This here is Idunn, the sort of sweet dumbass who says “oh, that sounds super nice! I’ll be right there!” when Loki suggests that they take a little stroll in the forest, just the two of them, 100% legit, no schemes involved.
The fun thing about her as a “goddess of apple trees” is the fact that apples actually didn’t exist in the Nordic countries before middle ages, when they were brought over from Central Asia, and Snorri is the first one to write about apples over here. This led to me reading university candidate studies titled “Hazel – more than just nuts” and googling rowan trees – those two have been about the only things up in the North that could be described as even remotely fruit-like before medieval times.
The rowan was called “Thor’s tree” in Scandinavia and “Ukko’s tree” in Finland (Ukko also being a thunder deity). Its berries have long been known as extremely healthy food, so it would tie in with the benefits of apples as fruit of youth and health. Idunn can take care of her special fruit, but I guess she wouldn’t mind looking after a few rowans either.
Snorri also credits the name of Asgard to Asia/Turkey. Turkic tribes of central Asia traded with the vikings and eventually brought them those juicy apples too, so I took some inspiration for Idunn’s features and dress/coat combo from Kazakh and Udmurt folk dresses (Turkic and Finno-Ugric).
great take on idun!
and i must say, reading those articles about hazelnuts was what happened to me too, several months back when i too was trying to research whatever iduns fruit was.
and just in general spiralling into a very fun google hole of iron age nordic fruits facts. i distinctly remember that it led to me finding out that plums plants appear to have been brought to by humans to scandinavia during the stone age. which does not help with the question of iduns fruit at all, but filled with some kind off satification haha.
I never even thought about plums! That’s another good one I have to check out. Idunn will have a whole garden soon because of these things I keep finding out.
And meanwhile Baldr will just be drowning in flowers because no one seems to be sure what he was originally killed by and what he represented. Mistle didn’t really exist in the North. Was it Thistle? Sounds similar. We also have Baldersbrå/Chamomile, a cute one. Reeds were also used in some sagas as weapons. And then there’s Birch in a rune poem.
Loki and Hödr are just scheming together to tie a very aesthetic and deadly flower bouquet and throw it at Baldr.