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Gerd, also called Gerda, is a deity in the Norse pantheon. She is the giantess wife of Frey, chief god of agriculture.

Description[]

Appearance and personality[]

Gerd is extremely beautiful, and shines with an intense aura. Despite her giant heritage, she stands only six feet tall.[1]

Gerd was once evil in alignment, but was transformed into good by the love of her husband Frey.

Titles[]

Gerda is called the Goddess of Agriculture and Beauty.

Abilities[]

Gerda's radiant glow dazzles attackers. Her voice has the power of suggestion. She has the power to control cultivated plants and domesticated animals, and can cause a harvest to make a great yield or poor.[1]

Portfolio[]

Gerd is a goddess of agriculture and beauty.[1]

Worship[]

Dogma[]

Little is known about the worship of Gerd.

Worshipers[]

While the people of Midgard typically worship the Norse pantheon as a collective group, Gerd is particularly followed by farmers.[1]

Clergy[]

Little is known about the priests of Gerd.

Holy sites[]

Temples of gerd encourage farmers to donate a portion of their grain harvest each year. These temples store the grain in case of famine.[1]

Holy symbol[]

Gerd's holy symbol is a basket full of wheat.[1]

Favored weapon[]

Gerd's preferred weapon is unknown.

Relationships[]

Family[]

Gerd is best known as husband of Frey, chief god of agriculture in the Norse pantheon. Frey spotted Gerd in Jotunheim while using Odin's scrying throne Hlidskjalf to look for beautiful women. He immediately fell in love, and offered his legendary sword to his shield-man Skirnir if he could arrange the wedding.[1][2]

Gerd and Frey have a son, Fiolnir.[3]

Gerd's father is the frost giant Gymir, who owns a hall in Jotunheim. Her mother is the giantess-witch Angrboda, enemy of the Aesir, who dwells in the forest of Jarnvid in Jotunheim.[1]

By relation to Angrboda she is half-sister to Fenrir, Hel, and Jormungandr.

In the original Norse myth, Gerd's mother is not the giant Angrboda, but another giant named Aurboda. This is not reflected in D&D canon.

Enemies[]

Unknown.

Allies[]

Unknown.

Realm[]

Gerd originally inhabited Gymir's hall in Jotunheim, but now shares her husband Frey's hall in Alfheim, located in Asgard.

Publication history[]

Original D&D[]

Gerd, under the name Gerda, is first named in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.30.

AD&D 1st edition[]

The primary source on Gerd in D&D is the article For Better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.17.

AD&D 2nd edition[]

Gerd is mentioned in Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.186 under Skirnir's entry. There appears to be an error: it says that "Frey won her hand for his master", but this should probably be "Skirnir won her hand", as Frey is Skirnir's master.

D&D 3rd edition[]

Gerd is mentioned under Frey's entry in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.174-175.

D&D 4th edition[]

The Norse pantheon does not appear in D&D 4th edition.

Creative origins[]

The giantess Gerd, also spelled Gerðr or Gerth, appears in Norse myth. The poem For Skirnis details the journey of Skirnir to win Gerd's hand in marriage for his master Frey.

Gerd immediately rejects Skirnir's request, even when offered eleven gold apples, and Odin's priceless ring Draupnir. Skirnir threatens to kill Gerd, threatens to kill her father Gymir, then threatens to beat her with a club. He then makes a lengthy set of threats, insults, and curses against her, including that she will be taken to Hel and given nothing to drink but goat's urine. Gerd finally relents, and agrees to marry Frey.

In the 13th century Poetic Edda, Snorri Sturluson elaborates on the story, adding that Frey spotted Gerd using Odin's throne Hlidsjkalf, and that he will not have his sword at Ragnarok, having given it away to Skirnir. Snorri mentions another story where Frey kills someone named Beli with a stag antler because he has no sword. Snorri counts Gerd among the goddesses of the Aesir.

Stanza 30 of Voluspa en skamma names Gerth's father as Gymir and Aurbotha—not Angrbotha as in D&D canon—and that they are related to the giant Thjassi, mother of Skadi.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 For Better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.17.
  2. Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.175.
  3. Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.30.
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