Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 15. Glúmr Geirason, 2. Gráfeldardrápa, 13 [Vol. 1, 263]

[All]: The conception of Óðinn inhabiting the warrior is unique (LH I, 526), and leads Fidjestøl (1982, 91) to doubt whether the stanza belongs in a poem about Haraldr, who was nominally Christian, Eiríkr and all his family having been baptised in England, according to Hkr (ÍF 26, 152, 203). Some support for the idea of Haraldr as a devotee of Óðinn may be found in the unique occurrence of the god’s name as the base-word of a kenning in st. 8/2. Further possibilities are that Haraldr is perceived as having an Odinic ferocity in battle, or (Marold 2005a, 127-8) that the reference is to Óðinn possessing not Haraldr, but the one who deals him his death-blow. This would resonate with legends in which Óðinn presides over the death of a hero he has favoured, often claiming him as a sacrifice, but it would imply that the warrior guided by the gods (l. 2) was also Haraldr’s enemy, which seems unlikely in the light of the parallels from Eskál Vell mentioned below.

references

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