From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Writing systems (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article falls within the scope of WikiProject Writing systems, a WikiProject interested in improving the encyclopaedic coverage and content of articles relating to writing systems on Wikipedia. If you would like to help out, you are welcome to drop by the project page and/or leave a query at the project’s talk page.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Mythology / Norse mythology  (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is supported by WikiProject Mythology. This project provides a central approach to Mythology-related subjects on Wikipedia. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the WikiProject page for more details.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Norse mythology work group.
WikiProject Norse history and culture (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Norse history and culture, a WikiProject related to all activities of the North Germanic peoples, both in Scandinavia and abroad, prior to the formation of the Kalmar Union in 1397. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Middle Ages (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Middle Ages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the Middle Ages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Religion (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Ancient Germanic studies  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Ancient Germanic studies, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Ancient Germanic studies articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Eight legs[edit]

Regarding this edit (the citation does not work, but I expect that will be fixed soon so I will let that rest). I am a bit befuddled by the edit comment "Superfluous as it is common knowledge". Is it common knowledge that a bier or coffin is carried by four persons? My guess would have been that the number of men needed to carry such an object would vary depending on size. But my main problem is what this statement is that you fail to provide any explanation why this information is relevant, or who it is that have proposed an interpretation that Sleipnir symbolises four men carrying a bier. --Saddhiyama (talk) 16:41, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

As there has been no explanation I have reverted the changes. The citation was also spurious as it only mentioned authors last name, no title or anything else. --Saddhiyama (talk) 21:13, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
The reference was from within Wikipedia: perhaps I just didn't cut&paste correctly, although the link appeared to work when I tested it. It should be "* Ellis Davidson, H. R. (1990). Gods And Myths Of Northern Europe. Penguin. ISBN 0140136274". Certainly following the link to the Sleipnir entry would have provided an expansion of this interpretation as well as filling in omissions. As this is a communal pooling of information, perhaps editing would have been better than removing it, especially as not all of us can log on daily. Point taken about the number of pallbearers, however. I don't believe this interpretation is unique to Davidson, and it seems to be common knowledge, at least at the undergrad level. It is readily verifiable, both within the wiki and academically, so satisfies Wikipedia's criteria. The relevance is Odin's and Sleipnir's connection with death. The former's role as psychopomp had already been mentioned. I feel this needed emphasizing and certainly the description begs the question: why 8 legs? I would think further explanation would be more appropriate in the Sleipnir article. -Aikidoshi (talk) 18:12, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Okay, I can't edit the references for some reason. I will hold off on editing the section until I can figure that out. -Aikidoshi (talk) 18:45, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

"A Recurring Summon"[edit]

Final Fantasy is a high-profile series of computer games, and so I think it's a reasonable thing to link to here under the modern culture heading. But what does it mean that Odin is a "recurring summon" in the game? The noun is actually "a summons", but even so it doesn't make much sense. Could someone clarify with a few words what role Odin plays in the games? Can the player summon him? What for? Martin Rundkvist (talk) 20:33, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

whatever it means, I do not think its inclusion adds any value to this article. --dab (𒁳) 22:32, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

The role of Odin in the Final Fantasy series is to work as a mystical force, mainly called a summon. You can summon him in a fight to deal additional damage or even kill your enemies instantly. It depends on the number of the series what you can do. For example in FFVIII you can't summon Odin on command, it happens randomly but when it does, he kills instantly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:19, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

this tells us something about the Final Fantasy video game, but it tells us nothing about Odin. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT VIDEO GAMES. NO WAIT DON'T. THIS ISN'T THE PLACE. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:43, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Needs a rewrite.[edit]

"In the compound Wednesday, the first member is cognate to the genitive Odin's."

Could someone rewrite the first paragraph so that it makes some sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

I second this. This is vague at best and highly esoteric at worst. --DanielRenfro (talk) 04:03, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Another rewrite needed for clarity: 'His name is related to ōðr, meaning "fury, excitation", besides "mind", or "poetry".' By "besides" I'm guessing someone meant "in addition to", but it parses oddly. --hexalm

Mercury and Tacitus[edit]

The statements associating Odin and Mercury are confusing, and in particular the statement that Tacitus was likely referring to Odin when writing of Mercury is especially confusing. Is this claiming that Odin is based on/evolved out of the Roman god Mercury? And, it seems a bit odd to claim Tacitus was writing about Odin when he uses "Mercury." Does this mean to say that in discussing Germanic gods, Tacitus imposes the name "Mercury" on Odin because he interprets the similarities of the gods as being the result of the Germanic tribes worshiping Mercury under a different name? Otherwise, why would we suppose he is referring to Odin, when Mercury is a well-established Roman god in large part based on a Greek antecedent (Hermes)? I'm not (necessarily) doubting that good, scholarly sources have established (or at least argue) that there is a connection between Mercury and Odin, but this connection could be much more clearly established in the article. As is, it is so confusing and vague as to be unhelpful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Lengthy section under Prose Edda[edit]

The lengthy section under the heading Prose Edda before the heading "Prologue" appears to be misplaced. It's a broad description of Odin's attributes with little reference to the Prose Edda and some reference to other literary and archaeological sources. It either needs to be trimmed or moved. --Simon Peter Hughes (talk) 11:03, 3 July 2011 (UTC)


It is interesting that slavery was practised in 9th century Sweden (and presumably elsewhere in Northern Europe at that time), and that male slaves were sacrificed on trees (compare this practice to the sacrifice of males and male slaves on trees in Benin - although this Victorian photo describes the victim as a criminal, the method was also described by the Portuguese who made first contact in the 11th century. They observed males and slaves being sacrificed in the same manner.) However, my query relates to the phrase "Male slaves and males of each species were sacrificed and hung from the branches of the trees."

