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  • Halls, Gods, and Giants: The Enigma of Gullveig in Óðinn’s Hall

    Tommy Kuusela

    Chapter from the book: Wikström af Edholm, K et al. 2019. Myth, Materiality and Lived Religion: In Merovingian and Viking Scandinavia.

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    A new analysis of the first war in the world according to how it is referred to in Vǫluspá is presented. There have been many different explanations for the Gullveig episode, from the 1800s until the present day, and a brief summary of the most influential scholarly opinions is also presented. The author argues that the enigmatic figure described within the poem as Gullveig is a giantess. Further, the first war in the world is not interpreted as a war between two different tribes of gods, as is the general scholarly opinion. Instead, it is argued that the gods fight together as a group against a common foe – the giants. The author argues that the narrative of Gullveig takes us from the divine to the human world; Gullveig (a threat to the gods in the divine hall) is transformed and returns as Heiðr (a threat to humans in this world).

    A response to the chapter is submitted by Eldar Heide.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Kuusela, T. 2019. Halls, Gods, and Giants: The Enigma of Gullveig in Óðinn’s Hall. In: Wikström af Edholm, K et al (eds.), Myth, Materiality and Lived Religion. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bay.c

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on June 3, 2019


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