She’s the wife of Odin, the only one (other than him) allowed to sit on his throne “Hlidskjalf,” and Rene Russo. Actually, can we take a moment to acknowledge how much of a goddess Rene is in the Thor movies? OMG.
Anyway, Frigg and Odin are said to have two sons together – Balder and Hod – although some sources I found tell me that she’s just the mother of Balder. Again, I’m not an expert in Norse or any other mythology – I just enjoy learning about it! She’s also stepmother to Thor, Heimdall, Hoder, Hermod, Tyr, Bragi, Vidar, and Vali – but not Loki. Sorry Marvel fans!
Frigg, The Beloved
Her name Frigg means “Beloved,” and it’s pretty clear from stories that she was the beloved of Odin (sigh). Over time, the characteristics of the goddesses Frigg and Freya seem to have mixed (along with the Germanic goddess Frija).
According to Norse Mythology for Smart People:
Like Freya, Frigg is depicted as a völva, a Viking Age practitioner of the form of Norse magic known as seidr. Seidr is concerned with discerning destiny and altering its course by re-weaving part of its web. This power could potentially be put to any use imaginable, and examples that cover virtually the entire range of the human condition can be found in Old Norse literature. In the Old Norse poem Lokasenna, after Loki slanders Frigg, Freya warns him that Frigg knows the destiny of all beings, implying that she also has the power to alter them if she so chooses.
Sources: Heide, Eldar. 2006. Spinning Seiðr. In Old Norse Religion in Long-Term Perspectives: Origins, Changes, and Interactions. Edited by Anders Andrén, Kristina Jennbert, and Catharina Raudvere. p. 166.
The Poetic Edda. Lokasenna, verse 29.
Frigg is the queen of Aesir, the most prominent clan of Norse gods. Wait a minute! Norse gods belong to clans?! How cool is that? Also, it really tells you a lot about the culture of the people who worshiped these deities. Clans existed in many northern European countries, so it makes sense that they would view their deities living life in clans.
Anyway, there are two clans of Norse gods – the Aesir and the Vanir. But apparently, over time the two became one-ish. The Aesir clan lives in Asgard and we, here on earth, live in Midgard (Hey! The MCU was right on some points!). The Vanir live in Vanaheim, and all these realms (plus six others) are held in the branches of the World Tree. Pretty dang cool!
Most of the representations of Frigg concentrate on her role as a mother. She’s protective and nurturing. As her son, Balder, grew, she became even more protective of him, and went to every living thing and demanded that it would never harm her son.
The only thing she couldn’t demand protection from was mistletoe. But mistletoe’s pretty innocuous, right?
Apparently, it became a fun game among the gods to throw things at Balder and watch them just roll right off of him without a scratch. It didn’t matter how big, or sharp the object was; it didn’t phase him.
That is until Loki crafted a dart from mistletoe and gave it to Hoor, who in some accounts was his blind, twin brother. Anyway, Hoor shot Balder with the dart (with Loki’s help), and instead of it bouncing off of him, it struck him in the heart and killed him instantly.
Well, as you can imagine, Frigg was DEVASTATED. Like, woman lost her shit. And no wonder! She sent a messenger to the Underworld and tried the ransom his soul from Hel (Hela a.k.a. Cate Blanchett?). Hel agreed, but only if every living thing would cry for Balder.
Of course, everyone agreed to weep for her fallen son, except the giantess Thokk who was probably Loki in disguise.
So, Balder was stuck in the Underworld forever. Total bummer.
Handmaidens & Mothers
Frigg’s home was Fensalir, a.k.a. Marsh Hall, in Asgard. Thus, all marshy, boggy land was considered sacred to Frigga and women who were having trouble conceiving would travel to marshland to pay homage to her.
Frigg also has 12 handmaidens that help her in her queenly duties – they are actually lesser goddesses with their own duties and responsibilities.
- Saga, who tells stories, keeps history and reminds humans to remember the past.
- Eir, who is the healer of the gods.
- Gefion, who is a virgin goddess and welcomes all people who die unmarried.
- Fulla, who carries Frigg’s casket (box of footwear, not coffin) and shares her secrets.
- Sjofn, who “inclines” human hearts to love in all forms, not just lust/romance.
- Lofn, who attains permission from Odin or Frigg for people to marry.
- Var, who witnesses contracts and oaths.
- Vor, who can see the truth and is powerfully intuitive.
- Syn, who guards our personal boundaries, especially when intuition is involved.
- Hlin, who protects the people whom Frigg wants to save.
- Snotra, the Emily Post of the goddesses – she knows how to help you avoid social awkwardness.
- Gná, who is Frigg’s messenger.
Frigg Quick Facts
Origin: Norse – Scandinavia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden
- Frigg, The Beloved
- Raven’s clock
- Frigg’s plant