Nordic mythology has the creation of Sleipnir, one of the strangest horses that have been part of stories and legends. His rider was none other than the god Odin and his supernatural physical form accompanies his origin as his most outstanding characteristics. Over the centuries, many historians who have engraved his name by battles and conquests or by leading towns or armies have had In common, he had the company of a horse that he has protected and carried his rider on his back to achieve his goals.
It is not surprising that this symbiosis has been used countless times in literary and cinematographic fiction.
And in the same way, it happens in what respects mythology.
In the case of Nordic culture and its myths and legends, one of its main figures is none other than Odin considered its main god who also encompasses the domain in different aspects such as war and death but is also considered the wiser since he has the gift of prophecy, magic, and victory.
His throne, from where he can contemplate the nine worlds, his spear Gungnir, and his horse Sleipnir are essential elements in the mythology of the god of war, which the prophecy indicated would guide both gods and men to avoid the end of the world or also called Ragnarok.
From the mythologizing of Odin and as one of his main most faithful companions, the role of his horse stands out, an equine with a supernatural physical form that is part of Norse mythology and legends starring his rider.
Origin and birth of Odin’s horse.
An origin that goes back to the time when the uneasiness of the Gods was incessant before the destruction of the walls of Asgard after a battle.
To find a solution, trust a man who promised to rebuild it in 16 months.
But his request in exchange for it, -the sun, the moon, and the goddess Freya-, was considered by Odin and his people so disproportionate that Loki, the god of jokes and lies, suggested to his people to close the deal and shorten the terms. deadlines, confident that the stranger would not succeed and they would finish what he left halfway.
The man remained and only demanded that he receive the help of his horse, which would help him carry the stones that he would use to build.
The months passed and the builder was fulfilling the deadlines set before the surprise of the gods, he worried again before his obligation to fulfill the deal and lose the sun, the moon, and Freya.
When the blame was already focused on Loki, he came up with a plan to avoid the catastrophe. Checking the fundamental role of his horse Svaðilfari, he transformed into a mare to spur the animal and make him chase her and leave his obligations.
This angered the mysterious man so much that he ended up adopting his original form, that of a giant enemy of the gods.
Given what happened, all kinds of agreements were broken and Thor “paid” the impostor with a hammer blow from Mjolnir to the head.
Once the deception was resolved, Loki returned in his mare form with the surprise that she was pregnant and ended up giving birth to a gray horse with no less than eight legs. Baptized as Sleipnir, it was given as a present by Loki to Odin, whom he assured, according to legend, that “no horse would match the speed of this one.
He will take you by sea, land, and air, and also to the Land of the Dead and back here.” A promise that Loki, despite his usual tricks, fulfilled.
The myth of the horse Sleipnir
As a faithful and eternal companion of Odin, in Scandinavian mythology, the figure of the horse Sleipnir has had a great role, both in the Poetic Edda (compiled in the 13th century) and in the Prose Edda. He is described in both sources as one of the greatest and swiftest of horses, capable of taking his rider to the Realm of Death or Hel. This gray equine also symbolizes the eight winds that blow from its cardinal points. Although according to other sources the number of its legs was six, most indicated that there were eight.
Odin with Sleipnir
In addition to being a supernatural creature, Sleipnir is also considered one of the spirit helpers of the shamans of his rider Odin, along with whom he rides on his travels through the nine worlds.
As Odin is considered the ‘God of the shamans’, his horse is called the ‘horse par excellence of the shamans’.
With appearances in poems related to Norse mythology, he is not described as an ordinary equine, and with his powerful conditions and physical qualities, he helped Odin in all his journeys until the end of his days.
Compelling reasons for Scandinavian legends to consider him the best horse that could exist, forming the perfect couple with the Norse God.