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Lofn: Norse Mythology’s Goddess of Forbidden Love

Lofn is a goddess of Norse mythology who is often associated with love and matchmaking. Her name is derived from the Old Norse word “lof,” which means “permission” or “mildness.” According to Norse mythology, Lofn was a handmaiden of the primary goddess of love, Frigg, and was responsible for removing obstacles from the path of lovers who struggled to unite.

Lofn is often hailed as the divine matchmaker of the Norse pantheon, and her role is no less significant than that of other more well-known goddesses. She presides over love, especially the kind of love that is forbidden or frowned upon. In Norse mythology, Lofn is attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and in kennings found in skaldic poetry. Her essence as a deity who stands as a beacon of love and solace is beautifully encapsulated in her name, which can be translated to mean “comforter,” “the mild,” or even “loving.”

Lofn’s Origins


Lofn is a goddess in Norse mythology whose name comes from the Old Norse word “lof,” which means “praise,” “comfort,” or “permission.” The name “Lofn” can also be translated as “loving,” which is fitting since she is associated with love and relationships. In this sense, Lofn is often considered the goddess of forbidden love, as she was known to facilitate relationships that were not approved of by society or the gods.

Literary Sources

Lofn is mentioned in several literary sources, including the Prose Edda and skaldic poetry. In the Prose Edda, Lofn is described as a goddess who has the power to soften the hearts of men and women and to reconcile them with each other. She is also known as a matchmaker who can bring together couples who are not allowed to be together.

In skaldic poetry, Lofn is often referred to in kennings, which are poetic expressions that use metaphorical language to describe a person or thing. For example, in one poem, Lofn is referred to as “the bride of the gods,” which suggests that she is a goddess who is associated with marriage and relationships.

Overall, Lofn’s origins are rooted in Norse mythology and are closely tied to the themes of love and relationships. Her name and character have been passed down through literary sources, and she continues to be an important figure in Norse mythology today.

Role and Attributes

Goddess of Love

Lofn is a goddess of love in Norse mythology. She is a gentle and kind deity who is known for her compassionate and loving nature. Her name, derived from Old Norse, means “comforter,” “the mild,” or “loving,” which beautifully encapsulates her essence as a deity who stands as a beacon of love and solace. She is often associated with the goddess Frigg, who is the queen of Asgard and the wife of Odin.

Facilitator of Forbidden Unions

Lofn is also known as the facilitator of forbidden unions. She is the goddess who encourages and endorses these socially unapproved unions, making her a symbol of rebellious love and individual choice. Her role as the facilitator of forbidden unions is significant because it shows that love can transcend societal norms and expectations. Lofn’s ability to bring together those who are not supposed to be together is a testament to her power and influence in Norse mythology.

Lofn’s role as a goddess of love and facilitator of forbidden unions makes her a unique and important figure in Norse mythology. Her compassionate and loving nature, combined with her ability to bring together those who are not supposed to be together, makes her a symbol of hope and inspiration for those who seek to follow their hearts and pursue true love.

Worship and Cult Practices

Lofn was a minor goddess in Norse mythology, and there is little information available about her worship and cult practices. However, it is believed that she was worshipped primarily by those seeking her aid in matters of love and marriage.

It is said that Lofn was particularly revered by those who were in love but could not be together due to societal or cultural restrictions. She was also known to help those who were struggling in their marriages or relationships, and it was believed that she could ease the pain of unrequited love.

While there is no record of any specific rituals or offerings made to Lofn, it is likely that she was honored in a similar manner to other Norse deities. This may have included offerings of food, drink, or other items that were believed to be pleasing to the gods.

Despite her minor role in Norse mythology, Lofn remains an intriguing figure for those interested in the complexities of love and relationships in ancient cultures.

Iconography and Symbols

Lofn, the goddess of love and marriage, is often depicted in Norse mythology as a beautiful and gentle woman, wearing a long dress and a crown of flowers on her head. Her symbols include a heart, a rose, and a dove, all of which represent love, compassion, and peace.

In some depictions, Lofn is shown holding a key, which symbolizes her role as a matchmaker, unlocking the doors of love and helping people find their true partners. She is also associated with the color pink, which represents affection and tenderness.

One of the most interesting symbols of Lofn is her name itself, which means “comforter” or “the mild.” This name reflects her role as a goddess of love and compassion, who brings comfort and solace to those in need. In this way, Lofn is often seen as a mediator between lovers, helping to resolve conflicts and bring them closer together.

Overall, Lofn’s iconography and symbols reflect her gentle and nurturing nature, as well as her important role in Norse mythology as a goddess of love and marriage.

Myths Involving Lofn

Lofn and Loki’s Antics

Lofn, the goddess of love and marriage, has been known to intervene in the affairs of mortals and gods alike. One such instance involved the trickster god Loki, who had been causing chaos among the gods. Lofn used her powers to calm the situation and convince the gods to spare Loki’s life. This act of compassion earned her the title of “the comforter” and cemented her reputation as a mediator.

Lofn’s Interactions with Mortals

Lofn was also known to aid mortals in their quest for love. According to legend, she would remove any obstacles that stood in the way of two people who were meant to be together. Her gentle touch and kind heart made her a beloved figure among mortals, who often prayed to her for help in matters of the heart.

In addition to her role as a matchmaker, Lofn was also associated with forbidden love. She was said to bless unions that were frowned upon by society, such as those between different social classes or even different species. Her acceptance of these unconventional relationships made her a symbol of rebellion and individual choice.

Overall, Lofn’s presence in Norse mythology serves as a reminder of the power of love and the importance of compassion and understanding. By using her powers to bring people together and bridge divides, she embodies the best qualities of humanity and the divine.

Comparative Mythology

Similar Deities in Other Pantheons

Lofn, the Norse goddess of love and marriage, has several counterparts in other mythologies. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality. Similarly, in Roman mythology, Venus is the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Both Aphrodite and Venus are associated with the planet Venus and are depicted as beautiful and alluring women.

In Hindu mythology, Parvati is the goddess of love, fertility, and devotion. She is the consort of Lord Shiva and is often depicted as a beautiful and gentle woman. In Chinese mythology, the goddess Yue Lao is the god of love and marriage. He is often depicted as an old man with a long beard who carries a red thread that he uses to tie the feet of lovers together.

Despite their differences in culture and mythology, these deities share a common theme of love and fertility. They are revered and worshipped by their respective cultures as symbols of love, beauty, and devotion.

Modern Influence

Lofn in Popular Culture

Lofn, the Norse goddess of love and forbidden marriages, has made a few appearances in popular culture. She has been featured in several books, movies, and TV shows. One notable example is the popular TV series “Vikings,” where she is shown as a minor character. In the series, Lofn is portrayed as a mediator between two characters who are in love but cannot be together due to societal norms.

Another example of Lofn’s appearance in popular culture is in the book “The Gospel of Loki” by Joanne M. Harris. In the book, Lofn is depicted as a compassionate and understanding goddess who helps Loki, the trickster god, in his time of need.

Contemporary Worship

While Lofn may not be as well-known as some of the other Norse gods and goddesses, there are still those who worship her today. Some modern practitioners of Norse paganism see Lofn as a deity who can help them with matters of the heart, such as finding love or healing a broken relationship.

In contemporary worship, Lofn is often associated with the concept of “forbidden love.” Some people believe that she can help them navigate the complexities of love and relationships, especially when societal norms or other obstacles stand in the way.

Overall, while Lofn may not be as widely recognized as some of the other Norse deities, her influence can still be felt in popular culture and contemporary worship.