The leader of a group of Scandinavian Isu called the Æsir, he was known in Norse mythology as the king of all gods, associated with wisdom, healing, death, knowledge, and war. He was the original owner of the spear Gungnir, and was also the father of Heimdall, Baldr, and Thor, all powerful gods in their own right.
Along with his fellow Asgardians, Odin fought the main faction of Isu who were later remembered by the Norse as the Jötnar. As the war continued into a stalemate and after being warned of the oncoming Great Catastrophe, Odin became obsessed with finding a way to avoid dying, a cause that later motivated him to steal and activate a prototype method of salvation engineered by the Capitoline Triad to reincarnate in the distant future and impose their will on with human history.
According to Norse mythology, Odin was accompanied by the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who kept him informed of the goings-on in the worlds. Odin was also in charge of the Valkyries, psychopomps who were thought to visit battlefields to collect the souls of the worthy dead.
At some point, Odin disguised himself as a beggar and plunged a Sword of Eden into the tree Barnstokkr, stating that whoever was able to pull it free would receive it as a gift. Only the warrior Sigmund proved able to do so, and subsequently claimed the Sword as his own.
Odin, also referred to as Havi in Old Norse, meaning "High One", had numerous appellations. The ancient Fomorian being called Balor knew him as Fjölnir, while his fellow Isu Loki and Aletheia derisively called him the Mad One for his obsessive quest to avoid death, and Asgard's main chef Andhrímnir referred to him as Lore-Keeper. Among Odin's other epithets, he was called The Hanged-God, Shield-Shaker, Graybeard, Wanderer, and One-Eyed, with pagan Anglo-Saxons and Gaels also referring to him as Woden or Wodin in Old English and Old Gaelic, respectively.
Odin was the son of Borr and the jötunn Bestla, and with the help of his brothers Vili and Vé, they killed the proto-being Ymir and gained control over Asgard, one of the Nine Realms of the Isu Era. At a later date, after defeating Týr in battle, Odin became the single leader of the Æsir, a group of Isu who lived in Asgard that clashed with several of their neighbors.
At some point during his life, Odin fathered at least four sons: Heimdall, Thor, Víðarr, and Baldr, the latter of whom was the product of a passionate romance with Frigg. However, in a reputedly uncharacteristic display of selflessness, he sacrificed his love to end hostilities with the realm of Vanaheimr led by Freyr. Odin married the Vanir's sister, Freyja. While the pair developed a great respect for each other, their union was largely a political move and weathered numerous infidelities.
Shortly before the Great Catastrophe, Odin was warned by the Nornir that the calculations predicted that Fenrir was to be the death of him at the onset of the cataclysm. Suddenly, a jötnar force breached Asgard's walls. Odin fought against them with his fellow Isu and closed the city's walls. There, he found Loki and the Builder, a jötnar craftsman who claimed that he could protect Asgard by turning jötnar secrets against their former owners. Distrustful with the Builder's presence and sense of opportunity, but determined to protect his people from "Ragnarök", Odin agreed to let him run a demonstration and sought to fetch the tools that he needed in the Well of Urðr.
Odin reached the entrance of the Well and, while directing some beam lights to proceed, started to explore its depths, encountering many suspicious letters along the way. When he reached the bottom of the tunnel, he encountered Týr, sent by Loki. He advised him that the stranger's words were not to be trusted. After unlocking the door to the main chamber of the Well, Odin dove into the pool and to his surprise discovered a young Fenrir hidden inside. He tried immediately to kill him, but was quickly stopped by his counselor. Týr argued with him, saying that they could not take a life on the sacred well, to which Odin answered that he was determined to survive to his doom and nothing would stop him.
Týr locked up the child at Odin's request, and Odin exited the Well to encounter a concerned Loki who was strangely worried with the fate of the boy. He ended up indicating the location of the Builder and Odin, now with the necessary tools, went to meet him. He encountered the craftsman and watched as the stranger proceeded to a pillar to activate a shield around the circling area. Although it temporarily failed, it proved efficient while keeping the Isu enemies out of reach. Odin found this very promising and asked him to make a shield to protect all of Asgard, but the Builder swiftly said that he would only do so if he married Freyja, Odin's wife. Odin immediately refused but still felt that shield was their strongest hope against the Catastrophe and their enemies, and so he headed to Freyja with the Builder's conditions.
