Poetic Edda Inspiration

The war I remember, the first in the world,
When the gods with spears had smitten Gollveig,
And in the hall of Hor had burned her,
Three times burned, and three times born,
Oft and again, yet ever she lives.
— Poetic Edda (as translated by Bellows, Henry Adams (1923).
The Poetic Edda. American-Scandinavian Foundation.

This part of the Poetic Edda, a collection of poems from medieval Iceland, references the torture of Gollvieg (a Vanir) by the Æsir. This is the reason for the Æsir / Vanir war (the first in the world). I found the “three times born” interesting enough that I had to include the stanzas in my book (I’m sure you’ll find it interesting too, when you get there). The deeper I dig into the Poetic Edda, the more I find that has interesting parallels to my own storylines or can be adapted as such, for example Freja’s Tears, or the Völuspá.

This stanza is also interesting and sheds light on why the war was fought:

Heith they named her who sought their home
The wide-seeing witch, in magic wise;
Minds she bewitched that were moved by her magic,
To evil women a joy she was.
— Same as above.

To look at the first part in isolation is sufficient for my book, but the second part makes it clearer why Gullveig was tortured by the Æsir. She was an evil witch. Of course, that has no parallel to my book, for that would then swap the Æsir and Vanir…. Perhaps that’s for a different story.

Photo by Gigi on Unsplash

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