Monday, August 3, 2009


In Norse mythology, Gungnir (Old Norse "swaying one") is Odin's magical spear, it always hits its mark and always kills.

In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, the war between the Æsir and the Vanir is described as officially starting when Odin throws a spear over the heads of an assembly of Vanir gods. Whether or not this was specifically Gungnir is, however, unstated. In Sigrdrífumál, the valkyrie Sigrdrífa advises Sigurd on the magical application of runes. She tells Sigurd that, as well as on numerous other things, runes were carved on the tip of Gungnir.

According to chapter 51 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Odin will ride in front of his Einherjar while advancing on to the battle field at Ragnarök wearing a gold helmet, an impressive cloak of mail and carrying Gungnir. He will then attack the wolf Fenrir with it.

In Skáldskaparmál, more information regarding the spear is presented. The spear was fashioned by the dwarves known as the Sons of Ivaldi under the mastery of the blacksmith dwarf Dvalin. The spear was obtained from the dwarves by Loki, the results of a scheme he concocted as a partial reparation for his cutting of Sif's hair. The spear is described as having the ability to always hit its mark.

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