Sindri (mythology)

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In Norse mythology, Sindri (from the Old Norse sindr: "spark") is the name of both a character (probably a dwarf) and a hall that will serve as a dwelling place for the souls of the virtuous after Ragnarök.

A dwarf?[edit]

Völuspá (37) mentions "a hall of gold, of the lineage of Sindri"[1] located northward, in Niðavellir. There are several reasons to think that Sindri is probably a dwarf:[2] his name is related with forging and the hall is made of gold (dwarves are said to be skillful smiths), the location of the hall is Niðavellir, which possibly means "dark fields" (dwarves live away from the sunlight).

Moreover Sindri is a dwarf in one of the manuscripts of the Prose Edda. In the Skáldskaparmál (Codex Wormianus version), Snorri Sturluson tells how the dwarves Brokkr and Eitri fashioned some of the magical objects used by the gods (the boar of Freyr Gullinbursti, the golden ring of Odin Draupnir and the hammer of Thor Mjöllnir). The names of the dwarves are not given in the three other main manuscripts but in the Codex Regius, someone added more recently the names of Brokkr and Sindri.[3]

Sindri is also a dwarf in Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar. He helps Þorstein to defeat a powerful enemy (22-23) and to escape when he is taken prisoner (25).

A hall[edit]

In Gylfaginning, Snorri refers to Sindri as the name of a golden hall that will serve as a dwelling place for the good and righteous after Ragnarök (along with Brimir and Gimlé):

That too is a good hall which stands in Nida Fells [Niðafjöll], made of red gold; its name is Sindri. In these halls shall dwell good men and pure in heart.
Gylfaginning (LII), Brodeur's translation[4]

For Rudolf Simek, this seems to be a transposition of the Christian belief in Heaven, despite the fact that Sindri is in Snorri's account located in Niðafjöll, the mountains from which the corpse-sucking dragon Níðhöggr comes according to Völuspá.[5]

Some argue that Snorri's view of Sindri as a place rather than as a character may come from a misinterpretation of the stanza of Völuspá.[6]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Larrington 1999.
  2. ^ Lindow 2002.
  3. ^ Faulkes 1998:141.
  4. ^ Brodeur, p. 82
  5. ^ Simek 1996.
  6. ^ Orchard 2002.

References[edit]