Vidar | Norse Mythology

Vidar | Norse Mythology

Vidar (also Widar, Icelandic Viðar - "the one who rules far and wide") is in the Nordic mythology a god of the deity of the Aesir.

He is a son of the god Odin and the giantess Grid and is nicknamed the silent one.

During Ragnarok, he is said to avenge Odin's death at the hands of the wolf Fenrir and to be one of a few gods to survive the battle. Vidar is described in the Snorra-Edda and the Song-Edda.

Vidar is always a good support for the Aesir and the only one who was spared from Loki's inflammatory speeches in the hall of Aegir. After Thor, Vidar is the strongest god. In the end-time battle of Ragnarok, he avenges his father Odin by kicking Fenrir in the throat with a special leather shoe and tearing its mouth in two.

His abode is called Landvidi ("Vast Land") or just Vidi ("Vast") and is overgrown with tall grass and shrubbery.

Cult of Vidar in the Viking Age

From Snorri's description there is a possible custom that in earlier times people sacrificed the cut leather strips of their shoes to Vidar.

An analogy to this is the ship Naglfar, also associated with Ragnarok, which is made of the nails of the dead.

Otherwise, nothing is known about Vidar outside of the Edda. Because of parallels (especially in name) with Saint Vitus, Saint Vitus' Day on June 15, associated with summer solstice customs, is dedicated to him in Norse neo-paganism.


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