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Skadi

skadi

In Norse mythology, Skadi is a jötunn goddess associated with hunting, skiing, winter and mountains. Skadi is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; The Elder Edda and in Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson.

Myth

Daughter of the jötunn Thjazi, Skadi is the goddess of winter, hunting and mountains. The legend says that after the death of her father, who was murdered thanks to another trick of Loki, Skadi decides to take revenge on the Aesir, calling them to a fight, which was soon refused because they were not able to attack a young woman. They then decide to give one of their men to marry the young jötunn as a way of sealing a peace agreement.

Under the condition that their choice should be random, the suitors had their bodies covered with only their feet visible. Skadi then chooses the feet she likes best, mistakenly thinking they were Baldr's, but in fact they were Njörd's, the Vanir god of the Seas.

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The union between the two did not last, for Skadi as a goddess of the mountains, could not adapt to life on the ocean shores, just as Njörd could not adapt to the mountains. With the constant change of homes, the seasons were created. From the marriage of Skadi and Njörd were born Freya and Frey.

Other sources in mythology indicate that she later married another god, Æsir Ullr.

Etymology

The etymology of the name Skadi is uncertain, but it may be related to the original name of Scandinavia. Some place names in Scandinavia, particularly in Sweden, refer to Skadi.

Studies have theorized a potential connection between the goddess and the god Ullr (who is also associated with skiing and appears frequently in Swedish place names) and a possible particular relationship with the jötunn Loki.

In Heimskringla, Skadi after her separation with Njörd, marries Odin and has many children together. In both the Poetic and Prose Edda, Skadi is responsible for placing the snake that drips venom attached to Loki. She is also alternately called Öndurgud ("Goddess of Ski") and Öndurdís ("Lady of Ski").