In Norse mythology, Frey and his sister Freya are the children of Njord, god of the wind and sea. They are the most beautiful of the Vanir, the race of peace-loving gods. When the Aesir, the main Norse deities, merged with the Vanir, Frey became known as the Lord of the Aesir.
Frey was the Norse deity of the Sun, rain, and plentiful harvests. He also ruled the alfar, the elf folk. Rather than living in Asgard, the home of Norse deities, Frey lived in Alfheim, or elf-home, and he was married to the giant Gerd. Frey fell so madly in love with Gerd that he gave up his sword in exchange for her hand.This left him unarmed for Ragnarok, the mythic end of the world. As a result, Frey would be the ﬁrst god to die.
Frey rode in a chariot pulled by a magical golden boar, called Gullinbursti, which means “golden-bristled.” The dwarves made Frey a magical ship, called Skinbladnir, or “woodenbladed.” Skinbladnir steered itself and was able to shrink down to pocket-size.
Frey’s shield-bearer and servant was Skirnir, who received Frey’s sword in exchange for his help in securing Gerd’s hand. Frey’s other servant was Beyla, goddess of bees. Since Frey was a fertility god, he was often portrayed as bluntly sexual, and his cult was said to include actions that shocked later Christians. The center of his cult was Uppsala in Sweden.
Freya, Frey’s sister, was the beautiful young goddess of love and fertility, who watched over the crops and new life. Freya loved all things bright, from ﬂowers to music, and she was fond
of the alfar. It is said that Freya was once married to a deity named Od, but he disappeared, and she cried tears of gold.
Freya had several magical and valuable items. The necklace of the Brisings, called the Brisingamen, made Freya irresistible to men and gods. The necklace also supported any army that Freya favored on the battleﬁeld. Freya also possessed a cloak of bird feathers that allowed anyone wearing it to change into a falcon.
Freya’s chariot was pulled by two great cats. She lived in Folkyang, or the ﬁeld of folk. In this beautiful palace, love songs were always played. Women of worth resided at Freya’s hall after death.