Draupnir Ring of Odin: Symbol of Kingship and Sacrifice in Funeral
In Norse mythology, there were two magical rings that shared a similar ability to produce gold: Draupnir and Andvaranaut. The latter belonged to a dwarf named Andvari while the former belonged to Odin the Allfather. In this blog post, we are to discuss Draupnir the Ring of Odin which many people are yet to know what the significance of this ring was.
How Draupnir Ring came to the hand of Odin?
Draupnir was a product made by the most talented craftsmen in the cosmos, the dwarves. It was when Loki was travelling to the land of the dwarf to ask them to make treasures as a compensation for the gods (Loki caused trouble and Thor threatened to kill him unless he found some treasures back).
The treasures Loki brought back to Asgard were no jokes. They included the Mjolnir hammer for Thor, Draupnir Ring for Odin, Gullinbursti Boar for Freyr, and Brisingamen Necklace for Freya.
The Draupnir Ring was gifted to Odin by Loki the Trickster. The power of this ring was to produce eight more rings after every nine nights.
Prior to Ragnarok, Baldur the beloved son of Odin was murdered indirectly by Loki. Odin who mourned for the death of his son sacrificed his Draupnir ring to pyre ship of Baldur which accompanied Baldur into his afterlife.
So, what was the significance of Draupnir the Ring?
Obviously, no sources mention Odin used his Draupnir as a weapon in battle. Rather, Odin used his Gungnir spear to put an end to his enemies' life. So what about the Draupnir Ring?
The Draupnir Ring had the ability to produce every eight identical rings every nine nights. This can be interpreted as a symbol of fertility or abundance. Although it is hard to see how Odin was associated with fertility, he was the god of abundance. The "abundance" here is the abundance of knowledge, of burning desire to learn, or of the inspiration.
Rune Ring is inspired by the story of Odin Draupnir's Ring
which symbolises the abundance of Odin's determination to learn everything
In Viking skaldic poems, the kenning for the kings or the chieftains were the "man of ring". Because in the Viking tradition, a Viking king often gave his people arm ring. This was not only for the king to present his wealth and kingship but also for the Vikings to pledge their fidelity to the king. This is somewhat relatable to the Draupnir Ring of Odin which presented the kingship of Odin up in Asgard and the Nine Worlds in general.
In the funeral of Baldur Odin's son, Odin placed the Draupnir ring on the pyre ship carrying Baldur to his afterlife. This time, Odin knew that Ragnarok was on the threshold and the gods could do nothing to prevent Ragnarok from happening. The first sign of Ragnarok - the death of Baldur - happened and the gods including Odin knew that they had to face their Doomsday. The deed of placing his Draupnir could be seen as a Father King giving his legacy to the Prince who would become the future leader.
Odin's last words to Baldur Odin's son in Baldur's funeral wherein Odin gave Baldur the Draupnir Ring
The Draupnir in the Death of Baldur turned out to be not only Odin's sacrifice to the funeral but also Odin's belief that a new generation would emerge after Ragnarok and Baldur would be the next king to lead the regeneration of the world.
Another possible theory promoted by the scholars was that the Draupnir Ring was sent to Baldur because Odin wanted to remind his son of his origin. As Baldur passed away, he was brought to the Land of Hel Loki's daughter who harboured the hatred toward the gods. With the Draupnir Ring, Baldur would remember that his home was Asgard and he would never team up with the giants (Gods' enemies).