In Norse* mythology, Freyr was the god of fertility and prosperity and the twin of Freyja, the goddess of love and fertility. He and his sister were the children of the sea god Njord and the female giant Skadi. Freyr belonged to the race of gods known as the Vanir. When these gods went to war with another group of gods called the Aesir, Freyr was taken hostage. The Aesir eventually released Freyr, and the Norse came to consider him a member of both groups of gods.
Freyr used many magical items during his adventures. These included a horse named Blodughofi and a magnificent boar, Gullinbursti, which pulled his chariot. Thus, both boars and horses were associated with Freyr. From the dwarfs, Freyr received a ship that could travel in any direction regardless of which way the wind was blowing. When Freyr was not using the ship, he could fold it up and put it in his pocket. Another magnificent treasure was a sword that could fight by itself.
One of the best-known legends about Freyr explains how he fell in love with a female giant named Gerda. From the moment he saw her, Freyr decided to make her his bride. He sent his servant Skirnir to try to convince Gerda to marry him. She refused at first but later agreed. Freyr gave his magic sword to Skirnir in return for winning Gerda for him.
See also Dwarfs and Elves ; Freyja ; Norse Mythology .
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