Forseti: The Norse God of Justice and Mediation

In Norse mythology, Forseti holds a distinguished position as the embodiment of justice and mediation. As the offspring of Baldur …

In Norse mythology, Forseti holds a distinguished position as the embodiment of justice and mediation. As the offspring of Baldur and the goddess Nanna, his lineage underscores a commitment to ensuring that disputes among gods and mortals are resolved with fairness and integrity.

Forseti Key Facts

ParentsBaldur and Nanna
PartnersNone known
SiblingsNone known
OffspringNone known
Old Norse nameForseti
Other namesFosite, Foseti
The God ofJustice and Mediation
Ass. AnimalRam

Name and Etymology

Forseti, derived from the Old Norse term “for-sitja,” translates to “presiding one” or “president.” This name aptly captures his role as the god who presides over legal disputes, ensuring justice and fairness. In the realm of kennings, Forseti is only indirectly mentioned in one about Baldur. In the Skáldskaparmál, one of Baldurs’ kennings in ‘Father of Forseti’, emphasizing the lineage and connection to the god of light and purity.

Ancient roots

There are few myths that mention Forseti. Some scholars have indeed argued he might have been more a later invention than a god of the Viking Age. One possible predecessor to him, might be a Frisian god. 

The Frisians, a Germanic tribe, worshipped a god named Fosite, who bears some similarities to Forseti. This connection could suggest that Forseti’s origins might predate Norse myths. However, this is far from certain and will possibly never really be truly established.

Forseti’s Origins

A painting of Forseti.
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Born to Baldur, the god of light and purity, and Nanna, the goddess of joy and peace, Forseti inherited a legacy of righteousness. His lineage alone positioned him as a beacon of fairness and justice among the gods.

Family and Relationships

Forseti, unlike many other gods, isn’t known for numerous romantic entanglements. His primary focus remains on his divine duties, ensuring justice and fairness in all matters.

Forseti’s Roles And Responsibilities

Forseti’s primary role in Norse mythology is that of an arbiter, ensuring justice and fairness in all disputes. His esteemed position is evident from the ancient texts, which describe his divine dwelling, Glitnir, as a place where conflicts are resolved. Crafted from gold and silver, Glitnir stands as a symbol of transparency, clarity, and the shining light of justice.

Forseti is the god of justice. Son of Baldur and Nanna, he is the best arbitrator and the embodiment of reconciliation.

The Grímnismál from the Poetic Edda paints a vivid picture of Forseti’s daily life, where he spends most of his days in Glitnir, “solving all matters.”

Furthermore, Snorri Sturluson’s mention in the Prose Edda’s Gylfaginning reinforces Forseti’s role as the ultimate mediator. Snorri’s words, “All who come to him with disputes go away perfectly reconciled,” highlight Forseti’s unparalleled wisdom and fairness. Such mentions in revered texts solidify his position as a beacon of justice among both gods and mortals. In the grand tapestry of Norse deities, Forseti stands out, not for his prowess in battle, but for his dedication to upholding justice and ensuring harmony in the realms.

Depiction And Characteristics

Forseti’s actions in myths paint a picture of a calm, composed, and wise deity. He wasn’t one for battles or conquests; instead, he chose the path of understanding and mediation. His demeanor was always serene, reflecting his commitment to justice and fairness. While he might not have as many tales as Odin or Thor, his consistent portrayal as a just and fair god makes him a revered figure in Norse mythology.

Forseti’s Symbols, Artifacts or Animals

There are so few mentions of him in ancient manuscripts so it’s impossible to know if he had symbols, any special artifacts or animals associated with him. This actually lends credence to him being a late addition to the Old Norse pantheon than anything else. However, another possibility is that he has figured in myths which are now lost to us.

Play Fun Norse Quiz

Is this article making you even more curious about Norse gods and goddesses? You can satisfy your curiosity by playing a fun Norse mythology quiz. This way, you can test your knowledge about Norse gods and goddesses, as well as fill in some gaps. Good luck and have fun playing!

Don’t forget to try our other games as well!

Myths about Forseti

There are no myths associated with him and no one knows what might happen to him during Ragnarok. If he was indeed one of the true Aesir gods, it seems likley he died with most the others.

Mentions in Ancient Texts

While references to Forseti in ancient texts are sparse, his mention in the Grímnismál stands as a testament to his authenticity and significance within Norse mythology.

Poetic Edda

The Poetic Edda
Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


The Grímnismál, a poem from the Poetic Edda, offers one of the earliest mentions of Forseti. In its 15th stanza, the poem describes Glitnir, Forseti’s dwelling-place, as a magnificent hall crafted from gold and silver. This hall serves as the venue where Forseti adjudicates disputes, ensuring fairness and justice.

The tenth is Glitnir; | with pillars of gold, And a silver roof; There Forseti lives | most of his days, Solving all matters.

Prose Edda


Penned by Snorri Sturluson, the Prose Edda’s Gylfaginning provides further insights into Forseti’s lineage and significance. In the 32nd verse of chapter 8, Snorri identifies Forseti as the offspring of Baldur and Nanna, emphasizing his noble heritage. This mention underscores Forseti’s esteemed position among the gods and his role in mediating conflicts.

32. Forsete is a son of Baldur and Nanna, Nep’s daughter. He has in heaven the hall which hight Glitner. All who come to him with disputes go away perfectly reconciled. No better tribunal is to be found among gods and men.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Forseti known for?

Forseti is revered as the Norse god of justice and mediation, ensuring fairness in all disputes.

Where did Forseti reside?

He resided in Glitnir, a hall known for its silver roof and golden pillars.

Did Forseti have any romantic relationships?

Unlike many gods, Forseti wasn’t known for numerous romantic entanglements, focusing primarily on his divine duties.

How is Forseti related to Baldur?

Forseti is the son of Baldur, the god of light and purity, and Nanna, the goddess of joy and peace.

Did Forseti survive Ragnarok?

While many gods met their end during Ragnarok, Forseti’s fate remains a topic of debate, with some believing he survived the events.

Featured Image Credit: Carl Emil Doepler (1824-1905), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo of author


Norse mythology enthusiast, Norwegian and living in Oslo next to a series of old Viking age burial mounds.I am also able to navigate and understand quite a lot of the old Norse texts and I often lean on original texts when researching an article. Through this blog I hope more people, young and old will get to know Norse mythology and the world of the Vikings a bit better.

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