Terra dos Anões
Hreiðmarr was the father of Regin, Fafnir, Ótr, Lyngheiðr and Lofnheiðr. He owned a house of glittering gold and flashing gems built by Regin and guarded by Fafnir. After Otr was accidentally killed by Loki, the Æsir repaid Hreiðmarr with Andvari‘s gold and the ring Andvaranaut, a magical ring that could create gold. However, Andvari had cursed the ring to bring misfortune and destruction to whoever else possessed it. Hreiðmarr ignored Loki’s warnings about the curse and kept the ring, only to have Fafnir and Regin later kill him for it. Fafnir decided he wanted Andvaranaut for himself, so he turned into a dragon and drove Regin away. Fafnir guarded the treasure until Sigurd, on Regin’s instigation, arrived and delivered a fatal blow to the dragon. Regin was then also killed by Sigurd while attempting to murder him for the ring, thus leaving all of Hreiðmarr’s family dead.
In the Icelandic Volsunga Saga (late 13th century), Fáfnir is a dwarf with a powerful arm and fearless soul. He guards his father’s house of glittering gold and flashing gems. He is the strongest and most aggressive of the three brothers.
Regin recounts to Sigurd how Odin, Loki and Hœnir were traveling when they came across Ótr, who had the likeness of an otter during the day. Loki killed the otter with a stone and the three Æsir skinned their catch. The gods came to Hreidmar‘s dwelling that evening and were pleased to show off the otter’s skin. Hreidmar and his remaining two sons then seized the gods and held them captive while Loki was made to gather the ransom, which was to stuff the otter’s skin with gold and cover its outside with red gold. Loki fulfilled the task by gathering the cursed gold of Andvari as well as the ring, Andvaranaut, both of which were told to Loki as items that would bring about the death of whoever possessed them. Fáfnir then killed Hreidmar to get all the gold for himself.He became ill-natured and greedy and ventured into the wilderness to keep his fortune. He turned into a serpent or dragon (symbol of greed) in order to guard his treasure. Fáfnir breathed poison into the land around him so no one would go near him and his treasure, wreaking terror in the hearts of the people.
Regin plotted revenge so that he could get the treasure and sent his foster-son Sigurd to kill the dragon. Regin instructed Sigurd to dig a pit in which he could lie in wait under the trail Fáfnir used to get to a stream and there plunge his sword, Gram, into Fafnir’s heart as he crawls over the pit to the water. Regin then ran away in fear, leaving Sigurd to the task. As Sigurd dug, Odin appeared in the form of an old man with a long beard, advising the warrior to dig more trenches for the blood of Fafnir to run into, presumably so that Sigurd does not drown in the blood. The earth quaked and the ground nearby shook as Fafnir appeared, blowing poison into his path as he made his way to the stream. Sigurd, undaunted, stabbed Fafnir in the left shoulder as he crawled over the ditch he was lying in and succeeded in mortally wounding the dragon. As the creature lay there dying, he spoke to Sigurd and asked for his name, his parentage and who sent him on such a dangerous mission. Fafnir figured out that his own brother, Regin, plotted this, and predicted that Regin would also cause Sigurd’s death. Sigurd told Fafnir that he would go back to the dragon’s lair and take all his treasure. Fafnir warned Sigurd that all who possessed the gold would be fated to die, but Sigurd replied that all men must one day die anyway, and it is the dream of many men to be wealthy until that dying day, so he would take the gold without fear.
Regin then returned to Sigurd after Fafnir was slain. Corrupted by greed, Regin planned to kill Sigurd after Sigurd had cooked Fafnir’s heart for him to eat and take all the treasure for himself. However, Sigurd, having tasted Fafnir’s blood while cooking the heart, gained knowledge of the speech of birds and learned of Regin’s impending attack from the Oðinnic (of Odin) birds’ discussion and killed Regin by cutting off his head with Gram. Sigurd then ate some of Fafnir’s heart and kept the remainder, which would later be given to Gudrun after their marriage.
Otr e Regin
According to the Prose Edda, he could change into any form, and used to spend his days in the shape of an otter, greedily eating fish. Ótr was slain accidentally by Loki, who wanted to keep his pelt. Hreidmar demanded a large weregild for Ótr’s death, namely to fill Ótr’s skin with yellow gold, and to then cover it entirely with red gold. When the skin was covered, one whisker was still protruding, forcing Loki to give up the ring Andvarinaut to hide it. The ring had been stolen from, and cursed by, the fish-dwarf Andvari. It is suggested that this story was meant to show the benefits of not only adhering to the letter of the law (repayment for manslaughter) but sticking to the spirit of the law as well (demanding an exorbitant ransom). Greed for this cursed treasure ultimately caused the deaths of Hreidmar and his two surviving sons: Hreidmar was killed by Fafnir, who transformed into a dragon, and the other two were slain by Sigurd‘s sword Gram.
Reginn, often Anglicized as Regin or Regan, in Norse mythology, is a son of Hreiðmarr and foster father of Sigurd. His brothers are Fafnir and Ótr. When Loki mistakenly kills Ótr, Hreiðmarr demands to be repaid with the amount of gold it takes to fill Ótr‘s skin and cover the outside. Loki takes this gold from the dwarf Andvari, who curses it and especially the ring Andvaranaut. Fafnir kills his father for this gold, but eventually becomes a greedy dragon. Reginn gets none of the gold, but he becomes smith to the king and foster father to Sigurd, teaching him many languages as well as sports, chess, and runes.
