Also Volundr, Wayland, Wielund, Weyland. A smith god who is renowned for making coats of mail,
swords, and jewelry.
Volund as portrayed in the Völundarkviđa of the Elder
Edda had two brothers Egil, and Slagfidur and dwelled in Wolfdale (Ulfdal).
In Ţiđrek's Saga his father is said to be the giant Wade (who has many
sites named for himself in England). The Völundarkviđa is the only work
specifically dedicated to Wéland (although there are many mentions of him
throughout the lore). In it he and his brothers spend their time hunting
on snow shoes, and meet three swan maidens and make them their wives. When
the swan maidens leave after eight years, Wéland's brothers go in search of
their wives. But Wéland stays, making beautiful jewellry and no doubt
swords, awaiting his bride's return. Then King Nidud had him seized and
imprisoned to make jewellry and weapons for him. While imprisoned in Sćvarstad,
Wéland's anger brews each time he sees his sword with Nidud or the ring he made
his wife on the hand of Nidud's daughter Bödvild. Therefore Nidud had him
hamstrung. Wéland then tricks Nidud's young sons into visiting him, and when
they bend over to look in a chest for a surprise he chopped off their heads. He
then made their skulls into ornate drinking bowls which he gave to the King, and
various other body parts he made to gems and gave to the Queen. Shortly
after Bödvild broke one of her rings and came to Wéland to have him fix it. He
then got her drunk and seduced her. Finally, he escaped, having made wings. Afterwards he flew to Valhalla, and was made a god by
Odin for his cleverness.
Throughout, it is clear Wéland is calculating, and has a
very keen mind. At the same time, he is clearly capable of great emotion
(devotion to his wife, hatred for Nidud). Throughout the Völundarkviđa
he is referred to as the "elves' chieftain," an interesting title
since he is himself of giant descent.
He appears in the Old English Beowulf , Deor, and
the Waldere fragment as well as elsewhere. Many places are named
for him including Wayland's Smithy in Oxfordshire, England, an ancient barrow
grave that has become connected to the ancient smith. To this day,
Englishmen leave gifts for the great blacksmith. There is also Wayland Smith's
Cave near Lambourn, Berkshire, England. Which Sir Walter Scott said of, “Here
lived a supernatural smith, who would shoe a traveller's horse for a
‘consideration.’ His fee was sixpence, and if more was offered him he was
This relief depicts Volund at his forge (far right).
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