Gungnir | Norse Mythology

Gungnir

Gungnir or Gungner was Odin's spear. The word means the production of a violent trembling or shaking, as it supposedly shook vividly anyone who was struck by it. According to mythology it was manufactured by the sons of Ivaldi (the dwarves), and was given to Odin by Loki in compensation for the theft of Sif's hair.

Odin takes to the battlefield with a golden helmet, shining armor and his spear Gungnir. This spear could never miss or miss signal, and the oath was sworn on the tip of Gungnir.

The Creation of Gungnir

One day Loki maliciously cut off the scalps of Sif, Thor's wife. But when the latter found out, he seized Loki and would have crushed all his bones if he had not sworn to send to the Sons of Ivaldi to make a golden scalp for Sif, which would grow like the other scalps.

Loki went therefore to the abode of the dwarves and they made the hair, Skidblandner, Freyr's ship, and Gungnir, Odin's spear. Then Loki wagered on his head with the dwarf, whose name was Brok, that his brother Sindri would not be able to make three other treasures as good as those just named.

The brothers headed for the forge. Sindre placed a pigskin in the forge and asked Brok to maneuver the bellows and not to stop until he had removed from the forge what he had placed.

Loki, disguised as a fly, landed on Brok's hand and stung him, but that did not stop him from maneuvering the bellows, and what Sindre removed was a pig with gold silks.

Then, Sindre put gold in the forge. This time, Loki landed on Brok's neck and stung him harder, but that did not stop him from maneuvering the bellows, and what the smith removed was the Draupnir magical ring. The third time Sindri put iron in the forge and asked his brother to continue blowing, otherwise all would be lost. Then the fly landed between Brok's eyes and stung his eyelids.

Blood began to trickle into his eyes, so that he could not see; then Brok let go of the bellows for an instant to frighten the fly. What the smith withdrew was a hammer. Sindri gave his brother these treasures and asked him to go to Asgard to find the one he had bet on.

As Loki and Brok arrived each with his treasures, the Aesir sat upon their thrones, and deliberated, and Odin, Frey, and Thor were appointed judges to give the final decision.

Then Loki gave Odin the spear which should never lose its signal; to Thor he gave the scalp of Sif; and to Freyr, he gave the ship Skidblandner, which always had a fair wind as soon as its sails were set, no matter where its captain went: it could also be folded up like a napkin and put in one's pocket if desired.

After this Brok went forward and gave Odin the Draupnir ring, saying that every ninth night eight rings of equal value would spring from it.

To Freyr he gave the golden boar Gullinborsti, telling him that he could run in the air and over the sea day and night, faster than any other horse, and that, however long the night might be, however dark the other worlds might be, there would always be light where the boar was, so bright were its bristles.

To Thor he gave the hammer Mjölnir, saying that it could strike an object however great it might be; that it would never strike falsely, and that when he threw it he need not fear to lose it, for however far it might fall, it would always return to its master, and according to his wishes, it would become so small that he could hide it in his bosom; but it had one defect, its hilt was a little short.

According to the decision of the gods, the hammer was the best of all treasures, especially for the protection it offered against the ice giants; consequently they decided that the dwarf had won the wager and the latter therefore wanted Loki's head.

Loki offered to get it back somehow; but the dwarf would not accept any alternative. -Well, grab me then," said Loki, and in a moment he was far away, for he had shoes with which he could run through the air and over the sea.

Then the dwarf asked Thor to take him, which was done, but when Brok wanted to cut off his head, Loki said, -The head belongs to you, but not the neck-.

Then the dwarf took thread and a knife and wanted to pierce Loki's lips to keep them together so that he would not cheat anymore, but the knife was not sharp enough. 

It would be fine if I had my brother's breath," he said, and immediately the breath was there and it was so sharp that Brok could sew Loki's lips shut. A long time later, Loki was able to pull out his threads despite all the pain and continued to deceive the unwary with his words.