The theonym Bragi probably stems from the masculine noun bragr, which can be translated in Old Norse as 'poetry' (cf. Icelandic bragur 'poem, melody, wise') or as 'the first, noblest' (cf. poetic Old Norse bragnar 'chiefs, men', bragningr 'king'). It is unclear whether the theonym semantically derives from the first meaning or the second.
A connection has been also suggested with the Old Norse bragarfull, the cup drunk in solemn occasions with the taking of vows. The word is usually taken to semantically derive from the second meaning of bragr ('first one, noblest'). A relation with the Old English term brego ('lord, prince') remains uncertain.
Bragi regularly appears as a personal name in Old Norse and Old Swedish sources, which according to linguist Jan de Vries might indicate the secondary character of the god's name.
Snorri Sturluson writes in the Gylfaginning after describing Odin, Thor, and Baldr:
In Skáldskaparmál Snorri writes:
That Bragi is Odin's son is clearly mentioned only here and in some versions of a list of the sons of Odin (see Sons of Odin). But "wish-son" in stanza 16 of the Lokasenna could mean "Odin's son" and is translated by Hollander as Odin's kin. Bragi's mother is possibly the giantess Gunnlöð. If Bragi's mother is Frigg, then Frigg is somewhat dismissive of Bragi in the Lokasenna in stanza 27 when Frigg complains that if she had a son in Ægir's hall as brave as Baldr then Loki would have to fight for his life.
In that poem Bragi at first forbids Loki to enter the hall but is overruled by Odin. Loki then gives a greeting to all gods and goddesses who are in the hall save to Bragi. Bragi generously offers his sword, horse, and an arm ring as peace gift but Loki only responds by accusing Bragi of cowardice, of being the most afraid to fight of any of the Æsir and Elves within the hall. Bragi responds that if they were outside the hall, he would have Loki's head, but Loki only repeats the accusation. When Bragi's wife Iðunn attempts to calm Bragi, Loki accuses her of embracing her brother's slayer, a reference to matters that have not survived. It may be that Bragi had slain Iðunn's brother.
In the God of War Series
God of War (2018)
Though Bragi does not appear but he is mentioned by Mimir in the The Lost Pages of Norse Myth. Bragi along with several gods including Iðunn, Höðr and Heimdallr witness The First Great War. When Freyr was on fire he saw Bragi, Sif and Hœnir drunk.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: as a Norse God, Bragi is immortal. Only a sufficiently powerful weapon or an extremely powerful being can kill him.