11 Facts About Yggdrasil


Yggdrasil, in Norse cosmology, is an immense and central sacred tree.

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Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and in the Prose Edda written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson.

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In both sources, Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is central to the cosmos and considered very holy.

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The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations; one to the well Urðarbrunnr in the heavens, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mimisbrunnr.

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Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the dragon Niðhoggr, an unnamed eagle, and the stags Dainn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþror.

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Stanza 32 details that a squirrel named Ratatoskr must run across Yggdrasil and bring "the eagle's word" from above to Niðhoggr below.

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In stanza 35, Odin says that Yggdrasil "suffers agony more than men know", as a hart bites it from above, it decays on its sides, and Niðhoggr bites it from beneath.

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Yggdrasil is mentioned in two books in the Prose Edda; Gylfaginning and Skaldskaparmal.

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Just-As-High says that Yggdrasil is the biggest and best of all trees, that its branches extend out over all of the world and reach out over the sky.

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Hilda Ellis Davidson comments that the existence of nine worlds around Yggdrasil is mentioned more than once in Old Norse sources, but the identity of the worlds is never stated outright, though it can be deduced from various sources.

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In Overlord, a Japanese light novel series written by Kugane Maruyama, Yggdrasil is the name of a popular DMMORPG, where the protagonist got trapped after its shutdown.

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