Heimdallr (pronounced “HAME-doll;”) is one of the Aesir gods and is the watchman of all the gods. Heimdallr himself is, like so many of the Norse deities, a son of Óðinn. In a feat possible for gods but not for biological creatures, he was born from no less than Nine Mothers (who may represent personified waves). He is known as the shining god and is the whitest of the gods and has gold teeth. Heimdallr is attested as possessing foreknowledge, keen eyesight, and hearing; He required less sleep than a bird, could see 100 leagues, and could hear the grass growing in the meadows and wool growing on sheep. With these abilities, he keeps a watch for invaders while drinking fine mead in his dwelling Himinbjörg or “Heaven Hall,” located where the rainbow bridge Bifrost meets the heavens, the entry to Asgard.
Heimdallr keeps the golden-maned horse Gulltoppr and possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn, which could be heard throughout heaven, earth, and the lower world. It was believed that he would sound the horn to summon the gods when their enemies, the giants, drew near at the time of Ragnarök, the end of the world of gods and men.
Heimdallr is also said to be the originator of social classes among humanity and fathered many children amongst humankind under the name Rigr.
Nevertheless, Heimdallr will meet his end during Ragnarök by the hand of the disloyal Loki, the particular nemesis of the unwaveringly dutiful Heimdallr, and will be fighting alongside the giants. Loki and Heimdall will slay each other as the world burns and sinks into the sea.
Image by Andrea Guardino @theguardinian