Could the author please clarify what is meant by 'males of each species'? Is this referring to men of the local tribe and the male slaves taken from other local tribes, or to males from aboriginals taken from the taiga (or elsewhere) as well?

In the Benin case, the sacrifices related to the use of blood and the offering of flesh to the air spirits of the Otherworld as a means for the priest-king (the Oba) to gain the power to communicate with the Otherworld and to then draw down power from it for the benefit of himself and his people. It seems likely that the practice initially obliged the sacrifice of tribal members, but later shifted to slaves and transgressors - much as was the case with South American tribes of the same period. I conjecture that in all these cases, the situation paralleled that of king Aun's sons. Once the priests had sacrificed a critical mass of tribesmen - who doubtless went willingly in a noble cause - they were stopped by the tribespeople and an alternative source of victims was sought. Slaves taken from neighbouring tribes was the solution - no need to expend members of the god's chosen/created people when non-chosen/created and therefore non-human people were on hand, and clearly put there in readiness for such a purpose. In the case of the blot, which I assume means blood, I was wondering if one of the neighbouring Swedish tribes also happened to be aboriginals. Furthering thought (talk) 07:23, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Odins pig[edit]

Didn't Odin also have a giant pig? Does anybody know the name of the pig?AT Kunene (talk) 09:21, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

I think you may be referring to Sæhrímnir, however the race of that particular animal has not been finally established it seems. --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:23, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Indeed there was a pig called "Sæhrimner", though it did not belong to Odin in particular. Sæhrimner stood in a giantic cauldron full of boiling water, and when meat called "flæsk" was needed, it was simply cut off from it. >Luckily sæhrimner had the ability to regrow itself in a matter of mere seconds. Another particular pig is "Gyldenbørste". It's hair was made of the finest gold, and it shone like a second sun. (talk) 14:50, 8 February 2013 (UTC)DukeJuke

Santa Claus[edit]

Regarding this semi-fringe myth, a book by one Phyllis Siefker which poses the claim that Odin is the origin of the modern Santa Claus myth is being paraphrased in the following way: "According to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw, or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy."

I don't have access to the book in question, but is this an accurate wording? Besides the obvious questionable claims about apparently rather detailed knowledge of the activities of children during the Viking Age, I am rather sure that Norse houses at that time did not have chimneys, and the carrot wasn't introduced in Scandinavia until the 1500s, and there weren't sugar either. So the question remains whether this is an accurate paraphrasing, and if it is, does a book containing such claims really qualify as a reliable source? --Saddhiyama (talk) 17:25, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

I deleted the entire section, since further inspection of the claims and sources turned up several more questionable instances, for example the source Colliers Encyclopedia as citation for the claim that Sleipnir gave rise to Santas reindeer (it doesn't say anything about that), the synthesis about "a great Yule hunting party through the sky", or even the citation to the claim that Santa "largely based on Odin" is doubtful, since that book (not available in for full or snippet view to me, unfortunately) only spends a very short last chapter on the "Pagan Heritage of St Nicholas" (p. 146 out of 153 pages in total, while the rest of the book is entirely about St. Nicholas, making it dubious that such a strong claim about Odin would be made by him. --Saddhiyama (talk) 11:22, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Good call. There's certainly something to be said here, but a mess like that isn't the way to do it. :bloodofox: (talk) 11:31, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
I removed that paragraph also from Santa Claus. Please take a look at Santa_Claus#Influence_of_Germanic_paganism_and_folklore and see if you can use some content here. --Enric Naval (talk) 13:35, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Odin will be back[edit]

Odin will be back in the end of the summer 2013. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 5 June 2013 (UTC)


Strictly speaking, Wednesday isn't named after Odin, but rather after Woden, an Anglo-Saxon god. Both descend from the Germanic god Wodanaz, so the names are cognate, but they are distinct. Saying Wednesday is named after Woden is like saying the planet Jupiter is named after Zeus. Again, the names are cognate, but they have a distinct history.

To say the days of the week are named after Norse gods is wrong, as this states the names were taken from the names the Norsemen used for their gods, rather than from the names the Anglo-Saxons used for their gods.

