The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide
 The Speech of the Masked One
Codex Regius
MS No. 2365 4to  [R]
Arnamagnæan Codex
AM 748 I 4to [A]
1954 Guðni Jónsson
Normalized Text:

þýtr þvð,
unir þióþ vitns
fiskr flóði í;
val glarmi at vaða

þýtir þvndir,
unir Þjóðvitnis
fiskr flóði í;
árstraumr þikir
valglarmni at vaða  

21. Þýtr Þund,
unir Þjóðvitnis
fiskr flóði í;
árstraumr þykkir
valglaumni at vaða.  

English Translations
1797 Amos Simon Cottle
in Icelandic Poetry
The Song of Grimnir
1851 C.P. in
The Yale Magazine, Vol. 16
The Song of Grimner

XXI. Lo! Thunda's waters rend my ear,
While tranquil stands Thiodvitner:
Smooth in the lake the fish are seen,
Gliding thro' the liquid green.
Thunda's waters hast'ning fleet,
Touch not Valgom! with thy feet.

Thiothwitnis howleth at Thund, and still
Fish-like, remaineth in the river's depth;
Too swiftly rolleth the stream its angry flood
For swift Valglaumer safely to pass the bank.

1866 Benjamin Thorpe
in Edda Sæmundar Hinns Frôða

The Lay of Grimnir
1908 Olive Bray
in Edda Saemundar
The Sayings of Grimnir

21. Thund roars;
joyful in Thiodvitnir’s
water lives the fish;
the rapid river
seems too great
for the battle-steed to ford.

18. The Thunder-flood roars, while sports the fish
of the mighty Wolf therein ;
o'erwhelming seems the flow of that stream
for the host of slain to wade.

1923 Henry Bellows
in The Poetic Edda
Grimnismol: The Ballad of Grimnir
1962 Lee M. Hollander
in The Poetic Edda
The Lay of Grimnir

21. Loud roars Thund,  and Thjothvitnir’s fish
Joyously fares in the flood;
Hard does it seem  to the host of the slain
To wade the torrent wild.

21. Thund roars loudly;    sports Thjothvitnir's
    fish in the foaming flood;
    the strong stream seems    too stiff to wade
    for warriors to Valholl bent.

1967 W. H. Auden & P. B. Taylor
in The Elder Edda
The Lay of Grimnir
1996 Carolyne Larrington
in The Poetic Edda
Grimnir’s Sayings

21. Thund roars fiercely, the fish of the wolf
Frolics in the raging flood:
The river seems too rough and deep
For the swarm of the slain to wade.

21. 'Thund roars, the great wolf's fish
swims in the stream;
the river's current seems very great for
those rejoicing in slaughter to wade.

2011 Ursula Dronke
in The Poetic Edda, Vol. III: Mythological Poems 
“The Lay of Grimnir”
2011 Andy Orchard
The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore
'The Lay of Grimnir"

21. Swelling River roars;
rejoicing in the flood
is the World Wolf's fish.
The stream of the river
seems too great
for the wassailing slain ones to wade.

21. ‘Thund  roars as Mighty Wolf’s  fish
gambols in the flood,
the river-stream seems too strong
for the slaughter-keen to wade.

Thund: Odin? river?
Mighty Wolf: Fenrir?
slaughter-keen: Einherjar
 This is perhaps one of the most obscure verses in Grímnismál. The name Þund, which also appears as a name of Odin in verses 46 and 54, is usually taken to signify a river, based on the final line which refers to a river which must be waded through, and the kenning  'þjóðvitnis fiskr,' which is consistent with a body of water. Thjóðvitnir is commonly interpreted as 'great-wolf', and most often taken to mean Sköll or Fenrir. His fish (fiskr) is typically interpreted as either Sol, the sun which is persued by the wolf Sköll, or as Jormungand, the World-serpent, who is the brother of Fenrir.  Eysteinn Björnsson offers the most convincing interpretation, based in part on an insight made by Viktor Rydberg.

1865 Benjamin Thorpe in his Edda Sæmundar Hinns Frôða as “The Lay of Grimnir”:

"The translation of this strophe is very doubtful; it has been variously rendered; that of Petersen appears to me the least objectionable, and which I have adopted. See Nordisk Mythologi p. 231." Mythological Index: "Thiodvitnir, a name of Fenrisulf? Gm. 21."

