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Norse Odin v. Marvel Odin

And hey, things in the comic book world can get pretty weird – adopted frost giants, battles over the throne, Dark Magic, the Tesseract.

But what you might not know is that the Norse myths are pretty damn weird themselves. Check it out.

Five Differences Between Marvel’s Odin & the Norse God Odin

1. So, how’d you lose your eye?

In the movie Thor, we get the impression that Odin lost his eye in the epic battle with the Jötunn, or the Frost Giants.

These guys

But in Norse mythology, Odin loses his eye to Mimir in exchange for one drink from Mimir’s well, which contains all wisdom and knowledge. 

So, instead of being a scarred war hero, he’s a god who traded part of himself for wisdom and knowledge.

Plus it makes me look bad-ass

2. You’re Not My Dad

In the movies, Odin finds baby Loki on Jötunheimr and takes him home to raise as his son (and as a sweet bargaining chip for future political negotiations).

baby Loki
Awwww, what a cute little stolen relic

In the myths, Loki is still a Frost Giant. But he’s not Odin’s son – he’s Odin’s brother.

In the Poetic Edda, Loki reminds Odin of the oath of blood-brotherhood they swore, an oath that included (among other things) the promise to always share their mead.

That’s right. Sworn brotherhood includes drinking together.


3. A Lover & A Fighter

In the movies, Odin attempts to keep his wild kids in line and broker peace with the Frost Giants. You get the sense that he could totally throw down, if needed, but mostly he tries to stay diplomatic.

Except to his kids.

Shut up, Loki!

Now, make no mistake. Odin’s a kick-ass fighter in the Norse myths, too. His spear, Gungnir, will always hit any target.

But he’s not always a fighter. Sometimes, he’s a lover.

When Odin wanted to steal the mead of poetic inspiration from the giant Suttung, he doesn’t just rush in there, spears blazing.

Nope. He turns himself into a snake, sneaks into the mountain where Suttung hid the mead, and then sleeps with Suttung’s daughter for three nights in exchange for drinking from the three vats of mead.

odin raises eyebrow

Now that’s political negotiations!

4. Speaking of Lovers…

Odin is married to Frigga in the Marvel movies.

And Frigga is also pretty bad-ass

He’s married to Frigga in the Norse myths, too.

But that certainly doesn’t keep him from sleeping around. He’s got kids all over the place, with all sorts of women. Including Jord, the Earth – she’s Thor’s mother. And also Odin’s daughter.

Hey, it’s mythology!

5. Odinsleep

The magical Odinsleep that so nicely coincides with Thor’s banishment and Loki’s ascendance to the throne?

convenient odinsleep

Not a thing in Norse mythology.


Want More Norse Myth?

Do yourself a favor and check out the original source – this is a great translation.

Click here for Norse Thor v. Marvel Thor.

Click here for Norse Loki. v. Marvel Loki.

And hey, if you’re going to watch Marvel’s Thor and Avengers to get your Odin fix, click here for my drink recommendations!

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