At the beginning there was Ginnungagap, the emptiness of the world. The only thing there was was a great lake of fire known as Muspell to the south, and the ice mountains of Niflheim to the north.
After many many years the fiery realm of Muspell began to melt the ice mountains, and from this the first being was created. He was Ymir, the giant of Ginnungagap. Along with him there was a cow that emerged from the ice, which Ymir drank the milk from, and grew even larger and stronger.
This cow licked away the ice from two other gods for them to emerge, they were Buri and his goddess wife. These two had a son named Bor, and Bor had a son named Odin, who became the King of the Gods.
Conflict creeped into the gods, and Ymir was a cruel and harsh leader. Odin and the other gods decided to kill him, and when he was dead, Ymir’s body formed the earth. His blood became the sea, his flesh the land, his bones the mountains, and his hair the trees. The sky was created from his skull, which was supported by four massive pillars.
The sparks from Muspell became the sun and the moon. Trees soon began to grow from the sun, and the greatest tree was known as Yggdrasil, which grew in the centre of the earth.
Satisfied with his earth, Odin named it Midgard (The Middle Land). People were created from trees, and Odin named them Ask (male) and Embla (female). He breathed life into them and gave senses and emotions. The people look after Midgard, while the gods went to Asgard, their kingdom in heaven.
The past comes back to haunt Odin as Ymir’s sisters want vengeance for his death. The carved lines into Yggdrasil which symbolised a human life, twisting and turning and eventually being cut off. This spell was so powerful that not even Odin could change it, and this tree became known as The Tree of Life, and humans would forever know death.