Idunn, guardian of the apples of youth: Her importance to the gods

Nordic mythology is rich and captivating, depicting a universe populated by gods of immense power, mythical creatures and breathtaking tales. Among these timeless stories is that of Idunn, the revered guardian of the apples of youth, essential to the survival of the Norse gods.


Nordic mythology is a fascinating belief system that has come down to us mainly through the Eddas, medieval texts that recount the exploits of Scandinavian gods and heroes. Idunn is at the heart of these tales, as the goddess who ensures the Aesir's eternal youth thanks to her magical apples.

Idunn's origin and legends

Who is Idunn?

Idunn, or Iðunn in Old Norse, is described in mythological sources as a figure of youth and beauty. She is the goddess who possesses the miraculous apples capable of keeping the Nordic gods in a state of perpetual youth. Her first mention comes from the Eddas, where she plays a discreet but essential role.

The apples of youth

Idunn's apples are much more than mere fruits; they are imbued with magic. The symbolism of apples in Norse mythology is closely linked to life and regeneration, representing the constant renewal of the vital forces of the Aesir gods.

Idunn's role among the deities

The eternal youth of the gods

For the Norse gods, access to Idunn's apples is vital. Without them, they grow old and lose their vigor. This is why Idunn and her apples are central to divine survival, with the gods ensuring that nothing threatens this treasure.

The stakes in protecting the apples

There are many tales of the tension surrounding the custody of the precious apples: from attempts by invaders or giants to steal them, to the gods' fears when the apples' safety is compromised.

Myths and famous stories involving Idunn

The abduction of Idunn

Among the most famous tales involving Idunn is that of her abduction by the giant Thjazi, with the unfortunate complicity of Loki. This dramatic story highlights the rapid decline of the Norse gods in the absence of apples.

The rescue and return of Idunn

Fortunately, Idunn's disappearance was short-lived. The gods, realizing their fate without the apples, mobilize all their forces to recover Idunn and restore the natural order. Their success symbolizes resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Idunn in modern culture

Literature and art

Idunn transcends the ages and finds her place in modern art and literature , where she always embodies youth and vitality. Recent works reimagine her story, making her accessible to a new audience.

Pop culture

Contemporary cinema, video games and literature are no strangers to this mythological figure. Idunn's appearance in these media shows the lasting influence of Norse mythology in popular culture.


Idunn, the guardian of the apples of youth, plays a discreet but fundamental role in Norse mythology: . Her presence ensures the eternal youth of the Aesir gods, a crucial aspect of their epic tales. The years pass, but the cultural impact and the myth of Idunn remain, a testament to the durability of these Scandinavian legends in the collective imagination.

Keywords included: Idunn, Apples of youth, Nordic mythology, Nordic gods , Aesir, Eternal youth, Thjazi, Loki, Eddas, Cultural influence, Pop culture references, Scandinavian legends, Idunn in art and literature.

References available on request.