In Norse mythology, Bölþorn or Bölþor is a jötunn, the father of Bestla, and therefore grandfather of the gods Odin, Vili and Vé. The figure receives mention in the Poetic Edda, composed in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, compiled by Icelander Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century. Scholars have noted that the Poetic Edda mention may mean that he is the father of the wise being Mímir.


The form Bölþor occurs in the Poetic Edda poem Hávamál, whereas Bölþorn occurs in the Prose Edda. Whereas the latter compound noun would clearly mean 'evil-thorn' to Old Norse speakers, Bölþor would have no clear meaning to medieval Scandinavians.[1]


Bölþor receives a single mention in the Poetic Edda, which occurs in the poem Hávamál:

Nine mighty songs I got from the son
Of Bolthorn, Bestla's father;
And a drink I got of the goodly mead
Poured out from Othrorir.[2]

The Prose Edda section Gylfaginning says that Bölþorn is Bestla's father, and adds that he is a jötunn.[3]

Scholarly reception and interpretation[edit]

Various scholars have noted that the Hávamál description above may mean that the wise being Mímir is Bölþorn's son.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See discussion in Lindow (2001:82).
  2. ^ Bellows (1923:92).
  3. ^ Faulkes (1995 [1985]: 11).
  4. ^ Bellows (1923:92) and Puhvel (1989:218)