group of norse gods associated with fertility, wisdom and the ability to see the future

The Vanir are one of the two tribes of deities in Norse mythology, the other being the Æsir. Native to Vanaheimr, the Vanir are peace-loving gods, associated with nature and fertility, while the Æsir were chaotic and warlike. Members of the Vanir include:

  • Njörðr - God of the sea and wind, he was chief of the Vanir in the years prior to the Æsir-Vanir War.
  • Freyr - God of prosperity and sunshine.
  • Freyja - Twin sister of Freyr, she is the goddess of love and beauty, magic, war, and death.
  • Skaði - Goddess of hunting and skiing, she is Freyr and Freyja's stepmother by way of her marriage to Njörðr.
  • Gerðr - Freyr's beloved wife, she is a jötunn native to the realm of Jötunheimr.
  • Oðr - Freyja's husband, who might be just a doublet of Odin. Nothing is known about Óðr except that he often went away on long journeys, and Freyja wept when she missed him. Freyja's tears become the purest gold and amber.
  • Gullveigr - A practitioner of dark magic, Gullveigr was a notably powerful sorceress who was burnt and killed three times by the Æsir, which eventually led to the war between the two tribes. Loki ate the burnt heart of Gullveigr and gave birth to a monster; Gullveigr still lived after all those punishments.
  • Heimdallr - Guardian of the Bifröst. Whether he is Æsir or Vanir is doubtful.
  • Ullr - God of hunting. In later traditions, Ullr is said to be a stepson of Thor.

A number of them live in Asgard alongside the Æsir as a token of goodwill following the war between the two tribes, which resulted in them uniting into a single pantheon. The goddess Freyja receives half of those slain in battle as a share of power between the two clans.