The Aesir - Vanir War
Part III : The Peace
Then Odin called all the Mighty Aesir Gods to give judgement. They took council together. They had two choices: Accept great losses, or give all the Gods, including the Vanir, their due. Odin could see through his anger and understand that the Aesir, and the Vanir, were now few in numbers and that neither could sustain such losses for long. He also worried about the gathering strength of the Jotuns and did not want to get caught off - guard by them in a weakened state. Besides, an alliance between the Aesir and Vanir would strengthen both realms, and together they could ward off all enemies. When Odin expressed his views before the great council, all agreed that they should go and meet with the Vanir leader, Njord, and seek common ground for a lasting peace.
On the other side of the great wall, Njord also saw the futility of continuing this conflict. They had been few in number at the beginning of the war, and now were even further diminished.This war had accomplished nothing for the Vanir, and now a settlement needed to be reached. Njord had also gained great respect for the abilities and honor that the Aesir had shown, and felt that they could be as strong a friend as they had been an enemy. He too held council, and after Freyja seconded the motion, all in attendance voted for peace.
The next day, under a flag of truce, Njord with his children, Freyr and Freyja, met with Odin and his captains of war just outside the great wall. They agreed that peace was the only course that made sense at this point. They made a truce in this way: They all went up to a crock and spat into it, to show their disdain for this war, and their willingness to embrace a lasting peace. They would forget their past differences and live together in peace and common cause. When they were going away the Gods took the truce token, and would not allow it to be lost, and made a man of it. He was named Kvasir. He was so wise that no one could ask him any question that he was unable to answer. Kvasir became a living symbol of peace, and a reminder of how terrible war can be.
To seal the peace, as was the custom, hostages were exchanged. Hoenir and Mimir were given to the Vanir, and Njord and his children went to live with the Aesir. These three Vanir Gods and Goddess would later be so honored as to be numbered among the Aesir. The Vanir saw Hoenir as having leadership qualities and tried to use him in this capacity. Hoenir, however, relied heavily on the advice and wisdom of Mimir, so that when Mimir was away, Hoenir would not make decisions, allowing others to decide. This aggravated the Vanir who felt that they had been cheated in the exchange, having given up Njord, and his wonderful children. In retaliation they beheaded Mimir, and sent it on to Odin. Odin would normally have been furious, but he was able to make Mimir's head speak, and added his wisdom to his own. The truce held, and the Aesir and Vanir remained on honorable and equal terms from that time on. The Jotuns would have to bide their time, until the final days, the alliance was just too strong for them to break !
Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2011.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !