An extremely wise figure and one of the central characters in the legend of the mead of poetry. In Skáldskaparmál, Bragi explains to the visiting Ægir the beginnings of poesy:

The gods had a dispute with the folk which are called Vanir, and they appointed a peace-meeting between them and established peace in this way: they each went to a vat and spat their spittle therein. Then at parting the gods took that peace-token and would not let it perish, but shaped thereof a man. This man is called Kvasir, and he was so wise that none could question him concerning anything but that he knew the solution. He went up and down the earth to give instruction to men; and when he came upon invitation to the abode of certain dwarves, Fjalarr and Galarr, they called him into privy converse with them, and killed him, letting his blood run into two vats and a kettle. The kettle is named Óðrerir, and the two vats Són and Boðn; they blended honey with the blood, and the outcome was that mead by the virtue of which he who drinks becomes a skald or scholar. The dwarves 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.

Kvasir also briefly appears in the story of Baldr's death. In Gylfaginning, Snorri Sturluson tells how Loki, fearing the wrath of the Æsir, had run off to a certain mountain. Often throughout the day he turned himself into the likeness of a salmon and hid himself in the waterfall called Fránangr, but when he sat in his house, how took twine of linen and netted meshes as a net is made since. When he saw that the Æsir were close upon him, he cast the net into the fire and leaped into the river. Kvasir was the first to go into Loki's dwelling and saw in the fire the white ash where the net had burned. He perceived that this must be a device for catching fish, and told it to the Æsir. Straightaway they made themselves a net after the pattern and cast it into the falls to catch Loki.

Poetry is described in kennings as Kvasir's Blood or Kvasir's Gore. Another kenning is Liquid of the Dwarves, because Kvasir's blood was liquid in Óðrerir before the mead was made.



  • Gylfaginning, 50.
  • Skáldskaparmál, 1, 2, 3.