Viking Mead of Poetry

The two main god tribes in Norse mythology did not live in peace for the whole course of the myth. The fact was that there was a time when they met each other in battles (See more Viking God War). The war came to an end with peace treaties. But it was not until the second peace treaty was delivered that the two tribes got on well with each other again. The famous Viking Mead of Poetry had its origin in such occasion.

The first peace treaty failed

When gods became weary of fighting, they assembled and concluded a peace treaty. They exchanged hostages as a promise to preserve the peace. The Vanir gods including Njord God of Seafaring, Freya God of War and Beauty, and Freyr God of Summer came to Asgard to live while the Aesir gods had Mimir and Hoenir to come to Vanaheim.

The beauty of Hoenir impressed the Vanir so much that they would like him to become the chieftain. But hardly did they know Hoenir was indecisive and dim-witted and he depended on Mimir who was truly omniscient. The cat, however, would be out of the bag and that day finally arrived. The Vanir felt as if they were tricked. The anger was so terrible that they beheaded Mimir and sent it back to Odin.

Kvasir as the second peace treaty

Image of Kvasir Norse mythology
Kvasir the Norse wisest being

The gods waged no war and they assembled again to create another peace treaty. This time, they spat into a vat. The liquid became a being whom they called Kvasir. This Kvasir was the wisest creature in Norse mythology. There was no question in the cosmos that Kvasir could not give a satisfying answer. Off Kvasir went travelling around the world to spread his wisdom.

How Mead of Poetry came to life

One day, two dwarves,¬†Fjalar (Deceiver) and Galar (Screamer) invited Kvasir to their home. These evil dwarves killed Kvasir and brewed a mead from Kvasir’s blood and honey. Because they heard about the power of Kvasir. And it was true, the mead contained the ability and wisdom of Kvasir.

With the disappearance of Kvasir, the gods questioned the two dwarves. They replied that the knowledge overload killed Kvasir. Fjalar and Galar then were happy with the murder. They soon took the giant Gulling to the ocean and drown him for sport. The wife of Gulling cried over the weird disappearance of his husband. The desperate weeping sound of the giant wife annoyed the two dwarves so they decided to kill her too.

Image of Viking Mead of Poetry Odin and Gunnlod
Odin won the Mead of Poetry

But Fjalar and Galar got into trouble with this murder for the son of the giant couple, Suttung, knew why his parents died. He captured the two dwarves and threatened to kill them. To save their life, the dwarves swore to give Suttung the Mead of Poetry. The giant Suttung hid the Mead under the mountain and appointed his daughter Gunnlod to come and guard the Mead. When Odin learnt of the Mead of Poetry and the place Suttung hid the Mead, he set off to seize the Mead. Because no matter what happened, the Mead of Poetry was a property of the Norse gods. The power and wisdom of Odin helped him successfully retrieve the Mead back to Asgard.

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