Gleipnir

In Norse mythology, Gleipnir (Old Norse "open one") is the binding that holds the mighty wolf Fenrisulfr (as attested in chapter 34 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning). The Gods had attempted to bind Fenrir twice before with huge chains of metal, but Fenrir was able to break free both times. Therefore, they commissioned the dwarves to forge a chain that was impossible to break. To create a chain to achieve the impossible, the dwarves fashioned the chain out of six impossible things:

  • The sound of a cat's footfall
  • The beard of a woman
  • The roots of a mountain
  • The sinews of a bear
  • The breath of a fish
  • The spittle of a bird

Therefore, even though Gleipnir is as thin as a silken ribbon, it is stronger than any iron chain. It was forged by the dwarves in their underground realm of Svartálfaheim.

Gleipnir, having bound the Fenrisúlfur securely, was the cause of Týr's lost hand, for the Fenrisulfr bit it off when he was not freed. Gleipnir is said to hold until Ragnarök, when it will break and Fenrir will devour Odin.

Other articles related to "gleipnir":

Fenrir - Attestations - Prose Edda - Gylfaginning Chapter 34
... Svartálfaheimr to "some dwarfs" and had them make a fetter called Gleipnir ... The dwarves constructed Gleipnir from six mythical ingredients ... The gods showed Fenrir the silken fetter Gleipnir, told him to tear it, stated that it was much stronger than it appeared, passed it among themselves ...
Fenrisulfr - Attestations - Prose Edda - Gylfaginning Chapter 34
... down into the land of Svartálfaheimr to "some dwarfs" and had them make a fetter called Gleipnir ... The dwarves constructed Gleipnir from six mythical ingredients ... The gods showed Fenrir the silken fetter Gleipnir, told him to tear it, stated that it was much stronger than it appeared, passed it among themselves, used their hands to pull it, and yet it did not tear ...