Odin returned to see the other Isu on a platform, surrounded by humans, next to the encaged teenage Fenrir. Odin asked himself how he had grown so fast and noticed how he was not from their kin. As he joined Loki, who commented on his physical appearance, and Týr, the crowd was amazed with the knowledge the child possessed. Odin yelled to them that he if continued to gather it, he would become a great danger. Týr stated to him that the young Isu was not his enemy and that his presence there showed no signs of the incoming disgrace. Odin presented to Freyja the Builder's bargain and, after a brief argument with the other Isu, Loki suggested giving him an impossible deadline to build the shield tower, nine days. Freyja did not like the proposal, but it was their only shot. Odin asked Loki to deliver the offer to the bold stranger.
The other Isu walked away, leaving Odin and Týr with the crowd. Suddenly, Fenrir broke his bounds and ran. Odin hurried to follow him and quickly chased him through the scared Asgardians. They jumped from a ledge and, down there, the two Isu started fighting. Fueled by his rage on destiny, Odin knocked him down. Right before striking the killing blow, Loki intervened. At that moment, the Earth's magnetic shield failed and an aurora borealis appeared in the sky. In disbelief, Odin discerned that the boy was a sign of the Great Catastrophe. Loki quickly embraced Fenrir, crying, declaring that he was his son. Horrified, Odin realized further that Loki had had an affair with one of their enemies and had betrayed Sigyn. Enraged, Odin ordered the teenager to be arrested and decided to talk to Ivaldi, their blacksmith, in order to find a more permanent solution.
Realizing that his time was short, he hurried to Ivaldi's Forge. While on his way, Odin looked to the island of Indre Holm and was surprised to see that the Builder had already constructed the base of the tower in so little time. He arrived at the dwarf's forge deep in a massive cave and saw the craftsman himself asking Ivaldi about how the technology of the jötnar Isu affected the Asgardians. Ivaldi sent him away and Odin, still wondering about the stranger's true intentions, obliquely asked him to create a Piece of Eden that could imprison Fenrir for the rest of his life. The blacksmith, who was grudgingly serving a life debt after Odin had saved his life, demanded secret knowledge that only Odin knew in exchange for his services. Once told a secret, he began listing some strange materials needed to create it. After Odin found them by solving some ancient riddles, Ivaldi again demanded something in exchange from him to build the object that he needed. Odin promised to release him from his care as a slave and, so, Ivaldi began fabricating the device, though it would take some time before it was finished. Before he left, Ivaldi told Odin that some relative of his had been experimented on by the Jötnar Isu and had his consciousness shifted to another body.
Just as he was leaving, Freyja stormed into the forge and interrupted the pair, declaring that the tower was almost complete. Odin reassured her, saying that the final hours were ticking and that he would not let her marry the Builder. Still upset but hopeful, she let him go confront the outsider, but not before reminding him that Loki was up to something and needed to be taken care of. Finally heading to speak with the Builder, Odin noticed that the tower was almost complete and asked himself if he and his friends had been outplayed. Reaching the Builder, he asked him how had he accomplished to complete the tower in so little time, to which the craftsman responded that the Æsir leader had not forbidden outside help. In time, Thor, Týr and a Loki disguised of Freyja arrived. They almost tricked the Builder, but Loki's voice denounced his identity. As the real Freyja arrived, she confronted Odin about his choice to do nothing in the face of problems. Odin threatened the Builder, but he did not waver and walked away. Loki then conducted Odin to a cave below the tower, where the outsider kept his technology. They realized they were not alone, as disguised Isu from the opposing faction revealed themselves and fought with them. As they proved victorious, Odin demanded explanations from Loki. He explained that the stranger was an enemy Isu himself who had rescued his son from the jötnar home realm Jötunheimr, and agreed to bring him to Asgard to help him find work. As they fought more enemies and grabbed the technology, they left the cave.
Returning to the tower, Odin dispatched the other Isu and stayed behind with the Builder, intending to finish the tower himself. As Odin inserted the final piece of technology, the tower activated itself, creating a shield around the two and revealing the outsider as a jötnar Isu. He stated that he did not build the tower to protect the Asgardians from the Catastrophe but rather to keep them trapped in the city. With the tower keeping the Asgardians out, the foreign Isu entered combat with his rival, determined to avenge the multiple jötnar Isu that Odin had slain. As the Builder was worn down by Odin, he started using the tower's power to strengthen himself and his attacks, all while ranting that he sought to kill Odin and allow his own race to rule the planet. Eventually, Odin struck the final blow, killing the Builder. Without its creator to continue operating the tower, the shield deactivated. As the dispute was resolved, the Asgardians started accusing Loki of treason, Odin especially. Loki accused Odin back, saying that continuing in that selfish course would only lead to his own destruction.
