Odin (Old Norse Óðinn, Old English Wóden, Old Saxon Wōden, and Old High German Wuotan or Wodan, all from the Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz) is a god of Norse mythology, associated with healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the Runes. Husband of the goddess Frigg, he frequently seeks knowledge in disguise, at times making wagers with his wife over the outcome of his exploits. One-eyed and long-bearded, he often wears a broad hat, and is regularly assisted by his ravens Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from all over Midgard. He rides the flying, eight-legged steed Sleipnir often accompanied by the wolves Geri and Freki. Father to many children, most famously the gods Baldr and Thor, he is known by hundreds of names. He takes part in the creation of the world in the slaying of the primordial being Ymir and providing the gift of spirit or soul to the first two humans, Ask and Embla.
- Quotes of Odin as portrayed in literary works.
- I am the unknown Will,
The Anger that threatens glory and ruin:
Lord of Storms am I,
in heaven high and caverns deep.
I am the Father of the War,
Odin for you, Wotan for him,
Wayfarer, Wanderer, beggar, king,
numen, genius, strength and ring.
- You work for me now. You protect me. You transport me from place to place. You run errands. In an emergency, but only in an emergency, you hurt people who need to be hurt. In the unlikely event of my death, you will hold my vigil. And in return I shall make sure that your needs are adequately taken care of.
- I told you I would tell you my names. This is what they call me. I'm called Glad-of-War, Grim, Raider, and Third. I am One-Eyed. I am also called Highest, and True-Guesser. I am Grimnir, and I am the Hooded One. I am All-Father, Gondlir Wand-Bearer. I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die. My ravens are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory; my wolves are Freki and Geri; my horse is the gallows.
- There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
- As portrayed in American Gods (2001) by Neil Gaiman, Ch. 9
- I know an eighteenth charm, and that charm is the greatest of all, and that charm I can tell no man, for a secret that no one knows but you is the most powerful secret there can ever be.
- As portrayed in American Gods (2001) by Neil Gaiman, Ch. 10
- Even for my kind, pain still hurts. If you move and act in the material world, then the material world acts on you. Pain hurts, just as greed intoxicates and lust burns. We may not die easy and we sure as hell don't die well, but we can die. If we're still loved and remembered, something else a whole lot like us comes along and takes our place and the whole damn thing starts all over again. And if we're forgotten, we're done.
- As portrayed in American Gods (2001) by Neil Gaiman, Ch. 13
- Mr. Chairman, my warriors, male and female, dead in honorable combat, are my equals, not my slaves — I am to be first among such equals.
- This thing is beyond your understanding, my child. Think no further on the matter and maybe you will read the riddle in the end. Who knows? Meanwhile the air is fresh and the day golden and my palace is near at hand. The young should enjoy themselves while they may, so come!
- There is no magic when one no longer believes.
- You have forgotten … And you will forget still more!
Quotes about Odin
- "Exceeding many names have ye given him; and, by my faith, it must indeed be a goodly wit that knows all the lore and the examples of what chances have brought about each of these names." Then Hárr made answer: "It is truly a vast sum of knowledge to gather together and set forth fittingly. But it is briefest to tell thee that most of his names have been given him by reason of this chance: there being so many branches of tongues in the world, all peoples believed that it was needful for them to turn his name into their own tongue, by which they might the better invoke him and entreat him on their own behalf. But some occasions for these names arose in his wanderings; and that matter is recorded in tales. Nor canst thou ever be called a wise man if thou shalt not be able to tell of those great events."
- Gylfaginning, XX
- Jehovah destroyed city after city, every man, woman, and child, down to the youngest baby. Odin killed only in combat against opponents his own size. But, most important difference of all, Father Odin is not all–powerful and does not claim to be all–wise.
- Before them stood an old man, very tall and upright, carrying a staff as though it were a king's sceptre. There was something so noble about the old man that the children knew, in spite of his simple tunic and broad-brimmed hat, that he must be a king at the very least.
- Magnifying and applying come I,
Outbidding at the start the old cautious hucksters,
Taking myself the exact dimensions of Jehovah,
Lithographing Kronos, Zeus his son, and Hercules his grandson,
Buying drafts of Osiris, Isis, Belus, Brahma, Buddha,
In my portfolio placing Manito loose, Allah on a leaf, the crucifix engraved,
With Odin and the hideous-faced Mexitli and every idol and image,
Taking them all for what they are worth and not a cent more,
Admitting they were alive and did the work of their days,
(They bore mites as for unfledg'd birds who have now to rise and fly and sing for themselves,)
Accepting the rough deific sketches to fill out better in myself, bestowing them freely on each man and woman I see,
Discovering as much or more in a framer framing a house,
Putting higher claims for him there with his roll'd-up sleeves driving the mallet and chisel,
Not objecting to special revelations, considering a curl of smoke or a hair on the back of my hand just as curious as any revelation,
Lads ahold of fire-engines and hook-and-ladder ropes no less to me than the gods of the antique wars...