Study Guide

Njord

  • Profile

    Viking ships are awesome. It's just a fact. Imagine being the head honcho on one of those things. Actually, imagine being the head honcho of all the head honchos—and that's Njord for you. Since seafaring was super important for medieval Scandinavians, it's no wonder that their sea god is a heavy hitter.

    Njord first arrived in Asgard as a peace hostage in the Aesir-Vanir war—drama! Along with his son and daughter Freyr and Freyja, Njord quickly became one of Asgard's most important citizens. It doesn't hurt that Njord is pretty generous when it comes to gift-giving. But don't get too excited—he's mostly just doling out good weather and success in fishing.

    And how about this for special? According to a prophecy, Njord will be one of the few gods to survive Ragnarok. Booya.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Njord (Njörðr)

    Nickname

    "God of Chariots," "The Giving God" (from Skáldskaparmál, Ch. 6); Skaði's Mistake; the Njordinator

    Current city

    Asgard

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    God of the Sea, the Winds, and Fertility

    Education

    A longer-than-usual share of winters in this world (hard knocks, you know)

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Save our seas—fight global warming! I also support sustainable seafood consumption.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Children

    Freyr and Freyja; plus nine beautiful daughters, including Ráðveig (the eldest) and Kreppvör (the youngest)

    Friends

    Middle-Earthling fishermen; Middle-Earthlings hoping for gifts from me; Odin

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Separated from my Vanir sister/wife (don't judge, we had a good thing going!); separated from my wife Skadi

    Interested in

    Vanir goddesses; not giantesses

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Deadliest Catch
    Storm Chasers
    Chased by Sea Monsters

    Quotations

    "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these sufficient reasons for remaining ashore."
    – Vincent Van Gogh

    "Liberality consists less in giving a great deal than in gifts well-timed."
    – Jean de la Bruyere

    "All marriages are happy. It's the living together afterwards that causes all the trouble."
    – Raymond Hull

    "O wise man! Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet."
    – Chanakya

    "The lone-flier screams, urges onto the whale-road
    the unresisting heart across the waves of the sea."
    – "The Seafarer"

    Books

    "The Seafarer" by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
    The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
    Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
    The Odyssey by Homer
    "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    "Ode to the West Wind" by Percy Bysse Shelley
    The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
    "Ulysses" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

    Music

    Sloop John B by The Beach Boys
    Orinoco Flow by Enya
    Jimmy Buffett
    Yellow Submarine by The Beatles
    Sailing by Rod Stewart
    Sail Away by David Gray
    In the Navy by The Village People
    My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean (Scottish folksong) (I like the recording by the Beatles in their pre-Beatles days)
    Brandi by Looking Glass

    Movies

    The Secret of Roan Inish
    Troy
    Titanic
    The Perfect Storm
    On Golden Pond
    Master and Commander
    The Day After Tomorrow
    Key Largo

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    The Sea
    Tridents
    Storms
    Fishing poles and nets
    The sounds of sea birds
    Old Spice
    Boats
    Long walks on the beach

    Interests

    Marine biology
    Oceanography
    Meteorology
    Ichthyology (the study of fish)

    Groups

    Gods of Asgard
    Asgard Senior Citizens Association
    Danish Fishermen's Association
    World Meteorological Organization

  • Spotter's Guide

    If you want to find Njord, then get thee to the seashore. If he's not there, he probably already hopped onto a fishing boat for the day. Bottom line: there's nowhere Njord would rather be than near the ocean. In fact, his inability to be happy anywhere else was largely responsible for the failure of his marriage to Skadi. Speaking of which, if Skadi's around, you definitely won't find Njord anywhere nearby. How to spot him? Well, he's a bearded fellow who's getting on in years. Oh, and he's always ready for ocean-going, so you'll probably see him with his trusty oar.

    Sex: All man
    Age: Young enough to be virile, old enough to know better
    Build: Brawny
    Complexion: Medium fair
    Hair Color: Dark blonde/ Light brown
    Facial Hair: Bearded
    Scars/marks/tattoos: Nothing remarkable
    Jewelry and accessories: An oar and a bag of wind for storm-making. (Where can we get one of those?)
    Clothing: Whatever's practical for a long day at sea
    Armor: Not usually
    Type of Weapon: The ability to control the winds and waves.

    Typical Companions:

    Family servant, Skirnir
    Son and daughter, Freyr and Freyja

    Known Hangouts:

    The seashore
    Marinas
    Fishing boats
    His hall, Nóatún
    Sea World

  • Sightings

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Poetic Edda

    Today you might turn to fan sites and wikis for the scoop on your favorite fictional characters. But in the 13th century, Icelanders collected info on their gods and goddesses as poems in manuscripts. Fun facts on Njord from the Poetic Edda: he's originally a Vanir, he's the father of Frey and Freya, and he's one of the few gods who will survive Ragnarok. We only hear him speak once, though; during Aegir's feast, he defends Freyja's honor from Loki and calls Loki a "pervert." Go Dad!

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

    Snorri Sturluson was kind of like the ultimate fan fic writer of his day. He took episodes that were only hinted at in the Poetic Edda—like Njord's troubled marriage to Skadi or his attempt to improve his son Frey's love life—and added the background and details to make them full-blown stories in the Prose Edda. Plus, Snorri gave all the gods cool nicknames: Njord, for example, is the "Giving God" and "God of Chariots." (Don't understand the reason for that last one? Yeah, neither do we.)

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Heimskringla by Snorri Sturluson

    Snorri Sturluson had a problem, and it wasn't just that his parents named him Snorri. Nope, the problem was that he wanted to write about pagan gods and goddesses at a time when Scandinavia was becoming Christian. His solution? Re-imagine the pagan gods as ancient kings. In this version of the story, Njord arrives among the Swedes as a peace hostage, but his awesomeness quickly wins him the job of priest of sacrifices. Then he succeeds Odin to the throne.

    Dec 20, 1978

    Thor (Marvel Comics)

    The character of Njord first appeared in this comic book series in 1978. He seems to be the same character, except that he apparently likes wearing a Roman gladiator costume.