Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Hfr Hákdr 4III

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Hákonardrápa 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 219.

Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld ÓttarssonHákonardrápa

Grams rúni lætr glymja
gunnríkr, hinns hvǫt líkar,
Hǫgna hamri slegnar
heiptbráðr of sik váðir.

{Gunnríkr rúni grams}, heiptbráðr, hinns líkar hvǫt, lætr {váðir Hǫgna}, slegnar hamri, glymja of sik.

{The battle-powerful prince’s confidant} [RULER], quick to enmity, the one who likes boldness, makes {the clothes of Hǫgni <sea-king>} [MAIL-SHIRT], pounded with the hammer, ring around him.

Mss: R(36r), Tˣ(37v-38r), W(82), U(35v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Grams: gramr U    [2] ‑ríkr: líkr U;    hinns (‘hinn er’): sá er U    [3] Hǫgna: ‘havgnar’ U    [4] of: und U

Editions: Skj AI, 156, Skj BI, 148, Skald I, 81; SnE 1848-87, I, 460-1, II, 337, III, 93, SnE 1931, 163, SnE 1998, I, 81; Davidson 1983, 448, 475-8.

Context: Skm cites this helmingr as the first in a set of instances of ruler-kennings, here rúni grams ‘prince’s confidant’.

Notes: [1, 4] lætr … glymja of sik ‘makes … ring around him’: This could refer to the mail-shirt jangling when it is put on (so Skj B; SnE 1998, II, 290-1), or when blows are struck against it in battle (so Ohlmarks 1958, 248; Davidson 1983). Alternatively, Marold (2005a, 110-18) suggests that this phrase refers to a specific episode in the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen) also described in Tindr Hákdr 1I and 3I, when Hákon’s mail-shirt becomes so badly damaged in the course of the battle that he discards it. Especially given the other echoes of Tindr’s poem in Hfr Hákdr, this is an attractive interpretation, but as parallels can be found for all three motifs, the Translation aims to leave all possibilities open.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  4. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  6. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. Davidson, Daphne L. 1983. ‘Earl Hákon and his Poets’. D. Phil. thesis. Oxford.
  8. Ohlmarks, Åke. 1958. Tors skalder och Vite-Krists. Trosskiftestidens isländska furstelovskalder, 980-1013. Stockholm: Geber.
  9. Marold, Edith. 2005a. ‘“Archäologie” der Skaldendichtung’. In Seiler 2005, 110-31.
  10. Internal references
  11. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  12. Kate Heslop 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Hákonardrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 212.
  13. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 338.

Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Stanza/chapter/text segment

Use the buttons at the top of the page to navigate between stanzas in a poem.

Information tab

Interactive tab

The text and translation are given here, with buttons to toggle whether the text is shown in the verse order or prose word order. Clicking on indiviudal words gives dictionary links, variant readings, kennings and notes, where relevant.

Full text tab

This is the text of the edition in a similar format to how the edition appears in the printed volumes.

Chapter/text segment

This view is also used for chapters and other text segments. Not all the headings shown are relevant to such sections.