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Illustrated Guide to Mythology

Freya


Freya is the goddess of love, lust, and celebrations. She rules over the realm called Folkvang and she is the Queen of the Valkyries. She is often pictured with a golden necklace and she is never without her chariot pulled by cats.

Freya
Freya

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Freya was a member of the Vanir deities, and married to a god named Od, which is sometimes confused with Odin. Her identity and Frigg’s identity were often confused or intertwined in the ancient tales. After Od left her, Freya went a bit wild and became very well-known for her affairs. She was renowned for her beauty, which led the giant Thrym to demand her hand in marriage in exchange for the return of Thor’s hammer which he stole while Thor was sleeping. Thor eventually followed Heimdall’s plan to dress up as Freya for the wedding and then once he got his hands on his hammer, he killed all of the giants in attendance.

In another tale, Freya discovered a beautiful golden and amber necklace of desire in the workshop of four dwarves. She offered them money for the necklace, but they asked that she sleep with them in order to get the necklace. Odin did not like what was happening and ordered Loki to get the necklace and bring it to him. When Freya came to Odin to demand the necklace, he agreed to give it back to her once she made two kings go to battle with each other and restored their soldiers’ health each night, creating an endless battle. Freya agreed and retrieved her necklace from Odin.

Freya was also the Queen of the Valkyries, goddesses who did tasks for Odin. She ushered fallen soldiers who were not taken by Odin to Valhalla to her realm of Folkvang, which means “Field of the People.” It is not clear what the differences between the two realms were, or what the criteria was for which soldier went to which realm.

Freya Quick Reference

Parents

Njord and Nerthus


Domain / Power

  • Love
  • Lust
  • Celebrations
  • Folkvang
  • Queen of the Valkyries

Symbols

  • golden necklace named Brísingamen
  • chariot pulled by cats

Notable Myths

  • Theft of Thor’s hammer
  • The Golden Necklace
  • Folkvang

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