Origin of the wind in Norse mythology

In Gods and Creatures by Skjalden

In Norse mythology, the wind originates from the great eagle called Hraesvelg “Hræsvelgr” (corpse gulper) who sits in the northern end of heaven. When Hraesvelg flaps his wings, to take off for a flight, the eagle creates a tremendous amount of wind from his enormous wings.

His location is referred to as heaven in the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, but it is most likely the realm of Asgard that is meant by this.

It was Odin, who was in a disguise going by the name Gangleri who asked the wise jötunn Vafþrúðnir about the origin of the wind, and this was the answer that he received.

Hraesvelg, he is called,
who sits at heaven’s end,
a giant in eagle’s shape.
From his wings,
it is said, the winds
blow over all men’.
– Gylfaginning

While Njord is portrayed as a god who is associated with the winds, it is this eagle-shaped jötunn who is the originator of the wind in Norse mythology.


Jesse Byock (2005) Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda. 1st. edition. London, England: Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN-13 978-0-140-44755-2