The gods and goddesses of Asgard don't have to rely on potions, creams, or wacky diets to remain youthful. Instead, they have Idunn and her box of apples. Yep, that's right—when they begin to age, they simply bite into one of Idunn's apples and voila! Eternal youth. Beyond this function, though, what we know about Idunn is a bit murky. A single source identifies her as an elder daughter of Ivaldi (a dwarf), and, since dwarves and elves were sometimes conflated in Norse mythology, this makes her a descendant of elves. In this same source, she's also called a dís¸ a protective spirit associated with fate and fertility. Fancy! Idunn's time in the spotlight of Norse mythology is pretty dramatic: a giant abducts her, with a little help from Loki (of course!). Without Idunn and her magic apples, the Aesir begin to grow old, and they take desperate measures to get her back.
Iðunn (Anglicized "Idunn")
Keeper of the Apples, The Aesir's old age cure, Þjazi's booty (all from Prose Edda chapter 86—yep, those are some of the ways people actually refer to me)
Goddess of Youth and Fertility
Asgard Botanical Gardens School of Botany and Herbology (major: Fruits and flowering plants)
The youth(ful) are our future!
My dad might be Ivaldi, a dwarf
Assuming Ivaldi is my dad, my brothers are the sons of Ivaldi, who were responsible for creating some of the gods' most precious magical objects.
None known (so, yeah, probably none)
Everyone (Who wouldn't want to be friends with someone bearing magical youth-bestowing apples?)
Loki and Þjazi (they're my kidnappers!)
Married to Bragi, god of poetry—yes, he writer me lots of love poems
"Youth is wasted on the young."
"Because I Could not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson
Forever Young by Bob Dylan (performed with Bruce Springsteen)
The Secret Garden (1993)
Fruit (especially apples)
(Middle school level)
You'll easily recognize Idunn because she always has her basket of apples with her (you never know when someone will need a bite of immortality). Idunn's constantly in search of new apples for her collection, which means that she can often be found foraging in the forest. Since her apples are so valuable to the gods, they like to keep her in Asgard under a pretty constant watch, especially since that time the giant Þjazi kidnapped her.
Build: Womanly (yeah, yeah)
Hair Color: Blonde
Facial Hair: None, obvi
Jewelry and accessories: Apples, and a basket to carry them in
Clothing: Medieval Scandinavian garb
Type of Weapon: Possession of something everyone wants… it's more powerful than you'd think
Bragi, her husband
Apples (not the best conversationalists, but hey)
Forests (foraging for apples)
Orchards and groves of fruit trees
Dec 20, 2019
Before her big kidnapping (see "Police Reports," above), Idunn gets a few other mentions in the Prose Edda, most importantly as the bearer of the immortality-bestowing apples. Later, we learn some of her rockin' nicknames (see "Profile").
Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019
This poem precedes Balder's Dream in some later manuscripts of the Poetic Edda. Although she may not play a big role in the rest of its plot, Idunn's initial fall from the world-tree is the ominous omen that prompts Odin to send a group of gods to the underworld in search of prophecy from a wise-woman. We also learn here of a possible Elvish/dwarvish parentage for Idunn. She sure is a mysterious lady.
Dec 20, 1869
In this opera, the first of Wagner's four-part Der Ring des Nibelungen, the character of Freia is a combination of Idunn and Freyja. So much for accuracy. As a result of trading Freia to the giants in exchange for a castle, the gods lose her apples of immortality and begin to age.
Dec 20, 1965
In the Marvel Comics universe, Idunn appears as part of the Thor series starting in 1965, with her function as bearer of immortality-bestowing apples largely unchanged. Way to stick with what you know, Idunn.
Dec 20, 2019
In this role-playing game for Xbox 360, the Norse pantheon is reinvented as futuristic humans. Idunn is an important "cyberneticist" whose apples are "nanotechnology and molecular enhancements" that make the humans nearly immortal. Well, then.