As Loki left, Freyja stated that the cataclysm was coming and they were no safer. Odin decided that he would travel to the jötnar Isu's territory in search of the rumored methods of consciousness transfer. He left Asgard in charge of Freyja and ordered his counselor Týr to keep Fenrir under surveillance until his arrival. Odin left the city, crossing its walls into the unknown.
The Quest for the Seventh Method
After some time, Odin reached Jötunheimr, a land he hadn't visited for a long time. He decided to meet Aletheia, Loki's mistress, who at that time was known for her skills with experiments involving the mind. But, apparently, her time with their son Fenrir had scared the other Isu away and she was living isolated from Útgarðar close to the Grand Temple. Before starting the search for her residence, he walked into Ægir's Hall and encountered his daughters that told him that a "cauldron" given to their father by Odin's son, Thor, had been lost to the Isu Jupiter, the Father of Understanding among the Capitoline Triad, in a wager and became lost in its way to his domains. After spending the night there, Odin departed to fulfill his goal. Finally encountering her abode, he heard the voice of Juno, another member of the triad, trying to convince Aletheia to help her prevent humanity from inheriting Earth. As Aletheia rejected her request and responded that humanity would outlive them following the Catastrophe, Odin interrupted the conversation and declared that he had come to understand the experimental methods of the jötnar. Juno, who was working with Jupiter and Minerva on a prototype seventh method of salvation called the "Mead", said that it would be all he needed.
Sending Juno away, Aletheia told him to forget what he had heard and counter-offered that he could go get the necessary parts to build such a device. This search led him to the place where Aletheia had given birth to Loki's three children: Jörmungandr, Hel, and Fenrir. Odin returned to her just to be tricked and subjected to a truth device. Weakened by it, he told her that Asgard wouldn't withstand another attack. Suddenly, Loki appeared and asked him what he would do with their son. Having no other option, he said that he would keep him caged until the Great Catastrophe strucked the land and passed out. He woke up hanging by tree, with Juno standing in front of him. She released him and the two Isu talked. Juno wanted to help him steal the Mead from Jupiter's and Minerva's hands in the Grand Temple as she wanted a part of it for herself. She told him that he should bring a gift to Jupiter and, given that his precious "cauldron" was lost somewhere, recovering it would be the perfect present for him. As for Minerva, a treasure from þrymr's house would be enough. In addition, Odin was told to meet her in Mímisbrunnr when his tasks were finished.
Heading to search for the "cauldron", Odin spotted the corpses of the humans that were transporting the artifact, ambushed by thieves. He followed the trail of destruction to Skrymir's Mitten, where the bandits were hiding. He entered the cave, discovering that the thieves were the sons of Hymir, the original owner of the "cauldron". After swiftly recovering the artifact from their custody, Odin exited the lair and proceeded to þrymr's Residence. He encountered the building destroyed by the last encounter of the jötnar Isu with Thor and, after digging through the wreckage in the place, encountered the bridal circlet Thor used while posing as Freyja in front of þrymr and deemed it worthy of Minerva's attention.
Having recovered both the "cauldron" and Minerva's gift, he travelled to Jupiter's domains, the city close to the Grand Temple. He immediately noticed how, contrarily to the Asgardian Isu, the Jötnar used humans in slave labor. Avoiding the guards, he reached Jupiter outside of his palace. Pleased with Odin's gift and convinced that he meant no harm, he ordered his thralls to prepare a feast in the stranger's honor. While they waited for the preparation of the event, Jupiter asked Odin to search for Minerva and bring her to the feast, advising him that she was different from any other Isu he would know. He accepted as he could also learn something from her work. Odin encountered Minerva's laboratory and found her very focused studying calculations on a strange device. He asked her what was she working on and she replied that she was listening to voices from the future. She became frustrated when no voice could be heard. As they exited, a distant voice echoed through the device.
While in their way to the palace, Minerva expressed that she hadn't been outside for a long time. He asked her why was she so committed in that task, obviously omitting his own motives of surviving the cataclysm. She vented on him, declaring that the Great Catastrophe was approaching and everybody seemed to ignore its inevitability. Odin carefully said that he had heard rumours about a possible new method of salvation, to which she answered that activating it would pollute the humanity's genome and, as she didn't wish them harm, she had convinced Jupiter and Juno to abandon the method. On the way, they passed by the Grand Temple and Minerva indirectly confirmed to Odin that the Mead was there. Finally arriving at the feast, Jupiter greeted them and the festivities began. Odin participated in all of them in order to make them drink more and empty the "cauldron", so that he could reach the Vault. In the middle of the feast, Odin saw an Isu suspiciously familiar that responded by the name of Thokk. He talked to him thinking that he was Loki but the Isu said that he wasn't the person he was looking for. Leaving the man to his drink, he eventually emptied the "cauldron", making Jupiter asking Minerva to open the door to the Grand Temple.
