Said to be the most powerful steed to exist in Norse mythology, Sleipnir was born from unusual and extraordinary circumstances. In order to prevent the master of Svadilfari, the magical horse, from completing the wall around Asgard and earning the hand of Goddess Freya, Loki lured Svadilfari into mating. Loki transformed into a beautiful mare, successfully drawing Svadilfari away from his master, who eventually could not complete his mission without the help of his magical horse. Bred from a god and a giant’s stallion, Sleipnir was thus born with the ability to transcend the nine realms of the world, his eight legs long and strong to cover ground and paddle in the water, while his winged body took flight with ease. Sleipnir was gifted by Loki to Odin, the King of the Aesir gods. He accompanied Odin through all his battles and journeys, taking him across the nine realms at an incomparable speed. Such was Sleipnir’s power and strength that he was claimed to be the best amongst horses with no equal.
Here Odin sits on the back of Sleipnir, a single fist holding his reins while Sleipnir gallops ahead determinedly. The two present an impressive sight as they ride into battle with no fear. Sleipnir’s hooves are shaped with motion and fluidity against an intricate background of the nine realms. Looking closely near the edges, each of the nine is represented with fine artistry from Midgard all through to Helheim, with elements such as skulls, neolithic caves, and frozen lakes each being representative of different realms. Thin but severe lightning bolts run across the surface, bringing together Odin’s ability to wield lightning and the sheer speed of Sleipnir as they flash through the nine realms.