Etymologically the names of the days of the week derives from the Anglo-Saxon names of the gods (except Saturday). Why particular gods are assigned to particular days is a different question. (talk) 03:40, 29 March 2014 (UTC) (talk) 18:27, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

        Thursday, however, is named after Thor, a norse god.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:02, 29 October 2013 (UTC) 
Actually, the planets were named by Mesopotamians after their deities and assigned by Hellenistic astronomer Vettius Valens to the days of the week. Through interpretatio graeca, interpretatio romana and interpretatio germanica the gods were mapped to their respective counterparts in each culture. Mesopotamian Nabu (Nebo in the bible) was the point of departure for the Greek Hercules, the Roman Mercury, and the GermanicWotan/Odin; therefore it is wodensdag in old high german, woensdag in Dutch, odensdag in Swedish as well as in Norwegian, and wednesday in English.
Etymologically it derives from Woden and not Odin...thus explaining the 'W'...which was the point. Of course, both derive from Wodanaz, but the 'W' is lost in Norse, so if you say "Wednesday" comes from "Odin" you have to explain why the 'W' reappears. (talk) 03:38, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
No, it comes from "Thunresdaeg" from "Thunor", the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of "Thor", the 'N' is dropped. The day that isn't derived from an Anglo-Saxon god is Saturday. (talk) 03:38, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
   H. A. Guerber, in his book Myths of the Norsemen; from the Eddas and Sagas, makes the suggestion that Saturday could be derived from Saturaæ, or Loki-Saturæ, the thief in ambush, one of Loki's many aspects and a patron of poor peasants. (Robin Hood?).  — Preceding unsigned comment added by ÆsatruBard (talkcontribs) 14:33, 4 July 2015 (UTC) 

Addition to "Popular Culture" Section[edit]

In recent weeks, I've made minor changes or additions to other Wiki articles, and some of them have been undone because those that are monitoring the pages felt they weren't needed or didn't fit the bill, even though they did. So before I take it upon myself to just add an addition to this particular section referenced above, I thought I'd check here first so as to not step on any toes. It should probably be noted that Odin was also featured in at least two episodes of Disney's Gargoyles, both of the episodes occurring during season two. The first being Season 2, Episode 36 Eye of the Storm, and the episode description actually links back to this article on Odin. The second one is Season 2, Episode 44 The Gathering (Part 1). Odin makes a brief appearance in episode 44 at the beginning, but is primarily featured in episode 36 when he comes upon the main character Goliath, to reclaim his eye which Goliath has. Goliath dons the "Eye of Odin" talisman to prevent the stranger from obtaining it, and struggles with its immense power. Aidensdaddy2k9 (talk) 04:15, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

By what stretch of the imagination is this noteworthy? (talk) 03:29, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Because he has been featured in other media. Aidensdaddy2k9 (talk) 19:33, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

So? I'm sure Odin, being a well-known cultural figure, has been featured in loads of other media. We obviously aren't going to list every last appearance in other media. What makes a single episode of Gargoyles noteworthy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 21 April 2014 (UTC)


I have re-reverted the addition of an infobox to this article. Infoboxes are misleading in articles about Norse deities, because they oversimplify, and that is especially true of Óðinn, whose huge number of names indicates his complexity. His "function" has been debated by scholars for generations and cannot be summed up as if he were a Christian saint of three or four things. Even his family relationships are debatable and complex. Yngvadottir (talk) 05:03, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

