Hel Peninsula is a 35-km-long sand bar peninsula in northern Poland separating the Bay of Puck from the open Baltic Sea. It is located in Puck County of the Pomeranian Voivodeship; the name of the peninsula comes from old-Polish word "hyl/hel" meaning empty, exposed place. Similarity to the word "hell" and to name of Norse goddess Hel is coincidence. Bus transport on peninsula is realized by only one route - accidentally its number is 666; because the name of this place sounds similar to English word "hell" this coincidence is a reason for numerous jokes. The width of the peninsula varies from 300 m near Jurata, through 100 m in the most narrow part to over 3 km at the tip. Since the peninsula was formed of sand, it is turned into an island by winter storms; until the 17th century the peninsula was a chain of islands that formed a strip of land only during the summer. A road and a railroad run along the peninsula from the mainland to the town located at the furthest point, Hel, a popular tourist destination.
Other towns and tourist resorts are Jurata, Jastarnia, Kuźnica, Chałupy, Władysławowo. The Hel Peninsula was part of Prussia and Germany from 1772 until 1919. After the peninsula became part of the Second Polish Republic after World War I, it acquired considerable military significance, was turned into a fortified region, with a garrison of about 3,000. In the course of the Battle of Hel in 1939, Polish forces dynamited the peninsula at one point, turning it into an island. During the years of German occupation, Hel's defenses were further expanded, a battery of three 40.6 cm SK C/34 gun was constructed, though the guns were soon moved to the Atlantic Wall in occupied France. The peninsula remained in German hands until the end of World War II, when the defending forces surrendered on May 14, 1945, six days after Germany had capitulated. After the war, when Hel again became part of Poland, it continued to have military significance, with much of its area reserved for military use. Additional gun batteries were built during the 1950s.
Today many of the fortifications and batteries are open to tourists, though some areas of the peninsula still belong to the Polish Armed Forces. Hel Fortified Area Westerplatte Hel lighthouse
Guðrúnarkviða I or the First Lay of Guðrún is called Guðrúnarkviða in Codex Regius, where it is found together with the other heroic poems of the Poetic Edda. Henry Adams Bellows considered it to be one of the finest of the eddic poems with an "extraordinary emotional intensity and dramatic force", it is only in this poem that Gjúki's sister Gjaflaug and daughter Gollrönd are mentioned, the only source where Herborg, the queen of the Huns, appears. The Guðrún lays show that the hard-boiled heroic poetry of the Poetic Edda had a place for the hardships of women. Bellows considers it to be one of the oldest heroic lays and with few Scandinavian additions. Brynhild's only role is the cause of Guðrún's enemy. Alfred Tennyson's poem Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead was inspired by Benjamin Thorpe's translation of the lay. Guðrún sat beside her dead husband, Sigurð, but she did not weep with tears like other women, although her heart was bursting with grief. A prose section informs that Guðrún had had a taste of Fafnir's heart from Sigurð and could understand the song of birds.
Bellows notes that this information serves no purpose in the poem, but that the Völsunga saga mentions that she had eaten some of Fafnir's heart, after which she was both wiser and grimmer. In order to show sympathy and to console her, both jarls and their spouses came to Guðrún to tell her that they too carried great sorrow in their lives, her aunt Gjaflaug told her that she had lost five husbands, two daughters, three sisters and eight brothers, but still carried on living. Herborg, the queen of the Huns, told her that she had lost her husband and seven of her sons in the south, she had lost her father and four brothers at sea. She had buried all of them with her own hands, there was no one to console her. Within the same six months, the queen had been taken as war booty and had had to bind the shoes of a queen who beat her and abused her; the king was the best lord she had known and his queen the worst woman. Herborg's foster-daughter, Guðrún's sister, Gollrönd had Sigurð's corpse unveiled and she put Sigurð's head on Guðrún's knees.
Gullrönd asked Guðrún to kiss Sigurd. Guðrún bent over Sigurð's head with his clotted hair and her tears began to run like raindrops. Gullrönd said that Guðrún's and Sigurð's love was the greatest one she had seen, her sister answered that Sigurð was a greater man than their brothers and that Sigurð had found her a higher lady than the Valkyries: She turned towards her brothers talking of their crime, she cursed her brothers that their greed for Fafnir's gold would be their undoing. She directed her words against Brynhildr and said that their home was happier before she appeared. Brynhildr, present, responded that Guðrún's sister Gollrönd was a witch who had made Guðrún's tears flow and used magic to make her speak. Gullrönd retorted that Brynhildr was a hated woman who had brought sorrow to seven kings and made many women lose their love. Brynhildr answered by putting the blame on her brother Atli, because he had forced her to marry Gunnar against her will; the last stanza dwells on Brynhild's anger: The lay ends with a prose section which tells that Guðrún went into the wilderness and travelled to Denmark where she stayed for three years and a half with Thora, the daughter of Hakon.