Reginn had all wisdom and deftness of hand. Of his two brothers, he has the ability to work iron as well as silver and gold and he makes many beautiful and useful things. While Sigurd is living with Reginn, Reginn challenges Sigurd‘s respect in the kingdom. He tells Sigurd to ask for a horse. Sigurd asks the advice of an old man in the forest, and the old man shows him how to get a horse that is descended from Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of Odin.Reginn continues to goad Sigurd, this time into killing Reginn’s brother Fafnir. He offers to make a sword for Sigurd, but Sigurd broke every sword Reginn forged for him by striking at an anvil. Sigurd retrieves the broken pieces of his father Sigmund‘s sword, Gram, and brings them to Reginn. Reginn repairs the sword and gives it back to Sigurd. When Sigurd again tests the blade by striking the anvil, the anvil this time is split down to its base, and when Sigurd places a piece of wool in a stream, the current pushing the wool against the sword was enough to cause the blade to cut it in two. Sigurd is finally very pleased with Reginn’s repaired weapon.
After using Gram to kill Fafnir, Sigurd returns to ask Reginn what to do. Reginn instructs him to roast the heart of Fafnir, his brother, and let him eat it. As juice from the dragon’s heart foams out, Sigurd tests it with his finger to see if it is done cooking. As the blood touches his tongue, Sigurd understands the speech of birds, who warn him that Reginn intends to kill him. Before he lets any of this happen, Sigurd first wields Gram and cuts off Reginn’s head.
The Norwegian Thidrekssaga relates a slightly different tale, with Reginn as the dragon and Mimir as his brother and foster father to Sigurd
Brokkr e Eitri
According to Skáldskaparmál, Loki had Sif‘s hair, Freyr‘s ship Skíðblaðnir and Odin‘s spear Gungnir fashioned by the Sons of Ivaldi. Loki boasted greatly of all the things that the Sons of Ivaldi could create. He also boasted that the other dwarves could not create anything beautiful or useful. Brokkr, who was in Asgard at the time, declared that his brother Eitri could make things far more beautiful and useful than the Sons of Ivaldi. Brokkr bet his head with that of Loki that his brother Eitri could make things with better craftsmanship than Skíðblaðnir or Gungnir.
While Eitri used magic in a forge that was extremely hot, Brokkr worked the bellows so that the fire would not cool down nor get too hot for the magic. While making the boar Gullinbursti, a gadfly, often thought to be Lokihimself, came and bit Brokkr on the hand. Brokkr was not disturbed though and kept blowing into the fire. While making the golden arm ring Draupnir the gadfly came again and bit Brokkr, this time in the neck but Brokkr kept on blowing. Finally, while making the hammer Mjölnir the gadfly bit Brokkr on the eye this time. This temporarily caused Brokkr to stop blowing. That brief stoppage of blowing into the fire caused Mjölnir‘s handle to become shorter than it should have been. Because of this, Thor had to wear the iron gauntlets Járngreipr to handle it.
Eitri succeeded in making the golden ring Draupnir, the golden-bristled boar Gullinbursti and the hammer Mjölnir. These objects were judged by the gods to be superior and Brokkr won the bet. However, Loki did not allow him to take his head as doing so would have damaged his neck which was not included in the bet. In lieu of this, Brokkr sewed Loki’s lips so that Loki would not brag until the thread came out.
According to Skáldskaparmál, when Loki had Sif‘s hair, Freyr‘s ship Skidbladnir and Odin‘s spear Gungnir fashioned by the Sons of Ivaldi, he bet his own head with Brokkr that Eitri would not have been able to make items that matched the craftsmanship of those mentioned above.
Eitri began working in his furnace while his brother was working the bellows, but a fly (sometimes thought to be Loki himself) began stinging Brokkr, trying to stop him and spoil the items.
Durinn e Dvalinn
In Norse mythology, Durinn (or Durin) is a dwarf according to stanza 10 of the poem Völuspá from the Poetic Edda, and repeated in Gylfaginning from the Prose Edda. He was the second created after the first and foremost dwarf Mótsognir.
In Norse mythology, Dvalinn is a dwarf who appears in several Old Norse tales and kennings. The name translates as “the dormant one” or “the one slumbering” (akin to the Danish and Norwegian “dvale” and Swedish “dvala”, meaning “sleep”, “unconscious condition” or “hibernation”). Dvalin is listed as one of the four stags of Yggdrasill in both Grímnismál from the Poetic Edda and Gylfaginning from the Prose Edda.
- “The rocks they left, and through wet lands
- They sought a home, in the fields of sand”
In Alvíssmál, a kenning for the sun is listed as the “deceiver of Dvalin”, referring to the sun’s power of turning dwarfs into stone. In skaldic poetry, “Dvalin’s drink” is used as a kenning for poetry, since the mead of poetry was originally created by the dwarfs.
In Fáfnismál, during a discussion between Sigurd and Fafnir concerning the minor Norns (apart from the three great Norns), those who govern the lives and destinies of dwarfs are also known as “Dvalin’s daughters”.
In the Sörla þáttr, an Icelandic short story written by two Christian priests in the 15th century, Dvalin is the name of one of the four dwarves (including Alfrigg, Berling and Grer) who fashioned a necklace which was later acquired by a woman called Freyja, who is King Odin’s concubine, after she agreed to spend a night with each of them.