Why did the daughters of Hymir urinate in Njord's mouth?

  • In the Lokasenna,

    Loki responds in the stanza 34, stating that "from here you were sent east as hostage to the gods" (a reference to the Æsir-Vanir War) and that "the daughters of Hymir used you as a pisspot, and pissed in your mouth."[9]


    Loki spake:

    1. "Be silent, Njorth; | thou wast eastward sent, To the gods as a hostage given; And the daughters of Hymir | their privy had When use did they make of thy mouth."


    Why did the daughters of Hymir urinate in Njord's mouth?

    Great question, K! It's been too long since I read these cycles, so unfortunately I don't have an answer. I can think of another instance when bodily fluids came into play which is, of course, Thor and Loki wading across the river Vimur.

  • solsdottir

    solsdottir Correct answer

    5 years ago

    Loki's insults in the poem Lokasenna aren't necessarily truthful. The Norse, like other medieval people including the Scots and the Inuit, had a traditon of insult contests called flyting that served to show off verbal cleverness and channel agression. There are many examples of this in Norse sagas, where people insult each other in ways that aren't even physically possible.

    We know two important things about Njord: 1) he was sent as a hostage to the Aesir to end the war between them and the Vanir gods, and 2) he married a giantess (Skadi) to keep peace between the gods and giants, and it ended when she left him.

    There has been a lot of discussion about whether Njord may also have been sent as a hostage to the giants, but if you take the two facts above and add to it the story of how the giantess Gjalp nearly drowned Thor by pissing into a river he was trying to cross, you can see how Loki was inspired.

    The fact that in the story of Njord and Skadi the sea-god seems particularly passive, not even getting a say in being married off to the giantess, may also have contributed. After all, an insult doesn't have to be true, it just has to be funny and likely to stick, which means it should have some basis in a person's behaviour or appearance.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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