Referring to Sigurðarkviða hin skamma, the prose section ends by telling that Brynhildr would soon take her own life with a sword after having killed eight of her thralls and five of her maids in order to take them with her. The First Lay of Guthrun, Henry Adams Bellows' translation and commentary The First Lay of Gudrún, Benjamin Thorpe's translation The First Lay of Guthrún, Lee M. Hollander's translation Guðrúnarkviða hin fyrsta, Sophus Bugge's edition of the manuscript text Guðrúnarkviða in fyrsta, Guðni Jónsson's edition with normalized spelling
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker to the Althing, he was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning, a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language, the Háttatal, a list of verse forms. He was the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is taken to be the author of Egil's saga. Snorri Sturluson was born in Hvammur í Dölum into the wealthy and powerful Sturlungar family of the Icelandic Commonwealth in 1179, his parents were his second wife, Guðný Böðvarsdóttir. He had two older brothers, Þórðr Sturluson and Sighvatr Sturluson, two sisters and nine half-siblings. Snorri was raised from the age of three by Jón Loftsson, a relative of the Norwegian royal family, in Oddi, Iceland; as Sturla was trying to settle a lawsuit with the priest and chieftain Páll Sölvason, Páll's wife lunged at him with a knife — intending, she said, to make him like his one-eyed hero Odin — but bystanders deflected the blow to his cheek instead.
The resulting settlement would have beggared Páll, but Jón Loftsson intervened in the Althing to mitigate the judgment and, to compensate Sturla, offered to raise and educate Snorri. Snorri therefore received an excellent education and made connections that he might not otherwise have made, he attended the school of Sæmundr fróði, grandfather of Jón Loftsson, at Oddi, never returned to his parents' home. His father died in his mother as guardian soon wasted Snorri's share of the inheritance. Jón Loftsson died in 1197; the two families arranged a marriage in 1199 between Snorri and Herdís, the daughter of Bersi Vermundarson. From her father, Snorri inherited an estate at a chieftainship, he soon chieftainships. Snorri and Herdís were together for four years at Borg, they had Hallbera and Jón. The marriage succumbed to Snorri's philandering, in 1206, he settled in Reykholt as manager of an estate there, but without Herdís, he made significant improvements including a hot outdoor bath. The bath and the buildings have been preserved to some extent.
During the initial years at Reykholt he fathered five children by three different women: Guðrún Hreinsdóttir, Oddný, Þuríður Hallsdóttir. Snorri became known as a poet, but was a lawyer. In 1215, he became lawspeaker of the Althing, the only public office of the Icelandic commonwealth and a position of high respect. In the summer of 1218, he sailed to Norway, by royal invitation. There he became well acquainted with the teen-aged King Hákon Hákonarson and his co-regent, Jarl Skúli, he spent the winter as house-guest of the jarl. They showered gifts upon him, including the ship in which he sailed, he in return wrote poetry about them. In the summer of 1219 he met his Swedish colleague, the lawspeaker Eskil Magnusson, his wife, Kristina Nilsdotter Blake, in Skara, they were both related to royalty and gave Snorri an insight into the history of Sweden. Snorri was interested in history and culture; the Norwegian regents, cultivated Snorri, made him a skutilsvein, a senior title equivalent to knight, received an oath of loyalty.
The king hoped to extend his realm to Iceland, which he could do by a resolution of the Althing, of which Snorri had been a key member. In 1220, Snorri returned to Iceland and by 1222 was back as lawspeaker of the Althing, which he held this time until 1232; the basis of his election was his fame as a poet. Politically he was the king's spokesman, supporting union with Norway, a platform that acquired him enemies among the chiefs. In 1224, Snorri married Hallveig Ormsdottir, a granddaughter of Jón Loftsson, now a widow of great means with two young sons, made a contract of joint property ownership with her, their children did not survive to adulthood, but Hallveig's sons and seven of Snorri's children did live to adulthood. Snorri was the most powerful chieftain in Iceland during the years 1224–1230. Many of the other chiefs found his position as royal office-holder contrary to their interests the other Sturlungar. Snorri's strategy was to consolidate power over them, at which point he could offer Iceland to the king.
