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Rated: E · Novella · Mythology · #2304695
Norse Mythology - what happens when tribes war? A heart gets eaten!
Listen, children, and listen well
For I’ve a tale I would tell
A tale of two people, each strong and fine
Who, tricked to anger, wage war divine -
This tale of a witch, whose dark arts
Could only be ended when a god ate her heart!
So hear me now, and hear me well.

In Norse Mythology, the gods and goddesses belonged to two tribes of gods, called Aesir and Vanir.
Odin and his wife Frigga, and their children, the other gods Tyr and Heimdall, Idun and Bragi, and all their families, were all Aesir. They lived in Asgard. Freya and her brother, Freyr and their father, Njord, however, were all Vanir, and they lived in Vanaheim.
Now, Freya could work magick, and when she met some of the Aesir, they liked her so much they called her Heithr which meant Bright. They especially loved her magick, and they wanted her to work her magick for them. Freya, however, had been taken over by an evil witch called Gullveig, and Gullveig made her talk the Aesir into using her magick for selfish, mean reasons, and they thought it was all Freya’s fault. So they were mean to Freya! Odin even tried to kill poor Freya! Eventually, though, they found out that it was really Gullveig (which means Gold-Greed) causing them to be so greedy. So the Aesir set out, and they found Gullveig, alone in her hut. Gullveig wouldn’t let Freya go, so they tried to set Gullveig on fire to free Freya! They set the witch on fire twice. Each time, Gullveig came back from the ashes. But among the Aesir, there was a god of fire, chaos and mischief who was named Loki. Loki, you see, could make the fires burn hotter and brighter than any normal fire could with his magick, so, he set the witch on fire one more time – and finally, the witch was destroyed! Only her evil, blackened heart remained. Seeing the heart, Loki was furious that it was still there! He knew his fire should have destroyed everything! He knew that to finally destroy Gullveig, her heart had to be destroyed, too - so you know what he did? Loki ate Gullveig’s heart! And it worked! Finally, the witch was gone, and Freya was free.
But because of how mean they were and because the Aesir had tried to kill Freya, many of the other Vanir were angry. They were afraid that they too would be treated like that, and their fear and anger grew, and grew – until finally they went to war!
For a long, long time, this war went on, and it was terrible and it was horrible, but neither side could win against the other. It went on for so long, that both sides finally got tired of fighting, and they finally called an end to it. To make sure it truly ended, Freya and her brother, Freyr, and their father Njord agreed to live with the Aesir while two of the Aesir, Hoenir and Mimir, went to live with the Vanir. Among the Aesir, Njord and Freya and Freyr were honored and respected, but unfortunately Hoenir and Mimir weren’t treated very well by the Vanir. Hoenir and Mimir were supposed to help teach and guide the Vanir, but Hoenir was extremely shy, and when Mimir had to go away he was afraid all alone among these strange people! He didn’t think he could give very good advice so he would say, “Let others decide”, all the time. The Vanir in the end thought they’d been cheated when Hoenir and Mimir came to live with them, because they gave the Aesir three of their best and only got two in exchange, and one of them couldn’t even do his job! Angry, they killed Hoenir and Mimir, cutting off their heads! Odin, upset at the loss of one of his advisors, got Mimir’s head back from the Vanir. Well, Odin had been learning magick from Freya, so he took Mimir’s head, and he chanted over it, and covered it in herbs. It’s said Mimir’s head gives advice to Odin to this day, advice Odin could not do without.
So, why didn’t the Aesir and Vanir go back to war when Mimir and Hoenir were killed, you may ask?
Well, believe me when I tell you how very, very tired they were of fighting all the time. So they agreed instead to terms of peace. To make this agreement permanent, they worked some more magick, creating through it another wise being called Kvasir - but this is a tale for another time.
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