Lore Tome: Odin

Welcome, weary wanderer! This post is called a Lore Tome. It contains every primary source reference to Odin (ON: Óðinn, ᚢᚦᛁᚾ) that I have stumbled upon so far. More will be added as I stumble upon it, or as guests comment suggestions below.

Knowledge-seeking wanderers can use these Lore Tomes to learn more about the Old Norse gods, whether by trusting my brief summaries or by delving into the source material for themselves (using the citation information accompanying each entry).

Table of Contents

  1. Odin in the Poetic Edda
  2. Odin in the Prose Edda
  3. Odin in the Fornaldarsǫgur
  4. Odin in Heimskringla
  5. Odin in the Íslendingasǫgur

Odin in the Poetic Edda ^

In compiling this Lore Tome, I have used Carolyne Larrington‘s translation of the Poetic Edda, but I also recommend Jackson Crawford‘s translation as well. Instead of citing with pages, though, I have used stanza and line numbers to make it easier to reference various translations (since not everyone has the same edition). If you don’t have an edition yet, feel free to refer to the free online (illustrated) edition available through the Viking Society for Northern Research, which was translated by Olive Bray.

Odin in The Prophecy of the Seeress (Vǫluspá):

13Odin is addressed as “Father of the Slain” and he is asking for the Seeress to recount ancient history.
41Odin is included among “the sons of Bur” mentioned here.
171Although it doesn’t say who the ‘three gods’ here are, it is known to be Odin, Hænir, and Lodur. It is in this stanza that Ask and Embla are found.
183Odin gives Ask and Embla breath.
223When referring to Valhalla as “the High-One’s hall.”
251Odin charges into war against the Vanir with his spear.
284Mentions the “Father of the Slain’s pledge,” probably referring to what happens in the following stanza.
29ff.Odin is mentioned throughout this stanza. At first, his is described as “the old man” and “the Terrible One.” The rest recounts how Odin gave his eye for knowledge at Mimir’s Well.
301As the “Father of Hosts,” Odin gives the Seeress? many gifts.
315This stanza is about the valkyries, but Odin is likely being referred to here as ‘General’ when the poem refers to them as “the General’s ladies.”
322When referring to Baldr as “Odin’s child.”
334When referring to Baldr as “Odin’s son.”
422When referring to Valhalla as the “Father of Hosts’ hall.”
454Odin speaks with Mimir’s head.
512Odin battles against Fenrir.
521When referring to Vidar as the “Victory-father’s son.”
532When referring to Thor as “Odin’s son.”

Odin in The Sayings of the High One (Hávamál):

Every stanza of this poem is attributed to or associated with Odin in some way, even if he isn’t mentioned by name. In fact, some of these stanzas are actually spoken by Odin himself. That said, I advise the wandering lore-seeker to read this poem in full if they wish to know more about the philosophies and wisdom surrounding Odin.

1Tells Odin that he should come again towards evening, if he wants “to talk a girl round.”
1092As the “High One” (Hávi). Tells us that the frost-giants cam to ask for Odin’s advice, specifically about a certain “Bolverk.”
1101Odin is said to have sworn a “ring-oath.” The following line voices doubt about whether this pledge can be trusted.
1116As the “High One” (Hávi). Mentions that there was “talk of runes” in Odin’s hall. This immediately precedes the stanzas where Odin is directly addressing “Loddfafnir,” telling him about the spells he (Odin) knows.
1383This is a very famous stanza. It recounts the story when Odin hung upon Yggdrasil, sacrificing himself to himself, in order to obtain the powerful knowledge of runes.
1431Tells us that Odin is the primary god among the Æsir who possesses the knowledge of runes. This stanza also mentions other beings who know runes, including Dain of the Elves, Dvalin of the Dwarfs, and Asvid of the giants.
1641As the “High One” (Hávi). This is the poem’s final stanza, which tells us that this whole poem (which is a compilation of various styles of poetry) is regarded as “the High One’s song.”