His first moves were civic. On the death in 1222 of Sæmundur, son of Jón Loftsson, he became a suitor for the hand of his daughter, Sólveig. Herdís' silent vote did nothing for his suit, his nephew, Sturla Sighvatsson, Snorri's political opponent, stepped in to marry her in 1223, the year before Snorri met Hallveig. A period of clan feuding followed. Snorri perceived that only resolute, saga-like actions could achieve his objective, but he proved unwilling or incapable of carrying them out, he raised an armed party under another nephew, Böðvar Þórðarson, another under his son, Órækja, with the intent of executing a first strike against his brother Sighvatur and Sturla Sighvatsson. On the eve of battle he dismissed those offered terms to his brother. Sighvatur and Sturla with a force of 1000 men drove Snorri into the countryside, where he sought refuge among the other chiefs. Órækja undertook guerrilla operations in the fjords of western Iceland and the war was on. Haakon IV made an effort to intervene from afar, inviting al
Runes are the letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialised purposes thereafter. The Scandinavian variants are known as futhark or fuþark. Runology is the study of the runic alphabets, runic inscriptions and their history. Runology forms a specialised branch of Germanic linguistics; the earliest runic inscriptions date from around 150 AD. The characters were replaced by the Latin alphabet as the cultures that had used runes underwent Christianisation, by 700 AD in central Europe and 1100 AD in northern Europe. However, the use of runes persisted for specialized purposes in northern Europe; until the early 20th century, runes were used in rural Sweden for decorative purposes in Dalarna and on Runic calendars. The three best-known runic alphabets are the Elder Futhark, the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, the Younger Futhark; the Younger Futhark is divided further into the long-branch runes.
The Younger Futhark developed further into the Medieval runes, the Dalecarlian runes. The runic alphabet is a derivation of the Old Italic scripts of antiquity, with the addition of some innovations. Which variant of the Old Italic family in particular gave rise to the runes is uncertain. Suggestions include Raetic, Etruscan, or Old Latin as candidates. At the time, all of these scripts had the same angular letter shapes suited for epigraphy, which would become characteristic of the runes; the process of transmission of the script is unknown. The oldest inscriptions are found in northern Germany. A "West Germanic hypothesis" suggests transmission via Elbe Germanic groups, while a "Gothic hypothesis" presumes transmission via East Germanic expansion; the runes were in use among the Germanic peoples from the 1st or 2nd century AD. This period corresponds to the late Common Germanic stage linguistically, with a continuum of dialects not yet separated into the three branches of centuries: North Germanic, West Germanic, East Germanic.
No distinction is made in surviving runic inscriptions between long and short vowels, although such a distinction was present phonologically in the spoken languages of the time. There are no signs for labiovelars in the Elder Futhark The term runes is used to distinguish these symbols from Latin and Greek letters, it is attested on a 6th-century Alamannic runestaff as runa and as runo on the 4th-century Einang stone. The name comes from the Germanic root run-, meaning "secret" or "whisper". In Old Irish Gaelic, the word rún means "mystery", "secret", "intention" or "affectionate love." In Welsh and Old English, the word rhin and rūn means "mystery", "secret", "secret writing", or sometimes in the extreme sense of the word, "miracle". Ogham is a Celtic script carved in the Norse manner; the root run- can be found in the Baltic languages, meaning "speech". In Lithuanian, runoti means both "to cut" and "to speak". According to another theory, the Germanic root comes from the Indo-European root *reuə- "dig".
The Finnish term for rune, means "scratched letter". The Finnish word runo means "poem" and comes from the same source as the English word "rune"; the runes developed centuries after the Old Italic alphabets from which they are historically derived. The debate on the development of the runic script concerns the question regarding which of the Italic alphabets should be taken as their point of origin and which, if any, signs should be considered original innovations added to the letters found in the Italic scripts; the historical context of the script's origin is the cultural contact between Germanic people, who served as mercenaries in the Roman army, the Italian peninsula during the Roman imperial period. The formation of the Elder Futhark was complete by the early 5th century, with the Kylver Stone being the first evidence of the futhark ordering as well as of the p rune; the Raetic alphabet of Bolzano is advanced as a candidate for the origin of the runes, with only five Elder Futhark runes having no counterpart in the Bolzano alphabet.
