Known as the snowshoe goddess, Skadi is the Norse giant goddess of winter, hunting, and skiing. She rules over mountains, wildernesses, winter, revenge, knowledge, damage, justice, and independence. Passionate in her pursuits, especially in the pursuit of justice, Skadi is also determined to live how she wants and not be told by the gods of Asgard.
Skadi lives in the highest part of the mountain where the snow never melts in her father’s grand hall, Thrymheim. Odin once described her home as the “ancient court” and described her as the shining bride of the Gods. Skadi, a giant, is the enemy of the gods of Asgard. Being a giant, she is associated with darkness, cold, and death, just like winter. However, Skadi is seen to be more benevolent than the rest of her giant kin.
However, Skadi becomes welcomed by the gods of Asgard when she marries one of them. Her father, the giant Thiazi, kidnapped the goddess Idun, the beautiful goddess of youth, and, therefore, the gods’ apples of immortality. Odin killed him for doing so and rescued Idun. However, Skadi was furious and determined to avenge the death of her father. She took her weapons and stormed the citadel of Asgard claiming for either revenge or compensation—she gave them the choice of a harmful or benign consequence. The gods, scared of the ferociousness of Skadi, decided they’d rather give her gold. Skadi didn’t want gold, since she was already rich from her father and grandfather’s pillaging. Odin then offered her a husband from among the Asgardian gods, giving her the status of goddess. She agreed, but Odin said she could only look at the gods’ shoes to choose her husband. Skadi agreed, hoping that she’d pick handsome Baldur, whom she had a crush on, but she chose ugly Njord, the god of the sea, because he had the best shoes.
Njord and Skadi’s marriage didn’t last long—only half a month. Njord couldn’t stand the cold and isolated mountains and Skadi couldn’t stand the brightness and noise of the coastline. So, they got a divorce. There are different myths as with whom Skadi ended up afterwards. Some say she got together with Ullr, the god of winter and archery. But, some say she married Odin and gave birth to many sons with him.
Facts About Skadi
- Skadi is pronounced SKAHD-ee;
- Her name means “harm” or “shadow”;
- Skadi’s name also relates to “Scandinavia,” which is said to be “Skadi’s Isle”;
- One of Saturn’s moons, “Skathi,” is named after Skadi;
- One of the reasons she is called the snow-shoe goddess is because she was forced to choose a husband from the gods by only looking at their shoes;
- Skadi is known for revenge;
- Skadi may not have even had snow-shoes. Some believe that the translation for snow-shoes is actually supposed to be skis;
- Her bows, skis, and snowshoes are her most mentioned attributes as she is very skilled at using them all to hunt and to engage in battle;
- She is the personification of strength, courage, and endurance;
- After a feast, Loki started talking to Heimdall and Skadi interrupted, telling Loki he was too “light-hearted” and wouldn’t be having fun much longer because he would be bound to a sharp rock with the ice-cold entrails of his dead son;
- Loki claimed that he got Skadi into his bed, which she denies. Loki was known to say the same about numerous goddesses;
- When Loki was captured and bound, Skadi placed above his face a venomous snake that dripped venom onto him, causing him so much pain that it earthquakes result.
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