When one thinks of Norse mythology, surely the first name that comes to mind is Odin. The Norse god of war and death, the All-father had various powers such as foresight and mind projection as well as companions that helped him during his adventures. One of those companions was Sleipnir, the eight-legged steed Odin rode. For those who are curious here is all you need to know about Sleipnir, Odin’s horse.
Sleipnir in Norse Mythology
Although it had a significant importance to the central figure of Norse mythology, Sleipnir is a lesser-known one among hundreds of mythical creatures. That said, Odin’s horse did make a large enough impact and was mentioned in many Old Norse poems. These poems relate Norse mythology and German legends.
What was Sleipnir?
Sleipnir was no ordinary horse. Firstly, he was the child of Svaðilfari/Svadilfari (a stallion that belonged to hrimthurs that built the walls around the world of the gods, Asgard) and Loki, shapeshifting trickster Norse god that changed into a mare to seduce Svadilfari.
Sleipnir was grey, had eight legs and was mentioned to be the best of all horses.
Sleipnir and Odin
Though he was fathered by Loki, it was Odin who eventually rode and owned Sleipnir. While Sleipnir was the best of horses, Odin was considered as the mightiest of the Norse gods. Odin had quite a lot to tend to such as:
During his journey in search of more knowledge, he rode on Sleipnir. One of the most famous journeys these two took was to the underworld, known as Hel in Norse mythology.
Sleipnir in Legends
Legends involving Sleipnir can be found in Norse mythology but he left his mark in different folklores carrying on his legacy.
A canyon named Asbyrgi in Iceland has the shape of a horseshoe. And yes, you are right. Sleipnir was attributed great power in Icelandic folklore and it is believed that this valley is one of his footprints.
Sleipnir was depicted on some stones found in Sweden. His journey to Hel with Odin is a popular theme seen in these ancient works of art.
Odin’s Horse Lives On: Sleipnir Today
As a magnificent creature of Norse mythology, Sleipnir surely was a source of inspiration for Scandinavian people.
Some Norse warships were named after the steed of Odin. Time and again, between 1877 and 1992, Norwegian Royal Navy named some of its ships after Sleipnir.
Industry is not the only sector where Sleipnir’s name was used. There are two sports club named after Odin’s horse; one in Sweden and the other in Norway.
On a side note, an online game called Final Fantasy XII has a horse character named Sleipnir.
The name Sleipnir is also used for a search engine on iOS, Windows and Android devices.
These are the main facts and myths involving the mythical creature called Sleipnir. If you liked the post about Odin’s horse, please share it, many thanks in advance!