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Perhaps a representation of Andvari. Runestone from Drävle .

Andwari , also Andvari or Andawari , is a dwarf of Nordic mythology who corresponds to the dwarf Alberich from the Nibelungen saga .


Song Edda

The story of the dwarf Andvari is told in the song Reginsmál , which is also called Sigurðarkviða Fafnisbana önnur and which is one of the heroic songs of the Song Edda . Afterwards Andvari was the son of the dwarf Oinn , the one Norne at birth the fate zuwies to lead a life in the water. Andvari lived from then on in a waterfall in the shape of a pike . There he kept a gold treasure, to which the Andvaranaut ring "Andvaris Gift" belonged. How he came to this treasure is not mentioned.

One day Otur "otter", who had taken the shape of an otter, caught a salmon in this waterfall . When he wanted to eat it, Loki , who was traveling with Odin and Hœnir , killed him by throwing a stone on the head in order to get hold of the beautiful otter skin . In the evening he showed his hunted booty to his host Hreidmar , who recognized by his fur that his son had died. Thereupon Hreidmar had the gods arrested and demanded atonement. As wergeld , it was determined that the gods Otur's otter skin had to be covered with red gold inside and out. Loki then returned to the Andvaris waterfall with the Ráns net and caught the dwarf in the shape of a pike, of whose gold he knew. In the end, he blackmailed Andvari for the gold in exchange for his life. The dwarf delivered all the gold to Loki, he only tried to keep the Andvaranaut ring for himself. But Loki also took this from him. Then the dwarf got angry and cursed the treasure:

„Þat scal gull, er Gustr átti,
broðrom tveim at bana verða,
oc ǫðlingom átta at rógi;
mun míns fiár mangi nióta. "

“The gold that Gust owned
will bring death to two brothers
and eight noble struggles.
Nobody will use my darling. "

- Reginsmál 5

Then Andvari withdrew into a stone. In addition to the earth, stones are considered to be the home of the dwarfs. Nothing is reported about his further fate. As the story progresses, his curse is fulfilled.

In the Völuspá Andvari is also Dvergatal as a dwarf under the leadership Dvalins called. However, only in the Völuspá quotations of the Prose Edda . He is not mentioned in the Völuspá text versions of the Hauksbók and the Codex Regius .

Prose Edda

The myth Andvaris is also the subject of the Skáldskaparmáls , the language of poetry by Snorri Sturluson , to explain the meaning of the Heiti otter penance for gold . In contrast to Reginsmál , Loki does not seem to kill Otur at the Andvaris waterfall, since Odin sends Loki to Schwarzalbenheim to get Andvaris' gold there. Rán's net is also not mentioned when fishing. Furthermore, Andvari does not curse the treasure itself, but "only" the owner of the ring:

"En dvergrinn mælti,
at sá baugr skyldi vera hverjum Höfuðsbani,
er ætti."

"But the dwarf said
that the ring should bring death to anyone
who possesses it."

- S NORRI S TURLUSON : Prose Edda: Skáldskaparmál 39

Other certificates

The Völsunga saga tells Andvari's story comparable to the song and prose Edda . However, she gives the waterfall the proper name Andvarafors "Andvaris Wasserfall". The ring and the gold treasure are cursed.

In the Þulur , Andvari is given both as Heiti for the fish and for the dwarf.



The name of Andvari, Old Norse Andvari , is mostly translated as “the cautious”, based on Old Norse andvari “fear, vigilance”. But one can also derive the name from Old Norse önd and verja , which means “life protector ”. Occasionally it is also argued that its name derives from gentle wind, compare New Icelandic andvari "caution, gentle wind".

Essential nature

Andvari is described as both a dwarf and a pike. It is likely that it is only a temporary change in shape and Andvari is not a hybrid being. The idea of ​​hybrid beings is alien to the Nordic. These changes in shape may later be an expression of shamanistic beliefs that include transformation, journeys to the hereafter, animistic or totemistic ideas.

Equation with Alberich

The myth of Andvari belongs to the legends of Sigurð, the dragon slayer, the Nordic transmission of the legends about Siegfried the dragon slayer . The dwarf Andvari thus corresponds to the dwarf Alberich of the Nibelung legend .

See also


Individual evidence

  1. Lieder-Edda: Reginsmál 5th text edition based on the Titus Project, URL: , accessed on December 4, 2009.
  2. An otherwise unknown dwarf (?) In Norse mythology. Perhaps an ancestor of Andvaris? The word gustr means “cold gust of wind” in Old Norse; Steam, smoke 'after Jan de Vries: Old Norse Etymological Dictionary. 2nd Edition. Brill Archive, p. 195.
  3. ^ Translation after Arnulf Krause: The songs of gods and heroes of the Elder Edda. Philipp Reclam jun. Verlag, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 978-3-15050-047-7 .
  4. Lieder-Edda: Reginsmál 1–5.
  5. To curse: Hans Sauer and Eckhard Meineke: Fluchdichtung. In: Heinrich Beck, Dieter Geuenich, Heiko Steuer (Hrsg.): Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde - Vol. 9. 2nd edition. Verlag Walter de Gruyter, Berlin - New York 1995, ISBN 978-3-11-014642-4 , p. 244. Online excerpt .
  6. ^ Prose Edda: Gylfaginning 14.
  7. ^ Prosa-Edda: Skáldskaparmál 39. Text edition based on CyberSamurai Encyclopedia of Norse Mythology, URL: Welcome to the CyberSamurai Encyclopedia! ( Memento of January 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), accessed December 4, 2009.
  8. ^ Translation after Arnulf Krause: The Edda of Snorri Sturluson. Philipp Reclam jun. Verlag, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 978-3-15-000782-2
  9. ^ Völsunga saga XIV.
  10. Þulur III 26 Fiska heiti, 1st stanza, Þulur III 40 Dverga heiti, 3rd stanza.
  11. Jan de Vries: Old Norse Etymological Dictionary. 2nd Edition. Brill Archive, p. 9 f. Online excerpt
  12. Alexandra Pesch: hybrid creatures . In: Heinrich Beck, Dieter Geuenich, Heiko Steuer (Hrsg.): Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde - Vol. 20. 2nd edition. Verlag Walter de Gruyter, Berlin - New York 2002, ISBN 978-3-11-017164-8 , pp. 70 f. Online excerpt .
  13. ^ Edgar C. Polomé: Notes on the dwarfs in Germanic tradition. In: Einar Ingvald Haugen, Einar Haugen, Stig Eliasson, Ernst Håkon Year: Language and Its Ecology: Essays in Memory of Einar Haugen. Verlag Walter de Gruyter, 1997, ISBN 978-3-11-014688-2 , p. 443. Online excerpt .