1908 Olive Bray in her Edda Saemundar as “The Sayings of Grimnir”: 

"Thunder-flood. The river name Thund may thus be connected with Icelandic þunor by the suffix þ (V), or, meaning Swollen, with Icelandic. þindan (B). The 'fish of the mighty Wolf' is according to G. the sun, or prey of the wolf of darkness, st. 39 : she shines in the heavens till swallowed by Fenrir ; see Vafthrudnismal 46. cf. Dieter & Heinzel who translate the Wolf's flood or stream which flowed from his jaws, and connect the passage with the storming of Asgarth by the Wanes mentioned in Voluspa 24. 21. See Voluspa st. 43." 

1923 Henry Bellows in his The Poetic Edda as “Grimnismol: The Ballad of Grimnir”:

"Thund — 'The Swollen' or 'Roaring', river surrounding Valhall. Thjothvitnir's fish, Sol, pursued by the wolf Skoll. Thjothvitnir - 'Mighty Wolf'. "

1962 Lee M. Hollander in his The Poetic Edda as “The Lay of Grimnir”:

"Thund: The Noisy" (?), a river probably thought to flow around Valholl.
The Great Wolf, Fenrir; his 'fish,' is possibly the Mithgarth Serpent. But the whole
stanza presents great difficulty."

1967 W. H. Auden & P. B Taylor in The Elder Edda as “The Lay of Grimnir”:
"The fish of the wolf is the sun, caught and devoured at Ragnarök by the wolf, Sköll (cf. 'Song of the Sybil')."

1984 Rudolf Simek, A Dictionary of Northern Mythology:

"Þund (ON 'the roaring one'?). A river in front of Valhall, according to Grímnismál 21."

"Þundr (or Þudr? ON). A name given to Odin in Grímnismál (21, 46, 54) and the Hávamál 145. The meaning of the name is obscure, but is probably related to OE ðunian 'swell'."

1996 Carolyne Larrington in The Poetic Edda as “Grimnir’s Sayings”:

"Thund: This verse is very obscure. Thund is probably a river in which the 'wolf's fish', possibly the World-serpent swims. Those 'rejoicing in slaughter' must be the Einherjar on their way to Valhall."

2011 Andy Orchard in The Elder Edda as "The Lay of Grimnir":

"A very obscure stanza: Thund elsewhere (Hávamál 145, Grímnismál 46, 54) is a name of Odin, but it might be a river; 'Mighty Wolf's fish' may refer to the Midgard-serpent if 'Mighty Wolf' (Þjóðvitnir) is a name of Fenrir (cf. 'Famed Wolf' [Hróðvitnir] in 39 and Lokasenna 39.)"

Thjóðvitnir's Fiskr: When is a Fish a Bridge?

The following is a slightly modified excerpt from  When is a fish a bridge? An Investigation of Grímnismál 21 by Eysteinn Björnsson. Please refer to his site for the complete and original form of the article:
Grímnismál has been said to be the most obscure of the Eddaic poems. It is first and foremost a "cosmological" poem, but one couched in densely allegorical language, the interpretation of which has stumped many scholars. This stanza is perhaps the most obscure of all, and has never been satisfactorily explained:


Þýtr Þund,               
unir Þjóðvitnis        
fiskr flóði í.              
Árstraumr þykir     
valglaumi at vaða.   

Þund roars,
Þjóðvitnir's fish 
rests in the flood;
the river-current
seems too strong to wade
to the host of the slain.
There are three basic questions to be answered.
1. What is Þund?
2. Who is Þjóðvitnir?
3. What is Þjóðvitnir's fish?
All commentators seem to agree that Þund is the name of a river, and indeed, this is obvious from the context. The name Þjóðvitnir is usually explained as "main-wolf", i.e. Fenrisúlfur. As to what the identity of his "fish" can possibly be, the scholars are mostly silent. The Midgard-serpent has been suggested, but this is highly unlikely, as it makes no sense within the context of the stanza, and the poem as a whole.
This word only occurs in one other place, i.e. in the little known Bergbúaþáttur, a 13th century Skaldic poem. In stanza 4, we find the following line:
þytr var of Þundar Glitni,
literally: "there was roaring in the Glitnir of Þund". Glitnir is the name of Forseti's hall (see Grímnismál 15).
This is conventionally thought to mean "there was a roaring in the mountain."
It should be noted that the verb "þytr" here, and "þýtr" in the Grímnismál stanza are cognates. Both derive from the verb "þjóta". This multifaceted verb is an interesting phenomenon. In modern Icelandic it usually means either "rush, dash" (i.e. move quickly), or "whistle, sing" (mostly used of the sound of wind or storm). In the ancient poetic language we find it used of the howling of wolves, the rushing of the ocean, the sighing of wounds, and the blowing of the winds. In fact, the complete spectrum of sounds, ranging from sigh to howl.
Þund is, indeed, a roaring river, but I would suggest that it is a very special type of river. The etymology strongly suggests that the word is related to the English "thunder". Thunder is an atmospheric phenomenon, and this, in turn, suggests that Þund is a term for the "atmospheric ocean". That the poets thought of the atmosphere as a river or an ocean, is apparent from Fáfnismál 15, which refers to the final battle, when Bif-röst (also called Bil-röst), the bridge which connects heaven and earth, breaks under the weight of a great army:

