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Skofnung


Skofnung is mentioned in several Icelandic sagas. It was originally the sword of the Danish King Hrolf Kraki. In Kormak's (Cormac's) Saga, Skofnung belonged to Skeggi of Midfiord, who had stolen the sword from King Hrolf Kraki's burial mound. Kormak borrowed the sword from Skeggi, but he was warned that it was difficult to handle:

"There is a pouch to it, and that thou shalt let be. Sun must not shine on the pommel of the hilt. Thou shalt not wear it until fighting is forward, and when ye come to the field, sit all alone and then draw it. Hold the edge toward thee, and blow on it. Then will a little worm creep from under the hilt. Then slope thou the sword over, and make it easy for that worm to creep back beneath the hilt."


Kormak failed to heed the warning, and drew the sword improperly, draining all of the luck out of the blade. In his duel against Bersi, the Skofnung chopped off the tip of Bersi's sword Whitting, and the tip cut Kormak on the thumb. Bersi had therefore drawn first blood and won the duel.

In the 13th century Laxdeola Saga, Skofnung belongs to the son of Skeggi of Midfiord, Eid. In Chapter 57, Eid lent the sword to his kinsman Thorkel along with the Skofnung Stone. Wounds from the Skofnung would not heal unless the stone was rubbed upon them. Thorkel borrowed the sword in order to kill the outlaw Grim and avenge the death of Eid's son, but he only managed to wound Grim before being overcome. Grim spared his life and Thorkel used the Skofnung Stone to heal Grim's wounds. When Thorkel died, the sword was passed down to his son Gellir who was buried with it.

The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, written by an anonymous Icelandic author in the 14th century, tells the story of the Danish King who originally owned the sword. In addition to Skofnung, the sword Gullinn-Hjalti ("Golden-Hilt") also belonged to the king.

Mythology, Norse, Sword, Weapon


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