"Careful." A dwarf, the son of Óin, mentioned in the eddic poem Reginsmál, or Sigurðarkviða Fáfnisbana II, and in Snorri Sturluson's Skáldskaparmál. He was condemned by the Norns to spend his life in the form of a fish, a pike, and lived at Andvarafors ("waterfall of Andvari").
In the story, Loki caused the death of Ótr, the son of Hreiðmarr and the brother of Fáfnir and Reginn. These seized Loki and Odin and Hœnir, and bound them. The Æsir offered a ransom for their lives, and Loki was sent to the Land of the Black Elves to procure gold. He first went to the goddess Rán and obtained her net, and then proceeded to Andvarafors, where he caught the pike in the net. (In Snorri's version, Loki went straightaway to the Land of the Black Elves, and caught the pike with his hands.) He required of Andvari in ransom of his life all the gold he had. The dwarf attempted to withhold a single golden ring, called Andvaranaut, in order to restore his fortune, but Loki made him give this up as well. The dwarf went into his stone, and said:
- That gold
- which the dwarf possessed,
- shall to two brothers
- be cause of death,
- and to eight princes,
- of dissension.
- From my wealth no one
- shall good derive.
The dwarf's curse soon took effect: Fáfnir and Reginn demanded their share of the blood-fine, but Hreiðmarr refused. Fáfnir slew his father and fled with the gold. Reginn plotted revenge and incited his foster-son Sigurðr to kill Fáfnir, but when he attempted to double-cross Sigurðr he too was slain.
Andvari is mentioned in the catalog of dwarfs in Völuspá. In the Nafnaþulur it is one of the names for fish.
In one passage Andvari names himself the son of Odin, but this is probably a scribal error for the dwarf-name Óin.
- Reginsmál, 5.
- Skáldskaparmál, 39, 41.
- Völuspá, 15 (Bellows trans.).