In chapter 29 of the Gylfaginning, Snorri Sturluson calls Vidar "the silent asa":

Vidar is the name of the silent asa. He has a very thick shoe, and he is the strongest next after Thor. From him the gods have much help in all hard tasks.

Source: Gylfaginning (The Fooling Of Gylfe), Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, Wikisource

The one source I checked claims we don't know why that is:

Elsewhere, Vidar is called the “silent god,” although no explanation for this epithet is given.

Source: Vidar, Norse Mythology for Smart People

Is that true? And if so, do we at least have any plausible theories for Vidar's silence?

1 Answer 1


The only real role of Víđarr in the norse mythology seems to be to avenge his father Odin during Ragnarokr by slaughtering Fenrir. In a footnote to his article Le dieu scandinave Víđarr , Georges Dumézil hints that it may be one explanation for his silence:

On a proposé d'autres explications pour le silence de Vidarr; ce serait, par exemple, une prescription initiatique, Vidarr ayant besoin d'une «initiation» pour son exploit.

which translates roughly as: "Other explanations for the silence of Vidarr have been proposed: it could, for instance, be an initiation requirement, Vidarr needing an initiation in preparation for his achievement."

Interestingly, another story in which Víđarr can be found is the Lokasenna (Loki's Wrangling). This story relates a banquet that many gods attend (including Víđarr), the banquet is eventually interrupted by Loki and the poem turns basically into an insult contest between the gods attending the banquet and Loki. With one notable exception: Víđarr, who says nothing, but stands up to make a space for Loki (at the request of his father), and pour him a drink.

It may be possible that Víđarr is then referred to as "the silent one" for not taking part in that verbal joust.

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