Ullr is a very old god of the northern lands, in Norse folklore, so old that by the time the Iron Age Norse myths were written down, not much more was known about him except that he was a god of archery, hunting, and the winter.
Ullr's father was an otherwise unknown figure, thought to be a frost-giant, in order to help explain the predilections of his son.
His mother was Sif, so Thor was Ullr's stepfather.
His name (Ull means glory) occurs so frequently as part of Scandinavian place-names that he must have been a much more important deity at one time.
He was shown frequently with skates or skis on his feet, and because of this he has been hailed as the modern god of Skiing.
One story talks about him "crossing water on a magic bone", alluding to crossing the frozen ice on skates.
He was also called god of the Shield, and the shield was referred to as his "ship", which may be a reference to using a shield or shield-shaped board as a sled … or to the ice of winter enveloping the world like a shield...
A powerful god, he took control of Midgard and Asgard every year when Odin snowbirded for the winter.
Ullr sent out the Aurora Borealis to light the sky during the period of the longest nights.
The Elder or Poetic Edda; commonly known as Saemund's Edda. Edited and translated with introd. and notes by Olive Bray. (1908) When Odin returned, Ullr retreated. While he had an Alps-top or frozen northlands home, he was also said to have spent his summers with the death goddess Hel.
Some have attempted to equate Ullr with the sky god Tyr, who was the Germanic version of the highest god of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, from whom the Norse and other Germanic peoples are descended...
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