The Viking pantheon comprised of a large number of gods. Like most pagan religious, the Norse religion ascribed specific qualities and tasks to each of the gods while holding some gods as the most powerful. Among the most powerful gods in the Viking pantheon are Odin and Thor while other gods include Balder, Tyr and Heimdall.
Thor is considered one of the most important and powerful gods in the Viking pantheon. He is a son of Odin and is depicted as a ferocious warrior in Viking mythology.
Holding his legendary hammer, Thor was considered the bringer of thunder and lightning in the sky. He is depicted as having red hair and a long beard in Viking sources.
He is a god who, using his prowess and strength as an unmatched warrior, frequently helps the Norse gods and humans by fighting their foes. In the final showdown between Norse gods and their foes, Thor is the one who slays the Midgard Serpent but in doing so, also suffers a fatal wound and dies from it.
Balder is a Norse god who embodies goodness and virtue. In the Viking mythology, he is associated with beauty, wisdom, joy, eloquence and peace. Due to his goodness, he is liked by all Viking gods in the Viking mythology.
The gods then take an oath from all things in the world that they wouldn’t harm Balder. In taking the oath, a tree of mistletoe is missed.
Loki takes advantage of this and uses Balder’s blind brother to have a mistletoe twig shot into Balder’s heart which kills him. Balder’s death ultimately leads to famine and the Norse doomsday, pitting the gods against a host of foes and bringing an end to the world.
Odin is the most powerful of Norse gods. He is associated with warfare, death, wisdom and knowledge in the Norse pantheon. According to Viking sources, Odin has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and he travels far and wide through Yggdrasil to attain knowledge through whatever means necessary, often giving costly sacrifices in order to gain it.
In one case, Odin sacrifices his eye to drink from the fount of wisdom. Viking mythology held that Odin taught runes to the humans, enabling the humans to read and write.
Tyr is one of Odin’s sons in the Norse mythology and a god in his own right. He is associated with warfare and heroism on the battlefield. According to Viking sources, Tyr only had only hand since his other hand had been bitten by the wolf Fenrir. Norse sources depict Tyr as wielding a spear which he wields with his one hand when fighting his enemies.
Heimdall is the god of light in the Norse pantheon and is tasked with guarding the entrance to Asgard where Norse gods live. He is well suited to this role since according to the Viking mythology, Heimdall can see for hundreds of miles, both during day and night, and can hear the tiniest sounds.
A significant trait of Heimdall is that he is regarded as the father of the race of mankind. At the day of Ragnarok, Heimdall kills Loki but also dies from the wounds incurred in the fight.