Ægir

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Ægir and his daughters brew ale in a large pot.

Ægir (Old Norse "sea")[1] is a sea giant, god of the ocean and king of the sea creatures in Norse mythology. He is also known for hosting elaborate parties for the gods.

Ægir's servants are Fimafeng (killed by Loki) and Eldir.

Description[edit]

While many versions of myths portray Ægir as a giant, it is curious that many do not. In some texts, he is referred to as something older than the giants, and his origins are not really explained.[citation needed]

Attestations[edit]

Both Fundinn Noregr and Snorri Sturluson in Skáldskaparmál state that Ægir is the same as the sea-giant Hlér, who lives on the isle of Hlésey, and this is borne out by kennings.[2][3] Snorri uses his visiting the Æsir as the frame of that section of the Prose Edda.

In Lokasenna, Ægir hosts a party for the gods where he provides the ale brewed in an enormous pot or cauldron provided by Thor and Týr. The story of their obtaining the pot from the giant Hymir is told in Hymiskviða.

The prose introduction to Lokasenna and Snorri's list of kennings state that Ægir is also known as Gymir, who is Gerðr's father, but this is evidently an erroneous interpretation of kennings in which different giant-names are used interchangeably.[4]

Family[edit]

Ægir, ruler of the ocean.jpg

According to Fundinn Noregr, Ægir is a son of the giant Fornjótr, the king of Finland, Kvenland and Gotland, and brother of Logi ("fire") and Kári ("wind").[5]

Ægir's wife is Rán the sea goddess. She is by Ægir mother of nine billow maidens, whose names are:

  • Bára (or Dröfn, wave)
  • Blóðughadda (the one with blood-red hair – the color of the waves after a naval battle)
  • Bylgja (to billow, or big wave)
  • Dúfa (the pitching wave)
  • Hefring (the surging wave)
  • Himinglæva (the wave that reflects the light of the sky)
  • Hrönn (the grasping wave)
  • Kólga (the chilling wave)
  • Unnr (or Uðr, wave)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lindow (2001:47).
  2. ^ Simek (1993:151).
  3. ^ de Vries (1956:251).
  4. ^ Simek (1993:126).
  5. ^ Lindow (2001:48).

References[edit]