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Arngrímr was a berserker, who features in Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks, Gesta Danorum, Hyndluljóð, a number of Faroese ballads and Örvar-Odds saga in Norse mythology.[1]

Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks[]

According to versions H and U, Arngrímr went pillaging to Garðaríki and met its king Svafrlami, who was in possession of Tyrfingr at the moment. Tyrfingr cut through Arngrímr's shield and down into the soil, whereupon Arngrímr cut off Svafrlami's hand, grabbed the sword and slew him with his own weapon. Then Arngrímr captured Svafrlami's daughter Eyfura and forced her to marry him.

Version R, however relates that Arngrímr became Sigrlami's war-chief and won many battles and conquered land and subjects for the old king. In recompense, Arngrímr was given a high position in the realm, Eyfura and Tyrfingr.

In all versions of the saga, Arngrímr returned to Bolmsö with Eyfura (although versions H and U say that it was the island Bolm in Hålogaland). They had twelve sons who all followed in their father's footsteps and became berserkers. According to the U version, they were called Angantýr, Hjörvard, Hervard, Hrani, Barri, Tyrfingr, Tind, two Haddings, Bui, Bild and Toki. According to the H version, their names were Angantýr, Hjörvarðr, Hervarðr, Hrani, Brami, Barri, Reifnir, Tind, Saeming and Bui and the two Haddings (in version R only six are mentioned: Angantýr, Hjörvard, Hervard, Hrani and the two Haddings).

Gesta Danorum[]

According to Saxo Grammaticus, Arngrímr was a Swedish champion who had killed Skalk the Scanian. This made him very proud of himself and he consequently ventured to ask for the hand of Eyfura, the daughter of Frodi, a Danish king.

However, when Frodi denied his request, Arngrímr turned to Erik, the King of Sweden, and asked him for advice. Erik told Arngrímr to earn Frodi's respect by killing Eggþér, the king of Bjarmaland and Thengil, the king of Finnmark. Arngrim first attacked Thengil and crushed the Saami. As the Saami fled they threw three pebbles behind them that they enchanted so that the pebbles looked like three mountains. As Arngrímr was tricked he called back his men. The next day, they again started to chase the Saami, but the Saami threw snow on the ground and made it look like a river, and this made the Swedes stop the pursuit. The third day, the battle recommenced and this time the Saami had no more magic to resort to, and they were defeated. The Saami agreed to the peace terms, and every third year every Saami was forced to pay a full carriage of reindeer hides.

Then Arngrímr took on Eggþér of Bjarmaland and slew him in single combat. He then forced the Bjarmians to pay him one hide each. Arngrímr returned to Erik, who accompanied Arngrímr to Frodi. Erik convinced Frodi that Arngrímr was the best possible match for Frodi's daughter Eyfura. Frodi agreed to the marriage and by Eyfura Arngrim had twelve sons.

Saxo Grammaticus agrees with Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks by giving the same names for nine of the twelve sons: Angantýr, Hjörvard, Hervard, Hrani, Biarbe, Tyrfingr, Tand, two Haddings, Brand, Brodd and Hiarrande.


Hyndluljóð also mentions Arngrímr and Eyfura, but only relates that they lived on Bolmsö and that they had as sons twelve ravaging berserkers named Hervard, Hjorvard, Rane, Angantýr, Bue, Brame, Barre, Reivner, Tind, Tyrvingr and two Haddings.

Arngrímr's sons[]

It appears that Hyndluljóð preserves the original list.

Sons of Arngrímr
Hyndluljóð Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks Gesta Danorum
version R version U version H
Angantýr Angantýr Angantýr Angantýr Angantyr
Hjörvard Hjörvard Hjörvard Hjörvard Hjörvard
Hervard Hervard Hervard Hervard Hervard
Hrani Hrani Hrani Hrani Hrani
Hadding Hadding Hadding Hadding Hadding
Hadding Hadding Hadding Hadding Hadding
Barri Barri Barri Barbi
Tind Tind Tind Tand
Tyrfingr Tyrfingr Saeming Tyrfing
Bui Bui Bui Brand
Brami Bild Brami Brodd
Reifnir Toki Reifnir Hiarrande


A medieval ballad collected in Telemark (The restless men) relates to the "sons of Arngrim" in the refrain: "Those sons of Arngrim of the north pray for homeward passage".


  1. Henrikson, Alf. (1998). Den stora mytologiska uppslagsboken.

External links[]

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