Fate Of The Gods – Odin’s Ring
This tungsten carbide men’s Viking ring celebrates one of the great figures of Norse mythology. Odin, father of many gods and known as “the enemy of the wolf” ruled over Asgard in his true form but also walked among men as a bent old man. It was prophesied that despite the gods best efforts, the wolf, Fenrir would side with the enemies of the gods at Ragnarok and eat Odin.
Viking Ring Specifics
This story is presented on this men’s Viking ring in something similar to the Oseberg or Vendel styles, with a period-accurate stylisation of the wolf’s head and the gripping beast motif common to so many pieces of late migration/Early Viking era artwork. This tungsten carbide Odin ring is made of a material ranked second only to diamond on the Mohs scale – Thor would approve. The men’s Viking ring is cobalt-free, won’t discolour or fade over time, and is hypoallergenic. Celebrate the all-father and the relevance of Norse mythology throughout time with this Ring of Odin. As a Viking ring should be, this is made of the most advanced material available to smiths today – ever-burnished tungsten carbide.
Odin And Fenrir – Destined To Fight
Fenrir is the most infamous wolf in Norse history and the son of Loki and the giantess, Angrboda. Perhaps because of his lineage and perhaps because they feared his power, the gods attempted to raise the wolf themselves to prevent him from wreaking havoc throughout the nine worlds – the same havoc depicted on this men’s Viking ring, perhaps. Fenrir grew at an astonishing pace, however, and the troubled gods decided he must be bound. This struggle is at the heart of the design behind the Viking ring.
Trick Of The Gods
Fenrir was bright. In order to trick him, the gods told the wolf it was simply a game – that they wanted to see just how powerful he truly was. Fenrir was convinced at first, easily breaking the first few chains the gods placed around him. But when they returned with a chain much stronger than the others (unaware to Fenrir it had been made using the sound of a cat’s footsteps), Loki grew suspicious.
Hand Of A God
Fenrir told the gods that for him to trust them, they would have to show him trust in return. He suggested one of them put a hand in his mouth while he was bound, as a show of faith. The gods all hesitated, knowing what it would mean to step forward for this task. Finally, the god Tyr volunteered for this grim detail, and when the wolf was bound and knew he’d been tricked, he snapped his jaws closed on the god’s hand. Tyr solemnly accepted his fate and they gagged Fenrir with a sword and left him until his bonds break at Ragnarok and he will fall upon the gods again, devouring the sun and eating Odin. This men’s Viking ring depicts the eternal struggle and eventual death of Odin at the hands of the wolf.
If you’re looking for an amazing viking sword, we recommend checking the Wolfsbane Sword!
Father Of Gods – Master Of Ecstasy
It’s easy for the casual observer to imagine that on account of the title “god of war”, Odin was a one-dimensional, primarily ferocious god. As is often the case with history, recent or ancient, only the exciting, bombastic and salacious elements survive. Odin was the god of poetry and was often a contrary trickster, motivated by his quest for wisdom. Some of this subtlety is reflected in the delicate but powerful lines of the Odin ring.
Odin, as he is presented in the sagas and Poetica Edda is a complex character who will create problems between people for his own reasons. He travelled the cosmos seeking wisdom from all sources and was known to travel the earth as a bent old man. In his true form, he was missing one eye, which he had traded for wisdom and flanked by two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. These birds travelled Midgard (Viking earth) and reported what they saw to the all-father.
The Old Gods And The Odin Ring
The first written records of Odin come from the Roman occupation of Germania in the 2nd Century BCE and continue through the Migration Period and into the Viking Age. He’s primarily remembered as a Viking god, but his roots extend deep into northern European history. Old Norse Óðinn, Old English and Old Saxon Woden, Old High German Wuotan, Wotan, or Wodan, Proto-Germanic *Woðanaz, “Master of Ecstasy” – Odin was a prominent god in the minds of many for a significant period over a large geographical area. Though we find references to him throughout Germanic history (Odin is said to be the founding figure of several royal lineages), it’s through old Norse that many of the tales of his exploits, many of which were written down for the first time in Iceland in the 13th century. How much these tales changed and evolved in this time is a matter of speculation.
Father Of Gods And Men
Odin was the Norse god of war, father to the gods, and wisest amongst their number. The Odin we see in the sagas doesn’t concern himself with the affairs of average people or run-of-th-mill warriors. His royal lineage is such that he only favours the exceptional – chiefs, kings, and the shamanistic warriors. This men’s Viking ring is fit for such characters.
Berserkers, Ulfheðnar, Kings, And The Odin Ring
Berserkers (bear shirts) and Ulfheðnar (wolf hides) were Viking warriors, blessed by Odin and possessed by an ecstatic trance in battle that made them impervious to fear and pain. The connection between Odin and the wolf runs deep and is reflected in this Viking ring. According to the Ynglinga Saga, the berserkers and úlfheðnar went into battle without armour, as crazed as wolves and as strong as bears. They’re described as chewing on their shields and fighting through what would be mortal wounds to a regular man. The Odin ring, with it’s migration-era claws and ferocious depiction of Fenrir would be an appropriate piece of jewellery for such a warrior.
