Oden was the wisest of all asa gods, and sad just because of that. He knew the end of time was close. He also knew that even the gods must die when Ragnarök, the twilight of gods, would come. Oden had power and wisdom but he also had unpleasant traits and was strongly associated with death. Among grave findings in the Oseberg ship in Norway (ad 850) there were woven pictures showing sacrificial offerings to honor Oden. He was sometimes called “the god of the hanged”. He even offered himself, to himself. In Havamal you can read that he hanged in the sacrificial-tree for nine nights.
It was through his own suffering that he, like a shaman, could get hold of his great knowledge and magical skills. His power was great. He could kill fire, calm the waves of the sea, turn swords around in the air, and seduce any woman and many other remarkable things. He could, like so many other mythological beings, change his appearance and transform himself to anything. But also he, the greatest of them all, must perish one day.