The Æsir and Vanir exchange hostages after the war between them ends. The Æsir receive Njörðr and Freyr, whilst the Vanir receive Hœnir and Mímir, the latter of whom is decapitated. Mímir’s his head is sent back to Óðinn, embalmed and imbued with the power to speak.
4b. [Ófriður við Vani]
Óðinn fór með her á hendur Vö...
Óðinn made war on the Vanir, ...
[status: referenced copy]
This episode occurs within the longer narrative Ynglinga saga, the first in the collection of kings’ sagas known as Heimskringla which were probably compiled by the 13th-century Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson. In this episode, the Æsir-Vanir war is described in a historicised, as opposed to mythological, context. Óðinn is depicted as a chieftain ruling in Svíþjóð (Sweden) and, according to Ynglinga saga, it is Óðinn who declares war upon the Vanir.
(Contributed by Anna Millward.)
Main text: Ynglinga saga
Text sections: Hkr Yng 4bII