Thorgerd Haelgabrud and Irpa

Within one of the greater families, the ancestral Disir might attain the
rank of goddesses and become the objects of something more than private
worship. Of this there is an example in the goddesses of the Haloigja
family, namely Thorgerd Hœlgabrud and her sister Irpa. Thorgerd was the
daughter of an ancient mythical king Hœlgi, after whom Halogaland is said
to have its name; that is, Hœlgi is the eponymous hero of the district, the
personal name having been formed by the operation of myth to explain the
place name. Thorgerd Hœlgabrud is also called, but less correctly,
Horgabrud and Horgatroll. In more recent saga tradition this designation of
“troll” no doubt had some connection with the aid she was supposed to
have given to Hakon, Earl of Lade, in the battle of Hjorungavag. According
to Snorri’s Edda (I, 400), her father also was worshipped; the mound in
which he was buried was constructed from alternate layers of earth and
stone, and of silver and gold — “these were the treasures offered up before


Peter Andreas Munch: Norse Mythology: Legends of Gods and Heroes. The American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York. 1926, pp. 34.
Rasmus B. Anderson (Ed.): The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson. Norræna Society, London-New York. 1906.

Back to the main page