Scandinavian scholars tend to favor derivation from the Latin alphabet itself over Raetic candidates. A "North Etruscan" thesis is supported by the inscription on the Negau helmet dating to the 2nd century BC; this features a Germanic name, Harigast. Giuliano and Larissa Bonfante suggest that runes derived from some North Italic alphabet Venetic: but since Romans conquered Veneto after 200 BC, the Latin alphabet became prominent and Venetic culture diminished in importance, Germanic people could have adopted the Venetic alphabet within 3rd century BC or earlier; the angular shapes of the runes are shared with most contemporary alphabets of the period that were used for carving in wood or stone. There are no horizontal strokes: when
Norse cosmology is the study of the cosmos as perceived by the North Germanic peoples. The topic encompasses concepts from Norse mythology, such as notions of time and space, personifications and eschatology. Like other aspects of Norse mythology, these concepts are recorded in the Poetic Edda, a collection of poems compiled in the 13th century, the Prose Edda, authored by Icelander Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, who drew from earlier traditional sources. Together these sources depict an image of Nine Worlds around Yggdrasil. Concepts of time and space play a major role in the Old Norse corpus's presentation of Norse cosmology. While events in Norse mythology describe a somewhat linear progression, various scholars in ancient Germanic studies note that Old Norse texts may imply or directly describe a fundamental belief in cyclic time. According to scholar John Lindow, "the cosmos might be formed and reformed on multiple occasions by the rising sea." Drawing in part from various eddic poems, the Gylfaginning section of the Prose Edda contains an account of the development and creation of the cosmos: Long before the earth came to be, there existed the bright and flaming place called Muspell—a location so hot that foreigners may not enter it—and the foggy land of Niflheim.
In Niflheim was a spring and from it flows numerous rivers. Together these rivers, known as Élivágar, flowed further from their source; the poisonous substance within the flow came to harden and turn to ice. When the flow became solid, a poisonous vapor rose from the ice and solidified into rime atop the solid river; these thick ice layers grew, in time spreading across the void of Ginnungagap. The northern region of Ginnungagap continued to fill with weight from the growing substance and its accompanying blowing vapor, yet the southern portion of Ginunngagap remained clear due to its proximity to the sparks and flames of Muspell. Between Niflheim and Muspell and fire, was a placid location, "as mild as a windless sky"; when the rime and the blowing heat met, the liquid melted and dropped, this mixture formed the primordial being Ymir, the ancestor of all jötnar. Ymir sweated while sleeping. From his left arm grew a male and female jötunn, "and one of his legs begot a son with another", these limbs too produced children.
Ymir fed from rivers of milk that flowed from the teats of Auðumbla. Auðumbla fed from salt she licked from rime stones. Over the course of three days, she licked Búri. Búri's son Borr married a jötunn named Bestla, the two had three sons: the gods Odin, Vili and Vé; the sons killed Ymir, Ymir's blood poured across the land, producing great floods that killed all of the jötnar but two. Odin, Vé took Ymir's corpse to the center of Ginunngagap and carved it, they made the earth from Ymir's flesh. They surrounded the earth's lands with sea. From Ymir's skull they made the sky, which they placed above the earth in four points, each held by a dwarf. After forming the dome of the earth, the brothers Odin, Vé took sparks of light from Muspell and placed them around the earth, both above and below; some remained others moved through the sky in predetermined courses. The trio provided land for the jötnar to leave by the sea. Using Ymir's eyelashes, the trio built a fortification around the center of the landmass to contain the hostility of the jötnar.
They called this fortification Miðgarðr. From Ymir's brains, they formed the clouds. Personifications, such as those of astronomical objects and water bodies occur in Norse mythology; the Sun is personified as Sól. Night appears personified as the female jötunn Nótt. Bodies of water receive personification, such as the goddess Rán, her jötunn husband Ægir, their wave-maiden children, the Nine Daughters of Ægir and Rán. Yggdrasil is a tree central to the Norse concept of the cosmos; the tree's branches extend into various realms, various creatures dwell on and around it. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to assemble at traditional governing assemblies; the branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the dragon Níðhöggr, an unnamed eagle, the stags Dáinn, Dvalinn and Duraþrór. Old Norse texts mention the existence of Níu Heimar, translated by scholars as "Nine Worlds". According to the second stanza of the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, the Nine Worlds surround the tree Yggdrasil.
