An example of such is the jotun (Norse for “giant”) named Ægir, also called Hler and Gymir. Only in Lokasenna, a poem found in the “Poetic Edda” meaning “Loki’s Quarrel,” is Ægir also called Gymir, which is also the name of a giant in another Eddic poem, Skírnismál, which means “Sayings of Skírnir.” TRánslated to “sea-giant” from Old Norse, Ægir‘s name is often used as a reference for the sea in the Poetic Eddas. Ægir has been compared to the Greek god Poseidon or the Roman god Neptune.
Rudolf Simek explains in his Dictionary of Northern Mythology that Ægir/Hler is named as the son of Fornjotr, a fabled and pre-historic Norwegian ancestor of the jötnar (giants). Simek also indicates the significance in Hler's function and purpose in mythology as "elemental" in view of his name (sea), alongside his two brothers Logi (fire) and Kari (wind).
The goddess of the sea, Rán, is mentioned as both the daughter and wife of Ægir in Skáldskaparmál, the second part of the “Prose Edda.” Rán is seen in the sagas and in skaldic poetry as correlating with drowning. Hence, the act of drowning equates to “falling into Rán’s hands,” and it is said she uses a net to retrieve the drowned from the water. Therefore, when some dies from drowning they are assumed to be within Rán’s realm, rather than Valhalla or Hel.
Together Ægir and Rán are the parents of nine daughters whose names typically label the waves of the sea. True to the writing styles of the skalds of his period, Snorri Sturluson, author of the “Prose Edda,” uses Ægir’s daughters’ names as synonyms for “wave” and lists them as: Dufa, Udr, Hronn, Bylgja, Bara (all are metonyms for “wave”), Blodughadda (bloody-hair), Hefring (the rising one), Himinglava (the heaven-shining one, equivalent to “wave”), and finally Kolga (the cold one). It has been suggested these nine daughters are the same nine as the mothers of the god Heimdall. However, not all scholars agree and such proposition is therefore viewed as speculative only. continued
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