The Best Norse Love Stories
In contrast to most conventional love stories, their Norse counterparts feature daring women, heroines, and fierce goddesses. In contrast to the more modern storylines, none of the Norse ladies are in need of being saved by a prince or a hero.
In fact, The more I learn from the Old Norse sources there more peculiar I find it that the Viqueens and Vikings, in modern times, are so closely associated with brute force and violence. As this poem reveals, the ancient people of the north thought nothing of a life without love.
- The Norse goddess Freya saving her protégée Ottar. The original version of the story is from on the poem Hyndluljóð sited in the Poetic Edda. If you prefer a more modern translation you can find my version of the Freya and Ottar story here.
- The Viking Age Romeo and Juliet – Svipdagr and Mengloth. I urge you to read this wonderful poem in its original form but if you prefer a more modern translation you can find my version of .
- Parental love stories. The Old Norse literature features several stories on the theme of parental love. My favorite is Grógaldr, the song of Groa, about a young man seeking advice from his deceased mother.
NO. 1. FREYA – THE “WORST” LOVE GODDESS IN HISTORY
Hardly surprising we begin our countdown with the Norse goddess Freya, whom most associate with love. However, this is to a large extent a misrepresentation and there is so much more to this fierce power woman. In fact, Freya’s original role was as a war goddess but, a woman being associated with war was simply too far fetched for the 18th- and 19th-century gentlemen poets that reintroduced her into modern day literature. So, they effectively erased her qualities as a powerful magician, her ferocious temper and her sexual independence from history. Luckily, we still have the original poems from the Viking Age featuring Freya in her primary role is as the ruler of war, the foremost of all Valkyries, i.e. the choosers of the fallen. It is she who selects half of all those who have died a heroic death to serve her, in her hall Sessrumnir, in the afterlife. Only thereafter the remaining half joins Odin in Valhalla.
In fact, there are no love stories featuring Freya in the ancient historical sources. There are poems portraying her magical powers, her riches (her realm, jewelry, and enchanted objects) and her sexual independence but with regards to traditional love-affairs history tells us nothing. Nevertheless, I have a favorite Norse love story about Freya, be it of an untraditional kind. In the story, Freya saves her devoted protégée Ottar from ruin. It is a story about loyalty, devotion, and friendship – all of which are key elements of love.
NO. 2. THE VIKING AGE ROMEO AND JULIET – SVIPDAGR AND MENGLOTH
NO. 3. NORSE PARENTAL LOVE
Founder, designer & Norse mythology enthusiast from Skåne, Sweden.