From Iceland — Gods of Iceland: Iðunn, The Æsir’s Own Instagram Influencer

Gods of Iceland: Iðunn, The Æsir’s Own Instagram Influencer

Published August 14, 2020

Gods of Iceland: Iðunn, The Æsir’s Own Instagram Influencer
Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
James Doyle Penrose

If Iðunn were alive today, she would be an Instagram influencer. This goddess was associated with youth and apples, as was her husband Bragi, making them the kind of power couple whose stories you would follow religiously for tips on how to defy ageing. 

So crucial was Iðunn, in fact, that when a giant named Þjassi kidnapped her, all of the gods began to turn old and whither. This could not be allowed to happen, and so Loki (who was, not surprisingly, partially responsible for Iðunn’s kidnapping) set off on a daring mission to return her to the home of the gods, Ásgarðr. He succeeded, but Þjassi chased after him. Tough luck for Þjassi, because when he arrived, the gods jumped him and beat his ass down, killing him.

Iðunn’s apples, which she carried around in an ash wood box, were regularly eaten by the gods to keep them forever young. That’s right—without her, the gods would literally die, so she is indeed a pretty big deal. And you can see why the gods would murder anyone who messes with her.

Today, Iðunn is a not-uncommon Icelandic name. It’s also the name of an Icelandic organisation dedicated to traditional verse (rímur). Will rhyming keep you young? Hey, it can’t hurt. And in lieu of eating one of Iðunn’s apples, it’s probably your next best bet.

Superpowers: Has apples that keep people young, forever
Shape-shifting giants
Modern Analogue:
Jenn Im

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