Bragi in Norse mythology

In Norse mythology, Bragi is the god of poetry, eloquence, and music. He is known for his vast knowledge and wisdom, particularly in skaldic poetry, which is a form of Norse court poetry.

In Norse mythology, Bragi is often recognized as the god of poetry, eloquence, and music. His association with poetry is so deep that his name itself is sometimes used as a synonym for “poet.” Image: Bragi by Swedish artist Carl Wahlbom (1810–1858).

Below, WHE presents some key aspects of the Norse god:

Origin and family

Bragi is considered the son of the god Odin, the chief of the Aesir, and the giantess Gunnlod, whom Odin seduced to obtain the mead of poetry.

Appearance in the Eddas

Bragi is mentioned in various sources of Norse mythology, such as the “Prose Edda” and the “Poetic Edda.” In these texts, Bragi’s eloquence and mastery over the poetic arts are often highlighted.

Bragi’s Beard

He is often depicted with a long beard, and there are references in the sagas to “Bragi’s beard,” which might metaphorically denote poetic inspiration.


Bragi is associated with runes (the ancient Norse alphabet) and their inscriptions. In some stories, his tongue is adorned with runes, a symbol of his mastery over words and language.

Marriage to Iðunn

Bragi is married to Iðunn, the goddess who possesses the apples of eternal youth. These apples are what keep the gods young. In one of the famous tales, when Idunn is kidnapped, the gods begin to age rapidly, showcasing her significance in Norse cosmology.

READ MORE: The Nine Realms in Norse Mythology

Role in Aegir’s Feast

In the “Lokasenna” section of the “Poetic Edda,” during a feast hosted by the sea god Aegir, Loki, the Norse god of mischief and chaos, enters the hall and insults almost all the gods and goddesses present. The trickster-god even accuses Bragi’s wife  Iðunn of embracing her brother’s slayer. It is unclear what Loki meant by that as reference to that particular matter did not survive.

In any case, Bragi tries to keep peace by offering Loki a gift to keep quiet, but Loki continues his tirade. This story showcases Bragi’s character as a peaceful and non-confrontational figure.

“Loki Taunts Bragi”(1908) by British artist W. G. Collingwood.

Questions & Answers

It’s worth noting that while Bragi’s role in the major myths is limited, his association with poetry and eloquence makes him a significant deity in a culture where skalds (poets) held an essential role in preserving stories, history, and wisdom.

Here’s what you need to know:

Who are Bragi’s parents?

Bragi is generally considered to be the son of Odin, the Allfather and chief god of the Norse pantheon, and Gunnlöð, a giantess. This lineage is symbolic, especially given the story of how Odin won the mead of poetry by seducing Gunnlöð.

Who is Bragi’s wife?

Bragi is married to Iðunn (often anglicized as Idun or Idunn). Iðunn is known as the keeper of the apples of youth in Norse mythology. These apples are what the gods consume to retain their youthfulness and immortality. In one of the most famous myths, Iðunn is kidnapped, leading to the gods aging until she is returned.

Did Bragi have any children?

There’s no mention of Bragi and Iðunn having any children in the primary sources that form the basis of Norse mythology.

Bragi is married to Iðunn (often anglicized as Idun or Idunn). Iðunn is known as the keeper of the apples of youth in Norse mythology. Image: Bragi is shown with a harp and accompanied by his wife Iðunn in this 19th-century painting by Swedish painter Nils Blommér.

What is Bragi association with the Mead of Poetry?

While Bragi himself is not directly associated with the story of the mead of poetry, his lineage ties him to it.

According to the myth, Odin went to great lengths to obtain the mead, a drink that grants the gift of poetry and wisdom, from the giant Suttungr. Gunnlöð, Suttungr’s daughter, was its guardian. Odin seduced her and managed to drink all of the mead, then transformed into an eagle and flew away.

As Odin and Gunnlöð’s son, Bragi’s poetic prowess might be seen as an inheritance of sorts from this legendary mead.

While Bragi himself is not as prominent in Norse myths as Odin, Thor, or Loki, his domain of poetry was deeply significant in Viking culture. Skaldic and Eddic poetry played crucial roles in preserving Norse sagas, history, and myths, making Bragi’s influence pervasive. Image: Bragi, holding a harp, sings before his wife Iðunn (1895) by Danish artist Lorenz Frølich.

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