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Viking Sagas. 1: Odin creates the world

Viking Sagas. 1: Odin creates the world

In the first episode we meet our story-teller - Loki, the Viking god of fire.

He's a trickster and a shape-changer - 'Loki by name...jokey by nature.'

Loki's first story is an abridged adaptation of the Viking creation myth, focusing on Odin's role in creating the physical settings for the stories which then follow.

Loki recalls how he stood at Odin's side and watched him create the world. First Odin creates a land of frost and ice called 'Jotunheim' - a freezing land where he banishes his enemies, the giants.

Then Odin creates 'Midgard' - a warm and pleasant land. Loki thinks it must be for the gods, but in fact Odin has created it for humans, the first two of whom he then makes by muttering some magic words into some leaves.

Finally Odin creates 'Asgard', the shining citadel of the gods. And, as a final touch, he joins Asgard to Midgard with a bridge made from a rainbow.

Viking Saga Stories - supporting resources:

  1. Viking Sagas - text of Part 1 to print

Viking Sagas - text of Part 1

1. Odin creates the world

Story by Nigel Bryant

LOKI: I my friends am Loki. Ah, don’t say you haven’t heard of me. Loki by name, jokey by nature. Expert story-teller and a good mate of the great god Odin. What? You don’t know Odin either?! Oh dear, oh dear. Odin and I are gods, Viking gods. You know the Vikings – lived a long time ago and sailed around in very long ships. The Vikings told stories about us gods...the same stories I’m going to tell you.

Now, a story has to have a setting and to tell you where my stories are set I think we better go back to the very beginning, to a time before there was anything – no people, no animals, no earth, no sky. How do you think it all began? I’ll tell you. In our Viking stories Odin made the world. I should know...I was there when it happened. I stood at his elbow and watched him do it. Brilliant it was...

ODIN: First I shall make a home for our enemies the giants.

LOKI: That's what Odin said. And I said...

Make them a home? Isn't that a bit generous, my lord?

I was dead puzzled. The giants were our enemies and Odin hated them. But then he said:

ODIN: Ah Loki, wait till you see what sort of home I make for them! Aaaaahhhh!!!

LOKI: And with a great roar, he sent this freezing wind across the blackness, and a terrible land of frost and ice appeared wrapped in a thick, thick mist and I said to Odin…

I'm not going there for my holidays!

ODIN: Not very pleasant, eh, Loki?

LOKI: The giants will hate it! What are you going to call it?

ODIN: Jotunheim. The home of the Giants - Jotunheim.

LOKI: And what's next?

ODIN: Wait and see. Haahhh.

LOKI: This time Odin breathed gently and a warm wind blew, and this beautiful green world full of trees and lakes and flowers and rivers appeared. And I said...

Cor, I don't mind that! That's for us gods, is it?

ODIN: No. It's for people.

LOKI: People? What are they?

ODIN: I haven't made them yet.


LOKI: And then Odin took two trees, muttered something into the leaves, and turned them into the first man and the first woman. Honest! That’s the way it happened in our Viking stories. And Odin said -

ODIN: There! What do you think, Loki?

LOKI: Not bad. What are you going to call this place then?

ODIN: Midgard – home for Humans – Midgard.

LOKI: Isn't it a bit too good for skinny, hairy things like them?

ODIN: Ah, but you haven't seen what I've planned for us!

LOKI: Oooh – is it even better than this Midgard?

ODIN: Ooooh yes. Stand back! Aahhhh.

LOKI: Incredible! In the blinking of an eye there rose up a shining, dazzling city, full of palaces made of gold and silver. With towers that almost touched the clouds. And Odin said:

ODIN: I shall call it Asgard! City of the gods! In the day it will glitter in the light of the sun, in the night it will glimmer in the light of the moon. Asgard!

LOKI: Amazing!

LOKI: And that was that. In five minutes flat, Odin had made the lot: Jotunheim, home of the giants; Midgard, home of you humans; and Asgard, city of us gods.

And - as a final touch - he joined Asgard to Midgard with a fantastic bridge made from a rainbow!

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