Odin is a God of many, many things. Many books have been written about Him (though the best source is always–aside from first hand experience of meeting/dealing with Him–the Eddas). But here’s a few key things that Odin is best known for~:
God of Poetry
It is said that He “speaks honeyed words” thanks to the Mead of Poetry. The way He obtained this was by turning into a serpent, slithering through a cave, and entering Gunnlod’s chamber where She was charged with guarding it. Odin (being Odin) used every means necessary to convince Gunnlod to give it to Him, even going so far as to sleep with Her for three nights in exchange for a drink of the coveted Mead. In the end though, He took all of it for Himself. It is said that He will sometimes share a draught with those He deems worthy.
God of the Dead
There is some speculation that Odin is a psychopomp–a ferryman of the dead. I’m one of the ones that believes He is. Sleipnir (His eight legged steed) is able to carry a person (God) to the world of Hel and yet let them come back still living. Normally people who travel to Hel are dead and are not allowed back into the world of the living.
Odin also has Valkyries (just like Freyja) that go out and search the battlefields for those who are worthy of fighting for Him in Ragnarok. They are then taken to Valhalla where they battle by day and feast by night. He also chooses who will win in battle, and in that way He chooses who will die.
God of Knowledge
Odin has an insatiable thirst for knowledge of…everything. Quite literally, everything. And if He wants to know something, He will stop at nothing until He gets every scrap He wants. He wants to know exactly what the cosmos are made of? He’s dig and research until He finds out. Same thing for if He takes an interest in someone’s life. In my experience with Him, Odin is a deity that will demand total openness with Him. He doesn’t like when I try to keep something from Him (and it’s damn near impossible to anyway!). If I say “I won’t discuss this with You”, He quickly shows me otherwise. I suppose one of the sacrifices He has asked of me, is my privacy. I am (despite all the places I can be found online!) a pretty private person. I don’t give trust easily, and I don’t share my innermost thoughts with just anyone. Yet Odin demands that I trust Him, that I share everything with Him. And when I don’t? Things get ugly.
The best thing to remember about Odin, personality wise, is that He’s ruthless and tenacious. If He sees something He wants, He won’t stop until He has it. Whatever the cost is, He’ll pay it. He chased me for four (almost five) years before I finally quit running and ignoring, and finally let Him in.