woden), Thursday derives from the Old English term “Thor’s Day”.

The power of Thor’s legacy remained strong for centuries past Viking times — anthropologists and archeologists have uncovered numerous statues and runes that were once dedicated to Thor and his adventures.

Viking God Names


Loki was the son of a giant, Jötunn, and was thus technically not a god. However, Odin adopted Loki as a son and regarded him as a god and a blood brother to Odin’s other sons.

Loki was widely known as a shapeshifting trickster god whose pranks were mostly harmless but could at times end in injury or even death — when he found out that his brother Balder’s weakness was mistletoe, he tricked a blind god into throwing a mistletoe spear at Balder and killing him in the process.

Loki’s position within the Aesir clan varied between welcomed and resented, depending on the nature of his pranks and whom they were aimed towards. Most of the other gods, including Odin, remained wary of Loki due to his unpredictable nature.

In the modern world, Loki is among the most famous Viking gods because his character is heavily represented in the Marvel comics, movies, and shows about Thor and other Norse mythology gods.

Viking God Names


Balder, also known as Baldr and Baldur, was the son of Odin and Frigg. He represented kindness and light and was believed to live between heaven and Earth.

Not many stories exist about Balder, but the tale of his demise is well known; mischievous god Loki, Balder’s adopted brother, tricked another god into shooting Balder with a spear made of his only weakness, mistletoe.

Frigg mourned the loss of her son intensely and resented Loki, her husband’s adopted son, for killing who was known was the kindest of gods.

Eventually, Frigg and Odin got their vengeance for the loss of their son when Vale, another one of their sons, killed the blind god that Loki had tricked into shooting Balder.

Viking God Names


Freya was one of the best-known gods of the Vanir clan. Freya and her twin brother, Freyr, were the goddess and god of fertility and represented love, beauty, and prosperity. As is true with many Viking god names, Freya has a meaning in Old Norse: lady.

Although Freya represented the Vanir clan, she and Freyr attempted to maintain relations — albeit not always successfully — with the Aesir clan. During a particularly tumultuous period in the war between the two clans, Freya and Freyr were held captive on the Aesir side.

After the conflict was resolved, however, the twins were given honorary status within the Aesir clan.

The name Freya can also be spelled as Freija and Frea, and it remains a popular name in Scandinavia to this day.

Viking God Names


Freyr was the twin brother of Freya and the god of fertility. Freyr’s father, Njord, was the god of the sea and the original god of fertility, but he gave the power to his son at the birth of the twins. Freyr was one of the most respected gods within his clan, Vanir.

Freyr’s power stretched beyond fertility, as he was also in charge of rain and pleasant weather conditions. Due to his power over good weather and therefore the fate of each year’s crop, Freyr was worshipped particularly much during harvest time.

Viking God Names


Hel was the daughter of the god of trickery, Loki. Hel was very pale and appeared demeaning, which is fitting since she was the goddess of the underworld. She was not maleficent, however, but instead nurtured and took good care of those who passed into her world.

Since Viking warriors who died in battle were believed to pass into Valhalla, the kingdom in the sky, those who ended up in the underworld had mostly died due to illness or old age.

When Odin and Frigg’s son Balder was killed by a trick orchestrated by Hel’s father, Loki, she welcomed Balder into the underworld. At Odin and Frigg’s request, Hel considered releasing Balder’s soul to Valhalla.

When the slain god’s parents could not meet Hel’s requirements — that all objects, alive or dead, should have wept for Balder — she decided that the soul should remain in the underworld.

Viking God Names


Heimdall was known as the guardian of the realm between Asgard, where the gods lived, and earth. He was a son of Odin and carried the gift of heightened senses: he could see for a hundred miles and hear the tiniest sounds, like grass growing.

Heimdall was also known for his shiny white skin, which was so bright that it was said to illuminate the world and thus further strengthen his vision. Indeed, as most Viking god names, Heimdall carries a special meaning: the one who illuminates the world.