So expand it a bit or create a better summary that people can read more about in the article text. The lead is also oversimplified, if you want to go down that road. But Zeus has an infobox, as does Ra, even Jesus has an infobox! Montanabw(talk) 05:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
None of those are as complex as Óðinn. In fact the "god of" formulations are all modern in relation to the Norse deities; they have a better basis wiht respect to other pantheons, although I won't judge the specific cases you mention. This article is problematic in several ways, and Bloodofox in fact has the beginnings of a rewrite in userspace (to which I have contributed a bit); it would be better to do a complete rewrite than to tinker with the lead section, or even the lead and some other parts. But my objection to an infobox here is more fundamental. This god is simply not reducible to a few lines in an infobox, and it does both the topic and the reader a disservice to have one. It makes it seem as if Marvel's version is not far off. There is no requirement for an infobox, and in this case it makes the article worse, not better. Yngvadottir (talk) 07:23, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I think that "none are as complex as Óðinn" is an insult to other major mythological deities, or at least to the scholars who study them, tough indeed, not judging the other cases is wise on all sides. One could equally argue that no god can be reduced to an infobox, but that's just getting silly. (though I did note God doesn't have an infobox, either) I take no position on the article overall and if someone is sandboxing a better version, I have no disagreement there. I am merely arguing for the addition of infoboxes to create consistency throughout the mythology articles. To the non-scholar, particularly younger students, the infobox, as in all other articles where they are used (such as complex scientific articles), presents basic information in a concise way for the drive-by user. The "infoboxes make an article worse" argument is nonsense, well over half of all wikipedia articles have them, they are a standardized feature and it is really only a matter of deciding what should go into one, the format is very useful. As far as I can tell, only the Norse mythology articles completely lack infoboxes, most other religious deity articles have them for most articles within a series. a quick glance shows me they exist for Shiva, Rama, Hera, Osiris, Nabu, Asherah, though infobox use and which infoboxes are used is not completely consistent. Perhaps you could also consider something like a side navbox as with Astarte (though that one would be improved with a photo at the outset). Montanabw(talk) 08:04, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I refer you again to the Arbcom decision that infoboxes are neither required nor deprecated. As I say, the Norse pantheon resists the reductions inherent in having such a box. The facilitation of comparisons that you see as an advantage is in fact inaccuracy, and the "drive-by user" is going to derive inaccurate information as a result; the solution from an editorial point of view is to write an adequate introduction (and article). As to the insult, I am afraid I see that the other way round: your contention is that a deity whose characteristics and relationships have been debated by scholars for well over 100 years can be easily summed up by editors seeking consistency? I will remove it yet again. I'm sorry, since the article had been edited again, I thought you had reinstated it, but you had not. Yngvadottir (talk) 15:51, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I was involved with the arbcom case, and am raising this here on a case by case basis, though part of my argument is that I think project-wide consistency also has much going for it. I find your argument that somehow Norse mythology is so much more complex than any other mythology to the point that an infobox would be of no help is kind of pretentious and rather ridiculous. (Infoboxes are, by their nature, simple) But I also will not change your mind, so I'm not going to edit war over it any more than I would do so on some of the music articles where a similar attitude prevails. Infoboxes add a consistent look to articles and really the only debate should be what goes into them, not whether to do them or not; they should be as integral as categories and such. But whatever. Montanabw(talk) 03:55, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, whatever. The argument for consistency to me flies in the face of the Arbcom decision; and the simplicity is problematic when instead of providing a parking place for statistics and lists (as with Olympic athletes, ships, and species) it overrides the nuanced view the article provides - and which it is our job to provide. So I am afraid we have essentially divergent points of view. Yngvadottir (talk) 06:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course, keep in mind this: 1) Your consistency argument could equally be applied within Norse mythology, why not add an infobox for Loki or Freya even if not for Odin, eh? ;-) but also 2) While;Arbcom essentially held that projects cannot dictate local policy in defiance of overall wikipedia guidelines, Arbcom did NOT hold that project guidelines on consistency and formatting were useless or to be discounted as good advice. 3) I find your "nuance" argument unconvincing; we could say the same for Presidents of the United States, each of which has an infobox or (even moreso) Legal Cases of the US Supreme Court... or ... I could go on. At the end of the day, however, though I presume you have heard all the valid arguments in favor of infoboxes elsewhere, and I have heard those against a nauseaum, so all we have here is an ILIKEIT versus an IDONTLIKEIT debate between two people, unlikely to be resolved. Given your strong interest in the topic compared to my minor interest (Which I admit can be summed up as "I'm part Scandanavian so Norse mythology is kind of interesting, plus it's also cool that Odin has a horse"), I'll defer to you on this particular article and topic,though perhaps there is room to consider an infobox for Sleipnir? Montanabw(talk) 04:55, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Please leave the info boxes out. They're not helpful for these types of articles, and if they exist on other similar articles, then they should probably be removed; most of our articles in the realm of mythology, folklore, and religion are very poorly developed (this one, unfortunately, included). A well-written introduction functions in all ways superior to an info box. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:09, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Infoboxes and lead sections are two entirely different things with different purposes. The lead is a summary/overview. An infobox is a standardized data set hat provides metadata, an image, and very basic data as well as being a suitable design element for a complex article. I'm not going to fight about it here, as I have other fish to fry elsewhere, but you throw the baby out with the bathwater to reject use of infoboxes. Some need improved design, but they are quite useful for what they do. Montanabw(talk) 00:06, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I feel that infoboxes can be useful in this context. A good point was brought up how political figures use infoboxes such as the President of the United States. That being said, are we talking about fictional and non-fictional or are we talking about the informational representation of a person? I lean towards the latter on this case. If we look at it like that, Odin is no different than any person, and yes, it is very cool that he had a horse. It's also important to note that when depicting a person and many people, we should try to keep consistent in all things. Consistency is the best way to access information. If it's somewhere different for each person, then Wikipedia's goal of making all information accessible just got a lot harder.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Chewbakadog (talkcontribs) 00:32, 22 August 2014

The origine of the name Odin ?[edit]

Один (Russian) = Eдин (Bulgarian) = Единствен бог = 1 = The Only God? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

No, it is a Germanic name. As the article says, the first part is the same as the Old Norse word óðr, hence Adam of Bremen's statement about the name, "id est furor", "that is, fury". The attested Anglo-Saxon, Old High German, and Old Saxon versions of the name have the same bit in them. The -inn element is of uncertain meaning. But resemblance to Slavic words meaning "unique" is accidental. Yngvadottir (talk) 06:13, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

"Oden" irrelevant?[edit]

I cannot understand why it would be irrelevant to add his Swedish name Oden to the top of the article. Wouldn't it be to withhold information from our readers to exclude a name used for many streets and squares and other public places in Sweden, the land of this character's probable origin? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:03, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

