Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Weyland (also spelled Wayland, Weland and Watlende) is the mythical smith-god of the Saxon immigrants into Britain. He is synonymous with the North-Germanic/Norse Volund/Volundr of the Volundarkvida/volundakvitha , a chapter in the Elder Edda.
Weyland had two brothers, Egil and Slagfidur (or Slagfinn). In one version of the myth, the three brothers lived with three Valkyries: Olrun, Alvit and Svanhvit. After nine years, the Valkyries left their lovers. Egil and Slagfidur followed, never to return. In another version, Weyland married the swan maiden Hervor, and they had a son, Heime; Hervor later left him. In both versions, his love left him with a ring; in the former myth, he forged seven hundred duplicates of this ring.
At a later point in time, he was captured in his sleep by king Nidud in Nerike who ordered him hamstrung and imprisoned on the island of Saeverstod . There he was forced to forge items for the king. Wayland's wife's ring was given to the king's daughter, Bodvild . Nidud wore Wayland's sword.
For revenge, Wayland killed the king's sons when they visited him in secret, fashioned goblets from their skulls, jewels from their eyes, and a brooch from their teeth. He sent the goblets to the king, the jewels to the queen and the brooch to the kings' daughter. When Bodvild took her ring to him to be mended, he took the ring and seduced her, fathering a son and escaping on wings he made.
Wayland forged the sword Balmung, and the armor in which Beowulf fought Grendel. In Teutonic legend he is also said to have forged a sword for his son Heime that was wielded by Miming and then by Hodur. He is sometimes said to be the ruler of the dark elves (svartalfar).
He is particularly associated with Wayland's Smithy, a burial mound in Oxfordshire. This was named by the Saxons, but the megalithic mound significantly predates them. It is from this association that the superstition came about that a horse left there overnight with a small silver coin (a groat) would be shod by morning.
Watlende is also a Manor house in Kent.
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