"Swaying one." The infallible spear of Odin, on which oaths were taken. It is one of the treasures of the Æsir. According to Skáldskaparmál, the spear was made for him by those dwarfs who were called Ívaldi's sons. It never stopped in its thrust. At the time of Ragnarök, Odin shall ride first with his gold helmet and fair byrnie (brynja), and his spear Gungnir, to battle the wolf Fenrir. In the eddic poem Sigrdrífumál the valkyrie Sigrdrífa tells Sigurðr that runes were carved on Gungnir's point.
Odin's spear appears in several others sources, although it is not explicitly named Gungnir. In Völuspá, Odin hurled his spear among the people, and that was the first warfare in the world. He lent his spear to Dagr, the son of Högni, so that he could kill Helgi Hundingsbane and thus avenge his father's death.
In Hrafnagaldr Oðins he says that he hung on a tree for nine whole nights,
with a spear wounded, and to Odin offered, myself to myself. In Ynglinga saga, when Odin was near death he made himself be marked with point of a spear, and said he was going to Godheim. He also said that he would give a welcome there to all his friends, and all brave warriors should be dedicated to him. Njörðr, on his deathbed, made himself be marked for Odin with the spear-point.
Bronze Age carvings depict a figure clutching a spear, whom some have identified with Odin.
- Gylfaginning, 51.
- Helgakviða Hundingsbana II.
- Hrafnagaldr Oðins, 140.
- Sigrdrífumál, 17.
- Skáldskaparmál, 2, 35.
- Völuspá, 28.
- Ynglinga saga, 10, 11.