A mysterious mythical figure is stalking Valheim players

Valheim Odin
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Image credit: RastaGeckoo on Reddit

Co-op Viking survival game Valheim has blasted off like Thor taking a ride on the Bifrost. In just a week of Early Access it's already cracked the 100,000 concurrent player count and the top 10 list on Steam.

And as players build forts, battle monsters, and sail further into the world—occasionally sailing a bit too far—they're also making discoveries about what's out there on Valheim's startling massive map.

Weird robed figure from r/valheim

That includes a few intriguing mysteries. Several players have reported spotting someone else in the world, a mysterious, shadowy figure that appears to be watching them. This character has been described as wearing a hood or a cloak, and appears to be holding a staff or a cane. (One player on Reddit described it as "Looks like Obi Wan from Star Wars, but with the staff from Gandalf.") This mysterious figure has apparently been spotted in the Swamps biome, and quickly vanishes when approached or attacked.

Theories abound! One player thought it was the grim reaper, and said the figure's eyes were glowing red and it was holding a scythe. Others thought it might be a wraith, a spectral enemy in Valheim (that also wears a dark hood) that spawns in the Swamps biome—the same region the hooded figure has been spotted.

The most popular theory is that the figure is, in fact, Odin, the Allfather. Basically the top dog in Norse mythology. You know. Thor's dad.

And that seems pretty likely. In Valheim, players are slain Viking souls, sent to purgatory to summon and defeat The Forsaken, Odin's powerful enemies. Surely, Odin might pop down from Asgard from time to time to see how they're getting on with it.

Odin paid us homage after defeating the third boss from r/valheim

Also, several players have said (and one screenshot shows) the figure appears to have a single, glowing eye. (Odin gave up one of his eyes in exchange for gaining cosmic wisdom). Odin was also known for disguising himself as a traveler, depicted with a cloak, a hood or a hat, and a staff or a spear. Fits the bill.

We'll have to wait for more sightings before we know for sure. Mainly, it's just a fun little mystery, and it's not the only creepy blue-eyed man players have met in games lately. I haven't seen this shadowy figure yet myself, but then I haven't even made it to the Swamps biome yet. If it is Odin, I guess he's just not interested in my quiet little carrot farm.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.