Summary: Baldr’s Dreams/Baldrs draumar

(It’s about time for another summary of this sort, no?)

As it begins, all the gods and goddesses are gathered together because Baldr has been having menacing dreams. Odin lays a saddle on Sleipnir ( ) and rides to Neflhel where he meets the hound Garm ( ). Odin rides on amidst much barking and the quaking of the earth until he comes to Hel. He rides to the eastern gate (where he knows the grave of a seeress is) and chants spells to wake her from the dead.

She rises from the dead and says,

“What man is this,     to me unknown,

who maketh me fare     such fear-fraught ways?

Was I buried in snow     and beaten by rain

and drenched with dew,     dead was I long.”

Odin introduces himself as Vegtam (“the Wayfarer”) and says he is the son of Valtam (“the Warrior”). The seeress is reluctant to answer Odin’s questions, but does so anyway. Odin asks who is going to slay Baldr and she says it will be Höðr ( ) (keep in mind that the letter before the “r” is pronounced as a “th”). Odin asks who will avenge Baldr after this happens and the seeress says that Rind ( ) will give birth to Váli ( ), who will avenge Baldr’s death.

As after her other answers the seeress says,

“I was loath to speak,     now let me cease.”

This time Odin replies with a riddle (the answer to the riddle is immediately after the quoted text) and says,

“Cease not, seeress,     till said thou hast:

answer the asker     till all he knows:

who are the girls     that greet so sore,

and their kerchief corners     cast to the sky?”

(The answer to the riddle is the waves. The phrase “kerchief corners” could also mean “the corners of the sail”. These sails may also be the ones of the ship that would bear Baldr’s body after his death.)

At this point the seeress guesses that the man asking her questions is really Odin. In response to her having guessed his identity, Odin reveals something about her identity as well, saying that instead of being a seeress or sage woman, she is really the mother of three thurses ( ).

The ending comes rather suddenly with her saying,

“Homeward hie thee,     happy in mind:

no chanted spells     will charm me up

until Loki     is loose from his bonds

and the day will come     of the doom of the gods.”

(The bonds she spoke of would be the ones mentioned near the end of the following summary: . We can infer that she returned to her grave after this and that Odin returned to the other gods and goddesses with the information the seeress gave him. Unfortunately, it seems this was nothing more than a minor elaboration of a part of the Völuspá ) as it contains no new information and ends rather abruptly.)