The Nine Realms of Norse Mythology

The Nine Realms of Norse Mythology

You may have heard of people like Loki, Thor, or Odin from different media sources like the marvel movies or something similar. Well, these people are actually from Norse mythology. Norse mythology is similar to other mythologies like Greek, Roman, Egyptian mythology and many others, all of these mythologies have different gods, goddesses, and tales that are told. 

Norse mythology has nine different realms that are on the branches of Yggdrasil or often called the World Tree. The nine different realms are Midgard, Asgard, Vanaheim, Jotunheim, Niflheim, Muspelheim, Alfiheim, Nidavellir/Svartalfheim, and Helheim. Midgard is the realm that  is Earth; it’s said to be under Asgard but above Helheim in Yggdrasil’s branches. It is said that Jormungand (the world serpent) lives in Midgard’s oceans. He is said to be so big that he wraps around Midgard and bites his own tail he is also the child of Loki(an Æsir god) and Angrboda(a giantess). When the gods created Midgard, they used body parts from a giant Ymir they used his eyebrows as a fence around the realm, his blood or sweat was used to form the oceans, his bones were used for mountains, his hair for trees, his skull was used for the sky, and they used his brains for the clouds.

Asgard is said to be the realm above Midgard in the branches of Yggdrasil. It is the home of the Æsir gods. It is said to be connected to Midgard by a rainbow bridge called the Bifrost. Asgard has giant walls that surround where the Æsir gods live; these walls were built by a giant in disguise and his horse. Vanahiem is said to be west of Asgard in the branches of Yggdrasil. It’s the home of the Vanir gods and goddesses. Jotunheim is the land of the giants (mystical beings who can see the future). In Jotunheim there’s a place called the Eddas where the giants reside and winter can’t touch it, it is described as a place with deep and dark forests, and mountain peaks.

Niflheim is the land of fog it’s a cold and frozen place. It’s the polar opposite of Muspelheim. The giant was created when the ice of Niflheim and the fire of Muspelheim met in Ginnungagap (the abyss that used to separate the two realms). Muspelheim is the home of the fire giants, it’s described as a place of fire, lava, and extreme heat. Alfheim is the land of the elves, Freyr (an Æsir god) is said to be the ruler of Alfheim. Nidavellir/Svartalfheim is the land of the dwarves. The dwarves are said to be great smiths. Svartalfheim is said to be a labyrinth filled with mines and forges. Helheim (sometimes called just Hel) is the realm of the underworld, it is said that the dead in Helheim do the same things they would do in Midgard. Helheim has a fence called Nágrindr; it has also been called the corpse-fence. The road to Helheim is often called Helvegr. Helheim has a place called Nástrǫnd, or corpse shore, where Níðhöggr feasts on corpses. 

The nine realms of Norse mythology are extremely different from each other, even though they all rest on the branches of Yggdrasil. Some have scalding hot temperatures while others have freezing cold temperatures, and some sit right in the middle. I only talked about the nine different realms of Norse mythology but there is so much more to it, if Norse mythology is interesting to you I would suggest researching it more. A great website for that is