Eir: Goddess, Valkyrie and Healer

We Are Star Stuff

Eir is a puzzling figure in Norse mythology. Snorri Sturluson, who set out to explain Norse mythology in his Prose Edda, explains Eir in two different ways in the two main books, Gylfaginning and Skaldskaparmal.

Goddess or Valkyrie?

In the first, he calls her a goddess, one of the many minor goddesses who cluster around Frigg, but in the second he calls her a valkyrie.

Third is Eir. She is an extremely good physician.
(Gylf. 35, Faulkes‘ trans.)

There are yet others, Odin’s maids, Hild and Gondul, Hlokk, Mist, Skogul. Then are listed Hrund and Eir, Hrist, Skuld. They are called norns who shape necessity.
(Skald. 75, Faulkes‘ trans.)

(You could read this last sentence as if Eir was a norn, making you wonder what sort of a being she was, or if anyone even knew.) There’s a lot of inconsistency in Snorri (he…

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