Freyr

Norse deity / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Freyr (Old Norse: 'Lord'), sometimes anglicized as Frey, is a widely attested god in Norse mythology, associated with kingship, fertility, peace, prosperity, fair weather, and good harvest. Freyr, sometimes referred to as Yngvi-Freyr, was especially associated with Sweden and seen as an ancestor of the Swedish royal house. According to Adam of Bremen, Freyr was associated with peace and pleasure, and was represented with a phallic statue in the Temple at Uppsala. According to Snorri Sturluson, Freyr was "the most renowned of the æsir", and was venerated for good harvest and peace.

Frej_R%C3%A4llinge.jpg
The Rällinge statuette, believed to depict Freyr, Viking Age.[1]

In the mythological stories in the Icelandic books the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, Freyr is presented as one of the Vanir, the son of the god Njörðr and his sister-wife, as well as the twin brother of the goddess Freyja. The gods gave him Álfheimr, the realm of the Elves, as a teething present. He rides the shining dwarf-made boar Gullinbursti, and possesses the ship Skíðblaðnir, which always has a favorable breeze and can be folded together and carried in a pouch when it is not being used. Freyr is also known to have been associated with the horse cult. He also kept sacred horses in his sanctuary at Trondheim in Norway.[2] He has the servants Skírnir, Byggvir and Beyla.

The most extensive surviving Freyr myth relates Freyr's falling in love with the female jötunn Gerðr. Eventually, she becomes his wife but first Freyr has to give away his sword, which fights on its own "if wise be he who wields it." Although deprived of this weapon, Freyr defeats the jötunn Beli with an antler. However, lacking his sword, Freyr will be killed by the fire jötunn Surtr during the events of Ragnarök.

Like other Germanic deities, veneration of Freyr was revived during the modern period through the Heathenry movement.