November 29, 2023

Sleipnir’s origin and significance

Ancient myths and folklore are rife with tales of incredible horses. It appears that our predecessors were as fond of their horses as we are of our automobiles. There are numerous horse stories in Norse mythology, and the Vikings were no exception. Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse, was the most renowned of the Norse horses, but it was not the only one. But what was it about Sleipnir that was so unique?

The eight-legged horse known as Sleipnir, has a mysterious past.

His ravens Hugin and Munin, along with his two dogs Geri and Freki, are often shown accompanying the All-Father Odin on his throne in Norse myth.

As a warrior god, Odin rides on the back of his mighty horse Sleipnir (The derivation of the term “Sleipnir” would stem from the old Norse “the slipper”), which has eight legs.

Sleipnir was the son of Loki, the cunning giant who lived among the Asgardian gods, like many other magnificent creatures in Norse mythology (such as Fenrir the wolf and Jormangandr the Midgrd serpent). Sleipnir’s biological mother, not his biological father, was Loki.

Asgard, the home of the Assir gods, did not yet have the mighty defences when the nine planets of the Norse cosmology were first established.

For the hand of the goddess Freya in marriage, as well as the sun and moon, an unnamed builder pledged to make splendid defenses for the Aesir’s house.

The gods agreed on the condition that the builder complete the work within three seasons and without the help of any man. They feared that this would make the job impossible and that they would be exempt from paying the agreed sum. They were incorrect.

The builder agreed, but only if he could use his horse, Svadilfari, to assist him. The gods agreed because Loki persuaded them to do so. It’s not clear how a single horse could help the builder complete this enormous project in the allowed time.

After working with Svadilfari, the builder was able to finish the project ahead of schedule. The Asesir gods refused to pay the agreed-upon sum and blamed Loki for putting them in this predicament.

For this, Loki disguised himself as a beautiful mare, and Svadilfari’s attention was diverted. It was impossible for the builder to complete the project on time without the support of his horse.

The Aesir gods not only tricked the builder into not paying his payment, but they also summoned Thor to destroy him with his hammer when they realized he was a giant.

Sleipnir’s mother, Loki, was impregnated by Svadilfari, and the eight-legged horse was born.


Sleipnir embodies a massive, strong horse in every way. His coat is a stormy gray, while his tail and mane are darker shades of gray. Sleipnir’s teeth were etched with runes at the request of the valkyries, according to tradition.

Despite the fact that Sleipnir has eight legs, each leg is actually doubled. The hips and shoulders appear to be separated in certain images, like two legs that are at the same time linked and distinct.

Gray horse with eight legs named Sleipnir

While in some depictions, the leg is split only from the knee. Sleipnir’s visage has appeared numerous times in modern media, including video games like “Final Fantasy,” “Ragnarok,” and different card games.

Accordingly, legendary descriptions of animals are frequently ignored in favor of a more contemporary and realistic depiction.

One of Asgard’s horses, Sleipnir, was not the only one. Every day, according to Edda, the Asgard traversed the Bifrost bridge on horseback, as depicted in the Edda literature.

The best of their mounts, Sleipnir, is listed first in the story. Perhaps Sleipnir had his own offspring; according to an old riddle, Sleipnir is related to Sigurd’s beloved horse Grani, which Odin most likely gave to the hero as a gift.

It is common to see references to Sleipnir’s strength and speed throughout Norse mythology. Hermodr rides Sleipnir to Helheim in the saga of Balder, a son of Odin, to meet with the goddess Hel in order to secure Balder’s return. Sleipnir is the only one who has the strength to jump over the barriers that keep the dead from entering the realm of the living.

Sleipnir and Hrungir meet in Jotunheim, the land of the giants, where Hrungir compliments Odin on the excellence of his horse.

Sleipnir is the best horse in Jotunheim, according to Odin, therefore he challenges the giant to locate an equal in Jotunheim. Hrungnir’s horse, Gullfaxi, is enraged and goes up to Odin to confront him.

Despite this, Odin takes off in a blaze of fury. Odin’s eight-legged horse is too quick for Hrungnir and Gullfaxi to catch up to him.


There have been numerous depictions of eight-legged horses in the past. They can be found in ancient northern communities, usually carved from massive stones. The most well-known are the “Tjangvide” and “Ardre” stones, two ancient “picture stones” that date back to the eighth or tenth centuries, respectively.

