Dáinn (Norse dwarf)

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Dáinn (Old Norse: [ˈdɑːenː], "Dead") or Dain is a character in Norse mythology. Mostly the tales relate to him being a dwarf and in others as king of elves. However, in other stories the dwarf god is referred to as Dvalinn.[1]

A King's Sword[edit]

His name is found on king Högni's sword Dáinsleif[2] ("Dáinn's legacy"). It is laid with a curse which says it must always kill a man when it is drawn.

Other Legends[edit]

In the Hyndluljóð (7) he is said to have made Freyja's boar Hildisvíni, along with another dwarf, his brother Nabbi.[3]

Dáinn is referred to as a dwarf in the dwarf-þula of the Völuspá (11) and in a stanza by Sigvatr Þórðarson. But in the Hávamál (153) he is said to be an elf who carved the runes:

"Odin for Aesir, and Dain for the elves, Dvalin for the dwarfs, Asvid for the giants, I myself carve some". ~~Havamal 143[4]

In Norse Astrology[edit]

In the constellations of Norse mythology there is also a constellation named after Dain, one that resembles a deer. It is considered as an elven name. Whereas there is also a constellation named Dvalin, which is considered a dwarf name and constellation.[5]

J.R.R. Tolkien[edit]

In The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, Dáin II Ironfoot is a Dwarvish King who helps his cousin Thorin Oakenshield in the Battle of the Five Armies.


  1. ^ "Dvalin". www.norse-mythology.cba.pl. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Dainsleif". www.norse-mythology.cba.p. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Dain". www.norse-mythology.cba.pl. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Of dwarves and elves". www.timelessmyths.com. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Norse Constellations". www.timothystephany.com. Retrieved 18 November 2012.