Odin silently left the palace and entered the Vault, now open. Inside, he was spotted by Minerva, who was getting suspicious of him. With the perfect excuse, Odin quickly showed her the bridal circlet recovered earlier, leaving Minerva more comfortable and the two then had a romantic moment. Some time later, Minerva fell asleep so he took the chance to look around and search for the Seventh Method. Eventually, he found stairs that led to a short hall that had six murals containing all the knowledge involving all the previously failed methods of salvation. At the end of the hall, he found the receptacle containing the Mead and stole a sample of it. Leaving Minerva in her sleep, Odin exited the Temple and found a furious Jupiter and Loki, who had denounced his actions to the Isu. With Loki watching, Odin fought with Jupiter, eventually gaining the upper hand and defeated him. As Loki disappeared, Odin declared that Jupiter should be greatful as Loki would've taken advantage of the first opportunity to steal the Mead for himself, but Jupiter warned him that he would change countless fates, but not his own. At last, Odin left the scene to meet Juno in the Well.
A Selfish Sacrifice
The Isu travelled to the site were he was supposed to meet Juno, but was immediately stopped by Loki himself, who wanted to take his revenge on him for arresting his son. Loki insisted on his selfishness in just wanting to save the Æsir from the Catastrophe, leaving the rest of the Isu to their doom, Loki and his family too in the process, and demanded Odin to release his son from his prison. Discovering Loki's role in the invasion of Asgard, Odin entered combat with Loki but the latter was quickly overcome. Stating that their dispute would never meet its end, Loki rapidly fled the scene.
Odin finally entered the main chamber of the Well and encountered Juno speaking to a glowing crystal ball. She tucked it away as Odin approached her and demanded her to explain him the true nature of the method of salvation. She explained that, in order to survive the Great Catastrophe, he would have to be reborn in the future as one of the beings that would certainly thrive after the cataclysm: the humans. He then asked what would happen if he took the Mead in that precise moment, but she rushed to warn him that he should only inject the sample in his blood when he would be close to his demise, for the process to work. Odin then interacted with Yggdrasil's roots in front of them and Juno once more mentioned to him that, for the serum to work, it needed a catalyst to be fermented in order for the machine to know which DNA would be inserted in the human gene pool. Odin quickly questioned her if she had vouched for this oddly desperate way of survival, to which she alleged that she had to, as someone who she loved dearly depended on it to survive.
Odin, even after learning about all the risks of using the Seventh Method, took the selfish decision of ripping one of his eyes to activate the machine and change the course of humanity for the following millennia. He proceeded to ask Juno what would be the catalyst she would use to activate the method herself. She eventually answered that Jupiter and Minerva would certainly punish her for her treacherous actions against the triad and, as a result of that, her sacrifice would be her corporeal form. She thanked him for returning to her what was hers rightly. Sick of being in enemy territory and having acquired what he needed, Odin left the continent and travelled back to Asgard to properly deal with Fenrir.
Imprisoning Fenrir for life
After years away, Odin arrived in Asgard just to see the skies of the city completely altered by the multiple failures in the Earth's magnetic shield. He was greeted by Ivaldi, who, after noticing his master's missing eye, delivered Gleipnir, the device needed to arrest Fenrir, to him and gave him some advice on how to utilize it. The one-eyed Isu gave his thanks to his loyal blacksmith and agreed to let him go. Ivaldi was surprised by the decision of his master. The two then parted ways and the dwarf eventually left the shore of the realm, intending to travel to his homeland of Svartálfaheimr.
Odin decided to traverse the sea too, in direction of the island where Týr was guarding Fenrir, avoiding the earthquakes and storms provoked by the anomalies in the sky, certainly caused by his presence. At last, Odin reached Týr, near the prison where Fenrir dwelled. His friend noticed his missing eye too, before stating that, due to their constant mistrust on the boy, he had become an embittered and angrily adult. This rage made him pursue knowledge that somehow rendered him imortal. In his talk with him, Odin noticed that his counselor had become very close with the son of his former blood brother and deduced that he wouldn't be capable of arresting him permanently. So, he decided to manipulate him into convincing Fenrir that the device wasn't harmful. The two Isu then entered the prison, with Týr convincing its scarred captive to come out, and then they made him believe that the technology they had in their possession would show the other Asgardians that he wouldn't do any harm to them, to serve as a beacon, and, as such, he would be able to walk freely among the population of Asgard. However, as Odin had caused serious injury to him before he was imprisoned, Fenrir didn't buy their words. To prove the truth of their sayings, Týr, who was unaware of Odin's trickery, trustingly subjected himself to him, claiming that if they were being untrue, he could take his arm by way of compensation.