Initiation rites for most shamanistic societies almost universally involve some kind of symbolic death and rebirth. In the shamanic, militaristic societies which preceded the Vikings, this often meant living alone for a period in the wild, surviving without help from others by hunting, fishing, and raiding. It’s believed this period represented living like the totem animals of the bear and wolf and perhaps gaining some of its strength and power in the process. Odin, as master of beasts, would also imbue the warrior with his power. This explains the bear and wolfskins that appear in the Viking Age on these unarmoured shaman-warriors. The survival-in-the-wild rite of passage is not exclusive to the Vikings or this subset. Something analgous is carried out in other animistic societies, and the Spartan tradition involves something similar. The connection between the wild, the divine, and the human, as represented on the Odin ring are common to many migration-era and germanic cultures.
To the monotheistic, Christians who often faced these warriors in battle, the animal skins, howling, and seeming imperviousness to weapons was terrifying. The Vikings unique religion with its many flawed gods gave Viking warriors a different outlook on battle. Christians justified their actions before the church and God. Vikings didn’t have to worry about these things and battle, war, and raiding were all fair game. Your place in Vahalla depends upon your demeanour at the preordained time of your death.
The Expert’s View
Leading Swedish historian, Neil Price, believes that some of the Viking’s documented fearlessness comes from, at least in part, their creating one of the few known world mythologies with preordained ruination of all things instead of a salvation. No matter what gods and men do, everything will burn at Ragnarok. The hour of each person’s death has already been decided and the only thing that matters in their conduct in the face of death. There may have been psychological implications to this worldview that in some way influenced the Viking view of battle and conflict in general.
Tyr And Odin
Free Viking society was broadly divided into three categories – rulers, warriors, and the bulk of society consisting of farmers, labourers, bakers, millers, trappers, fishermen, and hunters. The Vikings also kept slaves but they didn’t have any rights, and in Viking eyes were not worth much attention from the gods. Odin and Tyr were concerned primarily with the top tiers of society – rulers and warriors of great renown. Tyr was a virtuous figure (he sacrificed his hand to bind Fenrir), concerned with rule by law and virtue, where Odin looked to rule by trickery, deception and magic. Tyr is the just and even-handed god and Odin the enigmatic, devious one. In reality, an item like this men’s Viking ring would probably have belonged to a wealthy person from the upper echelon of Viking society. An Odin ring would be associated with a warrior, chieftain, or king.
Favourite Of Outlaws – The Ring Of Odin
Odin, himself a wanderer who dressed in rags, was the favourite god of those who had fallen foul of conventional living and turned to live outside normal society. The Saga of Grettir the Strong and Egil’s saga tell of two such characters, cast out of Viking society but still favoured by Odin. Both stories also involve their protagonists serving the King of England at some point before meeting their eventual demise.
The Hanged God
It’s Odin who is credited with discovering the secret of the runes and teaching them to mankind. The word “rune” in contemporary and historical Germanic languages translates as both “letter” and “mystery”. To Vikings, runes were more than simple representations of human sounds and the ideas they signify, they were a system of practical magic by which you could interact with and influence the world around you. Odin, at great personal cost, sought out the wisdom behind this magic at the centre of the cosmos.
Asgard, home of the gods, is cradled by the branches of the great tree Yggdrasil. Here the fates of the inhabitants of all the nine worlds are decided by runes carved on the trunk of the tree by the three Norn – magical maidens of great power. Odin, ever eager for more wisdom, watched the Norn work from his seat in Asgard and grew envious of all they knew.
Odin Ring – Mysterious Roots
Yggdrasil grew from the Well of Urd, home to the most powerful beings and deepest mysteries in the cosmos. The Norns could use and understand runes because they had proved themselves worthy of the terrifying insights of the depths. To prove himself the same, Odin hung from the branches of Yggdrasil, pierced his side with a spear, and stared into the Well of Urd for nine days and nights, forbidding the gods to aid him, until the mysteries revealed themselves to him.
Words Of Power – Viking Ring Of Power
Armed with his new abilities, Odin went on to become amongst the most powerful beings in the universe. He used the runes to affect instant change in the material world, putting out fires, causing winds to blow, knocking enemies to the ground, and even raising the dead. His sacrifice made him wiser and more powerful – a theme that is common to many religions.
Odin underwent the death and rebirth associated with shamanism in his ordeal with the tree. And like shaman from many other cultures, Odin is accompanied by familiars on his spirit quests throughout the cosmos by his ravens, Huginn and Muninn, the wolves Geri and Freki, and the valkyries. Odin’s association with the battle magic of shamanism is not his only connection to the mystical. Odin was also a divine practitioner of seidr – a magical tradition exclusively associated with women on earth. Any man practising this type of magic opened himself up to accusations of unmanliness and it seems Odin wasn’t immune. There are references in the sagas to other gods castigating Odin for sullying the name of the gods by taking on women’s work. We should remember that Odin’s primary objective is the pursuit of wisdom. All things are secondary to this, even things like honour and status.
