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by Nokki Nollason February 17, 2021 3 min read

Dear fellow Vikings, we have already spoken about many Gods. We spoke about Odin, Thor, Freya, and many other Gods that are part of Norse mythology. Today, we will talk about Vidar (Víðarr), son of Odin, also known as Silent God.

What is Vidar the God of?

"Brushwood grows and high grass

widely in Vidar's land

and there the son proclaims on his horse's back

that he's keen to avenge his father."

This is how Odin described the halls of Vidar in the saga Grimnismal, a saga in which he described the halls of many Gods. Here we can see the first signs of the most important thing in Vidar's life - vengeance.

The best-known story about Vidar is that he is one of Aesir who survive Ragnarok, the great battle that will bring the world to its end. During Ragnarok, Odin is killed by the great wolf Fenrir, son of Loki. After that great battle, Vidar decides to avenge his father's death.

For this, it is also interesting to remember that all Gods in Norse mythology knew that Ragnarok would happen one day, and each of them knew their destiny and were prepared in accordance with it. Since Vidar knew that he was supposed to avenge his father, he prepared for that with his shoes.

How could shoes help defeat Fenrir, you wonder? Well, Vidar was known as Norse God with the strongest shoes. Each day he would add more leather to each shoe until each of Vidar's became incredibly strong and thick like the shoe of no other man or God. In fact, there was even a tradition that shoemakers leave some leather they have scrubbed of some other shoe for Vidar to take it and add it to his shoes.

So, now we return to Ragnarok. After Odin is killed during his fight with Fenrir, the spirit of vengeance starts going through Vidar's body, and he decides to avenge him. He puts his thick shoe between Fenrir's lower jaw and upper jaw and pries it open. Since Fenrir's teeth are unable to pierce the shoe of Vidar, he uses the position he is in to kill Fenrir by stabbing him in the throat through his mouth with a sword. So, since the main idea of Vidar as a God is to avenge his father's death, in Norse culture, he is known as the God of vengeance.

Also, he is known to be the silent one, but there is not any known explanation for this in any of the pieces of Norse mythology. According to some Norse scholars, this may be connected to vengeance itself as a ritual of being silent before enacting.

Is Vidar Thor's brother?

God Thor with his hammer

We know that Thor is the only legitimate Odin's son. But as we know from mainly Greek mythology and Zeus is that Gods are not always the most faithful beings and that they sometimes have affairs. Well, Vidar is a product of one such affair, between Odin, the high one, and the warrior Goddess Grid. So, the two do not have the same mother, but they share a father, which makes them half brothers.

Is Vidar Stronger Than Thor?

Vidar is strong. Vidar is considered to be among the strongest Gods, and in all pieces of information that we have, it is said that Vidar is stronger than all beings in the world (both men and Gods), but there is one deity that is stronger than him, and that is Thor. Vidar is said to prove himself in Ragnarok and inflict vengeance for his father's death, but his brother, who has in himself the blood of both Aesir and Vanir, will always be a bit stronger than him.

Is Vidar a Giant?

The short answer is - yes, but not entirely. We already know that his father is not a giant, but his mother, Grid or Gridr, is a giantess. So, at least on his mother's side, we may consider Vidar to be a giant (if only just half-giant).

Conclusion

We have already said here that Vidar is the embodiment of vengeance. But, after he avenges his dad, he and his brother Vali, the sole survivors, rebuild the world. So, we can watch him also from a different perspective. He also represents the new beginning after great tragedies (some scholars even compare him with Jesus Christ).

Until next time,

Skåll!


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