Sunday, 10 July 2016


Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (London, 1977), Chapter XXVI.

I meant to summarize Odin's explanation (see here). However, that explanation is already a summary. I would merely have been repeating his phrases in list form so let's just quote his dialogue:

"'Not yet is this game between Aesir and Jotuns and the new gods played out. Tyrfing still gleams on the chessboard of the world. Thor broke it lest it strike at the roots of Yggdrasil; I brought it back and gave it to Skafloc because Bolverk, who alone could make it whole again, would never have done so for As or elf. The sword was needed to drive back the trolls - whom Utgard-Loki had been secretly helping - lest Alfheim be overrun by a folk who are friendly to the foemen of the gods. But Skafloc cannot be let keep the sword, for that which is in it will make him seek to wipe out the trolls altogether; and this the Jotuns dare not allow, so they would move in, and the gods would have to move against them, and the doom of the world would be at hand. Skafloc must fall, and this child whom I wove my web to have begotten and given to me must one day take up the sword and bear it to the end of its weird.'" (p. 196)

That is complicated and will require some discussion. Odin mentions "...the new gods..." but still does not explain how they fit in with everything else.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Hmmmm, if we accept as true (despite his reputation for treachery) what the alleged god Odin said, then Tyrfing still exists. And since Poul Anderson never wrote of what later happened to this son of Skafloc and Freda, should we assume Odin is "reserving" the child for him to use in OUR times? Is "Tyrfing" really modern weapons like nuclear missiles and bombs?

    Sorry, I'm being silly!


    1. Sean,
      A possible interpretation, though.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Thanks! I was trying to think of something really wild and far out! (Smiles)