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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

8. Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 18 (Innsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Innsteinskviða, 3) — Innsteinn [Vol. 8, 319]

[1-2] Óðinn er orðinn þér til gramr ‘Óðinn has become too angry with you’: Cf. Heiðr 112/4, gramr er yðr Óðinn ‘Óðinn is angry with you’. Both here and in Hálf 35/5-6 Innsteinn invokes the name of the god Óðinn, who is widely represented in Old Norse myth, especially in fornaldarsögur, as the god of battle, who not only confers victory on his favourites, but may sometimes withdraw his favour from them (cf. Turville-Petre 1964, 52-4; Marold 1972, 27-8). Here Innsteinn suggests that the god will turn against Hálfr and the Hálfsrekkar because Hálfr allows himself to trust Ásmundr uncritically. In Hálf 35/5-8 Innsteinn interprets the Hálfsrekkar’s defeat as Óðinn’s evil doing.


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