By popular request, here’s a list of terms, characters, places and more that appear in the Valhalla series. This list is by no means comprehensive and is regularly updated.
If there’s a word or name from the series that you have a question about and would like to have it added to this list, please drop a line. Thanks!
Æsir: The principle pantheon of Norse mythology. In Valhalla, members of the Æsir include Odin, Frigga, Heimdall, Saga, Bragi, Thor, and Loki. See also Vanir.
Akershus Castle: Medieval fortress built to protect the city of Oslo, Norway. One of the sites visited by Heimdall and Maggie in Iduna’s Apples.
Álfheim: home of the light elves (Nine Realms).
Ansur, Lord: High Priest of the PACT Coven in Portland, Oregon, and a real-life personal friend of the author. Appears in Valhalla.
Atalanta: Character in Greek mythology best known for her role in the story of the golden apples and the footrace. Mentioned in Iduna’s Apples.
Athena: In the Greek pantheon, goddess of wisdom and war. Mentioned in Valhalla, patron goddess to Opal.
Ásgard: One of the Nine World of Norse mythology, and home to the gods.
Audumbla: In Norse mythology, the primeval cow who suckled the first Frost Giants. Mentioned in Iduna’s Apples.
Baal: Ancient Semitic god associated with thunder, the moon, the bull, and the turning of seasons. He appears in Babylonian, Syrian and Egyptian mythology. Mentioned in Valhalla.
Baron von Pussington, III, of Frisky Mews, Wiskershire: Sally’s black-and-orange tabby cat, and her magickal familiar.
Bendreg, Maggie: Heimdall’s mortal girlfriend. She works as a paralegal in Portland, Oregon.
Berserker: Ancient warrior class, found in Old Norse sources. The warriors worked themselves into a fury before battle—historians suggest they may have ingested drugs to this end—and then stormed into battle in a trance-like, blood-lust rage.
Bilrost: In Norse mythology, the burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (the world of humans) and Asgard (the realm of the gods).
Bonnie: Bookstore manager at Powells City of Books in Portland, and Saga’s manager there. Appears in Valhalla.
Book of Shadows: A personal journal of spells, notes, magickal correspondence lists, and more kept by a witch or other practitioner of magick.
Bragi: Norse god of epic poetry. Husband to Iduna. Brother to Heimdall, Thor, and Saga. Son to Frigga and Odin. Nephew to Loki. Cousin to Freya and Freyr.
Burgerville: Chain of fast food restaurants in the Pacific Northwest, using all local ingredients on their menu.
Dahl, Sally: The fabled Moon Witch. This Portland teenager first experiments with Runic Magick on her own, not realizing how powerful she actually is. Main character in Valhalla and Iduna’s Apples.
Einherjar: The fallen heroes of Norse battles. The Einherjar, having distinguished themselves in battle, were selected by the Valkyries for the honor of joining the feast in the Halls of Valhalla. According to legend, the Einherjar will be called again into battle at the time of Ragnarok.
Futhark: Scandinavian variant on the runic script. The Elder Futhark is the runic alphabet inscribed on the stones that Sally uses for spell work and divination.
Fenrir (also, The Fenris Wolf; also, the Randulfr): Last surviving offspring of Loki, Fenrir is half-god and half-wolf. According to prophecy, it is Fenrir’s fate to kill Odin at the peak of Ragnarok. At the time of Valhalla, Fenrir has been trapped in his wolf form for decades, and has been housed in various wildlife sanctuaries for his own protection.
Fenris Wolf: see Fenrir.
Forest Park: More than 5,000 acres of forest, guided trails, vistas and more, all within the city limits of Portland, Oregon. Forest Park contains the 30-mile Wildwood Trail as part of the 40-Mile Loop system linking Forest Park to other routes along the Columbia River and the Willamette Greenway.
Freya: Norse goddess of love, healing, fertility, and death. Twin sister of Freyr. In Valhalla, Freya has become quite the shaman after years of study with mystics and healers of many of the world’s religions; she and her brother operate a martial arts studio—the Raven Dojo—in Beaverton, Oregon. Cousin to Heimdall, Saga, Bragi, and Thor. Niece to Frigga, Odin, and Loki.
Freyr: Norse god of nature and virility. Twin brother to Freya. In Valhalla, Freyr and his sister own and operate the Raven Dojo—a martial arts studio—in Beaverton, Oregon. Cousin to Heimdall, Thor, Bragi, and Saga. Nephew to Odin, Frigga, and Loki.
Frigga: Norse goddess of the hearth/home, marriage, and childbirth. In Valhalla, Frigga is literally a “domestic goddess.” Wife of Odin. Mother of Bragi, Heimdall, Thor, and Saga. Aunt to Freyr and Freya. Sister-in-law to Loki.
