The Nattravnen, often referred to as “Night Raven” in English, is a mythical creature from Scandinavian folklore, particularly in Norwegian and Danish traditions. It is described as a mysterious, nocturnal bird-like creature that embodies darkness and is associated with death, misfortune, and ill omens.

In folklore, the Nattravnen is often depicted as a large, shadowy bird with piercing eyes and ominous features. It is said to fly silently through the night, preying on the souls of the deceased or foretelling impending doom. Its appearance is often seen as a harbinger of tragedy or as a sign that death is near.

Artwork of Nattravnen, silhouetted against the moon, a chilling omen.

Physical characteristics

Large Size: The Nattravnen is depicted as a sizable bird, larger than typical ravens or crows, with an imposing presence.

Dark Plumage: Its feathers are usually described as dark or black, blending in with the night sky and shadows, symbolizing its association with darkness and death.

Piercing Eyes: The eyes of the Nattravnen are often emphasized in folklore, described as glowing or piercing, capable of seeing through the darkness and foretelling misfortune.


The concept of a nocturnal bird associated with darkness, death, and omens is a motif found in various cultures throughout history. In Scandinavian folklore, the Nattravnen likely emerged from a combination of indigenous beliefs, pagan traditions, and Christian influences.

Ravens and crows have long been significant birds in Norse mythology, often associated with Odin, the Allfather, who was accompanied by two ravens named Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory). These birds were believed to bring information to Odin about the events occurring in the world.

Nattravnen flying under a dark sky, its eerie silhouette haunting the nigh

powers and abilities

Foretelling Doom: The Nattravnen is believed to possess the ability to foretell death and misfortune. Its appearance is often seen as an omen of impending tragedy or disaster.

Soul Guide: In some legends, the Nattravnen is said to guide the souls of the deceased to the afterlife or to the realm of the dead. It may appear to escort departed souls on their journey.

Night Vision: Its piercing eyes are said to see through shadows and perceive things hidden from ordinary sight.

Silent Flight: Unlike many birds, the Nattravnen is described as flying silently through the night.

Symbol of Death: The Nattravnen is closely associated with death and the supernatural. Its presence is believed to signify the end of life or the transition between the living and the dead.

Shapeshifting: In some variations of folklore, the Nattravnen may possess shapeshifting abilities, allowing it to assume different forms or appearances.

Illusion and Deception: The Nattravnen is sometimes attributed with the power to create illusions or deceive those who encounter it, further adding to its reputation as a creature of darkness and trickery.

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