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Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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These are mythological or religious narratives that may appear in different forms and have therefore been abstracted from the original sources and contain a commentary. The narratives are linked to the original sources, both textual and pictorial.

Mead of Poetry and Gunnlöð (0)

Mead of Poetry and Gunnlöð


The god Óðinn goes to Suttungr's hall to retrieve some object (Óðreri) or drink (mead of poetry), when he meets a woman called Gunnlöð.


This story appears as part of Hávamál in the Poetic Edda and in Skáldskaparmál of the Prose Edda .

Text sections
and pictures:
Contributor:Lisa Nitsche

1. Æsir and Vanir create Kvasir

2. Kvasir travels the world

3. Kvasir is killed by Fjalar and Galar

4. Fjalar and Galar ferment Kvasir's blood with honey into the 'mead of poetry'

5. The mead is stored in a vessel called Óðroerir

6. The mead is also stored in vessels called Són and Boðn

7. Fjalar and Galar kill Gilling and his wife

8. Suttungr threatens dwarves through drowning and receives the mead as compensatio

9. Suttungr gives the mead to his daughter Gunnlöð to safe guard

10. Óðinn kills Baugi's nine servants with a whetstone

11. Óðinn calls himself Bolverk

12. Óðinn works one summer for Baugi to receive a drink in exchange

13. Óðinn visits Suttungr's hall

14. Suttungr refuses Óðinn a drink of the mead

15. Óðinn uses an auger

16. Óðinn instructs Baugi to use auger called Rati to bore a hole in the mountain

17. Baugi tries to cheat Óðinn

18. Óðinn transforms into a snake

19. Óðinn crawls in stone/mountain

20. Baugi tries to stab him through the hole

21. Gunnlöð lets Óðinn drink mead

22. Óðinn empties all three containers

23. Óðinn lies (sleeps?) with Gunnlöð

24. Óðinn transforms into an eagle and flies off

25. Suttungr chases after Óðinn in eagle form

26. Óðinn spits mead into containers at Ásgarðr

27. Óðinn disregards some mead backwards

28. Óðinn brought up Óðroerir

29. Óðinn broke a sacred oath

GKS 2365 4°, 6r (d647dpi)
Hávm 106

GKS 2365 4°, 5v (d120dpi)
Hávm 104

GKS 2365 4°, 6r (d647dpi)
Hávm 105

GKS 2365 4°, 6r (d120dpi)
Hávm 107

GKS 2365 4°, 6r (d647dpi)
Hávm 109

GKS 2365 4°, 6r (d120dpi)
Hávm 110

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