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Váli

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Váli

In Norse mythology, Váli is a son of the god Odin and the giantess Rindr. Váli has numerous brothers including Baldr and Thor. He was birthed for the sole purpose of killing Höðr as revenge for Höðr's accidental murder of his half-brother, Baldr. He grew to full adulthood within one day of his birth, and slew Höðr. Váli is fated to survive Ragnarök.

Myths

The Váli myth is referred to in Baldrs draumar:

Rindr will bear Váli
in western halls;
that son of Óðinn
will kill when one night old—
he will not wash hand,
nor comb head,
before he bears to the pyre
Baldr's adversary. - Ursula Dronke's translation

And in Völuspá:

There formed from that stem,
which was slender-seeming,
a shaft of anguish, perilous:
Hǫðr started shooting.
A brother of Baldr
was born quickly:
he started—Óðinn's son—
slaying, at one night old.

The Prose Edda also mentions him. Gylfaginning contains this passage:

"One is called Ali or Váli, son of Odin and Rindr: he is daring in fights, and a most fortunate marksman."

The same text also states that he will survive Ragnarök, along with his brother Víðarr and the sons of Thor, Móði and Magni.

There is another Váli, a son of Loki by Sigyn, who was transformed by the gods into a slavering wolf who tore out the throat of his brother Narfi to punish Loki for his crimes. See Váli (son of Loki).

The two figures named Váli may originally have been conceived of as the same being.

In Gesta Danorum the figure Bous corresponds to Váli.

References

  • Dronke, Ursula (1997). The Poetic Edda : Volume II : Mythological Poems. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Finnur Jónsson (1913). Goðafræði Norðmanna og Íslendinga eftir heimildum. Reykjavík: Hið íslenska bókmentafjelag.
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