Hermod, also spelled Hermóðr, is a lesser-known Norse god in the Aesir pantheon. He is known primarily for his role in the myth of Baldr’s death and his journey to the realm of Helheim. Hermod is often referred to as the messenger of the gods due to his swift and agile nature. He is known for his ability to travel quickly between the realms and deliver messages.
Known as Hermod the Swift, he was called upon by the other gods when they had a task requiring speed and urgency. Hermod wore a helmet and coat of mail given to him by Odin, and he always carried Gambantein, his enchanted staff. Named Hermod the Bold, he displayed bravery in battle and relished combat. In Viking belief, he and Odin awaited valiant warriors at Valhalla’s entrance, greeting the Einherjar fallen in battle.
Hermod is the son of Odin, the chief of the Aesir gods, and Frigg, the queen of the Aesir and the goddess associated with motherhood and marriage. As the son of Odin and Frigg, Hermod has several notable siblings: Baldr, Thor and Loki are Hermod’s half-brothers.
Hermod, being a lesser-known figure in Norse mythology, does not have widely recognized or established symbols like some of the major gods and goddesses.
Powers & Duties
Hermod is known as the messenger of the gods. He possesses the ability to travel swiftly between the realms, delivering messages and information to the various beings and deities of the Norse pantheon.
Hermod is often depicted as an expert rider, especially when he rides Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse.
Hermod, as a lesser-known deity in Norse mythology, does not have a well-documented history of worship in the same way that major gods like Odin, Thor, and Freyja do. The surviving historical records do not provide specific details about worship practices dedicated solely to Hermod.
Facts About Hermod
- Hermod’s most well-known myth involves his journey to Helheim after Baldr’s death. He seeks to bring Baldr back to the realm of the living and succeeds in securing an agreement from Hel to release Baldr temporarily.
- Hermod is not as extensively documented as some other Norse gods, and much of what is known about him comes from his role in the Baldr myth.
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