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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gríml Lv 1VIII (GrL 1)

Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2017, ‘Gríms saga loðinkinna 1 (Grímr loðinkinni, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 289.

Grímr loðinkinniLausavísur


One year, when there is a famine, Grímr sails north to Finnmǫrk (Finnmark, land of the Saami) to fish and hunt. In the middle of the night, he is awakened by the sound of laughter. He goes down to the shore and finds two troll-women shaking the stem and the stern post of his boat as if they were going to pull it apart. These five stanzas contain insults and threats which Grímr loðinkinni and the troll-women Feima and Kleima hurl at one another in GrL ch. 1 (FSGJ 2, 186-8).

text and translation

Hvat heita þær         hrauns íbúur,
er skaða vilja         skipi mínu?
Ykr hefik         einar sénar
ámátligastar         at yfirlitum.

Hvat heita {þær íbúur hrauns}, er vilja skaða skipi mínu? Ykr einar hefik sénar ámátligastar at yfirlitum.
‘What are the names of those female inhabitants of the lava field [TROLL-WOMEN], who want to harm my ship? You two alone are the most overwhelming in appearance I have [ever] seen.

notes and context

This stanza is introduced by the words: Grímr mælti ok kvað vísu ‘Grímr spoke and uttered a stanza’.

The troll-women are described in a manner traditional for troll-women and giantesses: they are ‘inhabitants of the lava-field’ (cf. Note to l. 2) and are overwhelmingly hideous in appearance; cf. Schulz (2004, 147-53); Ket 16. They are furthermore not the only such beings in Old Norse literature who attack the ships of the hero: in a similar episode in Ket ch. 3 (FSGJ 2, 158) Grímr’s father Ketill hœngr also sails to Finnmark; he too awakens when a troll-woman shakes the stem of his ship; in HjǪ (FSGJ 4, 207) nine sea-ogresses tear the ships apart; in other sagas giants or giantesses attack ships at sea (Frið, FSGJ 3, 87; Ǫrv 1888, 44, 46); cf. HHj 13, 18-19, 23, 26.


Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 9. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gríms saga loðinkinna I 1: AII, 287, BII, 308, Skald II, 163; FSN 2, 145FSGJ 2, 186-7, Anderson 1990, 60, 111, 444; Edd. Min. 85.


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