Fenrir accepted the deal, giving Odin permission to attach the device to him. The Æsir did so, activating the artifact, which in turn started to burn the marked Isu's skin, hurting him and making Týr grow uncomfortable. As the son of Loki realised that he had been deceived, Odin was desperately asked by his companion to shut it down, with him stubbornly refusing to undo his plan. An enraged Fenrir then proceeded to rip off Týr's forearm as a response to the lack of cooperation, incapacitating him. Despite suffering from the pain caused by Gleipnir, he started to attack his opressor once again, using a variety of swift moves to overcome him. Unfortunately for Fenrir, Odin was a skilled warrior and managed to hit him several times. Admist the thrill of the fight, the young Isu started citing the events of the calculations that the Nornir had showed to the Asgardian leader years prior in an attempt to distract him, revealing that he had experienced them while trapped in the Well of Urðr during his childhood.
Returning to Yggdrasil supercomputer he looked to see if his fate has been altered, if he could be saved. But it was not, he was still to fall during the Great Catastrophe by the hand of Fenrir. But it also told that his plan of Immortality would work and that he and his trusted eight would be reborn once again.
Outraged at Fenrir's unjust treatment, Loki secretly told the Muspels how to poison Baldr with mistletoe and left Odin to grieve over the loss of his child. After learning who was responsible, Odin ordered Loki be apprehended to answer for his crimes, then began searching for a way to resurrect Baldr.
At some point in his life, Odin met and fought Balor, though the old god was not killed in the ensuing battle.
When the Great Catastrophe came, Odin summoned his trusted eight to his secret chamber and uploaded themselves. He stated that none could follow them, especially Loki. He broke his mask and led the eight to face their end. Millennia later, in 847 CE, Odin was reincarnated as the Viking shieldmaiden Eivor Varinsdottir of the Raven Clan.
Legacy and influence
During the 9th century, the Vikings made regular offerings and sacrifices to Odin, praying to him or invoking his name for strength in battle. A statue of him was a key feature of Viking settlements.
Odin had a totem named after him in the popular dice game Orlog, played in the 9th century. The piece "Odin's Sacrifice" would allow players to sacrifice a number of health tokens in order to gain more God Favor. An Anglo-Saxon man in Crawleah, Suthsexe possessed the piece, which he gave to Eivor after being defeated.
Behind the scenes
Odin is a mythical figure who first appeared in the Glyph puzzles in the 2009 video game Assassin's Creed II. He later made his first appearance in the 2020 game Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, where he was voiced by the Danish actor Magnus Bruun. Odin's name derives from the Old Norse word Óðr, meaning "Divine Madness, frantic" but that also was the name of Freyja's husband in the Prose Edda who has similar characteristics to the All-Father, suggesting that they were eventually merged into one being.
- Assassin's Creed II (appears in Glyphs only)
- Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Fate of the Gods (first mentioned)
- Echoes of History (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' Wound (sculpture only)
- Discovery Tour: Viking Age
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Forgotten Myths
- Assassin's Creed: Initiates – Timeline
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate – Hopton's
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – A Brother's Keeper
- Echoes of History: Ragnarök – Episode 1: The birth of the universe
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – A Fury from the Sea
- Assassin's Creed II – Glyph #5: "Instruments of Power"
- Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Fate of the Gods – Chapter 12
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – View Above All
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the Druids – Amber Sun
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Animus Anomalies: Thornburg Henges
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Animus Anomalies: Needham Lake
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Food of the Gods
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Database: Odin
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Mastery Challenge – The All-Seeing Eye
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Breaking the Order
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Floating conversations: Cairns
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Database: Tyr
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Rigsogur
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarök – Malvigr
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Animus Anomalies: Quartzite Ridge
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Database: Frigg
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Database: Freyja
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Viking Expansion notes: Asgard
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Well-Traveled
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Defensive Measures
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Extended Family
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Forging a Bond
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Database: Ivaldi
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – A Feline's Footfall
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Taking Root
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – The Big Finish
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Mistress of the Iron Wood
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Aegir's Daughters
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – The Lost Cauldron
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – A Gift from the Past
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – A Feast to Remember
- Assassin's Creed III – Modern day
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – The Price of Wisdom
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Binding Fate
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarök – The Rescue
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarök – Pride of the Aesir
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Animus Anomalies
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Cheating Fate