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Bölþorn (Old Norse "evil thorn") is a frost giant in Norse mythology. His parentage is unknown. He is best known as the maternal grandfather of the god Odin.

In English, his name is also written as Bolthorn or Boelthor.


In the Poetic Edda, it is said about Bölþorn and his children:

Nine mighty songs I got from the son
Of Bolthorn, Bestla's father;
And a drink I got of the goodly mead
Poured out from Othrorir.[1]

Bestla is the mother of Odin, Vili and Vé by Borr. Bölþorn's son could be the wise being Mímir.[2][3]

Gylfaginning, the first section of the Prose Edda, states that Bölþorn is a giant and the father of Bestla.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bellows (1923:92).
  2. ^ Bellows (1923:92) and Puhvel (1989:212)
  3. ^ Marlene Ciklamini observed in 1962: "Since Suttungr is unanimously declared to be the possessor of the poetic mead, it is difficult to agree with Rydberg that Hávamál 140 represents Bölþorn's son as the owner. His hypothesis is based on a misinterpretation of the stanza, since Hávamal 140 represents the boast of a god who deprived his enemies of the exclusive right to magic and the ownership of the mead... Rydberg's suggestion that Mímir is Bölþorn's son is not substantiated by any source." Marlene Ciklamini, Óðinn and the Giants, Neophilologus 46:145-58 (1962), p. 151.
  4. ^ Gylfaginning 5.


  • Bellows, Henry Adams (1923). The Poetic Edda. The American-Scandinavian Foundation.
  • Puhvel, Jaan (1989). Comparative Mythology. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-3938-2