Norns, the Norse Fates. Like the Fates of Greek religion and mythology, the Norns spun and wove the web of life. Belief in the Norns was of great importance in Germanic religion and life. It was said that no one, not even the gods, could escape their fate. The Norns were usually three in number—Urth or Wyrd (the past), Verthandi (the present), and Skuld (the future). The three weird sisters of destiny in Shakespeare's Macbeth are probably Scottish equivalents of the Norns.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient Religion