From Iceland — Gods Of Iceland: Víðarr, The One Shoe Wonder

Gods Of Iceland: Víðarr, The One Shoe Wonder

Published August 11, 2021

Gods Of Iceland: Víðarr, The One Shoe Wonder
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons & Adobe Stock

Strengths: One super-powerful Timberland boot. Almost as strong as Þórr. Survives the literal end of the world.

Weaknesses: Only has one shoe.

Modern Analogue: The overprotective son who won’t let anyone make fun of his papa.

Imagine being the son of Óðinn. Imagine being imbued with blood that makes you nigh on invincible, allowing you to defeat one of the most deadly creatures in Norse Mythology. Imagine being one of the only Gods to survive the literal end of all existence and being forced to live eternally on the plains where Ásgarðr once stood. Imagine being all of this and more but only being remembered for the fact that you wore one large leather boot.

Historians can be real pricks sometimes.

You know what they say about a guy with a big foot right?

Víðarr is the God of vengeance and, boy, will he have good reason to be vengeful. To start with, he’s the son of big daddy Óðinn and one of his many side chicks, Gríðr the jötunn. Given his lineage, Víðarr is exceptionally strong—in fact, almost as strong as his more famous brother Þórr. However, Víðarr’s most notable feeture, as previously mentioned, is indeed his one very large Timberland shoe, which is made of all the leather waste that mortals throw away, making it one helluva fashion statement and an even better curb stomping tool.

Now, as the god of vengeance, Víðarr (with his boot) had quite the task waiting for him at the prophesied end of the world that is Ragnarök. One which he would likely spend his entire life preparing for. His fate? Avenge Óðinn by killing the great Wolf Fenrir and survive to tell the tale…

…to no one, as it was the end of the world.

Vengeance… his sole purpose

Once Ragnarök, the unavoidable, unstoppable end of all beings, was upon our mighty smiters, Óðinn was torn a new one and devoured by the massive mighty wolf, Fenrir. As you’d expect, it was now the turn of the god of vengeance to exact his, uh, vengeance on the beast.

“That’s what you get for surviving the end of the world, I guess; he shoe’d have known better.”

It is written that Víðarr avenged Óðinn by placing his celebrated big boot on the lower jaw of Fenrir, grabbing his upper jaw with one hand and then pulling the wolf’s mouth apart, ripping and tearing until it was done. Quite the feet of strength.

After finally slaying the foul beast, Víðarr became one of the sole survivors of Ragnarök, damned to live the rest of their lives in a purgatory called Iðavöllr that lies where Ásgarðr was before it was nuked during the end of the world. Metal as f***.

As you’d imagine, there’s not much recorded about what happens after that event. The survivors of Ragnarök chill out for an eternity contemplating whether surviving the event was really worth it whilst all the other gods wine and dine in Valhalla. That’s what you get for surviving the end of the world I guess; he shoe’d have known better.

Well, here’s a heads up now because I’m afraid we are heading to the end of Mímir’s story, as very little is known about what happened to him after he became Odin’s magic eight-ball of sorts. So perhaps it’s best if I stop writing here before I get… ahead of myself. Sorry, couldn’t resist. 

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!