As recalled by a dead völva in the poem: The Nine Worlds receive a second and final mention in the Poetic Edda in stanza 43 of the Prose Edda poem Vafþrúðnismál, where the wise jötunn Vafþrúðnir engages in a deadly battle of wits with the disguised god Odin: The Nine Worlds receive a single mention in the Prose Edda, occurring section 34 of the Gylfaginning portion of the book. The section describes how Odin threw Loki's daugh
Norse mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, folk tradition; the source texts mention numerous gods, such as the hammer-wielding, humanity-protecting thunder-god Thor, who relentlessly fights his foes. Most of the surviving mythology centres on the plights of the gods and their interaction with various other beings, such as humanity and the jötnar, beings who may be friends, foes or family members of the gods; the cosmos in Norse mythology consists of Nine Worlds that flank Yggdrasil. Units of time and elements of the cosmology are personified as beings. Various forms of a creation myth are recounted, where the world is created from the flesh of the primordial being Ymir, the first two humans are Ask and Embla.
These worlds are foretold to be reborn after the events of Ragnarök when an immense battle occurs between the gods and their enemies, the world is enveloped in flames, only to be reborn anew. There the surviving gods will meet, the land will be fertile and green, two humans will repopulate the world. Norse mythology has been the subject of scholarly discourse since the 17th century, when key texts were brought to the attention of the intellectual circles of Europe. By way of comparative mythology and historical linguistics, scholars have identified elements of Germanic mythology reaching as far back as Proto-Indo-European mythology. During the modern period, the Romanticist Viking revival re-awoke an interest in the subject matter, references to Norse mythology may now be found throughout modern popular culture; the myths have further been revived in a religious context among adherents of Germanic Neopaganism. The historical religion of the Norse people is referred to as Norse mythology. In certain literature the terms Scandinavian mythology or Nordic mythology have been used.
Norse mythology is attested in dialects of Old Norse, a North Germanic language spoken by the Scandinavian people during the European Middle Ages, the ancestor of modern Scandinavian languages. The majority of these Old Norse texts were created in Iceland, where the oral tradition stemming from the pre-Christian inhabitants of the island was collected and recorded in manuscripts; this occurred in the 13th century. These texts include the Prose Edda, composed in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, the Poetic Edda, a collection of poems from earlier traditional material anonymously compiled in the 13th century; the Prose Edda was composed as a prose manual for producing skaldic poetry—traditional Old Norse poetry composed by skalds. Composed and transmitted orally, skaldic poetry utilizes alliterative verse and various metrical forms; the Prose Edda presents numerous examples of works by various skalds from before and after the Christianization process and frequently refers back to the poems found in the Poetic Edda.
The Poetic Edda consists entirely of poems, with some prose narrative added, this poetry—Eddic poetry—utilizes fewer kennings. In comparison to skaldic poetry, Eddic poetry is unadorned; the Prose Edda features layers of euhemerization, a process in which deities and supernatural beings are presented as having been either actual, magic-wielding human beings who have been deified in time or beings demonized by way of Christian mythology. Texts such as Heimskringla, composed in the 13th century by Snorri and Gesta Danorum, composed in Latin by Saxo Grammaticus in Denmark in the 12th century, are the results of heavy amounts of euhemerization. Numerous further texts, such as the sagas, provide further information; the saga corpus consists of thousands of tales recorded in Old Norse ranging from Icelandic family histories to Migration period tales mentioning historic figures such as Attila the Hun. Objects and monuments such as the Rök Runestone and the Kvinneby amulet feature runic inscriptions—texts written in the runic alphabet, the indigenous alphabet of the Germanic peoples—that mention figures and events from Norse mythology.
