"The giving one." A minor goddess associated with plowing, foreknowledge, and virginity. She is listed among the Ásynjur by Snorri Sturluson. In Gylfaginning (35) he says that she is a virgin, and they that die maidens attend her, although in Ynglinga saga he claims that she was married to the hero Skjöldr, a son of Odin, and that they dwelt at Leidre. In Lokasenna, Loki accuses her of having once given her body to fair lad in exchange for a necklace.

Gefjun is numbered among the goddesses present at the banquet held in honor of Ægir when he visited Ásgarðr, and at the feast Ægir held for the gods at his home three months later.

In Gylfaginning, and echoed in Ynglinga saga, the legendary Swedish king Gylfi granted a certain wandering woman, in return for her merry-making, some plow land in his realm, as much as four oxen might turn up in a day and a night. But this woman was of the Æsir, and her name was Gefjon. She took four oxen from Jötunheimr — her sons by some unnamed giant — and her plow cut so hard and deep that it loosened up the land; and the oxen drew the land out into the sea and to the west, away from Sweden. There Gefjon set the land and named it Zealand (Sjælland). The ninth-century skald Bragi Boddason says:

Gefjun drew from Gylfi
gladly the wave-trove's free-hold,
Till from the running beasts
sweat reeked, to Denmark's increase;
The oxen bore, moreover,
eight eyes, gleaming brow-lights,
O'er the field's wide: booty,
and four heads in their plowing.



  • Gylfaginning, 1, 35.
  • Lokasenna, 20.
  • Skáldskaparmál, 1, 33.
  • Ynglinga saga, 5.