NJORD

Real Name: Njord 

Identity: Asgardian God

Occupation: God of sea, wind and storm, Lord of the Vanir

Group Affiliations: Gods of Asgard

Enemies: The Giants of Jotunheim

Known Relatives: Buri (father), Bor, Mimir (brothers) Bestla (sister-in-law), Nertha (sister), Frey (son by Gaea), Freya (daughter by Gaea), Skadi (wife), Odin, Vili, Ve (nephews), Idunn, Nanna, Sigyn, Sjofn (grand-daughters)

Other Aliases: Niord (alternate spelling)

Base of Operations: Noatun, located somewhere in Asgard

First Appearance: Thor I#274 (August, 1978) 

Powers/Abilities: Njord possesses the conventional attributes of the Asgardian gods including superhuman strength, endurance, stamina and a mystical affinity with the ocean and sea to compare with the Olympian god Neptune. He is adept with a spear, but was also known to use a hammer in ancient history.

History: (Germanic Myth) - Njord is one of the Vanir, a group of much older gods who predated the Aesir. Worshipped by the old Germanic and Teutonic tribes of Ancient Europe, Njord and the Vanir were once constantly at odds with the Aesir, but their battles came to an end after Kvasir, the god of wisdom, noticed that neither side had gained much on either side after several decades of war. He arbitrated peace between Njord and Odin of the Aesir and the Vanir were finally accepted to dwell with Asgard where they all became known as Asgardians. 

Njord seduced Gaea and became the father of Frey, god of earth, and Freia, goddess of fertility. He was also married to the giantess Skadi, daughter of Thiassi, the wealthiest of the giants of Jotunheim. Odin had offered Skadi any amount of gold as retribution over her father's death, but she turned down the offer and instead asked to choose a husband from among the gods of Asgard. Odin allowed her wish, but he said that she would have to pick her husband from behind a curtain and by the look of his feet than his full appearance. As Njord stood beyond a curtain in his bare feet, Skadi picked him to be her husband expecting him to be Balder, the most handsome of the Asgardian gods.

Chosen by Skadi, Njord took her to his island home of Noatun, but Skadi did not care much for the visions of sunshine or the sea nor for the sound of the tide and birds. She invited Njord to her home in Thrymheim, but Njord became depressed amidst the cold and desolation surrounded by howling wolves and rushing winds. They began spending equal parts of the year living in one location at a time, but eventually, Skadi began spending more and more time in Thrymheim and Njord began to see her less and less over time.

(Thor I#274 (fb) - BTS) - Njord and the Vanir were defeated by Odin and the Aesir who merged their respective tribes to become Asgardians. Njord has since held a unspoken grudge over Odin and the Aesir.

(Thor I#274) - Njord embarked on a game to test the parameters of Balder's invulnerability to harm. He threw a spear a point blank upon Balder and it shattered against the young god.

(Thor: Blood Oath#6) - Njord helped raise the corpse of the shape-shifting giant Holth who was slain while in the form of a whale by the Asgardians Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg.  Bringing the giant's body to his parents in Jotunheim averted what could have become a war between the Asgardians and Jotuns. In order to preserve the sanctity of the misfortunate death, Njord joined the Asgardians in attendance at Holth's funeral. 

Comments: Adapted by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tom Palmer

Njord's exact relationship as well as that of the rest of the Vanir and how they are related to the Aesir has never really been exactly defined in Scandinavian mythology, but considering the Vanir allegedly predate the Aesir and counting Buri and Bor as respectively the Norse equivalents of Cronus and Zeus, my speculation is that Njord could be the brother of Bor, the father of Odin. Another possibility is that Njord is another name for either Ve (Lodur) or Vili (Hoenir), but that assumption would be based on the idea that Odin is the direct counterpart of Zeus. About the only thing that can be said with any certainty is that Buri, Odin's grandfather, is the ancestor of the Asgardians and among them is both Njord and Odin.

Njord ,as well as that of several of the Asgardian and Olympian gods in the MU, also has a bio on the Guide to the Mythological Universe Web-Site incorporating his non-canon appearances outside the Marvel Universe.

Aegir is also another sea-god in the cosmology of Asgard, but his direct Greek counterpart is the Titan Oceanus. Njord is closer to being Poseidon's/Neptune's counterpart. Ironically, sea-gods aren't that prevalent in other cultures. The Mesopotamians had Ea (Enki), the Chinese Yu Qiang, the Japanese Susanowo, the Celtic Llyr (possibly not to be confused with Leir), the Polynesian Tangaroa and African Olokun. Meanwhile, the Egyptians had a god called Khnemu in charge of the Nile, Varuna became a sea-god in Hindu myth after being deposed by Vishnu, the Aztec/Mayan culture had a water god called Tlaloc (Chaac), the Incans a rain-god called Coniraya, the Slavic tribes a rain-god called Potrimpas, the Finn-Ugrian tribes a water-god called Nahti, and then Chahuru, a river god known by several Native American names.

Njord supposedly died during the Ragnarok in Thor II#85.

Profile by: WillU

CLARIFICATIONS: Njord is not to be confused with:

  • Gaea, mother of Thor, known to the Asgardians as Jord,
  • Jord, Norse goddess of earth, mother of Frigga, Not seen in the MU

Images: Main Pic from Thor I#274, page 27
additional picture from Thor: Blood Oath#6, page 28


Issues:
Thor I#274 (August 1978) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
Thor: Blood Oath#6 (February 2006) - Michael Oeming (writer), Scott Kolins (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 10/08/10

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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