The Nine Viking Kingdoms

Les neufs royaumes Viking


At the beginning there was this big nothing and it is much later that we put a name to this big nothing, its name is Ginnungagap - the great yawning chasm .
Ginnungagap had no length, no depth and no width, both calm and noisy, dark and lightless, no person could live here, or even stay there for a few minutes.

Besides this great inexplicable void, there were two extreme forces that lived on either side of this chasm. On one side was Muspelheim , which was filled with heat and fire and on the other Niflheim filled with cold and ice.
The fire giant Surt lived on Muspelheim , to kill time, Surt trained with his flaming sword by throwing flames on Ginnungagap . The fire caused the evaporation of the ice which gave birth to Ymir the ice giant and the giant cow Audhumla .

Much later, Odin and his brothers and Vili killed Ymir , body, he creates Midgard , from his hair, they weave trees, from his skin, he makes earth, from his blood, they fill the lakes and oceans, from his bones they build the mountains and the sky is created from of his skull.

The creation of worlds rests on the great tree Yggdrasil . How was this tree created? This remains a mystery to us men. The only ones who know its history are the Norns who weave the destiny of all living beings. 


The great roots and branches of Yggdrasil grow in these nine realms. Outside of the nine realms, Yggdrasil is also inhabited by several animals and mythical creatures. There are four deer (Dain, Duneyr, Durathror, Dvalin) running along its branches, feeding on its leaves. At the top of the tree lives a great eagle (Vidofnir) which looks down on the nine kingdoms. The roots are home to the great snake Nidhögg , this snake gnaws at the roots that lead to the Hvergelmir spring. Nidhögg and the Eagle on the Summit hate each other. A squirrel named Ratatosk jumps up and down to insult the two enemies.

“Ratatosk is the name of the squirrel,
Running along Yggdrasil,
He reports the insults of the eagle,
To the lowest root,
where Niddhög lives. »
Grimnismál - 32

The three enormous roots of Yggdrasil cross 3 realms and obtain their sources in 3 wells. One root goes to the well of Urdr , one root goes to the well of Mimir and the last one goes to Hvergelmir , where the domain of Nidhögg is located.

Discover our statuettes

One of the depictions of Yggdrasil is found on the Ockelbostenen runestone in Sweden, (see below) if you look at the design of this runestone you will notice a snake which makes up part of the runes on the stone. To the left of the tree you can also see an interesting creature which may be Freyr who is deteriorating with his magic sword. Sigurd the snake slayer is at the top, despite the deterioration of the work, we can clearly see that the sword pierces the snake.

Many runestones also feature designs that can be seen as branches and roots or even Yggdrasil:
Our jewelry traces the great sagas, but we also honor Yggdrasil:



Asgard is the realm of the gods , it is also called Godheim , it is here that the gods have their great halls, it lies above the clouds and in the middle of Midgard.

Asgard was built by Odin with the help of his sons the fortifications and halls of Asgard are magnificent and the scenery is breathtaking. In Asgard, the gods invented the first tools, and then they invented gold. The connection between Midgard and Asgard is through a rainbow bridge, also known as Bitfrost.


Vanaheim is the world of the Vanir . Njordr is the leader of the Vanir, they are associated with nature, fertility and magic.

Vanaheim is located in the east of Asgard, this world has large mountains that touch the clouds, magnificent waterfalls plunge down that no man could see with his eyes and large trees adorn this world.


In Alfheim , home to magical creatures called Elves , they are in very close contact with the gods and the vanir. This is also where the most glorious of Vanes Freyr lives. We have very little information about the Elves, other than that they were luminous and more beautiful than the sun.


Midgard is also called Manheim, it is the realm of men . It is located in the middle of the nine worlds. Midgard is also the name of the fortification surrounding the kingdom of men thus protecting from all the Jötunns who hide and who leave Jotunheim regularly. In addition to the great fortification, the Midgard serpent Jormungandr surrounds and protects this kingdom.

While the three brothers Odin , and Vili were walking around newly created Midgard, they spotted two logs floating on the water. From one log they created the first man Askr and from the second they created the first woman Embla . In addition to their form, the brothers gave them different abilities.

Odin gave both creations the gift of life and a spirit. gave them the power of youth, the ability to think and the five senses. Vili gave the couple the ability to speak.


It is the kingdom of Ymir's descendants, the jötunns.
Near Jotunheim is the well of Mimir which is the source of intelligence and wisdom .

Jotunheim is a chaotic and dangerous realm for men and gods. All jötunns see red when confronted with people from outside their world. Here lives all kinds of jötunns, mountains, ice, snow...

In Jotunheim a large hall (Grjotunagard) magnificent and visible from afar, this is where the powerful Hrungnir lives. Even for a frostjötunn, Hrungnir has both a big and a cold heart. Its triangular heart is made of granite.


The kingdom of Svartalfheim is an underground place inhabited by elves . Unlike Alfheim, this is where the dark elves live, without light.

The best artisan blacksmiths from all nine kingdoms live in Svartalfheim. The activity of the dwarves is rich, they make tools for the gods like the famous Mjölnir, jewelry and weapons, the most beautiful, the most powerful and the most magical.


Muspelheim is a world of fire and chaos . Along with Nifelheim, Muspelheim is one of the oldest kingdoms. It is here that Surt lives and reigns over this fiery chaos. He guards Muspelheim with his magic sword that shines brighter than any sun.

Muspelheim has a big role in Ragnarök, the end of everything. It was from this world that Surt opened a door with his sword leading to a direct passage to Asgard from the Bifrost. It is from there that the giants of Muspelheim arrive in Asgard and begin the great battle.


Farthest from Yggdrasil's peak is Nifelheim - located deep within the roots . Unlike Muspelheim, Nifelheim is always dark and colder than any world.
This is where the dragon Nidhögg, along with his endless supply of enormous serpent companions, tortures the worst bandits living in this world.


Helheim is the realm of the dead , located between Nifelheim and Svartalfheim.
This realm is the largest domain for the dead in the nine realms, it is uncomfortable, dark, cold and foggy.

The entrance to Helheim is guarded by the large, terrifying dog named Garmr . His job is to prevent anyone who tries to escape or enter Hel 's realm.

Hel is the goddess of the dead, she reigns over Helheim, her face is as sinister as the rest of the kingdom, she is half alive, half dead, she reveals her skull without flesh. It welcomes in its Hall (Eljudne) people dying of illness or old age constituting an important army for Ragnarök.

Sources & illustration: Valkyr©

Translation & Adaptation: The Viking Tavern©

Reading next

Les Guerriers des dieux Viking
Discours de Ragnar Lothbrok - Fosse aux serpent

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.