Dráp Niflunga

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Attila the Hun (Atli) gets his revenge by killing the lords of the Burgundians in this section of the Poetic Edda.

The Dráp Niflunga is a short prose section in the Poetic Edda between Helreið Brynhildar and Guðrúnarkviða II. Henry Adams Bellows notes in his commentary that the purpose of the section is to serve as a narrative link between the poems.

In the preceding sections, both Sigurd and Brynhildr have died and this section deals with how Brynhild's brother Atli becomes Gudrun's second husband and with how Atli avenges Brynhild's death by slaying Gudrun's brothers Gunnar and Hogni.


This is Henry Adams Bellows' translation of the section:


  1. ^ According to the Völsunga saga, it was Gudrun's mother Grimhild who gave her the drink, just like she gave Brynhildr a draught of forgetfulness to forget Sigurd.
  2. ^ Svanhild was Ermanaric's queen and Bellows suggests that Svanhild was incorporated with this tradition in order to link the two legends.
  3. ^ Atlakviða calls the messenger Knéfröð, whereas Atlamál says that there were two messengers but only mentions Vingi. Bellows suggests that the author of the prose section unsuccessfully has combined the two accounts.
  4. ^ Bellows suggests that this is another instance of the annotator combining two accounts: in Atlakviða Gudrun sends another ring (not Andvarinaut) with a wolf's hair, and in Atlamál, she sends a message in runes, but the messenger falsifies the message and when Högni's wife Kostbera receives it, she is only able to suspect danger.
  5. ^ Oddrún, who is the sister of Atli and Brynhildr, is according to Bellows mainly known through the Oddrúnargrátr. He suggests that she is a late addition to the Scandinavian version of the Nibelung tradition, because she only appears as Gunnar's lover.
  6. ^ Bellows states that very little is known about Glaumvar, although she figures frequently in Atlamál.
  7. ^ According to Bellows, Bera, or Kostbera, is only known for being skilled in runes, and for having a brother named Orkning.
  8. ^ Bellows notes that Sólarr and Snævarr are mentioned as Högni's and Kostbera's sons in Atlamál, and he suggests that Gjúki, who is named after his grand-father, is the annotator's addition.
  9. ^ Later Gudrun would kill her and Atli's sons Erpr and Eitil in revenge, and Bellows suggests that the part on her asking Erpr and Eitil to intervene on Gunnar and Hogni's behalf is an addition by the editor of the Poetic Edda in order to give Gudrun an additional reason for killing her own sons.
  10. ^ In Oddrúnargrátr, it was Atli's mother who transformed herself into an adder in order to make her son's vengeance complete.