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Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

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Hjaðningavíg (The Battle of the Heodenings) tells the legend of two mortal warriors, Heðinn and Hǫgni as well as the female figure of Hildr Hǫgnadóttir. In a conflict between the two men over Hild, they meet in battle upon an island and are forced/cursed to rise and fight again every day for eternity.


1. Creation of the golden necklace/rings

2. Loki steals Freyja's necklace/rings

3. Óðinn incites Freyja to create conflict

4. Heðinn travels to the court of Hǫgni

5. Freyja administers Heðinn drink

6. Freyja dedicates the men to Óðinn

8. Heðinn lands on Hoy, Orkney

9. Hǫgni chases Heðinn

10. King Froði judges trial by combat

11. Heðinn offers compensation

14. Hǫgni declines compensation and comes to battle

15. Hǫgni and Heðinn fight and kill each other

16. Hildr resurrects the men to fight again

17. Warriors cursed until Ragnarǫk

18. Eternal curse lifted by Christian man




The legend can be found documented in numerous sources within the poetry of the Viking Age and into the Medieval literature with examples such as Sǫrla þáttr, RagnarsdrápaGesta Danorum and Skáldskaparmál. Depictions of the narrative can also be identified upon two Gotlandic picture stones, Lärbro Stora Hammars I and Stenkyrka Smiss I.


(Contributed by Douglas Robert Dutton.)




Skáldskaparmál Ragnarsdrápa Sǫrla þáttr Gesta Danorum Háttalykill

Text sections:

Sǫrla ch. 1 Sǫrla ch. 2 Sǫrla ch. 5 Sǫrla ch. 7 Sǫrla ch. 8 Sǫrla ch. 9 SnSt, Skm ch. 62 RvHbreiðm Hl 45III RvHbreiðm Hl 46III Bragi Rdr 8III Bragi Rdr 9III Bragi Rdr 10III Bragi Rdr 11III


Freyja Fróði Heðinn Hildr Hǫgni Loki Óðinn


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