Saturday, 25 June 2016


When Vogg names Hrolf Kraki, Hrolf rewards Vogg with two gold arm rings. Vogg responds by promising to avenge Hrolf. His promise proves prophetic.

In Norse mythology, Vali avenges Baldr and Vidar avenges Odin.

In Alan Moore's and David Lloyd's V For Vendetta:

the vendetta-waging title character is code-named V;
the title of every installment begins with "V";
(so what is the last installment? Clue: Norse mythology);
"the way, the truth and the life" is quoted in French, thus "la voie, la verite, la vie."

So there is something about the letter "V."


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I've tried to find out a bit more about the gold arm rings I see Poul Anderson frequently mentioning in his "Scandinavian" books as one of the means kings and chiefs used for rewarding good service or as payment. Because I sometimes see mention of PARTS of gold arm rings being broken off for that purpose. However, the web sources I've checked don't seem to show these arm rings MADE to be easily breakable. The examples I've seen (twisted, braided, plate, coiled, etc.) do not look as tho they could easily be broken into smaller pieces. So mention of gold arm rings in Anderson's books as being broken doesn't seem correct.

    But an expert in Scandinavian gold work of the Dark and Viking Ages might be able to explain what seems an oddity!


    1. Sean,
      Endless details...

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Exactly! There's so much to be found in the works of Poul Anderson that any apparently small detail might catch one's attention and be a fruitful object of analysis.


    3. Sean,
      And 130 page views in 8 hours so far today.

    4. Kaor, Paul!

      Good! And I hope some will leave their own comments!


    5. Kaor, Sean!

      I am not such an expert, but I used Google, and "ring breaker" is a kenning for king, found in Beowulf. Whether kings actually made a habit of breaking rings to reward their warriors, or the kenning is a bit fanciful, I don't know. Possibly, sturdy, braided rings disproportionately survived, and rings made to be broken got broken, with the gold or silver put to other uses.

      Best Regards,
      Nicholas D. Rosen

    6. Kaor, Nicholas!

      Dang! I'm only now responding to your note. I wish I had seen it sooner!

      Yes, I have seen commentary on the use of kennings in both the Homeric epics and Scandinavian/Old English poetry and sagas. Yes, I can see both that some arm rings were made for long term use and others might have been made to be easily breakable. Resulting, as you said, in the gold or silver being put to other uses. I should have thought of that!

      Regards! Sean