One of the reasons for this is the name of the weapon. It appears in manuscripts that have different readings, so in some of them, it is known and mentioned as "Laevateinn," while in others, it is recorded as Haevateinn.
In the majority of texts and resources on this mythological weapon, it is referred to as "Laevateinn." Also, the is a mystery associated with Laevateinn - it is also not clear what kind of weapon it actually was – a sword, a dart, a wand, or some other type of weapon.
Different commentators and translators used different words to denote it, so in the end, it can be described or denoted both as a sword or a wand.
Why was Laevateinn created?
What was the purpose of creating this magical weapon? It was forged by Loki and then stolen from him. According to the resources, Laevateinn is the only weapon that could kill the rooster Viðofnir.
Viðofnir was a mythological bird, a rooster sitting on the crown of the world tree Mímaðeir, the tree identical to the world tree Yggdrasil.
Laevateinn is the only weapon that could kill the bird, and killing the bird created a problem. According to Norse mythology, the rooster was supposed to warn Odin, the chief god in Norse mythology, of the upcoming Ragnarök, the end of the world and the end of civilization.
By receiving a warning from the rooster, Odin would have had time to prepare his army and prevent Ragnarök. However, the bird's death prevented this - as Odin wasn't warned by Viðofnir.
Loki often found himself in unpleasant situations and was considered the enemy of the gods. Source: Artie Navarre / Pixabay
According to some historical resources and theories, Loki plotted this scheme so that he would stop Odin in his tracks, so to speak – and stop him from preventing Ragnarök.
Loki was known as a mischievous trickster god who liked to play tricks on gods and other creatures. Sometimes this was quite harmless, and sometimes it created serious problems, culminating in this particular situation, where the death of Viðofnir eventually led to Ragnarök.
The meaning of the name "Laevateinn"
As mentioned previously, there was another version of the name – Haevateinn, and the changing of the letter H to the letter L was proposed by Sophus Bugge in the 19th century, in his edition of the Poetic Edda.
The change was made with a purpose - to explain the meaning of the name of the sword (or the wand). The name would then mean "wand of destruction" or "wounding wand."
Laevateinn, on the other hand, can have different meanings – "cunning," or "deception" or "injury," coming from the word "lae." The word "vateinn" can mean "stick" or "wand." Knowing Loki's nature and the way he operated in the world of gods, this could be an acceptable explanation, but it is still a matter of speculation.
Some sources claim that there is a possibility that Laevateinn was decorated with runes.
There is yet another mystery connected to this powerful weapon – it remains an unsolved question whether it was stolen or if there was a misunderstanding with the interpretation of the original text.
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