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Old Norse Vafþrúðnismál = 'the lay of Vafþrúðnir'

An Eddic lay from the area of mythological didactic poetry.

Óðinn asks his wife Frigg for advice as he wants to visit the wise giant Vafþrúðnir. Frigg warns him that Vafþrúðnir is stronger than other giants, but nontheless Óðinn sets out and is received at the giant's. There he uses a pseudonym for himself, Gangráðr. The giant asks Óðinn who moves day and night, what the border river between the giants and the Æsir is called, and where Surtr will fight with the gods at Ragnarǫk. Óðinn answers all questions and then he asks the giant about the origin of the sky and the earth, sun and moon, day and night, the giants, Njǫrðr, the einherjar and the world and the gods after Ragnarǫk. Óðinn's last question is: what did Óðinn into his son's (Baldr) ear before he was put onto the funeral pyre? The giant is unable to answer this and has to concede victory to Óðinn in this battle of wits. [1]


  1. Rudolf Simek: Dictionary of Northern Mythology (1993)