30 DoA #6: Other Relations

The Silverdale Hoard c. AD 900. (Prioryman 2011, Wikimedia Commons)

6. Other related deities and entities associated with this deity. There are actually quite a number of other heroes in Germanic (and later) mythology who have connections to Wayland by virtue of their weapons, armor, or other treasures.

Since Beowulf is possibly one of my favorite literary works, I’ll begin with its Wayland reference, which is in regard to Beowulf’s maille shirt:

No need then
to lament for long or lay out my body.
If the battle takes me, send back
this breast-webbing that Weland fashioned
and Hrethel gave me, to Lord Hygelac.
Fate goes ever as fate must.

In Thorsten’s Saga, the magic ring which the title character retrieves is also forged by Wayland.

And, thanks to Wikipedia, a short list of weapons forged by the Master Smith:

Ancient Sources:

  • Almace, the sword of Archbishop Turpin, according to Karlamagnus Saga.
  • Curtana, the sword of Ogier the Dane, according to Karlamagnus Saga.
  • Durandal, the sword of Roland, according to Karlamagnus Saga (though in Orlando Innamorato Durandal is said to have been originally the sword of Hector of Troy).
  • Mimung, which he forged to fight the rival smith Amilias, according to Thidrekssaga
  • Gram, the sword of Sigmund, which would be destroyed by Odin, and is later reforged by Regin and used by Sigmund’s son Sigurd to slay the dragon Fafnir, according to the Völsunga saga.

Medieval/Modern Authors:

  • Adylok / Hatheloke, the sword of Torrent of Portyngale, according to the romance Torrent of Portyngale.
  • Caliburn, in Mary Stewart’s Arthurian Legend, is the sword of Macsen, Merlin, and Arthur.
  • The unnamed sword of Huon of Bordeaux, according to Lord Berners.
  • An unnamed sword whose history is related by Rudyard Kipling in Puck of Pook’s Hill.
  • The unnamed sword of the hero in the Chanson de Gui de Nanteuil.
  • “Un ouvrier de Galan,” a journeyman of Wayland’s, is said to have forged the hero’s sword Merveilleuse in the Chanson de Doon de Mayence.

One of the things I love about Wayland is that he continues to have weapons attributed to him unto this day in literature and folklore. How many gods can boast of such an active record after the arrivals of monotheisms? I do find it noteworthy, however, that while in the Poetic Edda Wayland is famous for fine metalwork such as rings and goblets, that most of the later references attribute mainly swords to him.

bba4c-lokistoneThe other purely UPG relationship that comes to mind for Wayland is a potential connection with Loki, or a Loki-like figure. This is not attested anywhere in the lore, and is based upon the archaeological find of forge-shield stone mentioned on Day 3. To my thinking, if the smiths of Midgard had some sort of relationship with Loki in their forges, it is not unlikely that such a connection exists in the Otherworlds as well. What the story is, I don’t know, as I’ve just perceived a sort of amusement from both Wayland and Loki when I’ve asked them about it.

I have a feeling that it will be an interesting tale when finally told.