ŮËRSDR┴PA 1:5-8

Codex RegiusCodex TrajectinusCodex WormianusEmended & Modernized
1 : 5-8 VariantsVariants 
ge­reynir qva­ greinargrønargrŠnarge­reynir kva­ grŠnar
ga/tz her■rvmv bra/tirher■rumigautz missingGauts her■rumu brautir
vilgi tryGvr til veGiartrygr vilgi tryggr til veggjar
viGs geirro■ar liGia. geirra­arviggs Geirr÷­ar liggja.

This half-stanza consists of one sentence, which is structured as follows:

Vilgi tryggr ge­reynir Gauts her■rumu kva­ grŠnar brautir liggja til viggs veggjar Geirr÷­ar, i.e. "the deceitful mind-tester of the war-thunder's Gautr [Loki] declared that green paths led towards Geirr÷­r's wall-horse [house]."

ge­reynir Gauts her■rumu ] is obviously a kenning for Loki. Ge­reynir is a complex word. It can mean either "friend", or "trier/challenger of the mind/temper/patience". Gautur is one of Odin's names. Her■ruma means "army-thunder", i.e. "battle din". So who is Gautr her■rumu? The kenning is perhaps best understood as her-Gautr ■rumu "warrior of thunder" = Thor. Loki can be said to be "the one who tests the temper of Thor". This is the superficial meaning of the kenning, but there seems to be more to it. Loki is often described as "Odin's friend", i.e. ge­reynir Gauts. Thor is the god of thunder, ■rumu-Gautur. Her-Gautur is a known epithet for Odin. Thus the kenning may be seen as working on two levels: Loki is the friend of Odin, and at the same time the challenger of Thor's temper.

vilgi tryggr ] "by no means loyal" suits this ambiguous kenning perfectly. Odin believes his blood-brother Loki to be tryggr ge­reynir, "a loyal friend", but as far as Thor is concerned he is vilgi tryggr ge­reynir, "a deceitful trier of the temper". Such "double-talk", worthy of Loki himself, is surely evidence of the poet's masterful command of the art of the double-forked kenning.

viggs veggjar Geirr÷­ar ] Although simpler, this kenning may also be ambiguous. Vigg veggjar means "horse of the wall". This is a permissible kenning for "house" (cp. 17:3 fletbj÷rn "bear of the floor"). However, since the kenning is spoken by Loki, a double meaning may be suspected. Veggr Geirr÷­ar, "the giant's wall", may be a kenning for "mountain". A horse (vigg) of the mountain is a permissible kenning for "wolf". Additionally, a horse (vigg) of Geirr÷­r (a giant) is a permissible kenning for "wolf". It seems possible that Loki's double-talk is expressed with a triply ambiguous kenning, which can mean much more than is seen on the surface: the "green paths", as will be seen later, lead towards a dangerous place where dangerous wolf-giants await (see 11:1-4, 19:1-4).

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