Odin in The Sayings of Vafthrudnir (Vafþrúðnismál)

This poem is structured as a conversation between Odin (as Gagnrad) and a giant named Vafthrudnir, from whom Odin seeks wisdom regarding Ragnarǫk in particular. That said, Odin is frequently a speaker in this poem, so although he is not always directly named, there is much more to learn about Odin from reading this poem in full. Yet, it is worth mentioning that the lore-seeking guest will find more information about Norse lore in general than specific details about Odin here.

1ff.Odin asks Frigg for advice regarding a journey to visit a giant named Vafthrudnir. He is seeking knowledge.
21As “the Father of Hosts.” Here Frigg says that she’s rather have Odin at home than with the powerful Vafthrudnir.
3ff.Odin boasts that he has travelled widely, but still craves to know what Vafthrudnir knows.
43As “Father of Men.” Frigg wishes him a safe journey.
5ff.Odin departs for and arrives at Vafthrudnir’s hall.
8ff.Odin calls himself “Gagnrad.” He demands hospitality (recall the social expectations mentioned in the The Sayings of the High One).
411Vafthrudnir tells Odin that the Einherjar (the slain warriors who fill Valhalla) fighting in Odin’s courts every day.
523Odin asks Vafthrudnir what his own end will be when Ragnarǫk comes.
531As the “Father of Men.” Vafthrudnir tells us that Odin will be swallowed by “the wolf” (likely referring to Fenrir).
543Odin asks Vafthrudnir what he will whisper in Baldr’s ear before he (Baldr) is mounted on the funeral pyre.
555Vafthrudnir realizes that Gagnrad was actually Odin and calls him “the wisest of beings” (though clearly frustrated about revealing so much knowledge to Odin).

Odin in The Sayings of Grimnir (Grímnismál)

This is a very important poem when it comes to Odin, especially concerning his many names. It would not be unreasonable to say that this is the most important poem about Odin, next to The Sayings of the High One. That said, this entire poem should be read by those seeking to learn more about the wisely wandering Odin.

ProseN/AOdin and Frigg are looking into the worlds from Hlidskjalf and watching their so-called foster-children. Odin calls Geirrod his foster-son, but Frigg says that Geirrod is too stingy with meat to be as great of Odin says he is. Odin says this is a lie and aims to prove Frigg wrong. He goes to Geirrod’s kingdom disguised as a wizard named Grimnir. Frigg warns Geirrod though, so when Grimnir arrives, Geirrod tortures him by setting him between two fires for eight nights. Geirrod’s son Agnar comes and gives him a drink.
2ff.Odin tells Agnar that he has been tortured between fires for 8 nights and that no one offered him food except for Agnar. For this, Odin tells Agnar that “he alone shall rule…the land of the Goths.”
32Odin tells Agnar that he will be rewarded for the drink he shared with him. Odin then recounts old lore to Agnar.
73Tells us that Odin and Saga (a lesser-known goddess) drink every day in a place called Sokkvabekk.
83Tells us that Odin chooses from the slain.
91Referring to Odin’s hall (and its appearance).
101Referring to Odin’s hall (and its appearance).
144Tells us that Odin only owns half of the slain. The other half go to Freyja.
19ff.Tells us about Odin’s wolves, Geri and Freki.
20ff.Tells us about Odinðs ravens, Hugin and Munin, who fly over the world every day. Odin fears that Hugin will not return, but fears worse for Munin (memory).
251As “Father of Hosts,” referring to the goat, Heidrun, that stands atop his hall.
261As “Father of Hosts,” referring to the hart, Eikthyrnir, that stands atop his hall.
361Odin says that he wishes the Valkyries Hrist and Mist would bear him a horn.
443Odin calls himself the most pre-eminent of the Æsir.
46ff.Recounting Odin’s other names: Mask, Wanderer (Gangleri), General, Helm-Wearer, Known, Third, Thund, Ud, Hellblind, and High (Hár).
47ff.More of Odin’s names: Steady, Svipal, Sanngetal, War-Merry, Hnikar, Weak-Eyed, Flame-Eyed, Bolverk, Fjolnir, Mask, Masked One, Glapsvid, and Much-Wise.
48ff.More of Odin’s names: Broadhat, Broadbeard, Victory-Father, Hnikud, All-Father, Father of the Slain, Atrid, and Burden-God.
49ff.More of Odin’s names (but now including specific settings): Grimnir at Geirrod’s, Jalk at Asmund’s, Kjalar, Thror at the Assembly, Vidur in battle, Oski, Omi, Equal-High, Biflindi, Gondlir, and Harbard almond the gods.
50ff.More of Odin’s Names: Svidur and Svidrir at Sokkmimir’s. A short story is recounted of how Odin tricked “the old giant” and stayed “Midvidnir’s famous son.” (This story is not known elsewhere.)
513Proclaims that Geirrod has lost Odin’s favor.
53ff.As both the Terrible One (Yggr) and Odin. It is here that Odin reveals himself to Geirrod, but it is too late: Odin declares that Geirrod’s life is over and that the dísir (female ancestral spirits) are now against him.
54ff.More of Odin’s names: Terrible One, Thund before that, Vak, Skilfing, Vafud, Hroptatyr, Gaut, Jalk among the gods, Ofnir, and Svafnir.
ProseN/AGeirrod tries to correct his mistake by pulling Odin away from the fires, but it was too late for him. Odin disappears after that.

