Can You Defeat This Norse Mythology Quiz?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: Nastasic/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The Viking Age was a splendid time for those who are into the violent nature associated with raiding, pillaging, drinking mead and sailing the open seas. Of course, these traits did not mean the Vikings of Scandinavia were uncivilized. No, quite contrary to that, the Norsemen had a very detailed set of beliefs describing their views of the world around them. 

Today, these views make up the canons of Norse mythology, and the tales presented give a glimpse of how the Vikings understood themselves against the backdrop of the ever-growing world around them. How well do you know these mythological tales and followings of the Nordic people? This quiz will give you the chance to find out. 

Our understanding of the tales associated with Norse mythology comes from the poetic Eddas and sagas of the Vikings and their ancestors, which was shaped over the course of centuries, and even after the rise of Christianity, Icelandic scholars continued to record the beliefs of the heathens who came before them. Therefore, we have a vast range of text, describing how the inhabitants of Scandinavia saw the universe, to pull knowledge from.

From the stories of creation to the ultimate destruction of everything in the cosmos, this quiz will give you the chance to reflect on the most important parts of Norse mythology, so send your prayers to the gods and get ready for the ultimate battle against the difficult questions we send your way. 

Once a warrior is selected for the Valhalla, they are carried there by who?

The valkyries were well respected by the Norsemen for their role on the battlefield, but that didn't make these ghastly spirits any less intimidating. Following one Nordic tale, valkyries would sit above a battleground and weave the fate of a warrior if they preferred the warrior's death.


Thor, one of the most popular gods in the late Viking Age, is most closely associated with which weapon?

Thor held an important role in Viking society, as he was the protector of the people living on Midgard. His hammer was his most powerful method of defense, using it to crush entire armies. However, the weapon wasn't always used to destroy, as it also provided blessings to those in need.


Yggdrasil is considered the center of the cosmos in Norse mythology, but do you recall what it is?

Yggdrasil is not only the center of the cosmos, but it also holds the entire thing together, according to Nordic lore. The stories tell that eventually the tree will tremble, a signal that the world is ending, which could be true if a global earthquake takes out humanity.


After Ask and Embla were created by Odin and his brothers, they were given which world to live on?

Norsemen viewed Midgard as the civilized part of the cosmos that was surrounded by a wild and chaotic wilderness. This association between the civilized and the chaotic became known as innangard and utangard, with the Nordic people preferring to live within the realm of the law-abiding innangard.


According to Norse beliefs, everything in the universe will be destroyed, including the gods, during which catastrophic event?

Though the Norsemen gave no time frame for when the events of Ragnarok would occur, they did detail how the occurrence would play out. During one of the main events of Ragnarok, the ship Naglfar will sail over the flooded earth, carrying an army of giants who are captained by Loki.


Loki has a difficult relationship with his family because he is associated with what trait?

Though Loki is portrayed as a coward, he is quite cunning, particularly when it comes to protecting himself. He's been known to sacrifice other gods, like when he handed Idun over to Thiazi, only to receive her back once the gods threatened to have him killed.


The beginning of Ragnarok will be signaled by what major event?

The Great Winter will arise at the discretion of the Norns, as only fate can decide when it comes to fruition. At that point, the sun will no longer provide heat, and winter will arise from all directions, killing off sources of food and pitting families against one another.


For those unlucky souls who don't make it to Valhalla, they are sent where?

As with many perceptions of the afterlife, like those found in Greek mythology, Hel was located underground according to the Nordic lore. For those cast into the underworld, life did not change much, as they continued on eating, drinking and fighting. Clearly, that's all Vikings cared about.


On his never-ending quest for knowledge, what did Odin sacrifice to Mimir for the opportunity to drink from the Well of Urd?

Odin has made many sacrifices in his search for knowledge around the cosmos, including his eye. Another well known story from Nordic lore is when Odin hung himself from Yggdrasil where, on the brink of death, he discovered the runes.


Some of the most powerful beings in Norse mythology, who controls fate?

Knowing they could not change their fate, the Vikings had an indifferent view of the Norns and their place within Norse society. These deadly raiders went into battle with the understanding that it was not up to them if their death was to come that day.


Though elves are known for bringing illness, they will often do what for people if bribed?

After the conversion of the Germanic people to Christianity, laws forbidding the worship of the elves lasted for centuries. The fact that the elves remained prevalent even as the Christian society grew shows how important they were to those who worshipped them.


In Norse mythology, the sun and the moon are chased through the sky by which animals?

The two wolves, Skoll and Hati, represent the darkness that will overtake the earth once again during Ragnarok. Until then, Sol and Mani, the sun and moon, ride their chariots across the sky, evading their eventual captors.


Odin, one of the most recognized figures in Norse mythology, was a half-god, half-what?

Odin was one of three children born to the god Bor and the giant Bestla. Playing a central role in creating the first humans, Odin was hailed as the Allfather, meaning he belonged to everything as the central force of the cosmos.


Wolves guard the gates of Valhalla, where you will find a ceiling made of what?

For the Norse warriors who make it to Valhalla, they will find a dinning hall built for soldiers of battle. Not only are the ceilings made of shields, but the rafters are built from spears and the seats, of course, are crafted from breast plates.


Norse mythology teaches that there are how many worlds with different beings living on them?

The nine worlds, for the most part, are not described in detail in the source material, leaving their exact configuration up to the imagination. However, certain beings, such as elves and giants, are attributed to each of the worlds, which constructs a general idea of how the Norsemen viewed these worlds.


Midgard is unique from the other worlds featured in Norse mythology because of what?

Nordic beliefs often taught about that which can be seen and that which can't. However, these worlds often overlapped, as the Nordic people saw the actions of the gods within the natural occurrences of the world around them.


