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The Nine Realms of Norse Mythology – Vanaheim, Alfheim, Svartalfheim, Helheim.

Vanaheim.

Vanaheim, also known as Vanaheimr, in Old Norse, is the sixth realm and the home of the Vanir gods in Norse mythology. 

The Vanir gods were connected to the earth and water and were thought to grant wealth and prosperity to those who prayed to them. 

They were also thought to have the power to calm storms and cure illnesses. 

The Vanir gods included Njord, the god of wealth, Freyja, the goddess of love and beauty, and Frigga, the goddess of wisdom.

The Vanir gods are an ancient line of gods that have fought the Aesir throughout their existence.

The Vanir gods and Aesir gods originally lived side by side in Asgard, however, war erupted, and the two branches of gods fought over who got to remain in Asgard.

During the battle, the Aesir had been victorious, but the price paid for that victory was tremendous. Some of the most powerful and respected Viking leaders of that time died on that bloody battlefield.

As a result, almost all Vanir gods were exiled from Asgard, however, some Vanir gods remained in Asgard after the conflict. 

At the end of the Aesir and Vanir conflict, three of the Vanir clan’s prominent gods remained in Asgard as a sign of peace. 

Njord, Freyr, and Freya were the Vanir gods in dispute.

Vanaheim’s geography is largely unknown. Many researchers have struggled to uncover credible sources or data regarding the Vanaheim realm.

Vanaheim is recognized as a land of magic and sorcery since the Vanir gods were masters of the magical arts and were also thought to be able to foretell the future. 

However, no one knows where Vanaheim is located, nor are there any tales of what it looks like.

Alfheim.

In Norse mythology, Alfheim is the seventh kingdom, also known as lfheimr,  or Ljosalfheimr, in Old Norse. It is located in the sky exactly adjacent to Asgard.

Alfheim is home to the light elves, who have been characterized as the most beautiful beings known to man, even more lovely than the sun itself.

Although little is known about the Alfheim, experts believe it to be a planet of elegance, light, and overpowering beauty, since its residents are the light elves.

The light elves are commonly regarded as Norse mythology’s guardian angels Alfheim is ruled by the Vanir deity, Freyr. 

The light elves are regarded gods in their own right, yet, they are thought to be lesser gods.

They are gods of nature and fertility, and their understanding of magical abilities can aid or harm people. 

The light elves feature frequently in art, including as paintings and music, and are said to have inspired numerous artists throughout the Viking Age.

Svartalfheim.

Svartalfheim is the eighth realm in Norse mythology, also known as Niavellir or Svartalfaheimr, the name Svartalfheim translates to “black fields.” 

As a result, the realm was gloomy and comprised of numerous deep woods, and caverns that extended over the realm, much like a whimsical, magical forest.

The dwarfs live in Svartalfheim. The dwarfs of Svartalfheim are thought to have lived under rocks, in caverns, or underground. 

The dwarves were said to be extremely brilliant artisans who had bestowed many tremendous gifts to the gods of Asgard, including the magical ring, Draupnir, and Odin’s spear, Gungnir.

Hreidmar was the king of the dwarves and the ruler of the land until he was murdered by Fafnir. 

Heirdmar possessed a beautiful home constructed of gleaming gold and gleaming diamonds, which was guarded by none other than Fafnir himself.

Fafnir became ill-tempered, murdered Heirdmar, and took all of Heirdmar’s money. 

He then traveled into the deep forests, where it is said that Fafnir transformed into a snake or a dragon (depending on whose story you read) to protect his stolen riches from thieves.

Helheim

Helheim is the ninth and last realm. It is the realm of dishonour, the place where traitors, oathbreakers, deserters and cowards are sent when they die. Helheim is located in the very centre of the universe, at the meeting point of the Nine Realms.

Helheim is the Norse equivalent of hell. In Norse mythology, Helheim is frequently referred to simply as, Hell. 

This is where the souls of the evil and dishonest, such as thieves, murderers, cowards, and anybody else who the gods and goddesses believe is not worthy or brave enough to join Valhalla or Folkvangr, end to after death. 

Hell, Loki’s daughter, is the ruler of Helheim. Helheim is the polar opposite of hell, as we know it from a Christian perspective, where hell is characterized as searing hot.

It is said to be extremely cold. Helheim is depicted as a gloomy, nasty, and frigid place in which no one would ever experience joy or happiness for the rest of eternity.

A place of nothingness, where one’s every desire and need can never be satisfied. It is a realm of the dead where nothing can ever change, and its inhabitants are forced to exist in an endless state of misery, with no hope of ever being released from their damnation.

Hell is said to utilize all the dead in Helheim as her personal army to fight the gods and goddesses at Ragnarok and unleash her zombie army on the fields of Vigrid. When this occurs, it is said to be the end of the world.

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