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Gunlod is the mother of Bragi, Norse god of poetry.

Little is known about her, except that her son Bragi was born in a cave.[1]

Cultural significance

The name Gunnloda is often given to female dwarves.[2][3] One such individual is the fighter Gunnloda Holderhek.[4] Some female giants also take the name.[5]

Creative origins

Gunnlöð is the name of a jotun, or giant, appearing in Norse mythology. Her name means "battle-invitation" in the Old Norse language.

In the poem Havamal, Odin boasts that he slept with Gunnlod to obtain the mead of poetry. This story is explained in greater detail in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, Two dwarves slew the wise god Kvasir and brewed Odrerir, the mead of poetry, from his blood, and stored it in three containers. The dwarves give the mead to the giant Suttung in compensation for the death of his father, Gilling. Suttung has his daughter Gunnlod guard the mead. Odin sleeps with Gunnlod on three nights in exchange for three drinks of the mead, but he drinks all three containers of mead and carries it back to Asgard in his belly.


  1. Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.179.
  2. Player's Handbook (3.5) (2003), p.14.
  3. Player's Handbook (5e) (2014), p.20.
  4. Races of the Dragon (2006), p.134.
  5. HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourcebook (1991), p.53.