Bilröst brotnar,                  
er þeir á brott fara,            
ok svima í móðu marir.     

Bilröst breaks,
when they depart,
and horses swim in the river.
A terrestrial bridge spans a river. The celestial bridge spans the heavens. Therefore, poetic logic can easily see the atmosphere as a kind of river or ocean.
Let us assume that Þund is the "thunder-river", or "thunder-ocean", a term for the atmosphere, or sky, spanned by the celestial bridge. Its waves are the winds, which sigh, howl, roar, blow, whistle, rush. "Þýtr Þund", indeed.
This also allows us to interpret the line from Bergbúaþáttur in a new fashion: "Glitnir Þundar" is not a mountain, after all. It is the sky, "the hall (Glitnir) of the atmospheric river (þundar)." There is a roaring in this hall of howling winds and sighing breezes.
The name Þjóðvitnir has never been satisfactorily explained, but is generally thought to refer to the Fenris-wolf. "Vitnir" can, indeed, mean "wolf", but the etymology of the word shows it to be related to the word "vit" = "sense, senses".
Magnússon's Etymological Dictionary states that the original meaning of the word is "one with sharp senses". As a prefix in men's names, þjóð- simply means "great, powerful". Thus it seems likely that Þjóðvitnir is an allegorical name for Heimdallr, the god famous for his extraordinary senses. According to Gylfaginning, he resides near the edge of the sky (himins endi, "heaven's end"), and guards the bridge Bifröst. His castle is named Himinbjörg, which may mean "heaven-salvation". His eyesight is phenomenal, during night as well as day. He can hear the grass grow, as well as the wool on sheep. If any divinity deserves the name  Þjóðvitnir, "one with extremely sharp senses", Heimdallr is the one.
Footnote: This interpretation casts light on an hitherto unexplained by-name for Heimdallr: Vind(h)lér. Hlér is a known name for the ocean-god (Ægir?). Vind- means "wind". Vindhlér might therefore mean "wind-ocean-god", i.e. "god of the ocean of winds" = "god of the atmosphere".
The identity of "Þjóðvitnis fiskr" remains to be explained.
Keeping in mind the allegorical nature of the poem, the word "sporðr" means the tail of a fish. It is also a term used for the head of a bridge (cp. Sigurdrífumál 16:6 "brúar sporði", 'the bridge's fishtail'). [That verse says that runes are risted on the "bridge's fish-tail", i.e. on its bridgehead.]
Since the end of a bridge is called a fishtail, it is thus quite possible that a poet might refer to a bridge as a fish. This becomes even more likely, if my suggestions (above) are taken into account: i.e. that Þund refers to the atmospheric river, and that Þjóðvitnir is an allegorical name for Heimdallr.
"Þjóðvitnis fiskr" could then be an allegorical reference to Bifröst, the celestial bridge, which connects earth and heaven. It is Heimdall's fish/bridge, which rests in, and spans, Þund, the (atmospheric) flood. It is the bridge, which breaks during Ragnarok, according to Fáfnismál, causing the warriors' horses to "swim in the river". If this interpretation is correct, the poetic conceit is consistent:
The sky or atmosphere is described as a river.
It roars (þýtr) with the sound of wind-waves.
The bridge, which spans it, is a fish that "rests in the flood".
It is "the fish of Heimdallr," the guardian of the bridge, whose palace is called "the salvation of heaven".
Only two questions remain:
Does this interpretation make sense in terms of the complete stanza?
Does it make sense in terms of the surrounding stanzas of Grímnismál?
Indeed, it does:

Þýtr Þund,                 
unir Þjóðvitnis         
fiskr flóði í.                
Árstraumr þykir      
valglaumi at vaða.    