That modern Scandinavian version of his name is simply the result of sound changes. It's relevant in the section on places and things named for him, to make it clear that they are named for him and not someone with a similar name, but unless there are later texts about him using that name, comparable to the Anglo-Saxon, Old Saxon, and Old High German texts, I don't see any reason to cover it in the lede. Certainly not putative origins in any particular part of Scandinavia - his name back then was *Wodanaz and later Óðinn. Yngvadottir (talk) 17:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
What WP policy do you base those very authoritative opinions on, or are we all expected just to dansa efter din pipa as if you owned the article? I find the so-called "Old Norse" name forms much less relevant than a spelling widely used today in a country extremely relevant to this article. Sorry, but there is now an "Old Norse" cabal here on English WP, more and more noticeable all the time, and it has way way way to much say-so. After years of watching you guys go go go, I'm starting to put on my war paint. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:22, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Wōdanaz is also the posited ancestor of Wōden (Anglo-Saxon) and Wodan (Old High German). Old Norse is simply the lingua franca of the field, and Wikipedia has articles on the different liguistic variants - which would argue against your accusation of a cabal, I would think. I'm afraid that I don't buy your argument that modern Scandinavian versions of the name of a pan-Germanic deity are important enough to be mentioned in the lede: what special association are you thinking of? In Gotland, where folks did have a special relationship to him, he was called Gautr. I've now supplied the missing statement about the posited pan-Germanic form in the body of the article. Yngvadottir (talk) 21:09, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
You cite "the lingua franca of the field", totally unknown to most readers here, and you argue what one Swedish province called him centuries and centuries ago. I want to add what he is called by millions of people of every nationality today, who travel via Odenplan & Odenplan metro station (soon to be one of Sweden's largest terminals) possiby on their way to Odensjö, or any of scores of other locations beginning with Oden--- in Denmark, Norway, Germany and other countries. WP search engine should be enough on that. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:32, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
As I said, that's relevant in the section on places and things named after him. My point about Gotland and Gautr was in response to your statement that Sweden is "the land of this character's probable origin", which continues to puzzle me. This is a pan-Germanic deity. And since we have articles on the different ancient local variants of his name (and possible regional variations in how he was regarded in those different places), this is in effect the article about the Scandinavian variant, for which the common factor is the material in Old Norse. So is there later material from after the sound changes had taken place that adds information about the god? Yngvadottir (talk) 21:57, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
You seem not to know about all the Scandinavian historians and authors through the ages who have claimed (some) and dealt with (many more, for and against) that Odin was a real historical person and that the Ynglings and subsequent Swedish kings all decended from Odin. They all also claim that tradition has it that said (possibly historical) Odin was from the Old Upsala area. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 22:13, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd appreciate some citations, because this sounds like someone taking the Prologue to the Prose Edda too seriously, plus some confusion with Yngvi-Freyr. Also in getting you some citations to add to the article to establish that conventional form of the Proto-Germanic name, I was reminded that cognates of Odin/Woden/Wodan do not occur in Old East Norse; Dumézil is responding to that in his argument. (I note that Danish as well as Norwegian currently uses Odin.) So, citations please. Yngvadottir (talk) 05:50, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
My main point is this: with scores, possibly hundreds of place names in e.g. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, USA named for this character, and all beginning with Oden--- (not Odin---) it seems very weird to me that that alternative spelling should be excluded from the lede, and even completely ignored in this article. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:29, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Not the same thing. Yes, one of the improvements this article needs is a thorough section on "Odin" placenames, ancient and modern. However, it's not true that Danish, Norwegian, and German placenames tend to use "Oden" rather than "Odin": the origins of the German placename Odenswald, for example, are debated precisely because that is not a usual form of the god's name in the Southern Germanic linguistic area. For Denmark and Norway, other than Odense, I can't find another example in a quick check, and both of those languages use "Odin" just like modern English. And returning to your earlier statement, even if it were true that there are lots of "Oden" placenames in countries other than Sweden, that would argue for that point being made in the placenames section of the article, not in the lede - you would have a stronger case for this linguistic variant being important to mention in the lede if there are indeed multiple scholars arguing that the deity can be traced to Sweden. I'm unfamiliar with such arguments, as you thought - so again, please tell us who they are. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:54, 1 February 2015 (UTC) (Edit to above: and US? like what?) Yngvadottir (talk) 16:56, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
"... it's not true that Danish, Norwegian, and German placenames tend to use 'Oden' rather than 'Odin'." ~ It's not possible to have a rational, constructive, worthwhile discussion with a person who twists things around like that. I've never claimed that "placenames tend to use Oden". I stated the fact that there are scores, possibly hundreds of place names in e.g. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, USA named for this character, and all of them begin with Oden---. I challenge anyone to show me that those places (not the ones named Odin---) have been otherwise named. Perhaps they are named for a Japanese meal? Please address only what I actually have written, and do not waste our time and interest with tactics that aren't getting us anywhere!
