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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Eilífr Goðrúnarson, 1. Þórsdrápa, 14 [Vol. 3, 105]

[7-8] á greypan gránhǫtt kvánar risa ‘upon the horrible grey hat of the wife of the giant [GIANTESS]’: The context provided by Skm (SnE 1998, I, 25) seems to indicate that ‘hat of the giantess’ is the chair Þórr is sitting on (NN §461; Reichardt 1948, 373). The meaning of gránhǫtt ‘grey hat’ is not clear, and it might be a unique metaphor for this particular chair, which also protects the heads of the giantesses cowering beneath it (Reichardt 1948, 373). More likely, however, is Clunies Ross’s (1981, 380, followed by Davidson 1983, 627) suggestion that gránhǫtt denotes ‘a slab of grey stone’, which would indicate that Þórr’s struggle with the giantesses took place in a cave; cf. tveggja sprundi hellis ‘two women of the cave’ (st. 15/6, 7, 8). It is possible that the chair occupied by Þórr in Snorri’s narrative is the product of a late medieval elaboration of the scene.


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