This evening I’ve had Víðarr on my mind. For those who are not familiar, Víðarr is the son of the Giantess Gríðr and Óðinn, whom he is destined to avenge when the King of the Gods is devoured by the Fenris Wolf at Ragnarök. (With a sword given Víðarr by his father, who was gifted it by Óðr after he stole it from a dragon, according to Starry Bear myth.) In addition to vengeance Víðarr is the God of religious silence, boots, and according to Dumézil, spatiality. Regarding his personality, Snorri compares him to the hero Aineías who carried his household Gods and aged father upon his back as he fled the burning city of Ilium. The comparison goes much further, however. Just as Aineías led the Trojan refugees to a new land to found Rome, Víðarr will guide the remaining Gods in constructing Iðavöllr on the site where Ásgarðr had once stood. He and his brother Váli will then serve as temple-wardens and priests of the Gods who did not make it through the cataclysmic War. Until then he lives in the forest, in a house made of brushwood and grass, which he leaves only to attend the feasts of the Gods, such as the one at Aegir’s hall where Loki delivered his famous flyting. On this occasion Víðarr not only advocated for giving Loki his space at the table, but at the behest of Óðinn acted as winepourer for the Gods like Hebe and the Phrygian Ganymedes. One of the things that got me thinking about Víðarr tonight is that his name means “Wide Ruler.” This should be familiar to my Starry Bull readers, as it just so happens to be the meaning of Eurydike, wife of Orpheus and epiklesis of Persephone.
2 thoughts on “Víðarr on my mind”
Now that is VERY intriguing indeed!
I have long had an interest in all of the Norse Deities that are said to last beyond Ragnarok, and Vidarr is no exception…and now there’s even more of interest about him!
Incidentally, in the bull/wolf cycle of things, where do serpents and dragons fit in?
Irreverent bastard that I am, the first thing that came to mind was Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'”.
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