Huginn and Muninn

Huginn and Muninn

In Norse mythology, Huginn (from Old Norse meaning "thought" or "spirit") and Muninn (from Old Norse meaning "memory ") are the two messenger ravens that accompany Odin. At dawn, they leave and travel through the nine worlds and return the next morning to report to the god what they have seen and heard, whispering it in his ear.

Mentions in the Eddas

In Snorri's Edda, Huginn and Muninn are mentioned in chapter 38 of Gylfaginning. In this text, Snorri specifies that the two ravens are perched on the god's shoulders, and tell him in his ear what they have seen or heard as they fly over the worlds from dawn until breakfast the next morning, "so he learns many tidings". Odin is also called Hrafnaguð ("raven god"), and Hrafnáss ("raven Aesir").


The raven is a symbol of wisdom. It can be seen as an intermediary between man and the world of the Gods. Thus, in Norse mythology, Huginn and Muninn maintain the link between the earthly universe and the spiritual life: the two ravens whisper in Odin's ear what they have seen in the world of men.

But the first symbolic meaning given to the bird relates it to death. A raven flying over a battlefield accompanies the Valkyries (those who choose the warriors destined to die and go to Valhalla) and signals to them the bravest warriors.

The many qualities attributed to the raven (wisdom, pragmatism, adaptability, foresight, fidelity, courage, etc.) by the Scandinavians only encouraged this population to respect these birds.

Similarities in the attributes of the raven can be found in Greek mythology. As the bird of Apollo, it has the full confidence of the god in the surveillance of the nymph Coronis.


Popular culture

  • In Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods, Hugin and Munin accompany Odin many times when he meets the main character, Shadow.
  • In the TV series Vikings, Hugin and Munin appear at important moments in the life of Ragnar Lothbrok.
  • In the television series RWBY, Qrow Branwen and Raven Branwen is a reference from this Norse mythology.
  • In the MMORPG EVE Online, the Muninn is a Minmatar assault cruiser and the Huginn a Minmatar reconnaissance cruiser.
  • In the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton, the character Raina, once dead, is sometimes found present in the form of her Muninn, which is more or less her soul, or a memory of her.
  • In the literary series The City of Darkness by Cassandra Clare, Valentine has two ravens named Huginn and Muninn.
  • In the MMORPG The Secret World, a mission has as its main characters the two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, telling a fable of Odin. They speak directly to the players.
  • In the MMORPG World of Warcraft, Muninn is a great raven, a messenger of Odyn, who gives quests to the players.
  • In the MMORPG Aion, Muninn is an NPC.
  • In the novels of the Cycle of the Princes of Amber, the main character of the first cycle, Corwin, meets a raven named Hugi, who will follow him for a while, asking him philosophical thoughts about the meaning of his quest.
  • In the air combat game Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, Huginn and Muninn are two prototype enemy ADF-11F drones controlled by artificial intelligence. They attempt to transmit their combat data to automated factories using the International Space Elevator as a relay, in order to multiply and continue the war.
  • In the manga Lesson of the Evil, Seiji Hasumi names two crows roaming around his house Huginn and Muninn.
  • In the strategy game Northgard, the raven clan is named Huginn and Muninn.
  • Huginn & Muninn is the name of a publishing house specializing in popular culture.
  • In the Valheim survival game, Huginn serves as a guide and gives tips to the players. Muninn is also planned to be integrated into the game in future updates.
  • In the manga Valkyrie Apocalypse, the Norse god Odin is constantly accompanied by the two ravens Huginn and Muninn.