In Norse mythology, Fáfnir (Old Norse and Icelandic) or Frænir is a son of the dwarf king Hreidmar and brother of Regin, Ótr, Lyngheiðr and Lofnheiðr.Template:Sfnp After being affected by the curse of Andvari's ring and gold, Fafnir became a dragon and was slain by Sigurd.


In the Icelandic Volsunga Saga (late 13th century), Fáfnir is a dwarf with a powerful arm and fearless soul. He guards his father's house of glittering gold and flashing gems. He is the strongest and most aggressive of the three brothers.[1]

Regin recounts to Sigurd how Odin, Loki and Hœnir were traveling when they came across Ótr, who had the likeness of an otter during the day. Loki killed the otter with a stone and the three Æsir skinned their catch. The gods came to Hreidmar's dwelling that evening and were pleased to show off the otter's skin. Hreidmar and his remaining two sons then seized the gods and held them captive while Loki was made to gather the ransom, which was to stuff the otter's skin with gold and cover its outside with red gold. Loki fulfilled the task by gathering the cursed gold of Andvari as well as the ring, Andvaranaut, both of which were told to Loki as items that would bring about the death of whoever possessed them. Fáfnir then killed Hreidmar to get all the gold for himself. He became very ill-natured and greedy, so he went out into the wilderness to keep his fortune, eventually turning into a serpent or dragon (symbol of greed) to guard his treasure.Template:Sfnp Fáfnir also breathed poison into the land around him so no one would go near him and his treasure, wreaking terror in the hearts of the people.Template:Sfnp

Regin plotted revenge so that he could get the treasure and sent his foster-son Sigurd to kill the dragon. Regin instructed Sigurd to dig a pit in which he could lie in wait under the trail Fáfnir used to get to a stream and there plunge his sword, Gram, into Fafnir's heart as he crawls over the pit to the water. Regin then ran away in fear, leaving Sigurd to the task. As Sigurd dug, Odin appeared in the form of an old man with a long beard, advising the warrior to dig more trenches for the blood of Fafnir to run into, presumably so that Sigurd does not drown in the blood. The earth quaked and the ground nearby shook as Fafnir appeared, blowing poison into his path as he made his way to the stream.Template:Sfnp Sigurd, undaunted, stabbed Fafnir in the left shoulder as he crawled over the ditch he was lying in and succeeded in mortally wounding the dragon. As the creature lies there dying, he speaks to Sigurd and asks for his name, his parentage and who sent him on such a dangerous mission. Fafnir figures out that his own brother, Regin, plotted this, and predicts that Regin will also cause Sigurd's death. Sigurd tells Fafnir that he will go back to the dragon's lair and take all his treasure. Fafnir warns Sigurd that all who possess the gold will be fated to die, but Sigurd replies that all men must one day die anyway, and it is the dream of many men to be wealthy until that dying day, so he will take the gold without fear.Template:Sfnp

File:Sigurd Fåvnesbane.jpg

Regin then returned to Sigurd after Fafnir was slain. Corrupted by greed, Regin planned to kill Sigurd after Sigurd had cooked Fafnir's heart for him to eat and take all the treasure for himself. However, Sigurd, having tasted Fafnir's blood while cooking the heart, gained knowledge of the speech of birdsTemplate:Sfnp and learned of Regin's impending attack from the Oðinnic (of Odin) birds' discussion and killed Regin by cutting off his head with Gram.Template:Sfnp Sigurd then ate some of Fafnir's heart and kept the remainder, which would later be given to Gudrun after their marriage.Template:Sfnp

Some versions are more specific about Fáfnir's treasure hoard, mentioning the swords Ridill and Hrotti, the helm of terror and a golden coat of chainmail.Template:Sfnp

In Wagner

Fafnir appears – as "Fafner" – in Richard Wagner's epic opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (1848–1874), although he began life as a giant rather than a dwarf. In the first opera, Das Rheingold (1869), which has some basis from the Gylfaginning, Fafner and his brother Fasolt try to take the Goddess Freia, based on Idun, who has been promised to them by Wotan, the king of the gods, in exchange for building the castle Valhalla. Fasolt is in love with her, while Fafner wants her as without her golden apples the Gods will lose their youth. The Giants, mainly Fafner, agree to accept a massive hoard of treasure stolen from the dwarf Alberich instead. The treasure includes the magic helmet Tarnhelm and a magic ring of power. As they divide the treasure, the brothers argue and Fafner kills Fasolt and takes the ring for himself. Escaping to earth, he uses the Tarnhelm to transform himself into a dragon and guards the treasure in a cave for many years before being ultimately killed by Wotan's mortal grandson Siegfried, as depicted in the opera of the same name. The Giants are thought to represent the working class.Template:Citation needed However, while Fasolt is a romantic revolutionary, Fafner is a more violent and jealous figure, plotting to overthrow the gods. In many productions, he is shown to return to his original Giant form while delivering his death-speech to Siegfried.