Sleipnir appears in the following works as well:

The Tale of Volsunga,

The Edda, the Poet

The Edda, if you will.

Hervararar ok Heiðreks Saga,

The Gesta Danorum,


Even though Sleipnir has been mentioned numerous times in the literature described above, newer works are far less likely to include him. Even though he appears swiftly in some Marvel comics, he is still a popular character.

Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Great Britain are just a few of the countries that have paid homage to this remarkable horse because of their ties to the ancient Scandinavians’ past.

There are statues and works of art like Steve Field’s enormous Sleipnir statue in Wednesbury that bear his name.


Loki and Svadilfari are the parents of Sleipnir.

In the beginning of the story, a giant from Jotunheim appears in Asgard and offers to help build a wall around the city. It took him only three seasons to construct the wall, thanks to his exceptional strength and powers. In return, he asked for three things:


It is said of the moon that

the sun

The gods were dubious about the giant’s abilities and originally rejected his proposal. It was Loki’s idea to intercede once again since he had something else in mind. In the end they agreed, but only if they could complete the project in one season instead of three, and they would have to do it alone.

For them, it was a way to see the giant fail and thus avoid having to fulfill their promise to reward him with Freya, the sun, and the moon.

The giant agreed to this and began working. Even though the gods had hoped that the wall would be completed in a single season, it really took the giant a long time to complete the building.

A huge and muscular horse named Svadilfari helped him carry out the things he had to perform. The gods took notice of the fact that most of the work was being done by one horse.

In their haste to save Freya, the sun, and the moon, they held Loki, the one who had gotten them into this mess, accountable and set out to find a solution.


This is how Loki managed to get Svadilfari distracted from his quest and therefore thwart the giant’s plan to conquer all of Gatland. Finally, the gods intervened and put an end to the misled giant’s reign of terror.

Sleipnir, an eight-legged horse, was born as a result of Loki (as a mare) and Svadilfari’s repeated matings. For all the Viking lovers make a tour on this store dedicated to Viking jewelry.


He had grown into an enormous horse, arguably the strongest, longest-lived and fastest in the nine planets. Sleipnir was the only horse in Norse mythology capable of galloping on land, air, and water.

Loki visited Asgard one day to present Sleipnir to Odin, the god of the Aesirs. Incomparable speed would be possible with this exceptional horse. All of Odin’s fights were made possible by the eight-legged steed’s unwavering support.

Unlike the other Loki’s children who were imprisoned and exiled from the Nine Worlds to keep them from wreaking havoc, Sleipnir became Odin’s mount and one of the Aesir king’s most beloved and trusted companions.

In spite of the lack of a specific statement, Sleipnir was likely born before Loki’s other children. Sleipnir is a relic from the early days of Asgard, but Fenrir was undoubtedly bound to Asgard much later, after the walls had been built, because it is depicted as being chained to Asgard. Otherwise, given the way the Asgard gods treated Loki’s other children, it would seem odd for the god to send his child as a gift to Odin.

His eight legs allowed him to go to the nine worlds, which are all connected to the tree of life known as Yggdrasil, owing to Sleipnir (pronounced sleyp-nir). Sleipnir was gray in color. Sleipnir’s Old Norse name, which means “slippery,” apparently alludes to his proclivity for slipping from one realm to another.

While in one version, Odin rides Sleipnir to the lands of the giants, his son Hermodr rides Sleipnir to the world of the dead, it is unclear which story is more accurate. Asbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped glacier canyon in northern Iceland, is said to have been created by Sleipnir, according to Icelandic folklore.

Some modern researchers have also linked Sleipnir’s shamanic skills, which makes sense given that Odin was also a wizard. He was a master of Seidr, a type of Norse magic that included manipulating the course of events.

Scholars point out that many cultures around the world equate eight-legged horses with shamanic experiences. Even more compelling evidence comes from one of the Valkyries who informs the hero Sigurd that Sleipnir’s teeth should be cut with runes, linking the eight-legged horse with running magic.

The Vikings’ SLEIPNIR:

Odin’s eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, is seen in two ancient stone carvings found on the Swedish island of Gotland dating to the eighth century.

Odin’s ship, Sleipnir, carries people over the oceans, much like Sleipnir transported him between worlds. This is a well-known ship name in northern Europe even now.

Sleipnir has come to symbolize for modern Vikings the capacity to go through life with self-assurance and how we all span multiple worlds in our various responsibilities.