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Title: Hrungnir  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Þrúðvangr, Horse racing, Gram of Denmark, Gullfaxi, Thjalfi and Hrungnir.png
Collection: Jötnar
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Thor slays Hrungnir, illustration by Ludwig Pietsch (1865)

Hrungnir (Old Norse "brawler"[1]) was a jötunn in Norse mythology, slain by the god Thor with his hammer Mjölnir. The account is documented in the Skáldskaparmál, in the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson.

Prior to his demise, Hrungnir engaged in a wager with Odin in which Odin stakes his head on his horse, Sleipnir, being faster than Hrungnir's steed Gullfaxi. During the race, which Sleipnir wins, Hrungnir enters Valhalla, and there becomes drunk and abusive. After they grow weary of him, the gods call on Thor to battle Hrungnir.


  • The Fight and Enchantment 1
  • Attributes 2
  • Source text 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6

The Fight and Enchantment

Thor and his servant Thjalfi challenge the giant, who hurls his whetstone weapon at Thor. Smashed to smithereens by Thor's hammer Mjölnir, fragments of the whetstone fall down to earth - and "thence... come all the flint-rocks"[2] - while one shard sinks deep into the god's forehead. Nevertheless, the hammer strikes Hrungnir dead, shattering his skull; but in his fall, Hrugnir's dead body topples over Thor, leaving the god buried under one of his legs.

When both Thjalfi and the combined strength of the

  • Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-34520-2


  1. ^ Orchard (1997:91).
  2. ^ Skáldskaparmál:
  3. ^ Cotterell, Arthur The Encyclopedia of Mythology, Hermes House. p.200
  4. ^ from Skáldskaparmál


See also

They regarded it very important who should gain the victory, and they feared the worst from Thor if Hrungnir should be defeated, for he was the strongest among them. Thereupon the giants made at Grjöttungard a man of clay, who was nine rasts tall and three rasts broad under the arms, but being unable to find a heart large enough to be suitable for him, they took the heart from a mare, but even this fluttered and trembled when Thor came. Hrungner had, as is well known, a heart of stone, sharp and three-sided; just as the rune has since been risted that is called Hrungner's heart. Even his head was of stone. His shield was of stone, and was broad and thick, and he was holding this shield before him as he stood at Grjottungard waiting for Thor. His weapon was a flint-stone, which he swung over his shoulders, and altogether he presented a most formidable aspect. On one side of him stood the giant of clay, who was named Mokkerkalfe. He was so exceedingly terrified, that it is said that he wet himself when he saw Thor.....But the hammer Mjölner hit Hrungner right in the head, and crushed his skull in small pieces. He himself fell forward over Thor, so that his foot lay upon Thor's neck. Meanwhile Thjalfe attacked Mokkerkalfe, who fell with but little honor.[4]

Source text

Hrungnir's head, heart and shield were made of stone.[3] His heart had a peculiar shape, it was triangular due to which both the Valknut and the Triquetra have been called Hrungnir's heart.

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