Niflheim | Norse Mythology


Niflheim (Old Norse Niflheimr "dark world") in Norse mythology is an icy region in the north, in contrast to the hot Muspellheim, which is in the south.

In the creation story, in Niflheim lies the primordial spring Hvergelmir, whose waters fed the Élivágar; it poured its icy waters into the Ginnungagap, which was warmed by the heat of Muspellsheim, from which the giant Ymir emerged as the first being. A root of the world tree Yggdrasil extends over Niflheim.

Niflheim has been handed down as a term exclusively in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda and is probably his own creation. The idea of a mythical icy region in the north may be older, however, since Snorri twice apparently equates Niflheim with Helheim in reference to Niflhel.