FORSETI & TYR - NORSE GOD OF JUSTICE
Norse god of justice in Norse mythology is god Forseti- son of god Bandlr and goddess Nanna. Besides, we also have Tyr- god of war, justice, and law.
God Forseti is seldom mentioned in Norse mythology but we cannot negate his presence and role as a Norse god of justice. On the other hand, god Tyr is more popular for the Vikings.
The biography of the Norse god of Justice
The biography of Forseti
Forseti means “the presiding one” in Old Norse or “president” in modern Icelandic. He is the Norse god of justice and reconciliation.
Picture 1. God Forseti
Forseti is the son of god Baldr and goddess Nanna and is also the grandson of Odin- lord of the gods and Frigg- queen of the gods. Forseti lived in Glitnir- a beautiful place. Glitnir had itself golden pillars and silver roofs. Forseti’s castle was also a court of justice where all legal disputes were settled.
When there was a dispute in Asgard, Forseti would arbitrate in his castle. The right would be rewarded, the wrong would be punished.
Although Forseti was not be known as much as other gods, he was still one of the twelve leading gods.
People used to compare Forseti with Fosite- the Teutonic god who was workshipped in Helgoland- a small island in the North Sea. Some people said that Forseti and Fosite are the same people but they did not have any convincing evidence.
The biography of god Tyr
Tyr is a Norse war god, but also the Norse god of justice and law. His role in the surviving Viking Age myths is relatively slight but still more famous than Forseti and his status in the later part of the Viking Age may have been correspondingly minor but this wasn’t always the case.
According to stories told by the Vikings, Tyr was once one of the most important gods to the Norse and other Germanic peoples.
Tyr’s role as one of the principal war gods of the Norse, along with Odin and Thor, is well-attested in sources from the Viking Age and earlier. Tyr’s parents was not mentioned.
Some centuries earlier, the Romans identified Tyr with Mars, their own principal war god. The modern English word “Tuesday” is named from god Tyr and it means “Day of Tyr”.
But Tyr is far from only a war god. In fact, his primary role seems to be that of an upholder of law and justice.
Picture 2. God Tyr
The sacrifice of Tyr
Look at the picture above, are you curious why Norse god of justice Tyr only have one hand? What happened to the other hand? The story of Tyr lost his hand will be told below.
The story of how Tyr lost a hand
Loki bears the blood of giant but he has a small body. One day, Odin traveled around the world and met Loki. Loki then fraternized with Odin so that he moved to Asgard and lived with the other gods.
Loki has three children with a giant female. They are Fenrir the wolf, Jormungandr the serpent and a daughter Hel. Because these three children were really strange, the gods were wary of and alienate them.
It all started to get worse when a prophet under the Yggdrasil tree told Odin that Fenrir would cause the great battle Ragnarok. This prophecy shocked Odin because Ragnarok could kill the gods.
After consulted with other gods, Odin decided to do an act to prevent the arok battle. Ignored Loki pleas, Odin threw Loki’s daughter Hel into the underworld, threw Jormungandr into the sea. About Fenrir, the most dangerous thing, Odin still kept Fenrir at Asgard for easy viewing.
The gods would like to chain Fenrir up but he was too strong. There was no chain could bind Fenrir. Then Odin had to rely upon the dwarves to create Gleipnir- an enchanted ribbon. Gleipnir was made with unbelievable materials so that it could not be broke. This was the perfect weapon to bind Fenrir. Odin was very satisfied and decided to use Gleipnir.
Following the plan, the gods lied to Fenrir that they just want to test his strength. However, Fenrir was an insidious wolf. He required any god putting his hand into Fenrir's mouth. No gods except Tyr- Norse god of justice and war dare to accept Fenrir’s condition.
Picture 3. Tyr put his hand into Fenrir mouthIn the first and second rounds, the gods used normal metal chains to trap Fenrir. Of course, Fenrir broke the chains easily. In the third round, the gods finally used Gleipnir. Fenrir tried his best to break the ribbon but he failed.
Fenrir realized that he was tricked by the gods. He got mad and bit Tyr’s handoff. However, the ribbon had been used effectively. Fenrir could not escape anymore. The danger seemed to be over.
Nevertheless, these activities of Odin not only make Loki hates the gods very much but also not able to prevent the Ragnarok battle. Ragnarok still happened. Loki then led the giant army to fight against the gods. A lot of gods were killed in this war, even Odin and Tyr.
The meaning of how Norse god of justice lost a hand
People make some comparisons between Odin’s sacrifice and Tyr’s sacrifice. Odin sacrificed an eye to trade for wisdom, knowledge. This is the lofty endurance for the thirst for intelligence. In terms of the sacrifice of Tyr, this action shows a rare encourage of the Norse god of justice. Tyr has done something no one dared to do. As expected of the god of war, law, and justice!
In conclusion, there were even two Norse gods of justice in Norse mythology means the Vikings really valued the justice. What do you think about Forseti and Tyr? Does the story of Tyr versus Fenrir the wolf impress you? Please share your opinions below my post and we will make some discussions together.