Odin in Skirnir’s Journey (Skírnismál):

211Referring to the ring that Odin placed on Baldr’s funeral pyre.
222Likewise referring to the ring mentioned above.
331Skirnir tells Gerd that Odin is angry with her.

Hárbarðsljóð (The Lay of Harbard)

  • 9.2, 24.3, 56.5

NOTE: Odin is disguised as a man named Harbard throughout this poem. Consider it in full.

Lokasenna (The Flyting of Loki)

  • prose, 9.1 [regarding a blood-bond between Odin and Loki], 22.1, 45.3, 58.4

Helgakviða Hundingsbana I (The First Lay of Helgi the Hunding-Slayer)

  • 12.3
  • 38.2 [as All-father]

Helgakviða Hundingsbana II (The Second Lay of Helgi the Hunding-Slayer)

  • prose
  • 34.3 [regarding Odin’s causing of misfortune by his casting of runes]
  • 43.2
  • 50.2

Reginsmál (The Lay of Regin)

  • prose [Otter’s ransom]

Sigrdrífumál (The Lay of Sigrdrifa)

  • 2.3 [a reference to Odin’s casting of sleep-runes on Brynhild]
  • prose

Guðrúnarkviða I (The First Lay of Gudrun)

  • 19.2

Helreið Brynhildar (Brynhild’s Ride to Hel)

  • 8.4 [regarding why Odin was mad with Brynhild]

Oddrúnargrátr (The Lament of Oddrun)

  • 16.2

Atlakviða (The Lay of Atli)

  • 30.3 [as Victory-god (Sígtýr)].

Baldrs draumar (Baldr’s Dreams)

  • 2.1
  • 3.3 [referred to as the “father of magic” in 3.2]
  • 4.1 [regarding Odin’s revival spell, in which he brings back to life a Seeress]
  • 8.4 ff.
  • 6.1 and 13.1 [as Way-tame (Vegtam)]

Hyndluljóð (The Lay of Hyndla)

  • 2.1, 44.4

Vǫluspá (from Hauksbók)

  • 18.3, 30.1, 40.4, 47.2, 49.3
  • 1.3 [as Woe-father]
  • 27.3 [as High (Hár)]
  • 34.2 [as Father of Hosts]

Odin in the Prose Edda ^

In accordance with Anthony Faulkes’ translation:

  • Prologue:
    • 3-5 [as Woden, a king in Asia]
  • Gylfaginning:
    • (8), 11 [birth], 13, 17, 20 [residence], 21 [summary], 23, 24, 26, 29, 31-34, 49-51 [at Baldr’s burial], 54-55 [at Ragnarok].
  • Skáldskaparmál:
    • 59, 61, 62-64 [the mead of poetry], 66-79 [various kennings], (80), 81, 83-87, (89), 90, 95-97, (98), 99-100 [otter’s ransom], 106, (114), 117-119, 121-124, (128, 132-133, 137, 139-140, 145), 151, 156-157, (160).
  • Háttatal:
    • (168, 173, 186, 196-200).