Re: Swedish connection, as only one example of hundreds, I quote Swedish WP on Njörðr: "Enligt Snorre var den nordiska guden Njord ursprungligen en verklig kung, sonson till Oden, son till Skjold, och far till Yngve-Frej. Uppfattningen om Njord som en historisk kung förekom ännu på 1800-talet." You may or may not be aware that many earlier writers of history have purported, without ever having been effectively refuted, that several of the Ynglings, decended from and named for Odin's great-grandson Yngvi, are buried in Old Upsala. I'm not saying that these are facts. The fact is that these stories have long been taken seriously, as I mentioned above. To my knowledge the possible actual whereabouts of a historical Odin and his decendants, have never been alleged to be anywhere else than eastcentral Sweden. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:16, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm still waiting for actual citations - a reference to Swedish Wikipedia talking about the content of the Preface to the Prose Edda (or possibly about Heimskringla) - is not sufficient I'm afraid. And if you look above you will see that I already asked whether you might be thinking of Yngvi-Freyr. (Yes, I'm aware of Yngvi-Freyr and the Ynglingar. Have you noticed my user name?) I would also like to ask now for some examples of these placenames, since I failed to find the extensive use of the Swedish spelling to which you refer. As Bloodofox has stated, there are definitely things the article lacks, and one of them is a good placenames section, which would naturally include Oden placenames. But I don't see evidence to support your contention that that Swedish spelling rises to the level of importance to merit inclusion in the lede. Yngvadottir (talk) 18:29, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Sorry! I thought you knew Swedish. Here are the facts related in Swedish Wikipedia's article about Njord: According to Snorri Sturluson the Nordic god Njord was a real king, grandson of Odin, son of Skjöldr, and father of Yngvi. The opinion of Njord as a historical king was still seen in the 19th century.
Re: place names, who needs Google? Here's what I did in English Wikipedia's own search field: Oden, Odena, Odenb, etc alphabetically all the way through to Odenw, looking at article names. Since we have the right to assume that there are not that many articles with falsified names on English Wikipedia, we also have the right to be convinced, unless we absolutely do not want to be convinced. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:47, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. The Swedish article is referring either to the Prologue to the Prose Edda or to the Heimskringla. I see you've named one scholar in response to Bloodofox: Birger Nerman, who had a specific nationalistic focus concerning the Svear and the Ynglingar. It is of course by no means demonstrated that Freyr was descended from Odin: the preponderance of the texts say otherwise. Beware of accepting anything in the Prologue without at least comparing it to what is related in the other sections of the Prose Edda.
I made a similar search on Wikipedia itself (in Danish, Norwegian and German Wikipedia as well as English and Swedish), leading to my response above that cited Odenwald and Odense. However, I didn't find many Oden placenames, and as I said, despite Odense, modern Danish refers to him as Odin; and the etymology of Odenwald is much debated because it's in an area where one would linguistically expect an initial w if it refers to the god. In fact other than those two, the results I got were dominated by Odenplan in Stockholm. And I missed US examples entirely.
So, again, more names of scholars, please, and a sample list of the placenames outside Sweden to support your statement there are scores or hundreds. I have not found many. Yngvadottir (talk) 18:59, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
You're not even reading half of what I wrote - what's the use? - and now you're acting like I agree with Snorri and Nerman. In fact I wrote exactly the opposite, that I do not believe those stories to be facts. That's not the issue, the fact that those stories were believed for a very long time is. And the fact that nobody, as far as I know, has ever claimed that Odin and his decendants lived anywhere else but Upland.
But if you're going to continue to twist everything around, I'll have to find you hopeless to discuss this with and just stop replying.
In closing, since you're not interested, I have now counted the number of English WP articles about place names beginning with Oden-- which I claim have been alleged (note! alleged) to be named for Odin. There are 43, as per WP seach field. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 19:14, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
That's a higher number than I expected, but it and the name of one scholar are the only specifics I've seen you adduce. I'm afraid that rather than not reading, I'm simply not convinced that this spelling merits inclusion in the article outside a section on placenames. Yngvadottir (talk) 19:38, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
"Specifics" for what? Are you asking me to give you citable reliable sources here, and if so for what? Reliable sources are for article text, not at all required in talk page discussions. Anything, including WP:OR is admissible on talk pages in a constructive attempt to convince other reasonable editors and reach reasonable consensus. That's what we do on talk pages. I have done what I can to that end, but had no respect from you of any kind for that effort.
1. All those place names beginning with Oden--- and named for Odin in the Swedish name form Oden, some of them in the United States, exist.
2. Of the scholars and other writers who in times past have claimed or addressed very popular stories, known worldwide, that Odin was a historical person, not one has ever mentioned any other location than Old Upsala, Sweden, as the place where his descendants were buried.
1. & 2. make the name form Oden much more important to this article than any of the "Old Norse" stuff only known to, and only appreciated by, "Old Norse" fan(atic)s and experts.
Nuff said. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:42, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Your unsupported assertions do not serve to convince me, I am afraid; for one thing, my OR conflicts with yours, for another, the combativeness in your opposition to the citation of Old Norse - the language in which the vast majority of the material is preserved, and which readers need in order to look up and appreciate secondary sources, undercuts your argument. I can't speak for others, of course, and I do thank you for providing one name and outlining your method of arriving at the number of Oden placenames you assert. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:22, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Third Opinion- *UPDATE*: It was brought to my attention that my views about "Oden" Specifically was unclear to at least one party. "(or any other names for that matter)" was meant to clarify my position on that. I'll make my position on that specific issue clear right here. I don't believe "Oden" should be included in the lead. While it has a place in the body of the article, per MOS:FORLANG it is a foreign spelling and I wouldn't say that it is closely related/associated enough or would help an English reader identify the entity in this article/topic. I would encourage info to be added about "Oden" to the body of the article. This is especially needed if the consensus ends up going the other way and it is included in the lead. @SergeWoodzing and Yngvadottir: Notification Lightgodsy(TALKCONT) 06:24, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request ("Oden" irrelevant?. Disagreement about if widely used name should be included in lead. 21:22, 30 January 2015 UTC):
I have taken a third opinion request for this page. I have made no previous edits on Odin and have no known association with the editors involved in this discussion. The third opinion process is informal and I have no special powers or authority apart from being a fresh pair of eyes.

