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Dvalin or Davlin is a dwarf best known for crafting the legendary sword Tyrfing for Odin's grandson Svafrlami.

History[]

Dvalin crafted the sword together with the dwarf Dulin. The two were forced to make the sword against their will, and in revenge cursed the sword to fail its wielder. Only these two dwarves know how to remove the curse.[1]

Dvalin had a grandson, to whom he taught the secret of fishing for sea-serpents.[2]

Creative origins[]

Dvalin and Durin appear in the 13th century Icelandic saga Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (The Saga of Hervör and Heidrek), a 13th century Icelandic saga translated into English in 1960 by Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R Tolkien.[3]

In one surviving version of this saga, King Svafrlami forces the dwarves to craft him the great sword Tyrfing. Dvalin curses the sword that it will be the death of a man each time it is drawn; that it shall deal three of the most hateful deeds (níðingsverk); and that it shall bring his death. Svafrlami tries to strike him with the sword, but Dvalin escapes by fleeing into a rock.

Dvalin the dwarf is named in other Norse myths such as Alvissmal, in which it is said that the dwarven name for the sun is "Dvalin's toy". In Havamal, it is said that Dvalin carved runes for the dwarves.

The alternative spelling "Davlin" appears to be a typo in the Dragon magazine article.

References[]

  1. Giants in the Earth, Dragon #42 (Oct 1980), p.35.
  2. Thor Goes Fishing, Dragon #168 (Apr 1991), p.60.
  3. The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise (1960), Christopher Tolkien.
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