The valkyries walk to battle with their god Odin by Ran Yaniv Hartstein via Flickr

The Aesir are the earliest race of Teutonic gods, chief of whom was Odin.

The pantheon included Thor, Tiu, Balder, Bragi (inspirer of poetry), Vidar (lord of silence), Hoder (a blind deity who killed Balder), Hermod (a sacred messenger), Hoenir, Odnir, Loki (a trickster god) and Vali (Odin’s last son).

The group held daily councils under the world tree, Yggdrassil, and collectively dwelled in Asgard. Each deity, however, occupied their own particular region, Odin’s being Valhalla.

Another early race of Scandanavian gods, the Vanir, were in perpetual conflict with the Aesir but the two groups eventually merged. Although the Aesir and the Vanir became an extended family, as it were, the latter assumed the appellation of the former.

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