I'm going to take a position purely based on Wikipedia guidelines. While it may trend closer to one of your opinions, I wouldn't say it particularly takes either side.
First of all per MOS:FORLANG, even though they are historical languages I think what is there should be limited. While the information listed is good, I wouldn't necessarily say they belong in the lead, being more suited for the body. WP:LEADCLUTTER also comes into play and, I think the homologous names fall under and could be removed per those two guidelines together. They all mean the same entity, they aren't titles. This becomes redundant and I don't think any of these names will help any English reader identify Odin. I don't think MOS:LEADALT really comes into play (for the historical names) because balance needs to be achieved to maximize the information available and serve the general user while maintaining readability. I don't think the Proto-Germanic and even the others belong in the lead. WP:UE (to a certain extent) also expresses the aforementioned views.

This is how I'd suggest editing the first paragraph-
Odin (/ˈdn/; from Old Norse Óðinn, "The Furious One") is a major god in Germanic mythology, especially in Norse mythology. In many Norse sources he is the Allfather of the gods and the ruler of Asgard.[1]

This is a good sentence and contains some info only currently in the lead, and I think parts (especially the parts not already in the body) of it should be dispersed to more appropriate sections for it in the body of the article (perhaps Etymology or Eponymy).-
Homologous with the Old English "Wōden", the Old Saxon "Wôdan" and the Old High German "Wôtan",[2] the name is descended from Proto-Germanic "Wōdanaz" or "*Wōðanaz".

Overall I don't think any of the information I suggested to remove/move from the lead (or any other names for that matter) benefits the average reader in that position, is notable enough, or qualifies to be there per MOS:LEADALT#Separate section usage because there are too many to be included in the lead. They would be better suited in other sections of the article not the lead.
Lightgodsy(TALKCONT) 05:16, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

@SergeWoodzing and Yngvadottir: Notification of WP:3O. Lightgodsy(TALKCONT) 05:36, 31 January 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Gibbs, Walter (November 30, 2001). "Europe: Norway: New theory On Norse god". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-03. 
  2. ^ Murdoch, Brian, ed. (2004). German Literature of the Early Middle Ages. Camden House Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-57113-240-6. 

Ongoing Article Rewrite[edit]

I would like to point out that this article has been flagged for a rewrite for a long time (since 2012) and it certainly still needs one. The ongoing rewrite handles matters of etymology and eponymy much more extensively.

On the new article, there's certainly room for us to discuss sound change through the medieval period in regions where this occurred with the theonym, like Sweden. There are some interesting things that can be said about Oden being used as a synonym for 'the devil' during the medieval period, for example. However, I don't think every form of the name should be in the lead. I think it makes more sense to keep the names in the lead restricted to their earliest attested forms in the respected regions where the attestations appear, including Old Norse. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:22, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

So you feel it's absolutely necessary that the readers of English Wikipedia should not be informed in this article about the Swedish name form Oden for which so many place names there and elsewhere begin with Oden---? They should absolutely not be thus informed, even though, according to Snorri Sturluson and historians like Birger Nerman, both of whom were believed for centuries and decades, respectively, the only known actual decendants of Odin are buried in Old Upsala, Sweden? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:27, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
That's a lot of bold print and italics, and an unnecessary raising of the stakes. Drmies (talk) 22:09, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
And that comment is relevant how, in constructively trying to improve the article, which is what this page is for? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:44, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
You're not being constructive, and your behavior is deplorable. That's what. Play nice and be respectful and you won't see me again. Drmies (talk) 02:03, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm surprised that you, as an admimistrator, do not know or care that a personal attack and threat like that belongs on my talk page, if anywhere. This page deals with an article, Odin, not with me. So police me elsewhere, if you please!
My use of bold print and italics, aside from being entirely within WP guidelines for such use, occurs only when what I've written without them is completely ignored, once or several times, by others discussing only what they please to discuss. Which doesn't make for much of a discussion, does it?. If you'd even read this discussion, you would probably have seen that and possibly not have attacked me. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:44, 7 February 2015 (UTC)


Óðin is a name from Óðreri, that is the first drink that he drank from Gunnlöð. The name Óður is not related to the word furry, but it is related to words on worship by resiting praise and such. see: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Óður is the modern Icelandic spelling for the name Óðr. Adam of Bremen glossed óðr and hence Óðinn as furor (usually translated "fury" in English, but "frenzy" may be more accurate). Óðrerir is clearly related, but how is debated. (I'm not sure what you mean by "resiting", but I'm assuming you mean "fury" rather than "furry"). For more, see the references in the article - although we do need to say more about the etymology. Yngvadottir (talk) 20:21, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Rewrite Launched[edit]

Hello! I have now launched the ongoing rewrite of the Odin article(s) into the live space. This talk page was getting a lot of traffic over issues that the new article either solves or can solve, and I therefore figured it was time to finally make where we're on the rewrite live. Like the rewrites that I produced for Thor, Freyja, valkyrie and many of the other Germanic mythology articles on Wikipedia, this new article is based on Good Article criteria and thus every claim is referenced to an academic source and presented in a neutral manner. This is a crucial article for understanding Germanic mythology and should continue to expand exponentially. The previous article was full of poorly referenced original research with unfortunate referencing practices (where references existed at all).

