Rindr | Norse Mythology


Rindr is a goddess in Norse mythology, alternatively described as a giantess or a mortal princess of the East.

Raped by Odin, she gave birth to the god Vali, who was slain to avenge Baldr.

Origins of Rindr

The prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson refers to Rindr as the mother of Vali and one of the ásynjur (goddesses).

The most detailed account is found in Book III of the Gesta Danorum, written by Saxo Grammaticus around the beginning of the 13th century, where Rindr is the daughter of the king of the Ruthenes.

After Baldr's death, Odin consults the augurs on the means to find revenge. On their advice, he goes to the Ruthenes disguised as a warrior, under the name of Roster.

Twice Rindr rejects his advances. Odin then touches Rindr with a piece of bark on which he has written magical runes, causing his victim to go mad.

The god then takes the features of a healer, Wecha, and claims to have the appropriate remedies: however, these could cause a violent reaction. The king therefore had his daughter tied to his bed, thus allowing Odin to rape her. From this rape is born Vali, who will avenge Baldr.

The rape of Rindr by Odin is evoked by a line in stanza 3 of the Sigurðardrápa, a poem by Kormákr Ögmundarson that praises Sigurd Håkonsson, who ruled around Trondheim in the middle of the tenth century: "seið Yggr til Rindar," (Yggr [Odin] enchanted Rindar,) where the verb síða emphasizes the magical action.

Another passage that may refer to the same event is in verse 6 of the text Grógaldr, from the Poetic Edda: "þann gól Rindi Rani", "that [charm] that Rani sang to Rindr".

The name Rindr appears in the work of several scaldes and in Baldr's Dreams, where the alliteration suggests that it may have originally been Vrindr; this dubious etymology may link it to the Swedish toponym Vrinnevi or Vrinnevid, near Norrköping.