Sol is the Norse sun goddess. Contrary to the other belief systems of the time, the Norse didn’t place much as much focus on the sun.

Owing to this, not much is known about her in the available stories, with her first appearing in Nordic poetry compiled during the 13th century. Other sources relate that she was also associated with the concepts of protection and victory, as well as being viewed in some lore as a healer. The day of the week “Sunday” originated as her day of honor. In the Land of the Midnight Sun (Norway), where the sun can shine for ten weeks at a time, it’s said to be Sol emphasizing her power. She has a daughter named Sunna and a husband, Glenr, meaning “opening in the clouds.” Also mentioned in some sources is her sister, Sinthgunt. Little is known about her, aside from being the goddess of the flow of time and of shifting power.

Her role in Nordic mythology differs somewhat depending on the source. Common threads include her being daughter to Mundilfari, who was either a Norse giant or a human, and brother to the lunar god Mani. The most commonly accepted origin is when she and her brother emerged during the creation of the cosmos, they had no purpose for or idea of what their powers were. Thus, the gods created the differing parts of the year and day for Sol and the phases of the moon for Mani. Both were given horse-drawn chariots to travel across the sky. With this chariot and her horses Arvakr and Alvisor (meaning “Early Riser” and “Swift,” respectively), Sol rides across the sky. On her trail is the wolf god Skoll, meaning “Mockery.” It’s said that a solar eclipse occurs if Skoll gets too close to Sol. Skoll will never be able to catch Sol for good until Ragnarok, the Norse day of Apocalypse.

A secondary origin story indicates that Mundilfari was so awestruck by the beauty of his children that they were named after the sun and moon. This story states that the sun itself was pulled by a driverless chariot. Outraged by the arrogance displayed by Mundilfari in the names he chose, the gods forced Sol to pull the chariot until Ragnarok. In this story, the legendary shield Svalinn positions itself between Sol so that the earth and sea below isn’t engulfed by her fire.

During Ragnarok at the end of the world, Skoll will finally catch up with and consume Sol, devouring the sun along with it, plunging the earth into darkness and covering it in water. In the ensuing apocalypse, the planet will be filled with natural disasters as the gods and goddesses wage their final battle. When it’s over, it’s said only two humans and a small remnant of gods will remain. One of these surviving gods is Sunna, Sol’s daughter. She and the rest of the remaining gods and goddesses will reunite in a new, fertile world, recovering after Ragnarok. At this time, Sunna will take her mother’s place in the sky, shining even more brightly.