Frost Giants: First appear in Iduna’s Apples. This race of nature spirits are imbued with supernatural strength and have historically been locked in conflict with the gods. In legend, it has not been uncommon for the Frost Giants and the gods to intermarry.
Geirrod: Frost Giant. Appears in Iduna’s Apples.
Gimlé: an extremely beautiful place on Earth, where the survivors of Ragnarok are expected to dwell.
Griss fretr: Old Norse; rough translation is “piglet farts.”
Hammerstein, Rod: Frigga’s human handyman.
Heimdall: The Norse god of light and protector of the Rainbow Bridge. In Valhalla, Heimdall has secured a job as a forest ranger in order to support his search for the new Yggdrasil. Brother to Thor, Bragi, and Saga. Son to Frigga and Odin. Cousin to Freyr and Freya. Nephew to Loki.
Higravstinden: The highest mountain on on Austvågøy in Norway’s Lofoten Islands.
Huginn: One of Odin’s two ravens in Norse mythology. See also, Muninn.
Iduna: The wife of Bragi, and the keep of the grove of sacred apples.
Jormungand: The World Serpent in Norse mythology—able to wrap itself around the earth and grasp its own tail.
Kamphundr: Norse word for carrion-eater.
Klootchy Creek Giant: see Yggdrasil.
Laika: Heimdall’s wolf-dog.
Lombungr: Norse word for “morons.”
Managarm, The Moon Dog: A lesser deity of the Norse pantheon, tasked with chasing the moon in its orbit around the Earth in order to preserve the cycles of day and night. Appears in Valhalla.
Midgard: the world of men; one of the Nine Realms of Norse mythology.
Muninn: One of Odin’s two ravens in Norse mythology. See also, Huginn.
Muspellheim: realm of fire, home of the fire demons (in the Nine Realms).
Nibelung: a race of dwarves.
Niflheim: one of the Nine Worlds or Realms; the primordial Abode of Mist.
Nornir: The three Fates of Norse mythology. In Valhalla, these sisters—Urd, Skuld, and Verdande—live in Seattle, Washington, where they run a 900-number psychic hotline—Mystic Sisters Psychic Hotline—for $4.99/minute.
Odin: Chief God of the Norse pantheon. Adopted brother to Loki, husband to Frigga, father to Saga, Bragi, Heimdall, and Thor, uncle to Freya and Freyr. Words in the real world as a high school principal.
Opal: Sally’s older, wiser friend. A student a Portland State University.
Ormstunga: Norse for serpent-tongue.
Powells: An independent bookstore chain in Portland, Oregon, with its flagship store—Powells City of Books—located in the downtown area.
Randulfr: Literally, “shield wolf.” Another name for Fenrir.
Saga: Norse goddess of history. In Valhalla, Saga is sister to Heimdall, Bragi, and Thor. Niece to Loki. Daughter to Odin and Frigga. Cousin to Freya and Freyr. Works at Powells City of Books.
Sitka Spruce: see Yggdrasil
Skogkatt: mountain-dwelling fairy cat with an ability to climb sheer rock faces that other cats could not manage.
Svartálfaheim: underground home of the black elves. The word is frequently used as a curse.
Tatzelwurm: a lizard-like creature from Alpine folklore.
Thiassen: Frost Giant. Appears in Iduna’s Apples.
Thor: The Norse god of thunderbolts and war. Son t Frigga and Odin, brother to Heimdall, Saga, and Bragi, adopted cousin to Freyr and Freya. In Valhalla Thor has a job as a photocopier repairman, but he has a sketchy work history as his temper causes him to get fired. A lot.
Thrym: King of the Frost Giants. Appears in Iduna’s Apples.
Tik: Norse word for “female dog.”
Valthrudnir: Frost Giant. Appears in Iduna’s Apples.
Vanaheim: The homeland of the Vanir twins, Freya and Freyr, and their kin.
Vanir: an alliance of many races of nature spirits. In the Valhalla series, the Vanir correspond to the Tuatha de Danann of Celtic Lore.
Viking: … Also the mascot of Portland State University, in Portland, Oregon. (The author swears that she began writing Valhalla — set in Portland — having no idea about this coincidence.)
Warg: the family of wolf-like beings that includes Managarm and Loki’s son, Fenrir. Some wargs have the ability to shapeshift.
Wolfen: The Frost Giants’ term for the Wargs.
World Tree: see Yggdrasil.
Yggdrasil: The World Tree. Norse legend holds that the world tree is the anchor point for all Nine Realms—and for the existence of the Cosmos itself. In the Valhalla series, the Yggdrasil goes through cycles of reincarnation. The Tree lives for several hundred years, then dies a seemingly natural death before springing up again to begin its cycle anew. In Valhalla, the most recent World Tree prior to the current incarnation was the Klootchy Creek Giant, a massive Sitka Spruce along Highway 26 in western Oregon.