Norse Gods Vs. Greek Gods: Differences & Similarities

norse gods vs greek gods
Greek gods are immortal, while Norse gods are not. Greek gods can influence or change fate, but Norse gods can't. Also, the Norse gods are closer to humankind than the Greek ones. 

What Are the Differences Between Greek Gods and Norse Gods?

1. Immortality

Greek gods are immortal, whereas Norse gods are mortal.

The Norse gods have supernatural abilities. However, in the end, they have to face their own mortality. This practice reflects the troubles and difficulties the ancient and modern people of Scandinavia faced, especially during the Viking age.

Most Norse gods died during Ragnarök, where there was an ultimate battle between chaos and order. Most of the gods who died during this battle are revered ones of the Norse deities.

Among those who died include:

  • Thor – slayed the world serpent Jörmungandr but later died from its venom.
  • Odin – He was swallowed by the mighty wolf Fenrir.
  • Heimdall – He was locked in a battle with Loki, the trickster god, and they later slayed each other.

2. Influence on Fate

Greek gods can influence or change fate, but Norse gods can’t. They have a predestined future that they can’t change.

Odin suffered the death of his son helplessly, and the Æsir and Vanir also foretold the death of nearly all Norse god pantheons.

3. Take on the End of the World

There is no apocalypse in Greek mythology, but Norse mythology has Ragnarok.

As told by the Prose Edda, Ragnarök is a prophecy foretold to Odin concerning the sad ending of the god’s life. Besides, it prophesized the sudden ending of the world, over which the gods would have no control.

4. Where they live

Greek gods live at the top of mountains; mount Olympus at the top with Hephaestus. Others, like Hades, live in the underworld.

On the other hand, Norse gods live in the following environments:

The Æsir gods live in Asgard; the Vanir gods live in Vanaheim.

5. Interactions With Mankind

Norse mythology is more close to humankind than Greek gods. Also, Norse gods can get hurt, are hungry, and can even die.

DifferenceNorse Mythology GodsGreek Mythology Gods
Influence on fateCannot influence fateCan influence fate
Take on the end of the worldThe world will end (Ragnarok)No apocalypse
LocationAsgard & Vanaheim (realms)Mount Olympus
Interactions with mankindClose to mankindLittle to no interaction with mankind

What Are the Similarities Between Greek Gods and Norse Gods?

1. Both Are Polytheistic

Greek and Norse mythology have many gods, with their believers believing in more than one god.

2. They Both Have Flaws

Neither the Greek gods nor Norse gods are perfect.

For instance, in Norse mythology, Odin had to give up one eye to become the god of wisdom from the well of knowledge. He also used trickery to steal the poetry mead.

On the other side, Zeus is ill-tempered, easily provoked, and likes violence. In addition, he also involves himself in petty disputes.

What Is Norse Mythology?

Norse mythology is an organized set of beliefs that is part of the ancient indigenous religion practiced by Northern Germanic tribes.

It was shared by people speaking similar languages and united by the same religion. This religion was predominant in the Viking Age (c. 790- c. 1100 CE) before Christianity emerged and prevailed in the Middle Ages.

Its believers used Norse mythology stories to organize better and understand the world. The main characters of this belief system were gods, deities, and living things.

The religion talks about the creation myth of the first god and the world’s destruction in Ragnarök.

The All-Father Odin is the sole ruler of this polytheistic pantheon, but there are several other gods and goddesses.

This mythology is passed on from generation to generation through poetry, as there are no reference scriptures.

What Is Greek Mythology?

Greek mythology is a set of beliefs and stories about ancient Greek gods, goddesses, fools, heroes, legends, and monsters.

These myths had so much fiction recognized by critical greeks like Plato in the 5th–4th century BCE, e. g. the legends of greedy King Midas. 

However, a large part of this myth is seen as a true representation of Greek culture and religion. A good example is the Trojan War epic. Consequently, it has significantly influenced Roman arts and contributed to the western civilization of Greece culture.

Greek mythology also explained religious rituals and weather. Besides, it explained the universe and its contents.

Norse Gods & Greek Gods and Their Realms

1. Greek Gods

Greek mythology has twelve prominent Olympians, as shown below.

Zeusthe king of all the gods, god of law, weather, and fate
Aphrodite (Venus)goddess of love and beauty
Heragoddess of women and marriage and queen of the gods
Dionysusgod of pleasure, wine, and festivity
Apollogod of prophecy, knowledge, poetry, and music
Athenagoddess of wisdom and defense
Demetergoddess of agriculture and grain
Aresgod of war
Artemisgoddess of animals, hunting, and childbirth
Poseidon god of the sea
Hephaestusgod of sculpture, fire, and metalworking
Hermesgod of hospitality, travel, and trade
Greek gods
Greek gods

2. Norse Gods

Norse mythology has fifteen main gods, as shown below.

Odinking of the Æsir gods
Ymirancestor of giants
FriggÆsir gods’ queen
Thorloyal defender of Asgard
LokiTrickster god
Tyrgod of war
Baldrgod of light and purity
Vidarsilent god of vengeance
Freyjagoddess of fate and destiny
Heimdallvigilant guardian of Asgard
Bragi‘bard’ god of Asgard
Helruler of the underworld
Idunyouthful goddess of rejuvenation
Njordgod of seas and wealth
Freyrgod of fertility
Norse gods
Norse gods

Are Greek Gods Older Than Norse Gods?

Yes, Greek gods are older than Norse gods.

The people practicing the Norse religion began worshipping Thor and Odin much later after Greek gods were already popular.

Are Norse Gods Stronger Than Greek Gods?

No, Norse gods are not stronger than Greek gods.

The only Norse gods considered stronger are the royal family members of Asgard or Vanir. They include Freyja, Baldur, and Týr.

However, Odin, the king of the Æsir, and Thor, his son, are the only ones considered as strong as Zeus.


Ana has always been interested in all things Norse mythology, Vikings and tales of ancient Germanic myths. An avid reader of books on Norse mythology, she also enjoys watching movies and TV shows based on Viking culture, and she secretly watched every Norse god-inspired MCU production as well!

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