Odin in the Fornaldarsǫgur (Sagas of the Ancient Times) ^

  • Vǫlsunga saga (The Saga of the Volsungs):
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 3 [thrusts Gram (sword) into Barnstock (tree)]
    • Chapter 8 [raven brings leaf to heal someone]
    • Chapter 10
    • Chapter 11 [breaks sword in battle with his spear]
    • Chapter 12
    • Chapter 13 [gives Sigurd a horse]
    • Chapter 14 [Otter’s ransom]
    • Chapter 17 [as Feng (Fengr), Fjolnir (Fjǫlnir), and Hnikar (Hnikarr)]
    • Chapter 18 [advises Sigurd about Fafnir]
    • Chapter 21 [punishes Brynhild and carves runes as Hropt]
    • Chapter 44
  • Hrólfs saga kraka (The Saga of Hrolf Kraki):
    • Chapter 4
    • Chapter 26 [as Hrani; tests Hrolf’s men]
    • Chapter 30 [as Hrani; tests Hrolf]
    • Chapter 33

In accordance with Seven Viking Romances, translated by Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards:

  • Ǫrvar-Odds saga (The Saga of Arrow-Odd):
    • Chapter 14 [in verse]
    • Chapter 17 [regarding conversion]
    • Chapter 23
    • Chapter 29 [in verse]
    • Chapters 19-23 [as Red-beard]
    • Chapters 24 and 29 [as Jolf]
  • Gautreks saga (The Saga of King Gautrek):
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 7 [as himself in judgement]
    • Chapters  4 and 7 [as Grani Horsehair]
  • Hálfdanar saga Eysteinssonar (The Saga of Halfdan Eysteinsson):
    • Chapter 1 [in genealogy].
  • Bósa saga ok Herrauðs (The Saga of Bosi and Herraud):
    • Chapter 1 [in genealogy]
    • Chapter 12 [regarding a toast in his name]
  • Egils saga einhenda ok Ásmundar berserkjabana (The Saga of Egil One-hand and Asmund Berserker-slayer):
    • Chapter 8 [regarding a sacrifice]
    • Chapter 13 [as the Prince of Darkness]
  • Þorsteins þáttr bæjarmagns (The Tale of Thorstein Mansion-might):
    • Chapter 3 [regarding an eagle thought to have been sent by Odin]
    • Chapters 9-10 [regarding a toast in his name and a servant-boy sent by Odin to a certain man].

In accordance with The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok, translated by Ben Waggoner:

  • The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok:
    • Chapter 9 [in verse]
    • Chapter 10 [in verse]
  • Sǫgubrot:
    • Chapter 7 ff. [as Bruni(?)].
  • The Tale of Ragnar’s Sons:
    • Chapter 5 [in verse].
  • Krákumál:
    • 12.7 [as Svolnir]
    • 25.3 [as Baldr’s Father, Fjolnir, and Vidrir]
    • 27.5 [as Vidrir (in a reference to his spear) and Herjan]

NOTE: I have not yet searched through all of the Fornaldarsögur, having only collected what I could with the collection I already have in my personal library. But no worries! I shall look through more in the future and add them at that time.

Odin in Heimskringla ^

In accordance with Heimskringla I, translated by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes:

  • Ynglinga saga (The Saga of the Ynglings):
    • Chapters 2-9 [as a mortal chieftain]
    • Chapter 12 [as Odin the Old]
    • Chapter 25 [a king sacrifices his son to Odin in exchange for prolonged life]
    • Chapter 43 [regarding a sacrifice]
  • Hákonar saga góða (The Saga of Hakon the Good):
    • Chapters 14 and 17 [regarding  toast in his name].
  • Ólafs saga Tryggvassonar (The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason):
    • Chapter 27 [regarding a sacrifice and ravens]
    • Chapter 64 [as a hooded guest]

NOTE: There are several poetic references to Odin scattered throughout Heimskringla. I have yet to include them all, but plan to do this in the future.

Odin in the Íslendingasǫgur (Sagas of Icelanders) ^

REMEMBER: This page is NOT complete. I have only added what I could from my personal library, but I will be taking time in the future to gather more resources for this page. However, this should be enough to get the project started!

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