October 9th is known as Leif Erikson Day, an observance that honours the Norse explorer Leif Erikson who is believed to be the first European to ever set foot in North America. The date itself doesn’t really have anything to do with Leif Erikson. Instead it commemorates the date of the start of a large wave of immigration from Norway to the United States of America.

Today seems like an excellent day to take a look at some Norse and viking themed origami. Norse mythology has a ton of amazing characters, creatures, gods and monsters and a lot of that has been folded out of paper. Although there is less Norse themed origami than I would expect there are some great designs and we’ll take a look at them here.

We’ll start things off with one of my favourite models, this Attack of the Kraken. The Kraken is a giant sea monster usually represented as a giant squid. In this model both the Kraken and the ship are folded from the same single uncut square of paper!

Attack of the Kraken
https://www.flickr.com/photos/langko/11091977245/

Attack of the Kraken, Designed by Brian Chan and Folded by Jordan Langerak

Crease pattern available from Brian Chan’s website

 

When it comes to Norse mythology origami probably the most popular model is Satoshi Kamiya’s Sleipnir.  Sleipnir is an 8-legged horse ridden by the god Odin and is often described as the “best of all horses”.

This particular version is folded very nicely and you can see all the details and 8 individual legs.

Sleipnir
https://www.flickr.com/photos/77992716@N03/8401597895/

Sleipnir, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by miyamiya0419

Diagrams available in Works of Satoshi Kamiya 2, 2002 – 2009

 

Thor is probably the most famous and instantly recognizable figure from Norse mythology so of course I had to include this fantastic model from Juanfran Carrillo. I think it’s more based off of the design of Thor from the Marvel comics than the actual Norse god but I’m still going to include it here.

The whole thing is one sheet of paper and if you use two coloured paper you end up with that awesome looking colour change on the cape.

Thor
https://www.flickr.com/photos/31632261@N03/13972597432/

Thor, Designed and Folded by Juanfran Carrillo

Crease pattern available from Juanfran Carrillo’s Flickr

 

Dragons show up a lot in Norse myths so I had to include a few great looking Western dragons in this post too. This particular dragon has a very fantastic and detailed design for the head. It took almost 8 hours to fold!

Dragon
https://www.flickr.com/photos/philogami/26410260871/

Dragon 1.2, Designed and Folded by Philipp-Marius Kost

Instructions not available

 

Dwarves also show up in viking mythology a lot as well so it’s a great opportunity to include some of Eric Joisel’s fantastic dwarves.

Dwarves
https://www.flickr.com/photos/34452409@N07/5403659413/

Dwarves, Designed by Eric Joisel and Folded by rhplus

Diagrams available in Eric Joisel, the Magician of Origami

 

I mentioned that Sleipnir is Odin’s personal horse so here he is himself riding the mythical horse.

Odin and Sleipnir
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shikaorigami/38450163396/

Odin Designed by Marcos Origami, Horse Designed by Roman Diaz, Both Folded by Marcos Origami

Odin instructions not available – Horse Diagrams available in Origami for Interpreters

 

Here’s a different more complicated version of Satoshi Kamiya’s Sleipnir with more details in the mane.

Sleipnir 2.0
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124231637@N06/20008187339/

Sleipnir 2.0, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Hosanna Tan

Crease pattern available from Satoshi Kamiya’s website

 

Neelesh K. designed this awesome paper version of Hela from the movie Thor Ragnarok. Again, technically not necessarily from actual Norse mythology but the design is great and definitely related so here it is.

Hela from Thor Ragnarok
https://www.flickr.com/photos/neeleshk/27776329158/

Hela, Designed and Folded by Neelesh K.

Crease pattern available from Neelesh K.’s Flickr

 

Here’s another fantastic dwarf design that’s a little bit closer to what you’d expect from this mythology.

Dwarf
https://www.flickr.com/photos/133041586@N06/31734405630/

Dwarf, Designed and Folded by Bart Davids

Crease Pattern available from Bart Davids’ Flickr

 

This is probably the best Odin design I’ve seen. It’s full of details that you’ll recognize right away if you’re familiar at all with the myths around Odin. If you look closely you’ll notice a blind eye, his raven spies, winged crown and some wolves. The best part is that everything you see here is folded from the same single uncut square of paper!

Odin
https://www.flickr.com/photos/neeleshk/41076590240/

Odin, Designed and Folded by Neelesh K.

Instructions not available

 

Choi Ju Young designed this awesome looking Hellhound. I don’t think this is specifically from Norse mythology however there are hounds like this guarding the realm of Helheim so I’m including it.