Why One Eye?
Still restless for more knowledge, Odin visited Mimir’s Well (also called the Well of Urd) at the roots of the world tree Yggdrasil. The shadowy creature, Mimir, dwelt by the well, and through his consumption of its water, came to have great cosmic wisdom – wisdom unequalled in the cosmos. On arriving at the well, Odin asked Mimir for a drink. The creature refused, telling the god he could only drink in exchange for one of his eyes. Odin, singular in his quest for wisdom, gouged out one eye and dropped it in the well. The creature, good to his word, dipped his drinking horn in the well and offered a drink to the god.
God Of Many Names
In the “Grimnismol” Odin states:
“A single name have I never had since first among men I fared”.
Again in the Gylfiginning, we hear Odin’s many names being discussed again. The suggestion is that Odin’s many names are owing to both his many deeds and the many languages of the world. According to mythology, Odin travelled the earth as an old man and could appear at any time in any place. This certainly may have been an influence on Tolkien’s Gandalf, who also bore many names and walked Middle Earth as an old man.
Some scholars believe that Odin’s position as all-father is more of a literary device applied in the 13th Century and in part influenced by the large-scale adoption of monotheistic Christianity by that point. It’s not uncommon for incoming religions to rework the myths of their forebears to make the transition from one faith to another smoother. He is unquestionably one of the oldest gods in Norse mythology – though he was not analogous in many ways to the Christian idea of God during the Viking Age. Odin had many sons from several different women and there are some accounts of him boasting of his womanizing, similar to, and perhaps inspired by, the Greek god Zeus. The Gylfaginning is the first part of the Prose Etta, a collection of Norse stories written down in Iceland in the 13th Century. By this point, the influence of the Christian God has become clear on representations of Odin. His role as all-father has become more benevolent – more typically father-like.
Compared with that representation, another from later in the same volume paints a much more classically Viking picture of Odin, neither good nor bad but at times willing to deceive for his own amusement. In the story in question, Odin sharpens the scythes of some farmers to the point that their cutting is much improved. The farmers ask Odin how much it would cost to buy the stone from him. To this Odin replies “only what is reasonable”. Then, for sport, Odin throws the whetstone in the air in such a way that the farmers, in their attempts to catch it, slit each other’s throats with the scythes. This is more like the typical Viking presentation of Odin – wise, devious and amused by others’ conflicts.
Odin first appears in the same 1962 issue of Marvel Comics that features his son’s first adventure. It is his arguments with his father that first leads to Thor’s banishment and first interaction with the Avengers. If you’re a Thor fan, we recommend checking the Thor Hammer Pendant and the Thor Hammer Keychain. In both the comic books and in the cinematic universe, the moral complexities of Odin have been largely swapped out for a slightly more one-dimensional character. The Norse gods and goddesses as portrayed in the sagas are typically morally ambiguous – not the “lawful good” types in the movies.
Despite Odin’s (or all-father) position as the creator of life and oldest of the gods, according to Norse mythology, he was not necessarily a benevolent character. Odin was by no means evil but he was ruthless in his quest for knowledge, did enjoy creating conflict between other gods and humans, relished war and bloodshed, and had a mean streak.
God Of Poetry
One of Odin’s less typically warrior-like attributes was his status as the god of poetry. Odin appears in the vast majority of the poems in the Poetic Edda. It’s in the poem, Völuspá, Odin learns from an undead being of ancient wisdom about the coming of Ragnarok – the death and rebirth of the world. It also explains to him the origins of humanity. The gods created the first humans, Ask and Embla, and finding them pitiful, gave them three gifts. There’s some scholarly disagreement on the translation of what these gifts were exactly. An approximate summary is that the first gift was that of breath, the second movement and intelligence, and the third the five senses.
The Norse translations of these first humans’ names are tree-related, as they are in many other languages, leading to speculation that the Adam and Eve – like story, common to so many Indo-European cultures is rooted in a belief that humanity came from trees. These would seem to make sense, with many early creation myths being based loosely on natural phenomena. Hávamál is a verse of wisdom attributed to Odin, first recorded in the Viking Age. like a lot of formalised religious doctrine, it contains a lot of practical advice on moderate drinking, going to bed early, and being polite. It also contains references to Odin’s sacrifice at the tree, Yggdrasil.
Written Down Later
For the most part, the recording of much of these tales and poems happened in Iceland, after the Viking Age and long after the first telling of these proto-Germanic legends. It’s unclear how much of the stories have been retro-fitted to carry the Christian message adopted by the chroniclers of the tales and how much is original. But with some guidance and a keen eye for the difference, we can see original, mischievous, morally-grey Odin amongst the text – as well as a the more benevolent all-father.
Material: 1005 Tungsten Carbide