"Offspring-trunk." The big oak tree that stood in the center of king Völsung's hall and whose limbs blossomed fair out of the roof.

During the feast to celebrate the betrothal of Völsung's daughter Signý with king Siggeir of Gautland, a tall, gray, one-eyed man entered the hall, brandishing a sword. He thrust it into the trunk as far as the hilt and said: Whoever pulls this sword from the trunk shall have it from me as a gift, and he shall prove that he never wielded a better sword than this. The old man, who was said to have been Odin himself, then left the hall and was not seen again.

All the men in the hall, with the noblest among them first, tried to dislodge the sword, but they all failed. Finally Sigmundr, the son of Völsung, grasped the sword and easily drew it from the Barnstokkr. Siggeir desired the sword for himself and offered Sigmundr thrice its weight in gold, but Sigmundr scornfully declined. His words greatly angered Siggeir, who vowed that one day the sword would be his and that he would be revenged.



  • Völsunga saga, 2, 3.