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Darraðarljóð is a skaldic poem in Old Norse found in chapter 157 of Njáls saga. The song consists of 11 stanzas, and within it twelve valkyries weave and choose who is to be slain at the Battle of Clontarf (fought outside Dublin in 1014 CE). Of the twelve valkyries weaving, six of their names are given: Hildr, Hjörþrimul, Sanngriðr, Svipul, Guðr, and Göndul. Stanza 9 of the song reads:

Now awful it is to be without,
as blood-red rack races overhead;
is the welkin gory with warriors' blood
as we valkyries war-songs chanted.[1]

At the end of the poem, the valkyries sing "start we swiftly with steeds unsaddled—hence to battle with brandished swords!"[1] The poem may have influenced the concept of the Three Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth.[2]

Darrað or Dorrud's vision is located in Caithness and the story is a "powerful mixture of Celtic and Old Norse imagery".[3]

In Popular Culture

Einar Selvik and Trevor Morris used stanzas from Darraðarljóð in the opening battle in season 2 of Vikings.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hollander (1980:68).
  2. Simek (2007:57).
  3. Crawford (1987) p. 213


External links