In Norse mythology,
Sjöfn is a goddess associated with love. Sjöfn is attested in the Prose
Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; and in three
kennings employed in skaldic poetry.
In chapter 35 of the Prose
Edda book Gylfaginning, High provides brief descriptions of 16 ásynjur.
High lists Sjöfn seventh, and says that Sjöfn is "concerned to direct
people's minds to love, both women and men." In the Prose Edda book
Skáldskaparmál, Sjöfn is included among a list of 27 ásynjur names.
Otherwise, the name Sjöfn is thrice employed as a base word in skaldic
kennings for "woman".
Regarding the information given about Sjöfn
in Gylfaginning, John Lindow says that the word sjafni does indeed
appear listed in the þulur as a word for "love", yet that outside of
this description no information about the goddess is known. Lindow
states that some scholars theorize that Sjöfn may be the goddess Frigg
under another name.Rudolf Simek says that Snorri may have derived his
etymology of Sjöfn from the Old Norse words sefi ("sense") or from sefi
(possibly "relation"), but that the scant references to Sjöfn do not
allow for much more of an elaborate explanation for the goddess. Simek
says that, accordingly, Sjöfn is viewed as a goddess of "marriage and
love, or else one of relationships" and that Sjöfn is among several
goddesses mentioned in the Prose Edda "who are matron-like
'Sjofn' is also the name of an album by the Finnish band Gjallarhorn, released in 2000.
Sjöfn appears as a regular character in the New Zealand television series The Almighty Johnsons.
Hodr is a bit of a "fuzzy" character. His relationship with Baldr puzzles me. In the Work of Peter Madsen (on of my great inspirations" this duality is also made clear. Baldr 'overhelps' his brother, thus causing Hodr to hate him. This duality is clearly put forward by Saxo. He makes the brothers into 2 bitter enemies who fight a war with each other over a woman, Nana. In Saxo's story, Baldr loses the game, whilst in the more clasic sources, Nanna is Baldrs wife. Perhaps Saxo distorted the original story in order to fit his christian beliefs, or there is more to the story then has been related to us...