Norse Gods and Goddesses: Facts About Freya

Here are some facts about Freya.

  • Freya is an important goddess in Norse mythology. Her name translates as The Lady and she is associated with fertility, love and beauty as well as gold and death.
  • She has two daughters who are named Hnoss and Gersemi, and she has a brother named Freyr. Freyr is associated with good fortune, sunshine and fine weather and is said to be an ancestor of Swedish royalty.
  • Freya wears a cloak made from falcon feathers, and rides in a chariot pulled by two cats. A boar named Hildisvรญni is her faithful companion and she sometimes rides on it.
  • She is a member of the Vanir, a group of gods associated with wisdom, fertility and magic. The Vanir appear in 13th century poems and are able to predict the future.
  • She also owns a necklace named Brisingamen.
  • Half of the warriors who die in battle go to Freya, and half go to the god Odin.
  • Freya rules over a large meadow called Folkvangr, which translates as People Field, or People of the Host.
  • Several well-known Norse books and poems feature Freya, including the 13th century Prose Edda. This important source of Scandinavian mythology was written in the 13th century.
  • People in rural Scandinavia thought Freya was a supernatural figure until the 19th century. She also has connections to various figures in German mythology.
  • Freya features in Wagner’s famous opera cycle, The Ring, and has been depicted in several paintings.
  • Freya has also been a popular girl’s name in Scandinavia since the early 1990s.
  • Several plants in Scandinavia are named after Freya. She has also lent her name to dozens of place names in Sweden, some of which suggest a public worship of her.

What next? Learn more about the Vikings by visiting our Vikings resources page.

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