In Norse mythology, there are two tribes of gods: the Vanir and the Aesir. The Vanir tribe are fertility gods, while the Aesir are warrior gods. During the Viking Age, the people of Scandinavia relied heavily on farming for their survival, so the Vanir gods played a crucial role in their worship. As the son of Skadi, a frost giantess, and Njord, the god of the sea, Freyr is a sun god who is a member of the Vanir, associated with fertility and peace. His twin sister, Frejya, is also well known for her cunning and beauty throughout Norse mythology.
Thor has a fascinating origin story that’s quite different from how the world has come to know him. According to Snorri Sturluson, the 13th-century Icelandic historian who wrote the Prose Edda (which to this day remains our main and most complete source of Old Norse religion and mythology), Thor actually descends from Troy. Yes, the ancient kingdom Greeks laid siege on for ten years before using the Trojan Horse to sneakily win the war. Sturluson says Thor, also known as Tror, was the son of a Trojan prince who survived the war and was raised in Thrace, in northern Greece. He was often compared to Zeus, the Greek god of thunder, and Herakles. He’s supposed to have “fair hair,” and in some depictions, he’s seen as a pagan priest. His descendants followed the Germanic tribes to the north of Europe, and his twelfth descendant, Woden, became celebrated as a god amongst the Germans and Scandinavians. A very interesting tidbit in this story is that “Asgard,” the legendary realm that was home of the gods, according to Sturluson, meant “the city in the east,” a reference to Troy — and “Aesir” meant “the gods from the east.”
Strictly speaking, Freya is not a name: it is an honorific that means “Lady”. Different forms of the word have been used since the Viking Age (freyjur) to this day (Frau) to address women. If the Goddess had an actual name, it is lost to us. Apart from “Lady”, Freya is also called “The Beautiful One” and “The Priestess of Sacrifice” (Blotgydja), a reference to her status as the Goddess of Witchcraft.