Verðandi

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"Nornir" (ca. 1884) by J.L. Lund, depicting Verðandi with wings.

In Norse mythology, Verðandi (Old Norse, meaning possibly "happening" or "present"[1]), sometimes anglicized as Verdandi or Verthandi, is one of the norns. Along with Urðr (Old Norse "fate"[2]) and Skuld (possibly "debt" or "future"[3]), Verðandi makes up a trio of Norns that are described as deciding the fates (wyrd) of people.

Etymology[edit]

Verðandi is literally the present tense of the Old Norse verb "verða", "to become", and is commonly translated as "in the making" or "that which is happening/becoming"; it is related to the Dutch word worden and the German word werden, both meaning "to become".[citation needed]

Attestation[edit]

"Norns weaving destiny" (1912) by Arthur Rackham.

Völuspá[edit]

She appears in the following verse from the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, along with Urðr and Skuld:

Þaðan koma meyjar
margs vitandi
þrjár, ór þeim sal
er und þolli stendr;
Urð hétu eina,
aðra Verðandi,
skáru á skíði,
Skuld ina þriðju;
þær lög lögðu,
þær líf kuru
alda börnum,
örlög seggja.
Thence come maidens
much knowing
three from the hall
which under that tree stands;
Urd hight the one,
the second Verdandi,
on a tablet they graved,
Skuld the third;
Laws they established,
life allotted
to the sons of men,
destinies pronounced.

In popular culture[edit]

In the anime Steins;Gate, Rintaro Okabe used the term Operation Verdandi to describe the plan to transfer memories into the past, creating a data based time travel instead of physical based time travel. The name references the Verðandi's association with fate.

In the manga and anime series Oh My Goddess!, the character Belldandy is an interpretation of Verðandi. [4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Orchard (1997:174).
  2. ^ Orchard (1997:169).
  3. ^ Orchard (1997:151).
  4. ^ Stephens, John; Bryce, Mio (2004). "'Nothing dirty about turning on a machine' — Loving your Mechanoid in Contemporary Manga". Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature 14 (2): p. 50. 

References[edit]