What is Aesir? The Myth, story, history of Aesir. The role of Aesir in the Germanic Mythology.
Aesir; In Germanic mythology, the two races of the gods were the aesir and vanir. Snorri Sturluson (1179—1241) thought that aesir derived from the word Asia, making Thor a grandson of Priam of Troy and Odin his descendant in the twentieth generation. The vanir were originally inhabitants of the land on the Don River, ‘formerly called Vanaquisl’. Although this interpretation of Scandinavian tradition receives no support today, it is not unlikely that the vanir were late arrivals from Asia Minor and that their initial rivalry with the aesir represents an accommodation within the earlier mythology. Odin was chief of the aesir, while the goddess Freya took a leading role among the vanir, not least at the time these two races were syncretized.
Pitted against the gods was a race of frost giants, the descendants of Bergelmir, survivor of the bloody deluge caused by the slaying of Ymir. It is evident that the gods were in the hands of fate and inexorably moving towards their doom, the ragnarok. On this day, the forces of evil would overcome the gods and their allies, the einherjar, the slain champions beloved of Odin. Two human beings, Lif and Lifthrasir, should survive the cataclysm: they will re-people the new earth and worship Balder, son of Odin, in the new heaven.