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(Also Høner, Honir or Vili)

"The Silent God"

Hoenir is the Norse god of silence and light and one of the three original Aesir deities, along with his brothers: Odin and Lodur. He is also sometimes called the god of divination and priestly function. Described only as large and handsome, the only definite characteristic ever mentioned is Hoenir’s long legs. It is only in the Poetic Edda that this god is called Vili. Hoenir is one of the gods that will survive Ragnarok.

Hoenir and his brothers created the world and Asgard when the trio raised the body of the dead giant Ymir from the chaos. Later, the gods were traveling across the empty earth and discovered two trees with lifeless, twisted trunks. Odin formed the trees into the first man and woman: Ask and Embla, and gave them breath. Lodur gave them warmth and color, and it was Hoenir who gave the first humans their souls, motion and the ability to reason.

Despite his being one of the original Aesir, this god was also slow-witted, indecisive and noncommittal. After the war between the warring Aesir and the fertility gods and goddesses of the Vanir, the two groups of deities sealed their truce with an exchange of gods. The Vanir sent their most respected members, Njord with his children Freya and Freyr, and gladly accepted the handsome Hoenir and his wise uncle Mimir in return. At first, the Vanir were very happy with the counsel given by Hoenir and made him a leader. Soon, though, it became apparent that Hoenir relied on Mimir for wisdom, and would not give answers without the other god present. The Vanir, in their anger at being cheated by the Aesir, cut off Mimir’s head and sent it to Odin.


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