Strangely, there also existed two other articles covering the god that were nearly duplicates of one another, one consisting almost entirely of an extensively discussion regarding the etymology of the theonym. However, this situation is now resolved as those topics can be found here as well. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:19, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Nice to see this editor is still wreaking havoc on Germanic topics.
Whenever you see articles divided into "Attestations" and "Theories" h2 sections, you'll know what happened.
Last time I checked, this division was not recommended for "good articles".
I have kind of given up hope this problem will go away on its own, so I suppose the occasional deep revert will be needed. --dab (𒁳) 17:12, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
So this guy is still around. And apparently still willing to resort to silly and impotent passive-aggressive comments. He's been doing this periodically for around ten years now. I guess there's just always going to be this guy and those like him lurking on Wikipedia with vague complaints.
Meanwhile I'm pleased to say that, despite those who exist here solely to obstruct or troll talk pages, we (myself and other editors that care about the quality of these articles) have rewritten nearly every Germanic deity article on Wikipedia over the past several years, bringing them up from poor speculation, random theory presented as fact, and blatant misinformation to entirely academically sourced summaries of their topics, including attestations separated from interpretation sections.
But I get it because I've heard it before; certain users would prefer to place personal, often ill-informed content like, say, etymological speculation, for many paragraphs without being called on it. It's hardly worth responding to at this point, but pet theories and pig-pen style of editing still result in incomprehensible piles of WP:SYNTH, and it doesn't help when a user—in this case Dbachmann—is consistently poorly read in this area (the resources are out there). I recommend a personal blog for these impulses. References and not half-baked opinions are the order of the day and anything to the contrary will be reverted. This is how articles progress, and this is how we've gotten beyond this article being tagged for a rewrite for around 3 years. :bloodofox: (talk) 20:36, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Then why is most of the content about etymology that used to be in Wōdanaz missing here, even if it was sourced to impeccable academic citations? For example, Schaffner's article (while in German, but this shouldn't matter) is recent and specifically treats the etymology of the theonym, but no mention is made of it or the alternative reconstruction *Wōdunaz which he proposes. That's not a merger, that's willful deletion of good content and impoverishment of Wikipedia's coverage. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:51, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
It wasn't a merge, it was a total rewrite from scratch to remove all personal interjections and make sourcing clear. And that's because the material that was sourced was mixed in an entanglement of personal opinion and synthesis. Not good. As a result, it was simply rewritten with Orel, a standard work in the field. If you want to add content, you're welcome to. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:12, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Florian Blaschke (talk · contribs), rather than launching an edit war over half a year later, I recommend that you state your case here. As it stands, you're simply restoring the old poorly written (and poorly researched) pile of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH that this article was written to replace and, inexplicably, linking to it here at this article's better-sourced etymology sectioni. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:04, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
There is a ton of stuff over at Wōdanaz that's completely ignored here, including, but by far not limited to, Schaffner's take on the etymology, which I had added myself; this article does not even mention the competing reconstructions *wōdinaz and *wōdunaz and the forms they're based on; I considered adding at least a short summary of Schaffner's argument in this article, but then realised it (in order to be understandable) would have to go far too much into details that would overwhelm the general reader and this article, and are therefore better suited for a separate article (which addresses a more specialised audience, such as professional and hobby linguists, people more deeply interested in Germanic paganism, mythology and religion, etc.). Which, of course, already exists. If that separate article sucks because it contains unreliable material, just trim and improve it. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:20, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that most people have no clue about basic aspects of historical linguistics. In fact, I think most people simply have no idea that linguistics is a science at all (my own experience has been that people assume that it means one has simply studied a particular language). I wouldn't worry about what people can and cannot handle here—just add what needs to be added. As for the redirected article, its primary issue is that it was basically just a series of odd personal essays. It wasn't an article focused on etymology, rather it was an article left over from a series of strangely divided articles that the unified article replaced. A wouldn't object to a connected article dedicated solely to etymology on Wikipedia (which I recommend simply calling Odin (etymology) rather than using the conventional Proto-Germanic reconstruction) , but to avoid the issues that plagued the previous article, I think that a new, etymology-focused article would really need to be rewritten from the ground up, without material from that redirected article. If you're up to the task, you have both my praise and my help. You're also welcome to just add to the etymology section here until it gets too big and we have to spin it off. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:33, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Too much bold in lede?[edit]

Is this article trying to set a WP record for the greatest amount of name varieties in bold type in it's lede? Look ridiculous to me. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:39, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Compare some of the cities in the Balkans and the Baltic states. It's a reflection of how many things redirect here. And actually no, it doesn't look excessive to me. There are six, and rather than being crammed together they all have explanations. Yngvadottir (talk) 21:40, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Is anyone else interested in this article? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 11:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Note: I had to decline the WP:3O post due to lack of thorough discussion per the instructions. 3O is only for disputes between two editors where both sides have thoroughly discussed the issue first. Good day, Ugog Nizdast (talk) 14:11, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.png 3O Response: As it cost me nothing to provide an opinion, I will respond. I see the bold in the lede as being used consistently, and thus it looks acceptable; however, to improve it a section of alternate names for Odin could be used. The only real issue I see in the lede is that it is far too large to be concise. Consider taking some of the detail out of the lede, and the bolding could be reduced without negative impact. ScrapIronIV (talk) 14:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC) ScrapIronIV (talk) 14:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Thank you! --SergeWoodzing (talk) 11:12, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Odin's Eye[edit]

There seems to be no mention of which eye Odin sacrifices to drink the Water of Wisdom. I was taught that it was his RIGHT eye. Can anybody shed some light on this? ÆsatruBard (talk) 14:40, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Whether the eye was Odin's right eye or Odin's left eye isn't provided in source texts. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:00, 7 January 2016 (UTC)