Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Pre-Christian Religions of the North: Sources

Menu Search

in progress

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.


[excerpt from] Yng ch. 4b

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

Attributes: Æsir-Vanir War Death

Named things: Freyr Óðinn

Text sections: Hkr Yng 4bII


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.