Andvari and Precious Yet Deadly Gold and Ring

Posted by Ms Elly on

Andvari and Precious Yet Deadly Gold and Ring

"My precious" is among the most famous quotes from "The Lord of the Rings". But hardly do people know that the story behind the precious ring of Gollum is inspired by the story of Andvari in Norse mythology.

"My Precious" was inspired by the story of Andvari the Dwarf in Norse mythology

In a cave below a waterfall there live a dwarf

Norse mythology had it that there was a dwarf whose name was Andvari. His name meant "careful one". Andvari was actually a dwarf living under the waterfall inside a huge cave difficult to find out. Somehow he had the power to shapeshift and the only appearance that he could change was a pike. Pike was a type of fish and Andvari could change into a pike whenever he wanted.

Andvari was wealthy. Thanks to the magical ring Andvaranaut, Andvari had more and more treasure every day. The ring could make gold and this truly satisfied the dwarf even though we don't know what he wanted to do with his treasure of gold.

Odin was seized and Loki had to gather ransom

On one occasion, Loki had the permission to use the powerful net of Ran the giantess of Sea. He planned to catch some fish from the ocean. And there he caught a pike that was actually Andvari. Loki forced Andvari to give out the precious gold to make up for the blood debt that gods had caused. Andvari was so much into the precious that he didn't want to part with it. But between the thin line of death and life, he decided to give out his gold and ring. But he cursed that anyone who possessed the treasure would meet their final death.

Loki caught Andvari in the net

Loki caught Andvari with the magical net that Ran the giantess lent him. 

Lucky Loki because he didn't want to possess the treasure. Loki just wanted to gather a ransom and bring back other gods who were seized by the King of Dwarf, Hreidmar.

Previously, when Odin and Loki were on their journey to land of dwarves, they killed Otr one of the Dwarf Prince. Loki hit an otter (Otr in disguise) with a stone causing his death. The gods took the otter's skin and brought to Hreidmar Otr's father. This waged the wrath of the Dwarf King who quickly seized Odin and Loki and demanded a ransom. And there Loki had to embark on his journey to bring the gold for Hreidmar.

The curse, the gold, and parricide

Unfortunately, when Hreidmar possessed the gold, he was under the curse. His son, Fafnir, somehow turned greedy and wanted to keep the gold for himself. Fafnir planned to kill his father and managed to keep the gold. He brought the treasure to the woods and there he turned into a dragon guarding his own treasure. The curse lived on, however. Regin a brother of Fafnir ordered his foster-son Sigurd to kill Fafnir. And under the curse, Fafnir was killed by Sigurd. Greedy corrupted Regin who wanted to possess the treasure so he planned to kill Sigurd. Once again, the curse lived on and it killed Regin.

Sigurd the Dragon slayer

Sigurd was the foster son of Regin who ordered him to kill Fafnir. Although Sigurd managed to kill the dragon, Regin wanted to kill Sigurd. 

The story went on after some generations. And the latest owner of the gold finally put it back to the cave where it had belonged to. There, Andvari retrieved back his long gone curse treasure.

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1 comment

  • Great read.

    Larry on

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