Norse mythology is full of brave heroes and fierce heroines. The gods and goddesses represent a vast number of ferocious yet extraordinary adventures and heroic tales. It’s full of Goth folk mythologies and extravagant moral understanding intimidating a large number of followers. They left us with astonishing tales of Great leaders, furious Gods, romance, courageous heroes, epic adventures, and stories of vengeance that take one down the tour of contemplations, restless imaginations, and immense resilience.
One such myth of Andvaris’s ring is known as ‘The Curse of Andvari’s Ring’. A scandinavian mythology stemmed from the greed for power that destroyed generations and generations. A tale that inspired the popular trilogy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
The Curse of Andvari’s Ring
Andvari was a dwarf that lived beneath the waterfall Nidavellir and had the power to change himself into a fish at will. Once, he made a magical ring called Andvaranaut, that if worn will increase his wealth. The mischievous Loki forcefully took that ring from him and in turn Andvari cursed it.
According to the Volsunga Saga, once Odin with his two companions, Loki and Hœnir were traveling. On their way, they stopped at the waterfall Nidavellir, the world of the dwarfs. While Odin and Hoenir went to see the Dwarf king Hreidmar, the bored and hungry Loki spotted an otter. Loki then killed the Otter and took away its precious and beautiful skin. When the three met the king, they showed off the Otter’s skin. Hreidmar recognized that the skin is the hide of his son Otr and thus demanded justice.
The furious king bound the gods and sent Loki for ransom. As was the custom, he asked Loki to fill the Otrs pelt with fine gold until the hairs on his skin are completely covered. As the skin could be stretched at an infinite rate, it was barely possible for anyone to fulfill this demand. But mischievous Loki always had his way out. He knew about Andvari, who disguised as a fish went deep underwater and seized all the gold of water nymphs. With that gold, Andvari had crafted a special ring Andvaranaut, that if worn would increase the wealth of the person day by day.
Using a net, Loki capture Andvari and demanded his possessions. Loki took away all his gold and released the dwarf. However, just before he was about to leave, he witnessed the magic ring of Andvari and snatched his only possession left. Furious and angry at Loki, Andvari cursed the ring and said that the ring would destroy anyone who possess it.
A little curse was a no threat to the Odinson Loki. He submitted the snatched gold to Hreidmar and presented it on the skin of Otrs. The gold was enough to cover the whole skin, yet Hreidmar noticed a single hair peeking out. To cover the ransom, Loki gave the magic ring Andvaranaut to the king. Seeing such wealth, the dwarf king was more than satisfied and he released the three of them.
While Odin and his companions went back to their peaceful lives, the life of Hreidmar was disturbed. The greed for wealth led Hreidmar’s son Fafnir to kill the king and take the wealth and the ring for himself. The greed for the ring inflated and he went to a cave with all his gold so that none other can take it from him. In the cave, Fafnir transformed into a dragon guarding the treasure.
His brother Regin ordered his younger brother Sigurd to kill the dragon. Sigurd kills the beast and gave his treasure back to Regin. Regin asks the cook to present him with a delicious meal prepared by the dragon’s heart. But before Regin could consume it, Sigurd took a taste of it. Once the beast’s blood reached his tongue, he heard the birds talking that Regin was going to kill Sigurd. Thus Sigurd killed Regin and seized the treasure.
This was only the beginning, the ring destroyed generations of king Hreidmar until Gunnar. King Gunnar realized that there is something wrong with the ring and hid it inside a cave along with the treasure. For years it remains hidden. Years later, Andvari found the cave and took back all of his belongings, however, the magic ring Andvaranaut was missing. It is believed that Andvari spend the rest of his life searching for the ring.
The Inspiration for The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a series of three epic movies inspired by the Norse Mythology of Andvari’s magic ring. The films feature an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, and Sean Bean.
It is one of the greatest and influential series ever made. The plot starts in the Second Age of Middle-earth and lasts up to four ages of Middle-earth. In mid remains, the future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring. The movie revolves around the search for the lost ring which has been placed in the hand of young Hobbit. The Hobit destroys the ring at the very place it was forged.
Though the story is initially based on the novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings’, the novel takes inspiration from the Norse myth. The book received widespread popularity and so did the movie. And the saga of Andari continues to inspire the masses.