Hellhound
https://www.flickr.com/photos/yesutis1/42434043540/

Hellhound, Designed and Folded by Choi Ju Young

Instructions not available

 

There is a famous wolf named Fenrir in viking myths and I know I’ve seen an amazing origami Fenrir design before but I can’t seem to find it folded by anyone right now. I did however find this gorgeous looking wolf so I’m including it instead.

Wolf (Fenrir?)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/origami_mhg/25938051828/

Wolf, Designed by Shuki Kato and Folded by Maeng Heung Gue

Diagrams available in Origami Nature Study

 

Here’s another look at Satoshi Kamiya’s excellent Sleipnir. This is a very popular model to fold.

Sleipnir
https://www.flickr.com/photos/129382823@N05/32464779051/

Sleipnir, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Lee Junha

Diagrams available in Works of Satoshi Kamiya 2, 2002 – 2009

 

This is that same Attack of the Kraken model from the start of this post but this version is the tiniest one I’ve ever seen! I have no idea how you could fold something this complex so small.

Tiny Attack of the Kraken
https://www.flickr.com/photos/106934544@N05/12885276863/

Attack of the Kraken, Designed by Brian Chan and Folded by Xu Daniel

Crease pattern available from Brian Chan’s website

 

Here’s another one of Eric Joisel’s fantastic dwarves. This design always looks so different with very different personalities depending on who’s folding it.

Dwarf
https://www.flickr.com/photos/chris1155665/16200253578/

Dwarf, Designed by Eric Joisel and Folded by Chris Hui

Diagrams available in Eric Joisel, the Magician of Origami

 

This might be the most famous origami dragons out there and with very good reason.

Ancient Dragon
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kobashi_san/8594159977/

Ancient Dragon, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Diagrams available in Works of Satoshi Kamiya 1995-2003

 

Here’s something pretty cool. This is Thor fighting with the World Serpent Jörmungandr. At the end of the world it’s prophesied that Thor and Jörmungandr fight to the death.

Thor vs Jörmungandr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shikaorigami/25594510388/

Thor vs Jörmungandr, Designed and Folded by Marcos Origami

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another incredible Odin design created for the Origami Olypmiad. If you look closely you’ll notice two ravens and Odin’s spear Gungir.

Odin
https://www.flickr.com/photos/morpheusorigami/8167208559/ – https://www.flickr.com/photos/morpheusorigami/8167232818/

Odin, Designed and Folded by Raphael Mausolf

Instructions not available

 

I had to include one more awesome origami wolf. This one is much less complex but I love the sharp and crisp shapes and how much character it has. This may actually be my favourite wolf design.

Wolf
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hamur0w0/6194403920/

Wolf, Designed and Folded by Yosuke Muroya

Crease pattern available from Yosuke Muroya’s Flickr

 

Different types of elves show up in Norse myths so here’s an amazing looking elf archer. I especially love the armour plates on the legs.

Elf Archer
https://www.flickr.com/photos/84138735@N00/3961245251/

Elf Archer, Designed and Folded by Tran Trung Hieu

Instructions not available – Follow Tran Trung Hieu on Flickr or Facebook

 

You can’t have a post about Vikings without including a Viking longboat! This whole ship is folded from a single sheet of paper! It’s based on a design by Robert J. Lang but Dzmitry Lysiuk added in some sails, shields and other details.

The rune folded into the sail is called “Sowelu” and represents wholeness, power, elemental force, sword of flame and cleansing fire.

Viking Longboat
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dimon_c1/5720102024/

Drakkar, Designed and Folded by Dzmitry Lysiuk

Instructions not available

 

I mentioned a couple time before that the god Odin uses ravens as spies to bring him information from the nine realms. Because of this I had to include what’s probably the best origami raven design I’ve seen.

Raven
https://www.flickr.com/photos/12043525@N04/10011354176/

Raven, Designed and Folded by Quentin Trollip

Diagrams available in Works of Quentin Trollip

 

Tkak Sakai designed a couple versions of probably the best Sleipnir I’ve seen. Here’s version 1.5.

Sleipnir 1.5
https://www.flickr.com/photos/140597444@N03/27431986513/

Sleipnir 1.5, Designed and Folded by Tkak Sakai

Instructions not available

 

Here’s version 2.0 which I think might be the best Sleipnir design I’ve seen.

Sleipnir 2.0
https://www.flickr.com/photos/140597444@N03/33696912375/

Sleipnir 2.0, Designed and Folded by Tkak Sakai

Instructions not available

 

Our final model for this post is another dragon that looks absolutely incredible. This is folded from a single square of paper too! I really love those different coloured spikes down the back.

Deathwing
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56997154@N06/30263309132/

Deathwing, Designed and Folded by Nguyen Nam Son

Instructions not available

 

What did you think about all this Norse mythology origami? If you’re interested in learning more about Norse mythology I recommend you check out this excellent book.