Huginn and Muninn
Huginn ("Thought") and Muninn ("Memory") are the two ravens of Odin. They are attested in Grímnismál:
- Hugin and Munin
- fly each day
- over the spacious earth.
- I fear for Hugin,
- that he come not back,
- yet more anxious am I for Munin.
Snorri Sturluson says in Gylfaginning:
The ravens sit on his shoulders and say into his ear all the tidings which they see or hear; they are called thus: Huginn and Muninn. He sends them at day-break to fly about all the world, and they come back at undern-meal; thus he is acquainted with many tidings. Therefore men call him Raven-God.
The raven frequently appear together engraved on picture-stones. In literature however, Huginn is mentioned more often, particularly in eddic poetry. He appears as Hug(r) in Hrafnagaldr Óðins ("Odin's Ravens' Song"). In skaldic verses Muninn appears as a poetic term or heiti for "raven." The twelfth-century Icelandic priest and skald Einarr Skúlason sang:
- He who gluts the Gull of Hatred,
- Our precious lord, could govern
- The sword; the hurtful raven
- Of Huginn's corpse-load eateth.
- But the King's heart swelleth,
- His spirit flushed with battle,
- Where heroes shrink; dark Muninn
- Drinks blood from out the wounds."
In Skáldskaparmál both names appear in a list of kennings for ravens, along with others such as Blood of Mood, Yearly Flier, Year-Teller, and Flesh-Boder.
- Grímnismál, 20.
- Gylfaginning, 38.
- Hrafnagaldr Óðins, 3.