Gunnlöð

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Gunnlöð as depicted by Anders Zorn.

In Norse mythology, Gunnlöð (Old Norse "battle-invitation") is a jötunn.

Mythology[edit]

Gunnlöð is daughter of the giant Suttungr, who was set guard by him in the cavern where he housed the mead of poetry.[1] Her grandfather was Gilling.

Gunnlöð was seduced by Odin, who according to the Prose Edda bargained three nights of sex for three sips of the mead and then tricked her, stealing all of it.[2] However, the poem Hávamál of the Poetic Edda tells the story a bit differently:

Gunnlod sat me in the golden seat,
Poured me precious mead:
Ill reward she had from me for that,
For her proud and passionate heart,
Her brooding foreboding spirit.
What I won from her I have well used:
I have waxed in wisdom since I came back,
bringing to Asgard Odhroerir,
the sacred draught.
Hardly would I have come home alive
From the garth of the grim troll,
Had Gunnlod not helped me, the good woman,
Who wrapped her arms around me.[3]

It would seem, from this version of the tale, that Gunnlöð helped Odin willingly, and that he thought well of her in return.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gunnlöd cybersamurai.net
  2. ^ Prose Edda
  3. ^ Poetic Edda