"Thrall", "Slave." The eddic poem Rígsþula tells how the traveling god Rígr was walking along the shore when he came upon the farm-hut of Ái and Edda. The elderly couple offered him shelter and poor, rough food. At night, he slept between them in their bed, and nine months later Edda gave birth to a son who was dark (svartan). They named him Þræll and he grew up strong but ugly. His hands were rough, with shriveled skin and knotty knuckles; his face was ugly and his back was humpy.

Þræll married Þír ("serving-woman"), who had crooked legs, stained feet, sunburned arms, and a flat nose. They had twelve sons: Hreimr and Fjósnir, Klúrr and Kleggi, Kefsir, Fúlnir, Drumbr, Digraldi, Dröttr and Hösvir, Lútr and Leggjaldi. Fences they erected, fields manured, tended swine, kept goats, dug turf. They also had nine daughters: Drumba and Kumba, Ökkvinkálfa and Arinnefja, Ysja and Ambátt, Eikintjasna, Tötrughypja, and Trönubeina.

From them came the generations of thralls or serfs.

See also Karl and Jarl.



  • Rígsþula, 2-13.