probably my fave thing about norse mythology is that nobody in scandinavia knew what mistletoe was so you end up with descriptions of it everywhere from some kind of tree to straight up a fucking magic sword
like mistletoe irl is this dweeb-ass parasitic motherfucker not entirely unlike somebody kicked a soccer ball into a tree, but it didnt grow in iceland or denmark and only grew in a few places in norway or sweden, but word on the street 1300 years ago was that misteltān down in england was pretty fucking magical n next thing you know it’s getting calqued to mistelteinn, and –teinn is only really used in sword names so it’s gotta be pretty badass right?
in denmark it becomes, understandably, a magic sword, and in iceland an oddly sword- or spear-shaped tree: “stóð um vaxinn, | vollom hæri, / miór oc mioc fagr | mistelteinn”, per voluspá.
anyway there’s no moral here i just think the idea of throwing mistletoe at somebody and them just……dropping dead for some gd reason is fucking hilarious, so @snorri i hate you with a passion but thanks for this
i just realized neither of those sources are english nor in fact in living languages, sorry im like this. here’s gesta danorum iii in english, it describes höðr using a magic sword that allows him to strike down the demigod baldr. and the old norse reads “stood full-grown, | high above the plain, / slender and very beautiful | was the mistletoe”, which… in no way, shape, or form is an accurate description of mistletoe. höðr proceeds to throw the whole fucking plant at baldr’s head and that just….kills him…….apparently………
Are…are you telling me…the legendary sword Mysteltainn…is just “the mistletoe sword (whatever the hell mistletoe is)”???
Hang on, I got something for this.