5: Vafthrudnismal - Odin Travels to Jotunheim for a Deadly Battle of Wits with the All-Wise Giant Vafthrudnir

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We continue our series on the Poetic Edda with Vafthrudnismal. Odin travels to Jotunheim for a deadly battle of wits with the all-wise giant Vafthrudnir. One of them will end up losing his head! Who will it be?

This is the Northern Myths Podcast, an archetypal exploration of the myths and legends of Northern Europe. Join us as we learn about Norse Mythology, Jungian Archetypes, and much more. Dan and Luke have a passion for mythology, and together we hope to explore these myths and legends and explain them in a way that can appeal to everyone in the modern world, and learn how to apply their lessons to everyday life.

The Poetic Edda is the primary original source for the myths and legends of Norse Mythology. The Poetic Edda includes everything from the creation of the world to its destruction in Ragnarok, from the adventures of Thor to the wisdom of Odin. We are exploring these timeless stories to learn how the Norse people understood the world, and how we can apply their worldview to life today.

Check out our YouTube channel for videos of all episodes and interesting clips of the show: Northern Myths Podcast YouTube Channel

If you'd like to follow along with our reading of the Poetic Edda you can pick up the great translation of the Poetic Edda we're reading by Jackson Crawford, you can purchase it here: The Poetic Edda by Jackson Crawford

It is also available as an audiobook which we highly recommend. Dr. Crawford has a great voice for it, and actually pronounces everything properly. It's a must have if you like our show! Available here: The Poetic Edda Audiobook

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Show Outline:

0:00:00 - Introduction to Vafthrudnismal, Odin's journey to the hall of the giant Vafthrudnir0:06:25 - Stanza 01: Odin wants to have a contest of wisdom with the wise giant Vafthrudnir0:13:57 - Stanza 02: Frigg, wife of Odin advises caution0:25:00 - Stanza 03: Odin always seeks greater challenges0:33:02 - Stanza 04: Frigg wishes Odin well, tells him to come back safely but to go all the same0:39:05 - Stanza 05: Odin goes into the unknown, straight inside Vafthrudnir's hall0:41:44 - Stanza 06: Odin hails Vafthrudnir, asks if he is wise0:45:54 - Stanza 07: Vafthrudnir is angry, Odin won't leave unless he is wiser than him0:48:40 - Stanza 08: Odin is up to the challenge, asks for hospitality0:52:02 - Stanza 09: Vafthrudnir invites Odin to sit and to asks Odin to start the game of wits0:56:54 - Stanza 10: Odin invites his host to speak first1:03:05 - Stanza 11-12: Skinfaxi, the horse that pulls the sun1:11:47 - Stanza 13-14: Hrimfaxi, the horse that pulls the moon1:15:34 - Stanza 15-16: Ifing, the river separating the land of the gods and the giants1:20:46 - Stanza 17-18: Vigrith, the battlefield of Ragnarok1:25:05 - Stanza 19: Heads are wagered - the loser of the game will die1:30:10 - Stanza 20-21: The origin of heaven and earth1:35:36 - Stanza 22-23: The origin of the sun and moon1:38:30 - Stanza 24-25: The origin of the day and night1:42:54 - Stanza 26-27: The origin of the winter and summer1:45:26 - Stanza 28-29: The oldest beings in the world1:51:34 - Stanza 30-31: The origin of Aurgelmir, the first giant1:55:41 - Stanza 32-33: How Ymir had children1:59:10 - Stanza 34-35: Vafthrudnir's first memory2:05:06 - Stanza 36-37: The origin of the wind2:08:39 - Stanza 38-39: How Njord came to be among the Aesir2:14:44 - Stanza 40-41: Valhalla and the Einherjar2:21:22 - Stanza 42-43: The secrets of the gods and giants2:26:22 - Stanza 44-45: The humans who will survive after Ragnarok2:34:25 - Stanza 46-47: How the sun survives Ragnarok2:38:11 - Stanza 48-49: The women who fly above the sea2:41:41 - Stanza 50-51: The gods who will live on after Ragnarok2:46:25 - Stanza 52-53: How Odin will die at Ragnarok2:50:53 - Stanza 54-56: What Odin whispered to Baldr on his funeral pyre3:04:15 - Conclusion and recap

If you'd like to follow along with us or learn more about the ideas we talk about on the show, we have a list of recommended books on our website. Included are our recommended copies of the Poetic Edda and the Kalevala, as well as books about archetypal narrative, comparative religion, and more: Recommended Books

We also have Northern Myths Podcast merchandise available at our official shop.

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46 episodes