This article is about the goat in Norse mythology. For the Norwegian oil field, see Heidrun oil field.
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Heiðrún is a goat in Norse mythology, which consumes the foliage of the tree Læraðr and produces mead for the einherjar. She is described in the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda.
1 Prose Edda,
2 Poetic Edda,
Geit sú er Heiðrún heitir stendr uppi á Valhöll ok bítr barr af limum trés þess er mjök er nafnfrægt, er Léraðr heitir, en ór spenum hennar rennr mjöðr sá er hon fyllir skapker hvern dag. Þat er svá mikit at allir einherjar verða fulldruknir af. -
A goat called Heiðrún stands up on its hind-legs in Valhalla biting the buds off the branches of that very famous tree which is called Lærað. From her teats runs the mead with which every day she fills a cauldron, which is so big that all the Einherjar can drink their fill from it. - Young's translation
In the Poetic Edda Heiðrún is mentioned twice. She is described in the Grímnismál in a way similar to Snorri's description.
Heiðrún heitir geit,
er stendr höllo á
ok bítr af læraðs limom;
hón skal ins skíra miaðar,
knáat sú veig vanaz.
Heithrún, the goat
on the hall that stands,
eateth off Læráth's limbs;
the crocks she fills
with clearest mead,
will that drink not e'er be drained. - LMH's translation
Since Snorri quotes other strophes of Grímnismál it seems reasonable to assume that he knew this strophe too and used it as his source for his description of Heiðrún.
In the Hyndluljóð the giantess Hyndla (lit. bitch/she-dog) used the term "Heiðrún" to insult the goddess Freyja. Thorpe and some other translators translated the name straight to "she-goat".
Rannt at Óði
skutusk þér fleiri
hleypr þú, Óðs vina
úti á náttum,
sem með höfrum
To Oth didst thou run,
who loved thee ever,
And many under
thy apron have crawled;
My noble one, out
in the night thou leapest,
As Heithrun goes
the goats among. - Bellows' translation
Heiðrún's name is sometimes anglicized Heidrun, Heidhrun, Heithrun, Heidrún, Heithrún or Heidhrún.
"Heidrun" is also the name of a Vikingarock band from Värmland, Sweden who originally formed in 2009 as a cover band. Since then their popularity has grown, and they released their first full-length studio album with original music, "Framåt Gå," in August 2012.
Bellows, Henry Adams. Translation of the Poetic Edda.,
Eysteinn Björnsson (ed.) (2005). Snorra-Edda: Formáli & Gylfaginning : Textar fjögurra meginhandrita.,
Hollander, Lee M. (1962). The Poetic Edda. Austin: University of Texas. ISBN 0-292-76499-5.,
Jón Helgason (Ed.). (1955). Eddadigte (3 vols.). Copenhagen: Munksgaard.,
Young, Jean I. (1964). Snorri Sturluson : the Prose Edda. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-01231-3.