Þund (the river of air) roars,  
Þjóðvitnir's fish (Heimdall's bridge, i.e. Bifröst)
rests in the flood.
The river-current
seems too strong for
the host of the slain to wade.

If we accept the conclusions above, the second half of the stanza becomes clear:
The currents (of the atmosphere) are too strong for wading, and therefore slain warriors prefer the Bifröst bridge, which spans the turbulent and roaring river/ocean of the sky. For the slain, the celestial bridge must have been the easiest way to cross "Þund", i.e. travel through the sky. From the Fáfnismál stanza quoted above, we know that when the bridge breaks, the horses of the warriors will swim helplessly in the atmospheric river.
As for the context of this stanza within the framework of Grímnismál as a whole, I don't think this particular stanza has ever been related, by scholars, to the preceding and succeeding stanzas. This interpretation enables such a connection to be made.
For the time being, I will refrain from interpreting any other Grímnismál stanzas in depth. The following overview of stanzas 18-25 should sufficiently show how stanza 21 fits into the poem's overall scheme:
Stanza 18: We are told (in obscure terms) what the "einherjar" eat in Valhöll. (The term "einherjar" refers to the slain warriors, who go to Valhöll after death.)
Stanza 19: We are told that Óðinn needs no such food, he only needs to drink the "one wine". He apparently receives a portion of the food (mentioned in stanza 18), but he gives it to his two wolves. (In the poetic language, wolves are carrion-eaters, and Óðinn is valföðr, the god of the slain. Therefore the morsels Óðinn throws to his wolves are allegorically the corpses of the slain warriors themselves. This is supported by numerous kennings in which slain warriors are referred to as the food of wolves, eagles and ravens.)
Stanza 20: We are told that Óðinn worries that his two ravens won't return. In poetic language, ravens are carrion-eaters (like wolves). Óðinn's worry is that the ravens won't return, because of the wealth of slain warriors' corpses to be eaten.
Stanzas 18-20 all refer to the slain (valr), who become einherjar, as soon as the reach Valhöll. Their corpses are the food of wolves and ravens.
STANZA 21: Here we have an allegorical description of the ascent of the slain warriors. They ascend to Valhall via the celestial bridge (Bifröst), because the raging currents of the atmospheric ocean are too strong.
Stanza 22: Here we have a description of Valgrind ("the door of the slain"). Valgrind is a term for the entrance-gate of Valhöll. The slain warriors have ascended Bifröst, and reached the entrance to Óðinn's palace.
Stanzas 23-24: Next we enter Valhöll, and learn of the multitudes of "einherjar", who reside there.
Stanzas 25: We climb up to the roof of Valhöll. Here we find a goat, which produces the "clear mead" (skírr mjöðr), which is presumably identical with the "one wine", which Óðinn drinks in stanza 19.
The imagery has come full circle.

Eysteinn Björnsson,
Reykjavík, April 27, 2000

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This article was inspired by an insight found in Chapter 93 of Viktor Rydberg's "Undersökningar i Germanisk Mythologi", Vol 1. As far as I know, Rydberg was the first (and only) scholar to observe that "Þjóðvitnis fiskr" is an allegorical term for the celestial bridge, although he was unable to sufficiently support his insight. It is my hope that I have succeeded in supplying the needed support.

