Talk:Gungnir

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Norse history and culture (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Norse history and culture, a WikiProject related to all activities of the North Germanic peoples, both in Scandinavia and abroad, prior to the formation of the Kalmar Union in 1397. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Mythology / Norse mythology  (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is supported by WikiProject Mythology. This project provides a central approach to Mythology-related subjects on Wikipedia. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the WikiProject page for more details.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Norse mythology work group.
 

Image[edit]

What does a 20th century artist's rendition of Óðinn do in this article - even if he's carrying a spear? With *horns* on his helmet? On top of that, it's on the Library of Congress? Replace with something relevant that doesn't make you puke. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.228.142.209 (talk) 13:29, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

Pop references[edit]

Why are the pop references taken out? Just because there are more of them than information currently? That sounds like a retarded reason to delete them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.20.5.15 (talkcontribs) 14:29, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

The question is, do the pop culture references add to the understanding of the article? Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of facts; any material present in an article should add some value to the article aside from "this thing was also called (article title)." For example, as an article which someone else on this page has linked deomonstrates, the sentence "The plot of "The Rugrats Movie" features Didi Pickles giving birth to a second baby" adds no value to the entry on "Baby," even though it is indisputably a reference to a baby. It would be silly to add that sentence as it does not help the reader understand the topic of the article. Similarly, a collection of trivial pop culture references to Gungnir is unnecessary unless they help explain the topic of the article. There are several "____ in popular culture" articles, perhaps you would like to create one for Gungnir if you feel this information is worthwhile. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.86.45.110 (talk) 01:29, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Why are there more video game references than actual information?[edit]

Read this [1] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 70.41.230.90 (talk) 06:56, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Gungnir Spear or Javelin[edit]

I would like to suggest changing the definition of Gungnir from spear to javelin. Gungnir is most definately a javelin since its mainly used as a porjectile weapon.

Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 03:29, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Gungnir is practically always cited as a spear. On books.google.com, a search for "gungnir spear" reveals: [2] (523). Versus "gungnir javelin": [3] (9 - most of which don't refer to Gungnir as a javelin.) As you can see, there is an immense difference here. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:22, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
OK, but if you examine the myth it is evident that Gungnir is a projectile weapon much like the Pilum or the Soliferrum. Odin hurls it to start a battle. Loki explain to Odin that it will never fail its aim after being thrown and it will always return to its wielder after hitting its mark. More important Norse warrior didn't use spears but javelins and were even buried with them.Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 03:32, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
There are some problems with this interpretation. First, the throwing of the spear at the beginning of the battle is largely considered to be symbolic. According to Simek (Dictionary of Northern Mythology, page 124) throwing a spear over a hostile army dedicates it to Odin. Keep in mind that Odin also seemingly wounds himself with the spear when sacrificing himself to himself - and I doubt it's to be understood that he threw it in this case (and Njörðr in dedication to Odin on his deathbed according to Heimskringla, for that matter). Besides, it's a mythical object we're talking about here. When all is said and done, we are required that stick to convention and that is, as I've demonstrated, that Gungnir is overwhelmingly referred to as a spear. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:47, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Stabbing yourself with a ranged weapon doesn't mean its not a projectile. Mind you the spear of destiny which wounded Jesus was probably a Pilum or a Lancea, i.e. a javelin. Actually Odin stabbed quite a few people with Gungnir but he never used it as a thrusting weapon even when he charged at Fenrir. Because it's a fact that Norse people wielded javelins and not spears I think we should change it but your argument about the convention about Gungnir as a spear is quite convincing. Do you think we should take it to a vote? Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 08:00, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Not to be a stickler, but I don't believe it's stated whether or not Odin throws the spear or just thrusts it at Fenrir with it in Gylfaginning. According to Simek, Odin as spear god may originate in Bronze Age depictions, so it is not entirely a case of Viking Age weaponry either. It's up to you whether we should call a vote on it or not, I would just presume leave it as a "spear" though it might help your case if we dig up the rest of the attestations for everyone else to see if there are more mentions of Odin throwing it. Even then though, I think the vote will likely fail due to convention, but at least we can collaborate and have a fine article either way. :} :bloodofox: (talk) 08:24, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
They had javelins in the Bronze age (there are javelins since the last phase of the lower Paleolithic). Before we call a vote I remember I've read a book about Scandinavian mythology and it was written there that Gungnir is a javelin, but I still haven't find the book to give a specific reference. Lets wait with the vote until I'll find it. Nevertheless there is no doubt that Gungnir was a ranged weapon since one of it attributes was that it never missed its mark after being thrown. Like you I think that either way the vote will fall due to convention but I'm all for collaboration (isn't it the essence of wikipedia?) Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 08:10, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
It's called geirr in the Prose Edda, you can look up that word.[4] Haukur (talk) 09:21, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

[outdent (edit conflict)] Thought I'd join the discussion here. This seems more like a linguistic problem than anything else. The Norse had a lot of words for their spear-weapons. Nafnaþulur (in stanza 53) gives us about 20 words for something we mainly translate with one: "spear". The weapon Gungnir is associated with is geirr. Geirr is always translated as spear.

