ŢÓRSDRÁPA 5:1-4

Codex RegiusCodex TrajectinusCodex WormianusEmended & Modernized
5 : 1-4 VariantsVariants 
Oc vegţverrir vorrvuaurro Ok vegţverrir varra
vaN fetrúNar navNvfetrunar ; naunno vann fetrunnar Nönnu
hialltz af hagli oltnarhiallz hjalts, af hagli oltnar,
hlavparvm verga/pv;hlaup arom ; ver gaupohlavp aar vmhlaupár um ver gaupu;

This half-stanza is composed of one sentence:

Og vegţverrir Nönnu hjalts varra vann fetrunnar hlaupár, oltnar af hagli um ver gaupu, i.e. "and the honour-decreaser of the Nanna of the pommel of the sea [Ţórr] crossed on foot the icy, swollen streams, which tumble around the lynx's ocean [earth]."

Most commentators have interpreted hlaupár as the many "swollen rivers" of Jötunheim, but it may be strongly suspected that this stanza describes Thor wading over the Arctic Ocean (Gandvík, Élivágar). The plural form of Élivágar seems to support this, as does the fact that two words (varra, ver), both of which mean "sea, ocean", are used in the sentence. Such an interpretation is also strongly supported by the next half-stanza (see: 5:5-8).

vegţverrir Nönnu hjalts varra ] I have followed Finnur Jónsson, and emended vörru to varra, as seems unavoidable. The word vörr (m.) is known from other kennings in the meaning "wave, ocean". The context demands a genitive, either varrar (singular), or varra (plural). Syntactically, the plural accusative vörru doesn't seem to fit here. Egilsson assumed a feminine varra (gen. vörru), but I can find no trace of such a word in the language. Hjalt can mean either "the protective guard" or the "pommel" of the hilt of a sword. The latter must be meant here. The "pommel of the waves" is a kenning for "stone, rock". The goddess (Nanna) of the rock is a giantess, and her vegţverrir ("honour-decreaser") is, of course, Thor.

vann fetrunnar hlaupár ] Vann, here, is merely an auxillary verb, almost without meaning. The adjective fetrunninn means "foot-crossed". Vann fetrunnar means "did the foot-crossed", i.e. "crossed on foot". Hlaupár "swollen rivers, streams" gain their meaning from the word (jökul)hlaup, which is still used in modern Icelandic to mean "a flood in a glacial river".

oltnar af hagli ] Oltnar ("rolling, tumbling) is a past participle of the verb velta, here f. pl. acc. Hagl strictly means "hail", but can, in poetic language, mean "ice, frost, snow, etc." The streams of the Arctic Ocean tumble forth, mingled with ice or icy slush (or subjected to hail-storms).

um ver gaupu ] Ver means "sea", gaupa means "lynx". The sea could be called "the earth of fish", and similarly the earth could be called "the sea of any land-animal" (see Skáldskaparmál 32: [Jörđ má kalla] sjá dýranna). The commentators have read um as of, meaning "over". I read it strictly as UM (i.e. kringum "around"), because the ocean surrounds the earth (like the Midgard serpent, see next half-stanza).

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