Objects from the archaeological record may be interpreted as depictions of subjects from Norse mythology, such as amulets of the god Thor's hammer Mjölnir found among pagan burials and small silver female figures interpreted as valkyries or dísir, beings associated with war, fate or ancestor cults. By way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, comparisons to other attested branches of Germanic mythology may lend insight. Wider comparisons to the
Baldr is a god in Norse mythology, a son of the god Odin and the goddess Frigg. He has numerous brothers, such as Váli. In the 12th century, Danish accounts by Saxo Grammaticus and other Danish Latin chroniclers recorded a euhemerized account of his story. Compiled in Iceland in the 13th century, but based on much older Old Norse poetry, the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda contain numerous references to the death of Baldr as both a great tragedy to the Æsir and a harbinger of Ragnarök. According to Gylfaginning, a book of Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, Baldr's wife is Nanna and their son is Forseti. In Gylfaginning, Snorri relates that Baldr had the greatest ship built and that there is no place more beautiful than his hall, Breidablik. Jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology identifies Old Norse Baldr with the Old High German Baldere, Palter and with Old English bealdor, baldor "lord, king". Old Norse shows this usage of the word as an honorific in a few cases, as in baldur î brynju and herbaldr, both epithets of heroes in general.
Grimm traces the etymology of the name to *balþaz, whence Gothic balþs, Old English bald, Old High German pald, all meaning "bold, brave". But the interpretation of Baldr as "the brave god" may be secondary. Baltic has a word meaning "the white, the good", Grimm speculates that the name may originate as a Baltic loan into Proto-Germanic. In continental Saxon and Anglo-Saxon tradition, the son of Woden is called not Bealdor but Baldag and Bældæg, which shows association with "day" with Day personified as a deity. This, as Grimm points out, would agree with the meaning "shining one, white one, a god" derived from the meaning of Baltic baltas, further adducing Slavic Belobog and German Berhta. Grimm's etymology is endorsed by modern research. According to Rudolf Simek, the original name for Baldr must be understood as'shining day'. One of the two Merseburg Incantations names Baldere, but mentions a figure named Phol, considered to be a byname for Baldr. In the Poetic Edda the tale of Baldr's death is referred to rather than recounted at length.
Among the visions which the Völva sees and describes in the prophecy known as the Völuspá is one of the fatal mistletoe, the birth of Váli and the weeping of Frigg. Yet looking far into the future the Völva sees a brighter vision of a new world, when both Höðr and Baldr will come back; the Eddic poem Baldr's Dreams mentions that Baldr has bad dreams which the gods discuss. Odin rides to Hel and awakens a seeress, who tells him Höðr will kill Baldr but Vali will avenge him. In Gylfaginning, Baldur is described as follows: Apart from this description, Baldr is known for the story of his death, his death is seen as the first in the chain of events which will lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarök. Baldr will be reborn in the new world, according to Völuspá, he had a dream of his own death and his mother had the same dreams. Since dreams were prophetic, this depressed him, so his mother Frigg made every object on earth vow never to hurt Baldr. All objects made this vow except mistletoe—a detail which has traditionally been explained with the idea that it was too unimportant and nonthreatening to bother asking it to make the vow, but which Merrill Kaplan has instead argued echoes the fact that young people were not eligible to swear legal oaths, which could make them a threat in life.
When Loki, the mischief-maker, heard of this, he made a magical spear from this plant. He hurried to the place where the gods were indulging in their new pastime of hurling objects at Baldr, which would bounce off without harming him. Loki gave the spear to Baldr's brother, the blind god Höðr, who inadvertently killed his brother with it. For this act and the giantess Rindr gave birth to Váli who grew to adulthood within a day and slew Höðr. Baldr was ceremonially burnt upon his ship, the largest of all ships; as he was carried to the ship, Odin whispered in his ear. This was to be a key riddle asked by Odin of the giant Vafthrudnir in the poem Vafthrudnismal; the riddle appears in the riddles of Gestumblindi in Hervarar saga. The dwarf Litr was burnt alive. Nanna, Baldr's wife threw herself on the funeral fire to await Ragnarök when she would be reunited with her husband. Baldr's horse with all its trappings was burned on the pyre; the ship was set to sea by Hyrrokin, a giantess, who came riding on a wolf and gave the ship such a push that fire flashed from the rollers and all the earth shook.
Upon Frigg's entreaties, delivered through the messenger Hermod, Hel promised to release Baldr from the underworld if all objects alive and dead would weep for him. All did, except Þökk, who refused to mourn the slain god, thus Baldr had to remain in the underworld, not to emerge until after Ragnarök, when he and his brother Höðr would be reconciled and rule the new earth together with Thor's sons. Writing during the end of the 12th century, the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus tells the story of Baldr in a form that professes to be historical. According to him, Balderus and Høtherus were rival suitors fo