The gods of olden times were, in a word, assholes; the Greek gods, the Egyptian gods, and even Yahweh of the Old Testament, are proof enough. But for the maximum combo of divinity and dickery, no one holds a candle to the Norse gods. Here are just a few of their more outrageous transgressions.
1) Odin Murders the World Into Existence
In the beginning, there was nothing but the realm of fire, the realm of ice, and the nothingness in-between. But the fire and ice formed the giant Ymir, who was the father of the giants called the Jotunn and was supposedly evil. I say supposedly, because it seems his chief act of villainy was to fight Odin, who was anxious to have some place to rule, and thought Ymir's body would do the trick. Eventually Odin succeeded, and Ymir's blood became the oceans, drowning all but two of the giants; his corpse became the land; his bones the mountains and rocks; his hair the trees; and his skull the sky. If using Ymir's skull as the earth's roof wasn't enough of a dick move, Odin took his brains and used them to decorate the sky — and they became the clouds.
2) The Sun and Moon Orbit by Fear
Once the giants had repopulated somewhat, Odin was taking a stroll through giant territory and spied two beautiful giants named Sol and Mani. They were so beautiful, in fact, that Odin and the other gods were pissed off, and decrees that the two ladies would have to spend their time driving chariots across the sky. In order to keep them moving at a brisk pace, Odin ordered two wolves to chase after them for all eternity, which is why the sun and the moon circle the night sky. Because they're being chases by wolves. For being sexy.
3) Freyr "Wins" A Bride
Freyr, the super-good-looking brother of the goddess Freya, was so good and noble that he was actually in charge of Alfheim, the land of the Light Elves, and is the Norse god of good things like virility and nice weather. One day he spied the Jotunn named Gerd, and fell hopelessly in love with her. Like love-sick idiots the world over, instead of doing something productive he decided to lounge about and claim he was going to die without Gerd, forcing his servant Skirnir to do his wooing for him. This wooing went as follows: Skirnir offered Gerd the apples of youth. Gerd said no. Skirnir offered her a magic golden ring that made more golden rings. Gerd said hell no. Skirnir said she'd best marry Freyr is she knew what was good for her. Gerd flipped him the bird. Finally, Gerd said he would curse her using runes, and a terrified Gerd asked when the wedding was scheduled.
4) Loki, God of Dickery
Loki is better known as the god of mischief, which meant his divine power was primarily used for screwing people over. Sometimes that benefitted the gods, such as when Loki got a giant to build Asgard's walls. The giant wanted the sun, the moon and Freya if he completed the job in a certain amount of time; the gods were worried, but Loki tiold them to chill. Just before the giant finished the walls, Loki transformed into a mare and lured away the giant's stallion, leaving the giant without his ability to move the stones. The giant lost the bet; on the other hand, Loki was forced to fuck the giant's horse, with the result that he gave birth to the eight-legged horse Sleiphnir, which he gave to Odin,
Sometimes Loki would just insult the gods — and I mean all the gods — at dinner, until Thor chased him off. Sometimes his mischief was more diabolical, such as when he got Baldur murdered. When Baldur was born, his mom went around asking everything if they would mind not ever hurting his son. They agreed, making Baldur essentially invincible. The one exception was mistletoe, which was too young to make such an oath. As such, the Norse gods use to amuse themselves by throwing weapon after weapon at Baldur, and watching them all bounce off. Loki knew Baldur's weak point, made a mistletoe arrow, and gave it to Baldur's brother Hodur (not Hodor) to fire during one of these games, and Baldur died instantly.
How much did Loki piss the other gods off? Well, when they decided to bind him to a rock to wait until until Ragnorak, they tied him up with his son's entrails. Which, no matter what shit Loki pulled, is kind of a dick move unto itself.
5) Goatsuckers Gone Wild
Thor had two goats who pulled his chariot. Why goats? Possibly because they had two awesome names — Toothbarer and Toothgrinder. Or maybe because he could eat them if he happened to be hungry, and then resurrect them the next day (note: the goats almost assuredly thought this was a dick move). One day, Thor and Loki were traveling through Midgard and stayed at a farm with a brother and sister named Thialfi and Röskva. Because they were kind enough to share their roof, Thor shared his goats with them, and they had a pleasant meal — it was so good that Thialfi broke open one of the bones and ate the marrow inside. The next day, Thor resurrected Toothbarer and Toothgrinder and noticed one of them was a little lame. Thor was so furious at the brother for breaking a rule that he had never informed him of that he made Thialfi and Röskva his servants forever.
