American Gods

American Gods

The Norns Character Analysis

Three sisters from Norse mythology who loosely control the past, present, and future (roughly corresponding to the “Fates” of other European mythology). Urdr, the oldest sister, rules the past, Verdandi, the middle sister, oversees the present, and Skuld, the youngest sister, foresees the future. The sisters are in charge of the world tree where Shadow undergoes Mr. Wednesday’s vigil, and they protect Urd’s Well, a magical well that has the power to restore Laura’s decomposing corpse.
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The Norns Character Timeline in American Gods

The timeline below shows where the character The Norns appears in American Gods. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 14
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The Sacredness of American Land Theme Icon
...is taller than the farmhouse and looks exactly like Wednesday’s tie pin. Three women ( The Norns ) are standing by the tree, reminding Shadow of the Zorya sisters. The biggest woman... (full context)
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The biggest sister pantomimes to Shadow to take off his clothes, and the Norns prop a nine-stepped ladder against the tree. Shadow climbs the ladder and the sisters begin... (full context)
Chapter 15
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Plurality and the Power of the Individual in America Theme Icon
...thirsty. Shadow tells her to go to the farmhouse and tell the sisters there ( the Norns ) that Shadow said to give her water. Laura says that she should go, but... (full context)
Chapter 17
Mythology, Belief, and Community Theme Icon
Change and Growth Theme Icon
Life, Death, Desire, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...thinks that the chill might just be because she’s dead. She notices three women ( The Norns ) sitting on the sofa and tells them that Shadow said to give her water.... (full context)