nine giant maidens

nine giant maidens

The eddic poem Völuspá hin skamma, or Völuspá the Less, found in Hyndluljóð, mentions nine giant maidens who bore a mighty son. This is possibly Heimdallr, who is said to have been the son of nine mothers.

One there was born
in the bygone days,
Of the race of the gods,
and great was his might;
Nine giant women,
at the world's edge,
Once bore the man
so mighty in arms.
Gjolp there bore him,
Greip there bore him,
Eistla bore him,
and Eyrgjafa,
Ulfrun bore him,
and Angeyja,
Imth and Atla,
and Jarnsaxa.
Strong was he made
with the strength of earth,
With the ice-cold sea,
and the blood of swine.
— Bellows trans.
There was one born,
in times of old,
with wondrous might endowed,
of origin divine:
nine Jotun maids
gave birth
to the gracious god,
at the world's margin.
Gialp gave him birth,
Greip gave him birth,
Eistla gave him birth,
and Angeia;
Ulfrun gave him birth,
and Eyrgiafa,
Imd and Atla, and Jarnsaxa.
The boy was nourished
with the strength of earth,
with the ice-cold sea,
and with Son's blood.
— Thorpe trans.

See Gjálp, Greip, Eistla, Eyrgjafa, Ulfrún, Angeyja, Imðr, Atla, and Járnsaxa.



  • Völuspá hin skamma, 7-9.
  • Evans, Bergen. (1991). Dictionary of Mythology. New York: Dell Publishing.