15 Norse Quotes From The Havamal That Instruct a Bold Lifestyle

Posted by Ms Elly on

15 Norse Quotes From The Havamal That Instruct a Bold Lifestyle

The Havamal (Hávamál) is "The Sayings of the High One" telling stories about Odin the Allfather and his journey of acquiring knowledge and wisdom. The Havamal is neither heroic or mythological. Rather, it is somewhat didactic. 

Even though it came into being thousand years ago, every word from the Havamal never seems to go out of fashion. The reason for this is that they carry the essence of life that is so true that it can last from time to time, passed down from generation to generation, and spread regions to regions. The ethics from the Havamal seem to be a great compass toward the bold lifestyle because they belong to Odin and his experience during his journey to gain knowledge and satisfy his ambition. 

1. The nature of friendship 

A bad friend lives far away

thought his house lie on your road,

but it's no distance to one who is dear

thought you travel many miles.


Image of Viking quotes Wisdom sayings from Havamal

2. Caution

Never walk 

Away from home 

Ahead of your axe and sword.

You can't feel a battle 

In your bones 

Or foresee a fight 

3. Your world isn't just your house

The traveller must

train his wits.

All is easy at home.

He who knows little

is a laughing-stock

amongst men of the world.

Image of Viking quotes Wisdom saying from Havamal

4. How to maintain a relationship

A true friend

whom you trust well

and wish for his good will

go to him often

exchange gifts

and keep him company.

5. It is a treasure that you are taking the breath

It is better to live

Than lie dead.

A dead man gathers no goods.

I saw a warm fire

At a wealthy man’s house

Himself dead at the door.

Image of Viking quotes Norse wisdom sayings

6. How to learn from what surrounds you

The cautious guest

who comes to the table speaks sparingly.

Listen with ears,

Learn with eyes.

Such is the seeker of knowledge.

7. Don't mess with ale if you are weak 

A clear head is good company.

Drink is a dangerous friend.

8. Watch your words

Much nonsense a man utters

who talks without tiring.

9. Wake up early and seize the day

Wake early if you want

Another man’s life or land.

No lamb for the lazy wolf.

No battle’s won in bed.

Image of Viking quotes Norse wisdom sayings

10. Your home is your castle 

Better a humble

House than none.

A man is a master at home.

A pair of goats

And a patched roof

Are better than begging.

11. Let's make others appreciate your appearance

Go you must.

No guest shall stay

In one place forever.

Love will be lost

If you sit too long

At a friends’s fire.

12. Experience and wisdom 

He is truly wise

Who’s travelled far

And knows the ways of the world.

He who has travelled

Can tell what spirit

Governs the men he meets.

Image of Odin the Allfather Viking quotes Norse wisdom sayings

13. Let your death come but your reputation stay

Cattle die

Kinsmen die

All men are mortal.

Words of praise

Will never perish

Nor a noble name.

14. Keep your secret

Ones may know your secret

Is you and your secret

Never a second.

If three, a thousand will know.

Image of Viking quote Norse wisdom sayings king ragnar

15. You gotta depend on none

Advice given by others

is often ill counsel.

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