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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eil Þdr 20III

[2] með dreyrgum hamri ‘with the bloody hammer’: Reichardt (1948, 385-6) notes that Þórr now suddenly has his hammer, which he had left behind in accordance with Loki’s arrangement with the giants. The justification for this sudden appearance is that the attribute ‘hammer’ identifies Þórr independently of any context (so Kiil 1956, 158-9). Kiil’s solution is preferable to Reichardt’s (ibid.), who combines gǫrva with hamri to get ‘with the fish of the armaments’, a kenning that, according to him, refers to the staff Gríðarvǫlr. According to Clunies Ross (1981, 388), in whose view this myth represents the initiation of the young god (see Introduction) the hammer is identical with the red-hot iron from the previous stanza. Iron and hammer, in her view, are one and the same weapon, i.e. Þórr’s hammer Mjǫllnir, which he first obtains in his struggle against Geirrøðr (similarly Davidson 1983, 657 who thinks that the giants themselves supplied Þórr with his weapon).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Clunies Ross, Margaret. 1981. ‘An Interpretation of the Myth of Þórr’s Encounter with Geirrøðr and his Daughters’. In Dronke et al. 1981, 370-91.
  3. Davidson, Daphne L. 1983. ‘Earl Hákon and his Poets’. D. Phil. thesis. Oxford.
  4. Kiil, Vilhelm. 1956. ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson’s Þórsdrápa’. ANF 71, 89-167.
  5. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1948. ‘Die Thórsdrápa des Eilífr Goðrúnarson: Textinterpretation’. PMLA 63, 329-91.


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