Heimdall - the Gatekeeper of Asgard

image of asgardian gatekeeper norse god heimdall

Name(s):

Heimdall

Rules over:

Watchmen of the Norse gods

Gender:

Male

Symbols:

Gjallarhorn

Linked Animals:

Ram, Gulltoppr the Horse

Parents:

Odin (Father), Nine Sisters (Mothers)

Siblings:

Sif

Greek Similar:

None

Roman Similar:

None

 

Guardian of Asgard and the shining god

A member of the Aesir clan and known as the shining god, due to the whiteness of his skin, the golden armour that he wore, and his golden teeth. Heimdall was the son of Odin and born from nine mothers who were thought to be the nine daughters of the sea god, Aegir. He is regarded as the father of mankind, due to his establishing the hierarchical structure of Nordic society. He was also widely regarded as being the wisest and handsomest of all the Asgardian gods.

Symbols

Heimdall is most often associated with the Gjallarhorn, a resounding horn which he would blow to warn Asgardians of incoming attacks. It is thought that this horn was hidden under the tree of life, Yggdrasil. He was said to own a horse called Gulltoppr, which translates to mean “golden mane” or “golden top”.

Powers and duties

He is known to have possessed substantially heightened senses, to the level where he could hear grass grow and detect an ant on a leaf, 100 leagues away. Coupled with the fact that he needed less sleep than a bird, these qualities made him the prime candidate for guardian, or watchman of Asgard, or to some, the gatekeeper of Asgard. Legend states that when Ragnarok begins, Loki will lead the giants to Asgard and Heimdall will attempt to stop him, they end up killing each other.

Other facts on Heimdall

  • Not only does Heimdall have super senses, but he also has foreknowledge.
  • In Old Norse, Heimdall means “the one who illuminates the world”.
  • He is sometimes associated with sheep and rams. Some believe this to be due to his “golden teeth” because older rams’ teeth have a yellow sheen.
  • Heimdall’s sword is called “Head”.
  • He is also sometimes equated with the Christian archangel Michael because he is the link between the realms of the humans and gods and his horn will signal the end of the world.

To learn more about Heimdall, check out an amazing collection of Norse information and literature here.