Excerpts from Viktor Rydberg's Investigations into Germanic Mythology, Vol. I, no 93:
"Here (in Grímnismál 21), as in Fáfnismál 15, the air is compared with a river, in which the horses are compelled to wade or swim if the bridge leading to Asgard is not used, and the current in this roaring stream is said to be very strong; while, on the other hand, "the fish" stands safe therein. That the author of Grímnismál called the bridge a fish must seem strange, but has its natural explanation in Icelandic usage, which called a bridge-end or bridge-head a sporður, that is, a fish-tail. Compare Sigurdrífumál 16, which informs us that runes were risted on "the fish-tail" of the great mythic bridge (á brúar sporði), and the expression brúarsporður (bridge-head, bridge-"fish-tail") in Njáls Saga ch. 145 and Biskupasögur 1, 17. As a bridge-pier could be called a fish-tail, it was perfectly logical for the poem to make the bridge a fish. On the zenith of the bridge stands Valhall, that secures those fallen in battle.
"It is Bifrost's northern bridge-head which particularly requires the vigilance of Heimdall, the ward of the gods, since the frost-giants and the damned of Niflhel are its neighbors. Heimdall is therefore "widely known" among the inhabitants of Niflhel (Skírnismál 28), and Loki reproaches Heimdall that his vocation as watchman compels him to always expose his back to the torrents of an unfavorable sky (Lokasenna 48). In the night which constantly broods over this northern zone shine the forms of the "white" god and of his gold-beaming horse Gulltoppur. His eye penetrates the darkness of a hundred rasts, and his ear catches the faintest sound (Gylfaginning 27). Near Bifrost, presumably at the bridge-head itself, the mythology has given him a fortified citadel, Himinbjörg, "the fortress of heaven" with a comfortable hall well supplied with "the good mead" (Grímnismál 13; Gylfaginning 27).
"The lower world is more extensive in all directions than the surface of the earth above it. Bifrost passes outside and below the crust of the earth to rest with its bridge-heads on the foundation of the lower world, upon which everything else is built. The lower world is therefore called Jörmungrund, "the great ground or foundation" (Hrafnagaldur Óðins 25), and its uttermost zone, jaðarr Jörmungrundar, "the domain of the great ground," is open to the celestial canopy. The under side of the earth is not its roof.
"From Hliðskjálf, the outlook of the gods in Asgard (Hrafnagaldur Óðins, the prose introduction to Skírnismál and in Grímnismál), the view from Odin’s throne extends to Midgard, to the sea, and to the giant-world situated beyond the Elivogar rivers (see the texts mentioned), and accordingly should also extend to the broad zone of Jormungrund, excepting its northernmost part, which is always shrouded in night and fog (nifl = mist). From Hliðskjálf Odin’s eye cannot discern what is done there. It is Heimdall who keeps watch there, and when anything unusual is perceived Odin sends the raven Huginn (Hugur) there to spy it out (Hrafnagaldur Óðins 10, 3). But from Hliðskjálf, the earth conceals all that part of Jormungrund below it; and as it is important to Odin that he should know all that happens there, Hugin and Munin fly daily over these subterranean regions: Huginn og Muninn fljúga hverjan dag jörmungrund yfir (Grímnismál 20). The expeditions of the ravens over Niflhel in the north and over Surt's "deep dales" in the south expose them to dangers: Odin expresses his fear that some misfortune may befall them on these excursions (Grímnismál 20).
"The modern conception of the removal of those fallen by the sword to Asgard is that the valkyries immediately carry them through blue space to the halls above. The heathens did not conceive the matter in this manner.
[Editor’s interlude: In Fáfnismál 10, all men are said to go to Hel, and in Gisli Sursson’s Saga ch. 24, ‘hel-shoes’ are bound on a warrior destined for Valhalla; in several other passages, warriors who die in battle are said to be “beaten to Hel”, “sent to Hel” and the like. These are strong indicators that according to the heathen conception even warriors destined for Valhalla first arrived in Hel, before preceding there. In heathen graves, warriors and chieftains are often interred with horses, wagons, ships and other means of transport. In the mythology, all of these methods are used to travel to the underworld. Rydberg locates Urd’s well there. The gods are said to sit in judgment there daily, and in Solarljod 51, dead men sit “in Norn’s seats” for nine days before going to their ultimate fate. The logical conclusion is that the gods judge the dead by Urd’s well daily. The goddess of fate is the goddess of death (but not the same as Loki’s daughter, whose does not appear in Eddic poems). After naming a series of rivers which “fall to Hel”, Grimnismal 29-30 places Asgard, the home of the gods, on one end of Bifrost, and Urd’s well on the other. Asgard is located in the heavens. The well is located under a root of Yggdrassil. In northern Europe, the roots of trees are located below the earth without exception. Setting aside Snorri’s placement of Asgard (which he identifies with the city of Troy in Asia) on earth and Urd’s well in the heavens, the most natural reading of these verses indicates that Bifrost extends from heaven to Hel without ever touching the earth. The image of Bifrost as the rainbow confirms this. In association with this, several sources speak of a road to Hel, upon which all dead men must travel.

