Hildisvini | Norse Mythology

Hildisvini | Norse Mythology

Hildisvini, (Old Norse Hildisvíni "fighting pig"), in Norse mythology is a boar used by the goddess Freya as a mount. It has golden bristles and was created by the dwarves Dain and Nabbi.

Only the Hyndla song, the Hyndlulióð, tells about him. There it is also suggested that Hildisvini could be merely the boar form of the hero Ottar, with whom Freya has entered into a relationship.

Freya's boar is very reminiscent of her brother Freyr's boar named Gullinborsti. Both have a boar as a means of transportation, both animals have golden bristles and were created by dwarves. It seems that the poet of the song Hyndlulióð had Gullinborsti in mind when he wrote the verses about Hildisvini.

Additionally, in Norse mythology there was an almost identical helmet named Hildisvin, which may well have been familiar to the poet of Hyndlulióð, perhaps even through the Prose Edda, which predates his song.

The name of the helmet suggests that the crest represented a boar. According to the Prose Edda, the helmet was worn by the Norwegian king Áli in battle with the Swedish king Aðils.

According to another, and more probable tradition of the English epic Beowulf, Áli was the orphan of Aðils and not Norwegian, but Swedish king before Aðils took the throne.

The boar helmet thus apparently embodies a sacred symbol of the Swedish royal house, who saw themselves as descendants of Freyr, from which a close relationship to the goddess Freya follows.

Nevertheless, it is possible that a boar was regarded as Freya's animal, since she also bore the epithet Sýr "sow".

The hero Ottar could go back to a historical person who lived at the royal court in medieval Norway.


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