6) Thor Hates Dwarves
Thor's dickery does not end there. A dwarf named Alviss fell in love with his daughter Trud and asked for her hand in marriage. Thor, instead of manning up and just saying no, got all size-ist and told Alviss that since he was so short he had to prove himself worthy of his daughter. Now usually in these stories, the brave suitor beats difficult odds to win the hand of his beloved. In this story, Thor basically kept Alviss busy with his nonsense "tests" until the sun came up, which turned him to stone. And Trud never married anyone.
7) Freya Really Likes That Necklace
The goddess Freya was walking around one day when she happened to spy a beautiful necklace in a shoppe run by four dwarves. She tried to buy it, but the dwarves had no need of money. Freya said, "Well, what can I pay you with? And that's when the porn music started. Well, Freya got her necklace, but Loki of course watched the whole thing go down. He immediately ratted Freya out to Odin, who ordered Loki to steal the necklace while Freya slept. When Freya woke up, her necklace was missing, but she also figured out immediately who had stolen it, and went to Odin to complain. Like most mythological gods, Odin, who slept around as he pleased, got all moral when Freya dared to have sexual agency, and told her the only way she could get it back was if she engineered a war between two human chieftains in which hundreds of warriors died. Which she did. Because she really liked that necklace.
8) Ratatosk, King of Asshole Squirrels
Yggdrisil is the World Tree, its roots and branches reach into all nine realms. At the bottom of the tree lies the dragon Nidhug, who spends his time gnawing on the world tree's roots and sucking the blood out of dead bodies. At the top of Yggdrisil is an eagle named Hraesvelg, who actually creates the wind whenever he flaps his wings. The eagle and the dragon hate each other. Why? Because a squirrel named Ratatosk spends all his time running back and forth, up and down the tree, telling the eagle and the dragon that the other is talking smack about them. Why is he doing this? Because he's a dick. Seriously, Ratatosk has no grand scheme, and the eagle and the dragon aren't prophesied to fight or do anything. Ratatosk is spending his free time perpetuating an animosity for no reason whatsoever.
8) The Dark Elves: Nightmare Creators
If everything you know about the Dark Elves of Svartleheim you learned from Thor: The Dark World, rest assured they're not nearly as dangerous in reality (also, Malekith doesn't exist). Instead of grabbing Casks of Ancient Winters and trying to destroy the Nine Realms, they prefer to creep into your bedroom at night while you're sleeping, climb on your bed, and whisper things into your ears so you have nightmares? Why? No reason, other than they want you to have a bad night's sleep. If this weren't petty enough, humans aren't the only ones they give nightmares — they also do the same thing to horses. Horses! What kind of an asshole spends his night trying to give horses bad dreams?
9) They Otter Known Better
One of the biggest dick moves of the Norse gods has to be shared equally by Odin, Thor and Loki (although mostly Loki, of course). The three gods were travelling to the Dwarven Kingdom when they spied an otter, and Loki throw a stone, killed it, and the three of them skinned it. What they didn't realize is that the otter was in fact Otr, a dwarven prince who only took the shape of a otter during the day. So Odin, Thor and Loki walk in to the Dwarzen Kingdom yelling, "Hey, look at this awesome otter pelt we just scored!" and Otr's father and brother, King Hreidmar and Prince Fafnir, naturally freak out. They captured Odin and Thor, and tell Loki if he wants them back again, he needs to take the otter skin, fill it with gold, and the cover the fur in red gold (Otr really comes out worst in the situation). So Loki, rather than simply make good on an innocent mistake, fills up the otter with the cursed gold of Andvari, which ends up driving Fafnir so crazy that he kills his dad, hordes all the gold for himself, turns into a dragon, and mercilessly terrorizes the surrounding land for eons until Sigurd finally slew him. Moral: Don't ask Loki to do anything ever.
10) Thor Hates Dwarves, Part II
If the Alviss and the otter tales should have taught you anything, it's that Odin and his kin did not give a shit about the dwarves. Nothing — and I mean nothing — more clearly indicates this incomparable contempt than the funeral of Baldur, on a traditional burning ship. Baldur's wife Nanna was so distraught she threw herself on the burning ship so she could join her husband in Ragnorak. So it was already a pretty somber affair, right? Well, this is the point that the dwarf Lit made the mistake of steeping in front of Thor. Thor, for no reason — because it's not like Lit was blocking his view or anything — decided to kick the dwarf into the burning boat where he burned alive. Let me repeat that: Thor kicked a dwarf into a fire for no reason whatsoever. Even Loki must have been going, "Dude, what the fuck."