Edward Pettit

Published On


Page Range

pp. 425-470

Print Length

45 pages

16. Conclusion

Beowulf, an Anglo-Saxon Song of Ice and Fire

  • Edward Pettit (author)
Pettit’s conclusion reviews some of the key proposals of this study, which it supplements with fresh information and interpretation. Myths encapsulated in ‘Skírnir’s Journey’ and ‘The Lay of Svipdagr’ are further elucidated, the former especially by a new interpretation of the gambanteinn—a weapon Pettit thinks analogous to the giant sword—as essentially a ‘twig of tribute’. Petitt argues that this might be represented, beside solar and lunar symbols, on the pommel of a sword-hilt bearing decoration in Anglo-Saxon style from Bedale, North Yorkshire, England. The possible association of the giant sword with Ing and his circle is re-emphasized, with an explanation given of its relationship—and fundamental consubstantiality—with Hrunting as a solar symbol. Pettit ends by offering thoughts on the possible significance for an interpretation of Beowulf of the waning giant sword as a thought-provoking, inspiring symbol of transformative conversion.


Edward Pettit