Norse Riddles

To celebrate the release of The Everspring by Joshua Gillingham, I thought I would gather a few different Norse riddles. Within both books within the series, riddles take a fundamental part of the story and always gave me a few moments to contemplate the answer before leaving it to the expert characters within the story. Reading these novels is very much like reading the Hobbit once again, with the famous scene of riddles between Golem and Bilbo. I have added the answers at the very end and I have written them backwards so they aren’t easy to stumble on!

Riddle 1

When I am alive I do not speak,

Anyone who wants to takes me

captive and cuts off my head.

They bite my bare body

Then I soon make them cry.

I do not harm to anyone unless they cut me first.

Riddle 2

My home is not quiet but I am not loud.
The lord has meant us to journey together.
I am faster than he and sometimes stronger,
But he keeps on going for longer.
Sometimes I rest but he runs on.
For as long as I am alive I live in him.
If we part from one another
It is I who will die.

Riddle 3

I went from home / when this happened:
I saw a road of roads.
A road above / a road below
A road in all directions.
Can you solve, / oh King, this riddle?

Riddle 4

What is that wonder / that walks in this world,
before the doors of Delling?
It’s got eight eyes / and eight feet
and knees above its belly.
Can you solve, / oh King, this riddle?

Riddle 5

Who are those women / that walk near the coast
and take trips down the fjords?
Their beds are hard, / their hoods are white.
They seldom play when it’s still.

A riddle from Joshua Gillingham himself:

Odin engages in a duel of riddles with King Heidrik in ”Hervarar sage ok Heidreks” – A little context for the riddle.

Who is the lone one that lurks in the hearth,

and stems from stone. No father or mother has Eager-to-shine,

there will he spends his life. King Heidrek guess my riddle!

Answers: noino, revir dna hsif, egdirb, redips, srekaerb, tnilf (to strike with steel to make fire)

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