"Ice-waves." The collective name for eleven rivers that flow from the spring Hvergelmir in Niflheimr into the primeval void of Ginnungagap, according to Snorri Sturluson who seems to base his information on the eddic poems Grímnismál and Vafþrúðnismál:

The streams called Ice-waves, those which were so long come from the fountain-heads that the yeasty venom upon them had hardened like the slag that runs out of the fire, — these then became ice; and when the ice halted and ceased to run, then it froze over above. But the drizzling rain that rose from the venom congealed to rime, and the rime increased, frost over frost, each over the other, even into Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void."

In Vafþrúðnismál, Gangráðr asks Vafþrúðnir from where the primordial giant Aurgelmir came, and Vafþrúðnir replies that poisonous drops sprang from Élivágar and grew until they became a jötunn. In Hymiskviða, Týr says that his father, the all-wise Hymir, dwells eastward of Élivágar, at heaven's end. The god Thor waded from the north over Élivágar carrying Aurvandil in a basket on his back.

The rivers are usually named Svöl, Gunnþrá, Fjörm, Fimbulþul, Slíðr, Hríð, Sylgr, Ylgr, Víð, Leiftr, and Gjöll.



  • Grímnismál, 26-28.
  • Gylfaginning, 5.
  • Hrafnagaldr Óðins, 13.
  • Hymiskviða, 5.
  • Skáldskaparmál, 17.
  • Vafþrúðnismál, 31.