Kvasir's Death


Image by Harmony Lawrence from Pixabay


‘Help me!’ Galar screamed. The dwarf lay in a shady grove, clutching his leg.


Kvasir, who was passing through the woods, ran to his aid.


‘Help me. Somebody. Please.’


‘Don’t worry. I’m here.’


When Galar saw Kvasir approach, he grinned. He quickly put his hands over his mouth to hide his smile. ‘Oh, the pain,’ he yelled.


‘What is it?’


‘My leg.’


Kvasir knelt down and inspected Galar’s leg. ‘Er, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it.’


Galar’s brother, Fjalar, jumped from behind a tree and stabbed Kvasir in the back. Then, Galar sprang up. He stabbed Kvasir in the chest.


‘Quick, get the sack. We don’t want to lose any of Kvasir’s precious blood.’


Fjalar picked up a sack. ‘You hold him up.’


They squeezed Kvasir’s corpse into the sack and began carrying him out of the forest.


‘You couldn’t have chosen somebody lighter? Carrying this corpse is doing my back in.’


‘Didn’t you listen when I told you the plan? We need Kvasir. We need his blood.’


‘We could have murdered him nearer to the workshop, though.’


‘Stop complaining! We’re nearly there now.’


Once they had carried Kvasir’s corpse to their workshop, they drained his blood into a large container.


Galar tossed a ladle to Fjalar. ‘Get stirring!’


Fjalar stirred the blood.


Galar, meanwhile, went over to a cabinet. He pulled a jar of honey out and brought it back. ‘This is what we need.’ He slowly poured the honey into the container. Fjalar stopped stirring and watched his brother.


‘What are you gawping at?’ Galar snapped. ‘Get stirring!’


‘Sorry.’


Once the liquid turned golden, Galar ordered his brother to stop. ‘Right, it’s looking good. Let’s give it a try.’


Fjalar’s eyes lit up. He let go of the ladle and picked up a spoon. Fjalar was about to dip it in the container and taste the liquid when Galar snatched the spoon from him. ‘I’ll be the first one to taste the mead.’ He dipped the spoon in and sipped the mead.


Galar swilled it around in his mouth. When he finally swallowed the mead, his pupils shrank. ‘Perfect. I have done it! I have made the Mead of Poetry.’


‘Why the Mead of Poetry?’ Fjalar asked.


‘Because it was made from the blood of Kvasir, one of the wisest gods, and whoever drinks it is granted the same wisdom.’


‘Shouldn’t it be the Mead of Wisdom, then?’


‘No’


‘Why?’


‘Because I said so! Now, hand me the drinking horns.’


Fjalar took three horns out of his pocket and passed them to his brother. Galar filled the first horn for himself, the second for Fjalar, and the third to be kept in the workshop as a spare.


‘Can I decide who we kill next?’ Fjalar asked.


Galar sighed. ‘Fine, but at least make it a challenge.’


Fjalar grinned. He grabbed his drinking horn and took a swig.


Now that the two dwarfs possessed the Mead of Poetry, they carved a bloody path through the nine worlds. They murdered giants, elves, dwarves, and even humans. But soon, they grew overconfident. They started making silly mistakes.


One day they went to a farm where the giant, Gilling, lived with his wife. They killed Gilling by convincing him to take them out in his fishing boat and then pushing him into the water. Then, they killed his wife by crushing her skull with an enormous stone. They didn’t account for a third member of Gelling’s family, though. Suttung, Gilling’s son, had been staying with his parents. When he saw the dwarves standing over his dead mother, he went into a violent rage. He easily overpowered both of the dwarves. Galar begged him not to kill them. He told him about the Mead of Poetry and promised him the third drinking horn if he let them go. Suttung agreed to his offer.


Galar and Fjalar took Suttung to their workshop. They gave him the drinking horn. But now that Suttung had the mead, he murdered Galar and Fjalar anyway, taking their drinking horns for himself. He took the horns back to his farm and put them in his vaults. There they remained until many years later when the Mead of Poetry was stolen.