The name Heimdall was also spelled as Heimdallr and Heimdal at times, but it is not the only name this god was known for.

Such Viking names as Gullintalli (“the one with the golden teeth”), Vindlér (“the one that protects against the wind”), and Hallinskiði (“the asymmetrically horned one,” although the meaning of this name has been widely debated) have all been associated with the god guarding the passageway to the land of the gods.

Viking God Names


Njord was the god of the sea and the father of the twin god and goddess of fertility, Freya and Freyr. He and his children were part of the Vanir clan of gods but were adopted as honorary members of the Aesir clan following a resolved conflict between the two groups.

Njord, who was originally the god of fertility but awarded this distinction to his son, was incredibly wealthy and owned a lot of land.

Njord’s luck did not extend beyond his belongings; in one of the most famous ill-fated marriages in Norse mythology, Njord took the hand of Skaði (also spelled as Skad and Skadi), the goddess of winter and the daughter of a powerful giant, and asked her to live with him by the sea.

This arrangement ended miserably, as Skaði never felt comfortable living so far from her people in the mountains and eventually left Njord and his seaside home.

Different spellings for the name Njord include Njörðr, Njoerd, Njörd, and Njorth.

Viking God Names


Thor, the son of Odin, is widely known to have been an incredibly powerful god. Another one of Odin’s sons, Týr, is often left in the shadow of his brother.

Týr was, however, a very powerful god in his own right. He was known to be a risk-taker and a brave warrior who could often predict the outcomes of battles ahead of time.

While he was technically considered a minor god, Vikings worshipped him fervently due to his reputation as a warriors’ god.

One of the most famous stories to feature Týr is the tale of him and Fenrir the wolf. Some of the other gods feared the wolf and wanted to tie him down, to which the wolf said it would only agree to if one of the gods put their hand in his mouth as a sign of good will.

When Týr volunteered to do so, the wolf bit the god’s arm off.

Many Viking god names have been adapted to the names of weekdays, as was Týr. The word Tuesday originally meant “Týr’s day”.

Viking God Names


Vidar, the god of the forest, was the son of Odin and a giantess. This combination of heritage resulted in Vidar having massive powers, nearly as much so as his half-brother, Thor. Vidar was known to be very quiet, to the point where he carried the moniker “the silent god”.

After Fenrir the wolf was foretold to kill Odin during the great battle of Ragnarök, Vidar set out to avenge his father and killed the wolf by tearing its mouth apart with his shoe.

Vidar was also spelled as Víðarr, Vithar, and Vidarr. The meaning of his name has been disputed for centuries, but most sources believe it to mean “the widely ruling one”.

After Vidar survived the events of Ragnarök and avenged the death of his father, his prestige grew exponentially and he gained such nicknames as “the slayer of Fenrir” and “the possessor of the iron shoe”.

Viking god names today

Vikings were strong believers of tradition and respecting one’s history. Vikings followed the hierarchy of their belief system closely and while some gods were more important than others, all were treated with the same level of respect and devotion.

Odin may have ruled supreme, but Vikings certainly did not forget that there was a god for nearly every aspect of life. Some of the Norse god names mentioned in this list may be largely obscure today, but the gods behind the names were deeply respected during the Viking era.

As you can see from this article, Viking god names vary as much as what the gods represented — everything from war and prosperity on the battlefield to love, beauty, and domestic matters.

The gods’ importance to Vikings is undeniable and remains evident today, thanks to the texts, runes, and other Viking era note-keeping that have been discovered throughout the centuries after the Vikings roamed Europe.

Many Norse god names and Norse names in general are still commonly used in Scandinavia and around the world. The top baby name lists in Norway and Denmark, for example, are filled with names that derive from Old Norse and Viking times.

When deciding on a baby name, why not take a look at Viking god names — perhaps there are names in the list that would fit a baby born hundreds of years after Vikings worshipped their gods!

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