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Qwiz5 Quizbowl Essentials – Freya

Freya (also known as Freyja or Freja, among other variants) is the Norse goddess of love and fertility. Freya belongs to a group of Norse gods known as the Vanir. The Vanir initially warred with the other group of Norse gods, the Aesir, but following the end of the war Freya and her fellow Vanir became honored members of the Aesir. Freya and her twin brother Freyr are the offspring of the Norse sea god Njord. Although Marvel has yet to make a movie about her, Freya has adventures and glamor enough for a full franchise.

The Norse goddess Freya. Part of the Qwiz5 series by Qwiz Quizbowl Camp, written to help quiz bowl teams power more tossups!

By analyzing questions, you can see patterns emerge, patterns that will help you answer questions. Qwiz5 is all about those patterns. In each installment of Qwiz5, we take an answer line and look at its five most common clues. Here we explore five clues that will help you answer a tossup on Freya.


BRISINGAMEN Brisingamen is a legendary golden necklace worn by Freya. The necklace was something of the goddess’ visual trademark. When Thor was forced to disguise himself as Freya to fool the giant Thrym he wore Brisingamen. Other Norse gods have coveted the necklace, most notably Loki. Loki disguised himself as a fly and bit Freya in her sleep, causing her to turn over and allowing him to steal the necklace.


TEARS OF GOLD

Freya’s husband, Odr, often leaves home to travel the nine realms. This leaves Freya so despondent that she spends long periods of time shedding tears that become red gold when they touch the ground. When these tears fall on the sea they become amber.


TRAVEL Freya has many options for traveling throughout the nine realms. Traditionally she rides in a chariot driven by cats. However, Freya occasionally rides upon a boar named Hildisvíni. Freya can even travel without any mount at all. She possesses a special cloak of falcon feathers that allow her (or whoever possesses the cloak) to shapeshift into a falcon.


FOLKVANGR Freya rules over a vast field known as Folkvangr and lives there with her daughters Hnoss and Gersemi. Folkvangr is similar in function to Valhalla. After brave warriors are killed in battle Freya and Odin divide up their souls. Odin’s go with him to Valhalla, while Freya’s join her in Folkvangr.


ÓTTAR Óttar is Freya’s human lover who appears in a poem known as The Lay of Hyndla. In that poem, Freya disguises Óttar as Hildisvíni in order to bring him before the giantess Hyndla. Hyndla, a seer, is thus tricked into unknowingly revealing Óttar’s lineage to Óttar.


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Quizbowl is about learning, not rote memorization, so we encourage you to use this as a springboard for further reading rather than as an endpoint. Here are a few things to check out:

  • The Lay of Hyndla, along with commentary, can be read here.

  • Brisingamen is just one of many artifacts crafted by the dwarves. Check out this article to learn about more of these magical creations.

  • Want to learn more about the events that led to Thor impersonating Freya? Watch this video!


  • Learn more about the cataclysmic Aesir-Vanir war in the video below:

 

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