Gerda, the beautiful Snow Queen, daughter of Angerboda and the giant Gymir, shines so blazingly white that she rivals the sun. Gerda is the Goddess of Snow Blindness. Like Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen, she allegedly had a heart of ice. Freyr the Elven King, Lord of Fertility, took one look at her and fell madly in love. He sent his trusted servant, Skirnir, to beg for her hand in marriage. Skirnir first attempted to woo Gerda via bribery. He offered her magical, golden apples and Odin’s magical golden arm ring. (Every ninth night, eight more gold rings dropped from the first.) Gerda spurned these, saying she had more than enough gold of her own.

• Skirnir threatened Gerda with violence, saying he would cut off her head if she didn’t marry Freyr, but she laughed at his threats and called his bluff.

• Finally Skirnir threatened Gerda with magic, saying he would carve runes on his magic wand and strike her with it if she didn’t marry Freyr. These runes would doom her to eternal loneliness and longing: she would forever lack family, friends, or children. All food and drink would taste foul.

That gloomy fate depressed Gerda so much she agreed to rendezvous with Freyr in the forest. Surprisingly, considering this not very romantic courtship, Freyr and Gerda were allegedly the happiest married couple in the world. The warmth of Freyr’s love melted the Snow Queen’s heart and they lived happily ever after. That said, Gerda demanded that Freyr relinquish his magic sword as her bride-price, ultimately leaving him virtually weaponless at Ragnarok, armed only with stag’s antlers.






Gerda is blindingly, dazzling white. She shines so brightly that, as with angels, it’s almost impossible to keep one’s eyes open in her presence




Gerda is associated with the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights.

See Also:

  • Angerboda
  • Freyr
  • Jotun


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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