Haenir and Lodur
Hœenir and Lodur are also reckoned, though very infrequently,
among the gods. Hœnir’s name is found in the Prose Edda among the
major divinities, and he appears besides as the companion of Odin.
According to the Voluspá, Lodur takes part with Odin and Hœnir
in the creation of man. These three “mighty and benevolent Æsir”
came down to the seashore, where they found Ask and Embla lying
lifeless, without breath, without soul, and without blood; Odin
breath, Hœnir gave them soul, and Lodur gave them blood and bodily
color. According to the Prose Edda, however, it was the sons of
namely Odin, Vili, and Ve, who created Ask and Embla. Odin, Hœnir,
Lodur, or Odin, Vili, and Ve thus function as a sort of trinity of
the Æsir. In
the Gylfaginning something of the kind is to be found in Snorri’s
of the ancient mythology, namely, the trinity Hár (The High),
Equally High), and priði (The Third). At the end of the war
between the Æsir
and the Vanir, Hœnir was delivered over to the Vanir as a hostage.
more complete account runs in Snorri’s Ynglinga Saga: Hœnir was a
and handsome man, whom the Æsir declared to be well fitted to be
chieftain; but for fuller security they sent the wise Mimir with
was at once given leadership in Vanaheim, and all went well so
Mimir remained at his side; but when Hœnir, in the absence of
to make difficult decisions, he invariably declared that “others
determine that.” Whereupon the Vanir at length lost patience,
and sent his head back to the Æsir. On the evidence of Snorri’s
Hœnir was also called The Fleet God or The Long-Footed God or The
of Eld (aurkonungr, Snorri’s Edda I, 168). In the “Saga Fragment”
mentioned below, Rœrek Slœngvandbaugi — brother of king Helgi and
son-in-law of Ivar Vidfadmir — is compared with Hœnir, who here is
the most timorous of the Æsir. Possibly other myths having to do
with him have
failed to survive.
Andreas Munch: Norse Mythology: Legends of Gods
and Heroes. The American-Scandinavian Foundation, New
York. 1926, pp. 19-21.
Rasmus B. Anderson (Ed.): The Elder Eddas of Saemund
Sigfusson and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson.
Norræna Society, London-New York. 1906.
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