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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ǪrvOdd Ævdr 22VIII (Ǫrv 92)

Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Ǫrvar-Odds saga 92 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa 22)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 905.


text and translation

Þá fekk ek heiti,         þat er ek hafa vilda,
er mik ór fjöllum         flögð kölluðu.
Kóðuz Oddi         örvar vilja
byr bráðliga         í braut gefa.

Þá fekk ek heiti, þat er ek vilda hafa, er flögð kölluðu mik ór fjöllum. Kóðuz vilja gefa Örvar-Oddi byr bráðliga í braut.
‘Then I got the name that I wanted to have, when the ogres called me from the mountains. They said they wanted to give Örvar-Oddr (‘Arrow-Oddr’) a favourable wind [to get] away quickly.

notes and context

As with Ǫrv 91, Ǫrv 92 occurs both in the saga prosimetrum (except for 173ˣ, where it is lacking) and in the continuous Ævdr. In the saga prosimetrum it follows Ǫrv 91 with a few lines of intervening prose. Oddr is reporting to his comrades what happened when he and Ásmundr went ashore to the mainland and encountered the chief of the giants and his entourage in their cave. According to the prose text (Ǫrv 1888, 46-9), the giant chief has a vision in which he understands who Oddr is and that his arrows are the famous Gusisnautar. He decides to give him the nickname Ǫrvar-Oddr ‘Arrow-Oddr’. Realising that he can never kill Oddr, the giant decides to give him a favourable wind to speed him on his way out of Risaland, just as the Saami who had sent him in that direction had done previously. — A hero’s acquisition of a name designating his special attributes is a frequent motif in legendary sagas and in heroic poetry; cf. Fáfn 1-2. All the fornaldarsaga heroes from the family of the Hrafnistumenn (Ketill hœngr ‘Salmon’, Grímr loðinkinni ‘Hairy-cheek’ and Án bógsveigir ‘Bow-bender’) acquire nicknames of this kind, in Ketill’s and Án’s cases deriving from one of their famous exploits.



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. 10. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Ǫrvar-Oddssaga IX 22: AII, 310, BII, 328, Skald II, 176; Ǫrv 1888, 49, 201, Ǫrv 1892, 26, 97, FSGJ 2, 347; Edd. Min. 55.


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