The idea that Tyr was the original sky-father seems to have originated with Jacob Grimm. The flaw in his reasoning is that it is solely based upon etymological conclusions, which do not coincide with any other evidence known to us. Early runic monuments mention the name Odin, which are contemporary with Tacitus? Germania, where he mentioned that ?Mercury? (consistently identified with Odin) was the chief god among the Teutons. There simply isn?t any proof that points to a major change of religion in Northern Europe between the time of Indo-European unity (before they branches off to become the Teutons, Greeks, Slavs, Mediterraneans and East Indians) and the coming of Christianity. Without any such evidence we cannot rely on an etymological hypothesis as proof that such a change occurred, especially if we can give a better explanation for the subject of the hypothesis.

It is most likely that Tiwaz, or Tiva was once a name of Odin that was also given to his son., This would not be the only time we have seen such a transference. Fjorgyn is a name of Frigga, which she inherited from her father of the same name. Frigga also has the epithet Hlin, which is given to one of her maidservants. When Heimdall blessed our folk with his presence and took part in the union between the noble couple, he gave Jarl ?his own name?, thus Jarl became ?Rig-Jarl?. Freya has the name Gefn, which is identical to Gefjon, who may be one of Freya?s sisters. From this we can see that the idea of deities sharing names, especially among close relations, is not unheard of.

One of the favored ideas related to Tyr as sky-father is the connection between him and the Irminsul, because it looks like his run, Tiwaz. Because the run-poems relate the kenning ?leavings of the wolf? to this rune we know that this designates the son, Tyr, rather than the father, Odin-Tiva. However, arguments have been presented which have made a good case for the Irminsul being a representation of Yggdrasil, with its branches in the sky and its three roots in the Underworld (see James Hjuka-Coulter?s Germanic Heathenry). If this is the case then it would explain how Tyr could have come to be associated with this ancient icon. The very word, Yggdrasil, means ?The Stead of Ygg?, Ygg being one of Odin?s names. This reminds us of Odin?s self-sacrifice when he hung, metaphorically ?riding? the tree for nine nights If you really have any doubt about this, and still think Tyr is the original sky-father and was once the highest god of our pantheon, just consult the lore. Odin is the creator of Midgard and of humans, teacher of runes, the one who grants wishes and gives success in all endeavors. Could there really be a higher duty than these? You can?t ?usurp? the role of creator-god, you either created the earth and our folk or you didn?t. If we had to accept that Tyr once held all of these positions then Odin, who many have named our faith thereafter, would be a fraud and a liar and Tyr a defeated weakling subservient to the god that stole his position. I doubt anyone would want to place either of these descriptions on our god of nobility and our god of war.

Tyr is the god of war, period. We know this from the Prose Edda, mainly. As Snorri attests (Gylfaginning 25), the story of his hand lost as a pledge so Fenris could be bound is a testament to his bravery, and that is it. All sorts of guesswork has been used to give him several other duties among the gods based on this story alone, but the passages in Gylfaginning simply relate to us the divine image of what military generals should aspire to: cleverness and bravery.
. In effect, Odin has a very strong connection to the symbol of Yggdrasil, and, if Hjuka-Coulter?s theory is correct, he would therefore have a connection to the Irminsul. If Tyr was special enough to have inherited onje of the names of his father, it would only seem natural that he could also be represented by the symbol that bears their common name. That is, of course, if the Tyr rune is identical to the Irminsul, which is conjectural.

For the European Indo-Europeans, Diaus patar of the Indo-European time of unity thus was identical to the old storm- and wind-god, V?ta, who, in a fixed position, still occupies the foremost place among the ruling gods. Presumably, his name, V?ta, was preserved throughout the European Indo-European time of unity; in any event, it was the case among the Northern tribes from which the Germanic branch later emerged. In other words, during this period, V?ta became the god?s proper name, at least among a portion of the European Indo-Europeans, and Diavaspater, Diupater was used only as an epithet for him, which however became his common designation, because ?father sky? expressed his ruling position among the gods better than ?wind?. It is then easily explained that, since the Greek and the Roman forefathers split themselves from the remaining European Indo-Europeans, the name V?ta fell out of use among them, replaced by the spoken epithet, that, if the Greeks and Romans shared a common language for a time, would take the form Dieuspater among them, and thereafter Zeus pater among the Greeks, and Diespiter and Jupiter among the Romans. The word v?ta lost its mythological meaning among them and only retained its objective meaning, in the form Huh???, wind, among the Greeks. Among the Teutons, on the other hand, the old V?ta was preserved in the form V?dana (Voden, Wuotan, ??inn) and was never replaced by the epithet ?Father Sky?, in proto-Germanic form Fadar Tiva. By degrees, the word tiva?s meaning of sky was lost to them, replaced in this sense by hemina, hemila, hefina; but the word Tiva itself was retained as the name of a god and found again in the form Zio, T?r.