Odin (; from Old Norse: Óðinn, IPA: [ˈoːðinː]) is a widely revered god in Germanic mythology. Norse mythology, the source of most surviving information about him, associates Odin with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victory, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and project him as the husband of the goddess Frigg. In wider Germanic mythology and paganism, the god was known in Old English and Old Saxon as Wōden, in Old Dutch as Wuodan, and in Old High German as Wuotan.
Odin appears as a prominent god throughout the recorded history of Northern Europe, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania (from c. 2 BCE) through the tribal expansions of the Migration Period (4th to 6th centuries CE) and the Viking Age (8th to 11th centuries CE). In the modern period the rural folklore of Germanic Europe continued to acknowledge Odin. References to him appear in place names throughout regions historically inhabited by the ancient Germanic peoples, and the day of the week Wednesday bears his name in many Germanic languages, including in English.
In Old English texts, Odin holds a particular place as a euhemerized ancestral figure among royalty, and he is frequently referred to as a founding figure among various other Germanic peoples, such as the Langobards. Forms of his name appear frequently throughout the Germanic record, though narratives regarding Odin are mainly found in Old Norse works recorded in Iceland, primarily around the 13th century. These texts make up the bulk of modern understanding of Norse mythology.
Old Norse texts portray Odin as one-eyed and long-bearded, frequently wielding a spear named Gungnir and wearing a cloak and a broad hat. He is often accompanied by his animal companions and familiars—the wolves Geri and Freki and the ravens Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from all over Midgard—and rides the flying, eight-legged steed Sleipnir across the sky and into the underworld. Odin is the son of Bestla and Borr and has two brothers, Vili and Vé. Odin is attested as having many sons, most famously the gods Thor (with Jörð) and Baldr (with Frigg), and is known by hundreds of names. In these texts he frequently seeks greater knowledge, at times in disguise (most famously by obtaining the Mead of Poetry), makes wagers with his wife Frigg over the outcome of exploits, and takes part both in the creation of the world by way of slaying the primordial being Ymir and in giving the gift of life to the first two humans Ask and Embla. Odin has a particular association with Yule, and mankind's knowledge of both the runes and poetry is also attributed to him, giving Odin aspects of the culture hero.
Old Norse texts associate female beings connected with the battlefield—the valkyries—with the god, and Odin oversees Valhalla, where he receives half of those who die in battle, the einherjar. The other half are chosen by the goddess Freyja for her afterlife-location, Fólkvangr. Odin consults the disembodied, herb-embalmed head of the wise being Mímir for advice, and during the foretold events of Ragnarök Odin is told to lead the einherjar into battle before being consumed by the monstrous wolf Fenrir. In later folklore Odin appears as a leader of the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession of the dead through the winter sky. He is associated with charms and other forms of magic, particularly in Old English and Old Norse texts.
Odin is a frequent subject of interest in Germanic studies, and scholars have advanced numerous theories regarding his development. Some of these focus on Odin's particular relation to other figures; for example, the fact that Freyja's husband Óðr appears to be something of an etymological doublet of the god, whereas Odin's wife Frigg is in many ways similar to Freyja, and that Odin has a particular relation to the figure of Loki. Other approaches focus on Odin's place in the historical record, a frequent question being whether the figure of Odin derives from Proto-Indo-European mythology, or whether he developed later in Germanic society. In the modern period the figure of Odin has inspired numerous works of poetry, music, and other cultural expressions. He is venerated in most forms of the new religious movement Heathenry, together with other gods venerated by the ancient Germanic peoples; some branches focus particularly on him.