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Basic Information

The gods and goddesses of Norse Mythology can be roughly divided into two pantheons, the Aesir and Vanir.

The Aesir are the larger pantheon, and the one about which the most myths have survived. Their leader, Odin, fulfils the role of King of the Gods for both pantheons. In fact, sometimes the term Aesir or Asgardians is used to refer to both pantheons collectively. Technically, though, only the Aesir live in Asgard (the Vanir live in Vanaheim).

Nearly all of the Aesir are destined and doomed to die in Ragnarok, the war that marks the end of the world as we know it. Prophecy has revealed that one day Baldr will die, and his death will put in motion events that lead to the war.

List of Aesir

The following is a listing of the gods and goddesses who comprise the Aesir.

Norse divinities not appearing on this list are either Vanir, or in some cases Jötunn who married gods.

Loki (also known as Lopt), his wife Sigyn, and their son Narfe, are sometimes counted as Aesir. Not always, however, for Loki is a half-giant and eventually betrays the Aesir. Loki's other, more horrific spawn are definitely not Aesir.


1. Non-Fiction Book: Mythology for Dummies by Dr. Christopher W. Blackwell and Amy Hackney Blackwell
2. Non-Fiction Book: Usborne Illustrated Guide to Norse Myths and Legends by Cheryl Evans & Anne Millard
3. Non-Fiction Book: DK Illustrated Dictionary of Mythology by Phillip Wilkinson
4. Fiction Book: Norse Mythology: Great Stories from the Eddas by Hamilton Wright Mabie
5. Website: Wikipedia

Game and Story Use

  • Divine Real-Estate. Sometimes, if the plot involves some dimension hopping, extensive questing, or a war in the heavens like Ragnarok, it can be helpful to know where everyone lives. The Aesir and Vanir may be friends and allies, but the Vanir live in Vanaheim, not Asgard.
  • The Aesir, or at least the half dozen most popular amongst them, will be well-known to most gamers. You can name-drop or use them as NPCs, and your players will quickly recognize them. They come with plenty of baggage, but sometimes that's really helpful.
    • Three guys walk into a bar, and introduce themselves as Odin, Thor, and Loki, respectively. The players will jump to certain conclusions about them. (The first and third are really clever. The first two are trustworthy. All three are badasses, but especially the one in the middle. Check your wallet when the third guy heads for the door. Etc.)
  • The Aesir are a great rowdy bunch of warrior gods. Putting them in your plotline signals the campaign will feature lots of combat and excitement.
  • The coming of Ragnarok is an epic plotline, and should motivate any group of PC heroes (or villains).
  • One interesting trope that might be used in regards to the Aesir is Scry vs Scry. It's got potential, and seems fitting to the genre / pantheon.
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