Gungnir could be both hurled and thrusted, from what the sources tell us. "Javelin" is a very confined term, only describing "a light spear designed primarily for casting as a ranged weapon" (from Javelin (weapon) lead), while "spear" is much more versatile and fitting.

It is not enough to say that one single book describes Gungnir as a javelin, basically all other books do not. I think the scholars have already pulled the vote for us. –Holt TC 09:58, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Where did you find in the sources a claim that Gungnir can be used for thrusting? I only find reference for its abilities to be thrown but if you found otherwise it's definitely a spear (the stabbing with Gungnir doesn't defines it as a spear only thrusting and using it at melee). From the sources I concluded it's a heavy javelin (like the Pilum or the Soliferrum). I know that the Norsemen had a lot of names for spears and javelins and that it was an important element in their culture and believe system. BTW geirr in old Norse could mean spear, javelin and even dart. Even the word spjörr in old Norse which the modern word spear derives from could mean either spear or javelin. So if you can refer me to the sources in which Gungnir was uses for thrusting the debate will be closed and sealed Nik Sage (talk/contrib) 19:37, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I must have mixed up the sources of Odin as a spear god and the pure Gungnir sources. At least, I understand your agenda. You seem to be well informed about these weapons, but I think we are getting close to OR by defying all scholar definitions when the Gungnir is spoken of as purely a javelin, in spite of common conception. I have nothing against a paragraph discussing its references in the sources as primarily being a ranged weapon, in fact, that is needed. But will you not settle before you have carried out a vote? –Holt TC 11:16, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Gungnir is referred to almost exclusively as a spear. The vastly overwhelming number of references and depictions of Gungnir portray it as a spear. Insisting that it is not a spear and is in fact a javelin, as has been pointed out, verges on original research and suggests that it is wikipedia's job to carry out this research and overturn centuries of literary, mythological, and artistic convention. Furthermore, it seems to be an overly technical and literal approach to the topic - rather like suggesting Sleipnir is not a horse as horses do not have eight legs. Nik Sage, you are obviously well informed about military history, but the proper English term for Gungnir is not an issue that can be resolved simply by an understanding of military technology; it is not wikipedia's place to go against the longstanding practice of considering Gungnir a spear. And also, given that most people describe it as a spear, insisting on referring to it as a javelin could potentially be confusing to readers - perhaps suggesting to the uninformed there was both a spear and a javelin with this name. Finally, spears can be thrown; just because there are instances of it being thrown does not mean wikipedia should insist on calling it something most sources don't call it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.105.36.122 (talk) 21:36, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Geirr is cognate with gyre and gyration. Gungnir does not sway but homes on its target, gyrating like the needle of a compass or a divining pendulum. "Swaying" is an inappropriate definition.Klasovsky (talk) 21:08, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Characteristics of Gungnir[edit]

According to the intro of this article, Gungnir "always hits its mark and always kills". In which text does it actually say that? I can't seem to find any mention of this. The article states that Gungnir is described in Skáldskaparmál as "having the ability to always hit its mark". What I read in Skáldskaparmál is "that the spear would never stop in its thrust", which is something different IMO. Perhaps it always hitting its mark is just implied?Munin75 (talk) 14:02, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

It looks to me like the article has seen some tomfoolery since last I came around and tidied it up (2008: [5]). I have since partially reverted it to that version, but it could use a rewrite with modern Wikipedia referencing standards. :bloodofox: (talk) 11:06, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

I think this, like the reference to Gae Bulg at the bottom are the result of too man people having played Fate/Stay Night. 69.158.119.190 (talk) 21:33, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Swearing oaths[edit]

A number of sources (the earliest of which I can find is here) indicate that any oath sworn on Gungnir (or, some sources say, on its tip) cannot be broken. Does anyone know the original source of this? Should it go in the article? --Aquillion (talk) 18:56, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

On this and on many other sites where I've searched, the etymology of "Gungnir" is some variation of "the swaying one". But what actual Norse grammatical morphemes are involved? Does "Gungnir" derive from some sort of Norse participle or something? I want to learn more information about the name's specific morphology, the word roots involved, etc. - Gilgamesh (talk) 03:16, 21 October 2017 (UTC)