In popular culture

In Marvel Comics, Fafnir was once king of the evil natives of Nastrond, until Odin sent Volstagg and other Asgardians to wipe out his people. Fafnir himself was left to die in a ruined wasteland, but he survived by drinking from a pool with magical properties, which also caused him to transform into a huge dragon. He has since been a recurring enemy of Odin's favored son, Thor. Another Thor villain, a frost-giant, also goes by the name of Fafnir; like Wagner's version, he is the brother of Fasolt.

In the 2002 PC game Heroes of Might and Magic IV, Fafnir is used as a cheat code to obtain Black Dragons, the strongest unit in the game.

Fafnir also appears in the 2005 film Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King, based on the Völsungasaga and Wagner's Nibelungenlied. He is wingless and lizard-like in appearance, possibly inspired by Arthur Rackham's depiction. As in other versions, he is slain by Siegfried (going by the name of Erik at the time), who then bathes in his blood and claims his gold. It is never specified that Fafnir had a life as another being before becoming a dragon, but the ghostly Nibelungs warn Erik that the cursed ring brought about the dragon's demise and will bring about his in turn.

The 2007 adaptation of Beowulf mentions Fafnir in passing. King Hrothgar refers to him as the "dragon of the northern moors." The golden drinking horn which Hrothgar claimed as his prize upon slaying Fafnir is central to the plot.

The 2007 English translation of Sergey Lukyanenko's novel Day Watch mentions resurrecting Fafnir – referred to as "the Great Magician" and "the Dragon of the Twilight" – from Fafnir's talon as a major plot device.

In the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI, Fafnir appears as a hyper notorious monster, spawning in Dragon's Aery and whose drops included the aforementioned Ridill and Hrotti. Due to the high demand for a Ridill at the time, he was one of the most frequently fought monsters in the game.

The anime series Fafner in the Azure contains giant mechas called Fafners and the Series itself contains references of the original legend of Fafnir

The light novel series Unlimited Fafnir contains several references to Nordic mythology.

In the mobile card game Deck Heroes, Fafnir is a rare 5-star creature in the form of a dragon.

In the video game Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight, Fafnir is the main protagonist of the game's story mode and gets into multiple phases of dark transformations throughout the game.

In Ichiei Ishibumi's illustrated light novel series Highschool DxD, Fafnir is one of the Five Great Dragon Kings of the world. Despite being an ancient dragon, he is shown to have an odd fetish for girls' panties, which he refers to as his "treasures". Like most of the dragons in the series, his spirit is sealed within a Sacred Gear. Initially, he works with Azazel, the leader of fallen angels, but is later given to Asia Argento as her protector.

According to Ármann Jakobsson, J.R.R. Tolkien's dragon Smaug in the 1937 novel The Hobbit, was inspired by Fáfnismál, a poem about the dragon.

In the MMORPG MapleStory Fafnir is the name of the strongest level 150 type of weapons.

In the multiplayer video game Smite, Fafnir was added as a playable Guardian in June, 2016. His default model begins as a dwarf with a darker character theme, and his ultimate ability transforms him into a dragon form that can poison enemies. His signature passive ability makes him gain protection the more gold he is carrying.

In the video game Sword Art Online: Lost Song, Fafnir is a level 500 boss in Welgunde, the Island of Meadows.

The so-called "Curse of Fafnir" is featured in the 2016 children's novel Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor, by Rick Riordan.

In the video game Volgarr the Viking, Fafnir is the final boss, depending on the path you follow through the game.

In the episode "Luna Nova and the White Dragon" of the anime Little Witch Academia, Fafnir appears as a moneylender that the school of Luna Nova owes money to.

In the anime and manga series Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, a dragon by the name of Fafnir appears showing resemblance to the traits of his name through emotional and physical means. He is also depicted as a gruesome demon-like creature obsessed with guarding the treasure he holds.

In the video game Shadowverse, Fafnir is a legendary card that deals 2 damage to all other followers. The in-game description says that Fafnir is "An evil serpent with a lustful craving for gold. A brutal creature, it has been known to use its steely jaws to mash into tiny pieces those who come in search of its treasures..." and evolved, "Its body shrouded in a golden gleam, its eyes shining with an evil greed... Those who dare intrude upon its sanctuary are sliced open with sharp claws and drowned in their own blood."

In 2015's Call of Duty: Black Ops III, two downloadable maps, "Gorod Krovi" (Город крови – Russian for "City of Blood") and "Revelations" in the Zombies game mode, feature a shield that can be crafted out of dragon bones that is dubbed the "Guard of Fafnir".

In 2017's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, the titular character must navigate through a caverns section while chased by Fafnir, who will kill her if she stays in non-illuminated places for too long.

In the light novel and anime series Fate/Apocrypha, Fafnir is mentioned in the lore of Saber of Black, Siegfried, as the dragon whom he slew, and whose blood, he bathed in, granting him the Noble Phantasm called "The Armor of Fafnir".

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