Eggthér

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Illustration by Lorenz Frølich: Eggthér and Fjalar on the right, Járnviðr on the left

In Norse mythology, Eggthér (or Egdir) is a giant and herdsman who is described as sitting on a mound and joyfully playing his harp while the red rooster Fjalar begins to crow, heralding the onset of Ragnarök.

According to stanza 42 of the poem Völuspá from the Poetic Edda:

"He sat on the mound and plucked his harp
the herdsman of the giantess, cheerful Eggther
a rooster crowed in Gallows-wood
that bright-red cockerel who is called Fialar"
— Larrington trans.[1]

The identity of the giantess is not known, but according to John Lindow she may be the one described in stanza 40 of the same poem, who dwelt in the forest of Jarnvid and raised the offspring of Fenrir (and who is often identified with Angrboda). He also notes that Eggther's name is identical to that of Ecgtheow, the father of Beowulf from the Old English epic poem of the same name.[2] However, he agrees with Andy Orchard who states in his Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend that this parallel is most likely a red herring.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larrington, Carolyne (transl.) (1996). The Poetic Edda. Oxford World's Classics. ISBN 0-19-283946-2.
  2. ^ Lindow, John (2001). Norse Mythology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515382-0.
  3. ^ Orchard, Andy (1999). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell. ISBN 978-0-304-35134-3.