Often associated with war, Odin will only allow who into his halls of Valhalla?

Known for their fierce skills in battle, the Vikings lived a violent life full of bloodshed and war. Much of their violent nature can be tied to their belief that only the best of them will be honored to dine with Odin, where they will receive all of the mead and food they want.


Vili and Ve, the brothers of Odin, helped him create the world, but what was used to create it?

After the defeat and death of Ymir, Odin and his brothers tore apart the giant's body, which they used to create the world. Ymir's blood was used to flood the oceans, his skin and muscles made the soil, his hair created the plants, his brains became the clouds and his skull encompassed the sky.


Do you know which type of Norse magic is used to change the structure of fate?

Because of the use of weaving, the magic associated with seidr was typically reserved for women in Viking society. Men who engaged in the practice received the title of "argr," which seemingly meant to lack manliness.


When the end of times come, Odin and his fellow soldiers will be swallowed by who?

Fenrir is one of the many sons of Loki who will play a central role during the end of times when he battles against Odin and his warriors from Valhalla. Odin will accept the task of defeating Fenrir, even though he knows that he will lose, as that is his fate.


Obtained from the slain Kvasir, what does Odin give to poets and scholars as a source of knowledge?

Kvasir was a famous and wise traveler who gave his counsel to those who needed it, but he was murdered by two dwarves, Fjalar and Galar, after they invited him into their home. Those dwarves then used his blood to make a mead that contained all of his knowledge. Odin would later pursue this mead for himself.


Do you know which creatures in Norse mythology are trying to throw the world into chaos?

The term "giants" is actually misleading in Norse mythology because it doesn't describe the creatures as the Norsemen saw them. Instead, the term seems to have been applied by Christians from Normandy, who used their understanding of giants in Greek mythology to grasp the the views of their Norse counterparts.


One of the tribes of gods, the Aesir live on which of the nine worlds, according to Nordic traditions?

If you're looking for Asgard, you'll have to search upward, as the fortress of the Aesir gods is located in the sky. Perhaps on a rainy day when the storm clears, you can find the fortress by following the rainbow bridge known as Bifrost.


Can you correctly identify the enormous serpent that lives in the oceans around Midgard?

One of the fiercest creatures in Norse mythology, Jormungand has a fated duel against Thor when Ragnarok arrives. During the clash, the two mortal enemies are destined to kill one another.


The first two humans in Norse mythology, Ask and Embla, sprung to life from which of the following?

The driftwood used to create Ask and Embla was found by Odin while he was walking around the coast of the world. Though already shaped like humans, the wood was lifeless, inspiring Odin to breathe life into them, and thus, humans were born.


After crafting a spear made from mistletoe, Loki convinced which god to throw it at Baldur?

The son of Odin and Frigg, Baldur was one of the most celebrated gods in Aesir, giving off a graceful light everywhere he went. After Loki convinced Hodr to accidentally kill Baldur, the gods sent Hermod to the underworld to retrieve him, but Loki once again intervened, sealing Baldur's fate.


During the creation, Ymir was nourished by Audhumla, who was based on which animal?

As the ice from Niflheim melted further, another creature, Audhumla, came into being. While Ymir used the cow to nurse himself, Audhumla, in turn, relied on the salt from the ice of Niflheim to keep herself healthy. Beneath this ice, the first of the gods, Buri, appeared.


The Vanir sent whose head back to Odin once they thought they were cheated in the truce after the Aesir-Vanir War?

The truce between Vanir and Aesir involved the exchange of hostages, with Mimir and Hoenir being sent to Vanir in exchange for Freya, Freyr and Njord. However, after it was revealed that Mimir wasn't as smart as he seemed, Vanir sent his severed head to Odin, who preserved it with magic and herbs.


After realizing the corrupt nature of the magic used by Freya, a Vanir goddess, how did the Aesir try to kill her?

The goddess Freya served as a representation of "volva," a term used to describe those who engaged in the practice of seidr professionally. Much like Freya, these practitioners traveled around, performing their magic in towns and on farms in exchange for food and housing.


Needing to keep the sky in place, can you identify the creatures who were responsible for holding Ymir's suspended skull?

As viewed by the Norsemen, dwarves were invisible creatures who lived underground. In the mythology, they were skilled smith workers, creating powerful items in Norse lore like the spear of Odin and Freyr's ship.


Jotunheim is the home of the giants, but what separates it from Midgard?

The Norsemen believed that Jotunheim lay beyond the fence in a world full of chaos and disorder. The metaphor for this fence came from the agrarian-based society in Scandinavia, where fences were placed around crops to separate them from the wilderness beyond.


The Norsemen believed that before there was anything there was Ginnungagap, which was what part of the cosmos?

The before creation story in Norse mythology has similar counterparts in other religions around the world. The Bible provides a familiar example, as Genesis describes the beginning as starting with nothingness.


Which of the worlds in Norse mythology contains the land of fire, where the fire giants live?

The fire giants of Muspelheim are only one group of giants who exist in Norse mythology. However, they are some of the most fierce and play a critical role in both the creation and the eventual destruction of the world.


Niflheim is made of which element that mixed with fire in Ginnungagap?

Any knowledge of Niflheim comes from the Christian Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson. Therefore, one can assume that he invented the word, which is similar to Niflhel, a word that can be found in Old Norse poems prior to Sturluson's histories.


According to the Norse creation story, Muspelheim mixed with Niflheim at the center of Ginnungagap to form the being known as what?

Ymir was the first giant ever created, making him the father of all other giants and an ancestor to the gods. As a hermaphrodite, Ymir was capable of reproducing children on his own, sprouting other giants from his legs and armpits.


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