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Njörðr.jpg

Njörðr, sometimes Anglicized as Njord, was a Vanirian Isu later associated with sea, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth, and crop fertility in Norse mythology.

Biography

Njörðr was the father of Freyja via his sister-wife,[1] and a lord of the Vanir. He later married the jötunn Skaði. Early in the marriage Njörðr claimed that Skaði was "seized with lust" for his "perfect legs", though this soured quickly when he realized how cold Skaði was. He then dreaded when Skaði and her clan came to visit him at his home of Noatun, and fled to a northern island of Asgard, where he lamented and drowned his sorrows. His wailing inadvertently made a terrible storm that would not be calmed until Odin came to the island by boat and told him what he was creating.[2]

Njörðr explained that the newly-wed couple were arguing where to spend their days, for he wanting to stay at his beach-side house in Noatun, while Skaði wished to remain in the frigid mountains of Jötunheimr. When Odin tried reasoning with Njörðr about Skaði being a jötunn, he argued that she chose him for his "beautiful feet". Odin still tried calming him, as his continued wailing would summon a sea storm. Njörðr stubbornly refused, wanting to stay on his little island until Skadi and her clan left. Odin got Njörðr's attention by stating the jötunn clan would plunder Njörðr's riches before leaving. Njörðr immediately sobered up and had Odin row him ashore. On the way over, Njörðr recalled what made him fall in love with Skaði, but sadly stated that "the pleasure was not worth the pain".[2]

Legacy and influence

During the 9th century, Norse sailors would often blame severe sea storms on the wrath of Njörðr.[3]

In the 10th century, when the Swedish farmer Östen Jorundsson's son Tørgils showed a particular aptitude for fishing, Östen considered that he had taken to the hook and handline as if Njörðr's heir.[4]

Appearances

References

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