Gungnir

related topics
{god, call, give}
{@card@, make, design}
{war, force, army}
{work, book, publish}

In Norse mythology, Gungnir (Old Norse "swaying one"[1]) is Odin's magical spear; it always hits its mark and always kills.

Contents

Attestations

Poetic Edda

In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, the war between the Æsir and the Vanir is described as officially starting when Odin throws a spear over the heads of an assembly of Vanir gods.[2] Whether or not this was specifically Gungnir is, however, unstated. In Sigrdrífumál, the valkyrie Sigrdrífa advises Sigurd on the magical application of runes. She tells Sigurd that, as well as on numerous other things, runes were carved on the tip of Gungnir.

Prose Edda

According to chapter 51 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Odin will ride in front of his Einherjar while advancing on to the battle field at Ragnarök wearing a gold helmet, an impressive cloak of mail and carrying Gungnir. He will then attack the wolf Fenrir with it.

In Skáldskaparmál, more information regarding the spear is presented. The spear is one of the treasures of the gods,[3] fashioned by the dwarves known as the Sons of Ivaldi under the mastery of the blacksmith dwarf Dvalin. The spear was obtained from the dwarves by Loki, the results of a scheme he concocted as a partial reparation for his cutting of Sif's hair.[4] The spear is described as having the ability to always hit its mark.

Archeology

If the rider on horseback on the image on the Böksta Runestone has been correctly identified as Odin, then Odin is shown carrying Gungnir hunting either an elk or moose.[5]

See also

Full article ▸

related documents
Ferdiad
Taranis
Mucalinda
Akademos
Amaethon
Kumulipo
Gyges
Nammu
Snotra
Heka (god)
Smertrios
Vertumnus
Xmucane and Xpiacoc
Second Age
Elli
Pashur
Kalfu
Verbeia
Chronos
Myrrha
The Hierophant
Urania
Amymone
Niobids
Salmacis
Sequana
Metztli
Haida mythology
Sippar
Tzitzimitl