In the poem Eiríksmál (Fagrskinna, ch. 8), Odin welcomes a king and his retinue into Valhal. The imagery makes clear that these warriors arrive there by riding across the Bifröst bridge:


Hvat's þat drauma?
hugðumk fyr dag rísa
Valhöll at ryðja
fyr vegnu fólki;
vakðak Einherja,
baðk upp at rísa,
bekki at stráa,
bjórker at leyðra,
valkyrjur vín bera,
sem vísi kœmi.

Óðinn said:

1."What's this dream,"
in which just before day's rise
I thought I cleared Valhöll
for the coming of slain men?
I awoke the Einherjar
bade Valkyries rise
to strew the benches
and scour the goblets.
to bear wine
as for a king's coming.

Erum ór heimi
hölða vánir
göfugra nökkurra,
svá's mér glatt hjarta.

2. I expect heroes to come
to me out of the world,
certain great ones,
so glad is my heart.”

Hvat þrymr þar Bragi,
sem þúsund bifisk
eða mengi til mikit?
"Braka öll bekkþili,
sem muni Baldr koma
eptir í Óðins sali".

“What thunders there Bragi,
like a thousand stirring,
too mighty a multitude?”
All the benches tremble,
as if Baldr is coming
back to Odin's hall.”

Bifrost is the “trembling way”. It resounds under the weight of riders. The bridge will eventually break under too mighty a multitude, when Surt and his men ride to meet the gods in the battle of Ragnarok (Fáfnismál 15). Odin can legitimately ask if the noise is that of Baldur returning, only if the bridge connects heaven and Hel, since Baldur as we know resides there after death. Like the adventurer Thorkill and his men in Book 8 of Saxo’s History, Baldur arrives there in Hel in a ship. Besides the road to Hel, one can travel to the realm of the dead in a ship by crossing the sea. Voluspa speaks of a hall in the northern part of the undersworld, located on the Nastronds (the corpse-shores). The outer reaches of the sea, in which Midgard is an island, evidently wash up on the shores of Niflhel. Thorkill and his men arrive there by ship, sailing north, leaving the sun and stars behind, entering a sea wrapped in pitch blackness, before landing in the realm of the dead. There they meet the giant Geirrod and his daughters, whom Thor previously killed. The land is filled with horrors. This is the northern part of Hel known as Niflhel. Sailing across the sea in a similar manner, Odyessus in Greek mythology reaches the underworld and meets his fallen comrades from the Trojan war [Odyssey, Book XI]. This view of the cosmology is probably Indo-European in origin.
For a fuller account and visual representations, respectively, see:   

Going to Hel: The Consequences of a Heathen Life
Old Norse Cosmology
End of Interlude
"It is true that the mythological horses might carry their riders through the air without pressing a firm foundation with their hoofs. But such a mode of travel was not the rule, even among the gods, and, when it did happen, it attracted attention even among them. Compare Gylfaginning, 35, which quotes strophes from a heathen source.

"The bridge Bifrost would not have been built or established for the daily connection between Asgard and Urd's subterranean realm (Grímnismál 28-29) if it had been unnecessary in the mythological world of fancy. Mani's way in space would not have been regarded as a road in the concrete sense, that quakes and rattles when Thor's thunder-chariot passes over it (mána vegur dundi - Haustlöng 1, Skáldskaparmál 25), had it not been thought that Mani was safer on a firm road than without one of that sort. To every child that grew up in the homes of our heathen fathers the question must have lain near at hand, what such roads and bridges were for, if the gods gained no advantage from them. The mythology had to be prepared for such questions, and in this, as in other cases, it had answers with which to satisfy that claim on causality and consistency which even the most naive view of the world presents. The answer was:
 "If the Bifrost bridge breaks under its riders, as will happen in course of time, then their horses would have to swim in the sea of air (Bilröst brotnar, er þeir á brú fara, og svima i módu marir — Fáfnismál 15; A horse does not swim as fast and easily as it runs. The different possibilities of travel are associated with different kinds of exertion and swiftness. One method is more practical than the other. The solid connections which were used by the gods and which the mythology built in space are, accordingly, useful and convenient. The valkyries, riding at the head of their chosen heroes, as well as the gods, have found solid roads advantageous, and the course they took with their favorites was not the one presented in our mythological textbooks. Grímnismál str. 21 informs us that the breadth of the atmospheric sea is too great and its currents too strong for those riding on their horses from the battlefield to wade across (árglaumur þykir ofmikill valglaumi að vaða)."