University of Pittsburgh

Fafnismal

early Norwegian poem, The Words of the Dragon, Fafnir

Fishburn and Hughes: "'The Lay of Fafnir', one of the Volsung sagas recounted in the Norse Eddas. Sigurd is persuaded by Regin, his guardian and Fafnir's brother, to slay the dragon Fafnir in order to steal his treasure of gold. He goes to Gnitaheidr to lie in wait for Fafnir, whose custom it is to go there in search of water. Fafnir arrives and, realising that he is about to be killed, prophesies his slayer's death: 'The glistening gold, and the glow-red hoard / the rings thy bane will be.' He warns Sigurd that Regin, who 'betrayed me, will betray thee too, / and will be the bane of us both'. Sigurd responds by killing Fafnir and cutting off Regin's head; he also eats Fafnir's heart and drinks the blood of both his victims. Yet the prophecy proves strangely true: Sigurd himself is killed, as are all who subsequently own the gold." (70)

Borges Index: 
El Zahir, El Aleph, OC, 592.