Germanic Mythology
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Basic Information

This page is a stub. If you are knowledgeable about the folklore and myths of Germany or about Germanic Paganism, please consider taking a few minutes to expand this page.

Germanic Mythological Characters


Other Perspectives:

Germanic Mythology overlaps significantly with Norse Mythology, and many characters cross-over (such as Wotan, mentioned above, who is the Germanic take on Odin). Overall, the mass-conversion to christianity happened centuries earlier in the regions that became Germany than in Scandinavia. For that reason, the Norse versions of those myths and traditions are better documented and more widely known (at least for audiences outside Germany).

While the tale of Beowulf is an Old-English epic, the characters are Danes and Swedes of the sort we tend to think of as Vikings (even if they technically weren't engaged in that profession). As such, the whole thing sort of falls under the broader "Germanic" culture as well - also noting that the "Old English", the Angles, Jutes and Saxons - were Scando-Germanic1. So consider the following characters at least Germanic-adjacent:

The English angle (*ahem*) also applies further fusion to the Germanic/Scandinavian mythology - whilst the proto-English were mostly Christianised by the time the "Danish" settlers arrived, there was enough of their pagan heritage left that the mythos of the invaders was familiar and could undergo another layer of cultural interpretation.

That doesn't even touch on Interpretatio Romana, and all the craziness that comes with looking at Germanic Mythology through the lens of Rome. To the Romans, every foreign god was just a colorful local avatar of Rome's favorites. Roman authors such as Publius Cornelius Tacitus also listed a number of additional contemporary Germanic deities, many of who have little (or nothing) to attest to them outside of Roman sources:


Pages about people who may chronicle Germanic Mythology

The Thule Society were also very interested in this sort of thing - to the extent of revivalism for (what they considered to be) ancient Germanic religion. Their torch was then stolen and carried on by much less pleasant people, but that is no reflection on the source material.

Tales and Concepts


1. Non-Fiction: Mythology for Dummies by Blackwell and Blackwell

Game and Story Use

  • Naturally a good fit for historical games taking place in Europe. Especially in the area of Germany, but Germanic peoples extended from England to the Black Sea, and from Scandinavia down to the borders of the Roman Empire.
  • Depending on your play group's location and knowledge base, using the Germanic version of mythological characters may let you obfuscate your characters a bit.
    • For example, if you introduce a blacksmith named Hephaestus or Vulcan, your players are likely to instantly grok that he's divine. If you name him Wayland, they may miss the reference entirely, or think it's a passing nod to the Aliens movies.
    • Likewise, somewhat less familiar names may also give you more latitude and freedom if you want to play fast and loose with the myths. Even if they know that Wotan is roughly Odin, your players may have fewer preconceptions and expectations if you tell them "this is the Germanic avatar of Odin".
    • Our page on Interpretatio Graeca may give you more ideas of how to "blend the streams" of various mythologies.
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