"Hider", "Deceiver." A dwarf, brother of Galarr. In Skáldskaparmál, the god Bragi tells Ægir the story of the origin of poetry. He relates how the brothers Fjalarr and Galarr invited the wise Kvasir into their home for a private conversation. They killed him and drained him of his blood, which they poured in two vats, called Són and Boðn, and into a kettle called Óðrerir. They then blended the blood with honey and the mixture became the mead of poetry, by the virtue of which he who drinks becomes a skald or scholar. The dwarfs reported to the Æsir that Kvasir had choked on his own shrewdness, since there was none so wise there as to be able to question his wisdom.

The dwarfs then invited the giant Gillingr and his wife to visit them, and killed them both. When Gillingr's son Suttungr learned of his parents' deaths, he went over and took the dwarfs and carried them out to sea, and set them on a reef which was covered at high tide. The dwarfs begged Suttungr to spare their lives and offered the mead of poetry as reconciliation for his parents' death, and Suttungr accepted. Thus the mead of poetry came into his possession.

Poesy is called, among others, "Kvasir's Blood" or "Dwarves' Drink," or Dwarves' Fill," or "Ferry-Boat of Dwarves."



  • Skáldskaparmál, 1.