Folkvangr: quotes from the Lore

I was feeling the need for some lore. I realized that I hadn’t shared much (if any) of the Lore itself. And, though I can’t read Old Norse, I find the words themselves to be beautiful. (Sweden! Norway! I shall see you soon!)

This bit, which describes Freya, Freyr, and Njord, is from the Gylfaginning, in the Prose Edda. The translation is below.

XXIV. Njörðr í Nóatúnum gat síðan tvau börn. Hét annat Freyr, en dóttir Freyja. Þau váru fögr álitum ok máttug. Freyr er inn ágætasti af ásum. Hann ræðr fyrir regni ok skini sólar ok þar með ávexti jarðar, ok á hann er gott at heita til árs ok friðar. Hann ræðr ok fésælu manna. En Freyja er ágætust af ásynjum. Hon á þann bæ á himni, er Fólkvangr heitir. Ok hvar sem hon ríðr til vígs, þá á hon hálfan val, en hálfan Óðinn, svá sem hér segir:

Folkvangr heitir,
en þar Freyja ræðr
sessa kostum í sal;
halfan val
hon kýss hverjan dag,
en halfan Óðinn á.

Salr hennar Sessrúmnir, hann er mikill ok fagr. En er hon ferr, þá ekr hon köttum tveim ok sitr í reið. Hon er nákvæmust mönnum til á at heita, ok af hennar nafni er þat tignarnafn, er ríkiskonur eru kallaðar fróvur. Henni líkaði vel mansöngr. Á hana er gott at heita til ásta.”

“Njördr in Nóatún begot afterward two children: the son was called Freyr, and the daughter Freyja; they were fair of face and mighty. Freyr is the most renowned of the Æsir; he rules over the rain and the shining of the sun, and therewithal the fruit of the earth; and it is good to call on him for fruitful seasons and peace. He governs also the prosperity of men. But Freyja is the most renowned of the goddesses; she has in heaven the dwelling called Fólkvangr (“Folk-plain, Host-plain”), and wheresoever she rides to the strife, she has one-half of the kill, and Odin half, as is here said:

Fólkvangr ’tis called,
where Freyja rules
degrees of seats in the hall;
Half the kill
she keepeth each day,
and half Odin hath.

“Her hall Sessrúmnir (“Seat-roomy”) is great and fair. When she goes forth, she drives her cats and sits in a chariot; she is most conformable to man’s prayers, and from her name comes the name of honor, Frú, by which noblewomen are called. Songs of love are well-pleasing to her; it is good to call on her for furtherance in love.”

And from the Grímnismál (Poetic Edda) we get the same information. (The translation is cheesy, but I like the way it flows.)

“Falcvanger’s towers claim my song,
These to Freya’s right belong;
Who chief presiding at each feast,
Appoints his place to ev’ry guest:
Half of the slain by her’s possest,
But Odin daily claims the rest.”

(Grímnismál; trans. Amos Simon Cottle, 1797)

2 thoughts on “Folkvangr: quotes from the Lore

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