The raven is an iconic and magical creature in Norse mythology. It is a powerful symbol of war and is believed to be the eyes and ears of the chief Viking god, Odin.
Ravens also have a practical use, the Vikings use them to aid in navigation on long voyages. Viking raiders release them, and if they do not return, it signals that land is near.
The Heimskringla (a history of the Norwegian kings, written by Sturluson), states that Odin gave his ravens the ability to speak.
“He had two ravens, to whom he had taught the speech of man; and they flew far and wide through the land, and brought him the news.”
Odin’s two ravens: Huginn (thought in old Norse) and Muninn (memory), fly all over the world, Midgard, and bring information to Odin, feasting on the flesh of the fallen in battle as they Journey.
“How is it with you, ye ravens? Whence are ye come with bloody beak at the dawning of day? Torn flesh is hanging from your talons, and a reek of carrion comes from your mouths. I doubt not that ye have passed the night amid a scene of carnage.”