Ymir, Lord of the North

Ymir was the King of the Frost Giants, the principal god of the people of Vanaheim and Asgard. He ruled over Valhalla, the legendary hall of Northern myth where the souls of Nordheim’s dead warriors congregated in the afterlife. At times Valhalla was described as a domain of snow-covered plains and at others as a vast hall. The Northmen believed that these warriors were sometimes reincarnated as the frost giants that plagued the most frigid regions of their homelands, like the pair that once tried to stand between Conan and a woman he pursued. That woman was Ymir’s daughter Atali. Like the Valkyries of later Norse legends, she was known to appear to those who had been mortally wounded in battle.While  we today know little of Ymir’s cult or his rites, he seems to have primarily been a god of the northern storms and battle. It is likely that the ancient Nordheimers made blood sacrifices to him—sacrifices that may or may not have included human beings. Ymir was a god of battle for the fierce people of Nordheim and some scholars believe that the blood lust of his followers often led them to make grisly sacrifices in his name—especially of slaves or warriors captured on the battlefield.

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