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How Many Norse Gods Are There?

July 2023 | Steve Travels

How Many Norse Gods Are There?

The pantheon of Norse mythology is incredibly diverse, consisting of a broad range of deities, each with their unique personalities, stories, and roles. Norse gods and goddesses are primarily divided into two major families: The Aesir and the Vanir. Let's delve into understanding how many Norse gods there actually are, while acknowledging that exact numbers can vary based on different historical sources and interpretations.

The Aesir Family

The Aesir gods are often associated with power, war, and conquest. Some of the most well-known gods belong to this family.

Odin: The Shapeshifting Norse God of Wisdom | History Cooperative

  1. Odin: Known as the Allfather, Odin is the chief of the Aesir gods. He is associated with wisdom, war, poetry, and the dead.

  2. Thor: As the god of thunder and lightning, Thor is a symbol of strength, storms, and protection.

Thor | Norse god, Thunder, Hammer | Britannica

  1. Frigg: As Odin's wife, Frigg is associated with foresight and wisdom.

  2. Baldr: Known as the god of light and purity, Baldr is the son of Odin and Frigg.

  3. Tyr: This god of law and heroic glory is well-known for sacrificing his hand to bind the monstrous wolf Fenrir.

There are more gods and goddesses in the Aesir family like Heimdall, Hodr, Bragi, Idun, and many others, bringing the total to around 14 major deities.

The Vanir Family

The Vanir gods are associated with fertility, prosperity, and wealth. They are more inclined toward nature and the earth.

  1. Freyr: He is the god of fertility, wealth, and prosperity.

  2. Freya: The sister of Freyr, Freya, is the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.

  3. Njord: The father of Freyr and Freya, Njord, is the sea god associated with wind, fishing, and wealth.

While there are only three main Vanir gods mentioned frequently, other sources suggest that there were more initially before the Aesir-Vanir war.

The Jotun (Giants)

Jotunn | Norse Mythology – Vikings of Valhalla US

Although not gods per se, the Jotun (or giants) played significant roles in Norse mythology. Some, like Loki and his children Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungandr, even lived among the gods.


So, how many Norse gods are there? While the numbers can vary due to different interpretations and sources, there are around 14 major gods in the Aesir family, three key figures in the Vanir family, and an array of giants who also played significant roles in the mythology. Hence, a rough estimate would suggest there are over 20 significant figures in Norse mythology, not including the many minor deities and mythological creatures also present in the sagas and Eddas. These gods represent a rich, complex, and exciting world of Norse mythology, shedding light on the beliefs and cultures of the ancient Scandinavian people.