[[quoteright:300:[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Edda.jpg http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SnorraEdda_w300_8291.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Front page of a 17th century manuscipt. [[labelnote:Images]]Clockwise from top left: Odin and his two ravens (top three), Odin's drill Rati, the cow Auðumbla, the boar Sæhrímnir, Valhall, Odin's horse Sleipnir, Heimdall with Gjallarhorn, Thor's hammer Mjolnir.[[/labelnote]]]]

One of the two books referred to as ''Literature/{{Edda}}s'', the ''Prose Edda'' is a poetic manual composed by Creator/SnorriSturluson in c. 1220 CE in UsefulNotes/{{Iceland}}. The book was first known as ''Edda'', then as ''Snorra Edda'' ([[InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt Snorri's Edda]]), and finally as ''Prose Edda'' to distinguish it from the ''Literature/PoeticEdda''. The name ''Edda'' has often been taken to mean "great-grandmother", but this interpretation is considered outdated; state of the art is that it derives from the Latin "edo", "I compose poetry".

The book has also been referred to as ''Younger Edda'', though this name is considered outdated, as it is not categorically younger than the ''Poetic Edda''.

As mentioned, the book is primarily a textbook for aspiring poets. It consists of four parts:
* ''Prologue'': A pseudohistorical treatise that offers a (somewhat strained) attempt to [[CanonWelding synthesize]] {{Norse myth|ology}} with Classical learning, claiming that the Aesir (the Norse Gods) were survivors of the [[TheTrojanWar Fall of Troy]] who sought refuge in the North, where, thanks to [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien their superior civilization]], they came to be regarded as gods by the primitive inhabitants.
* ''Gylfaginning'' ("The Fooling of Gylfi"): After the Aesir have pilfered a whole province of his domain (thus creating the island of Zealand), mythical King Gylfi of Sweden travels to Asgard (the city of the gods) to learn everything about the newcomers. He gets his questions answered by three mysterious strangers. The resulting dialogue is actually a treatise on NorseMythology.
* ''Skaldskaparmal'' ("Poetic Diction") has a new framing device: Aegir (the god of the sea, but who here is [[{{Demythtification}} a mortal man]]) wants to learn from Bragi (the god of poetry) everything about poetry. So Bragi goes in a long lecture about the styles and devices of poetry, with special emphasis on ''kenningar'' (poetic circumlocutions), and ''heiti'', (poetic synonyms), Old Norse poetry having a roughly infinite number of both. As knowledge of myths and legends is essential for the understanding of many ''kenningar'', Bragi also recounts many of these. The latter part consists only of synopses of myths and legends. ''Skaldskaparmal'' is the longest part, making up about half of the whole book.
* ''Hattatal'' ("Catalogue of Verse Meters"): An anthology of Snorri’s own praise poetry (or, depending on your interpretation, a single poem) on his patrons King Hakon and Jarl Skule of UsefulNotes/{{Norway}}, together with the author’s commentary on forms and meters. As ''Hattatal'' is not concerned with mythology, it is almost universally omitted from editions (also, it’s considered essentially untranslatable).

An online translation can be found on [[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Prose_Edda Wikisource]] (minus the ''Prologue'').
!! ''Prose Edda'' contains example of the following tropes:

!!! Prologue

* CanonWelding: The Prologue tries to connect NorseMythology to [[ClassicalMythology Classical legend]] (which was at the time accepted as history).
* {{Demythtification}}
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien: The Trojan refugees are so culturally advanced that the primitive Northmen think they are gods.
* TheTrojanWar: The Aesir are refugees from Troy.

!!! "Gylfaginning"

* AdamAndEvePlot: No less than three instances:
** When the Aesir kill Ymir, all the giants drown in his blood except one couple, Begelmir and his wife, from whom all later giants are descended.
** The first humans are created by Odin and his two brothers as a couple, Ask and Embla. Suspiciously, their names begin with the same letters as Adam and Eve, which could be an allusion to the Literature/BookOfGenesis.
** In Ragnarok, all humanity is destined to perish except a single couple, Lif and Lifthrasir, who will repopulate Earth.
* ArrowCatch: After Frigg has made all things swear they would not harm Baldur, the gods make a game of shooting arrows at Baldur, with Baldur catching them from the air for fun. He does not catch the mistletoe, the one thing that Frigg had forgotten.
* DeathByDespair: When Baldur is laid on the pyre, his wife Nanna dies from a broken heart.
* FairyGodmother: After naming the norns Urd, Skuld and Verdandi, the guardians of the Well of Urd, "Gylfaginning" continues (ch. 15):
-->''There are yet more norns, namely those who come to every man when he is born, to shape his life, and these are known to be of the race of gods; others, on the other hand, are of the race of elves, and yet others are of the race of dwarfs.''
::These norns who visit newborn children to "shape their lives" are functionally the same beings as the "fairies" making wishes (or curses) at Literature/SleepingBeauty's baptismal feast.
* {{Glamour}}: King Gylfi's mysterious dialogue partners and the entire city of Asgard [[spoiler:disappear before his eyes]], revealing that everything was only a magical illusion.
* KingIncognito: King Gylfi goes searching for Asgard disguised as an old man and calling himself Gangleri.
* NuttySquirrel: The squirrel Ratatösk ("Drill-Tooth") is constantly running up and down the tree Yggdrasil, transmitting insults between the eagle at the top and the dragon Nidhoggr at its root.
* ToHellAndBack: When Baldur has died, his brother Hermod rides to the Underworld to ask Hel to release Baldur.
* VikingFuneral: Baldur's pyre is built on a ship which is pushed out to sea as the pyre is kindled. TropeCodifier.

!!! "Skaldskaparmal"

* ArtifactOfDoom: When Loki strips him of his wealth, the dwarf Andvari curses his most precious possession, the magic gold ring Andvaranaut, to bring about the death of every future owner. Creator/RichardWagner made Andvaranaut the central motif in the ''Theatre/RingOfTheNibelung'' operas.
* BringMyBrownPants: The clay giant Mökkurkalfi who is supposed to aid Hrungnir in his single combat with Thor wets himself when he sees Thor approaching.
* DragonHoard: After Fafnir killed his father for a pile of gold, he transformed into a dragon to guard the treasure. Snorri explicitly traces the ''kenning'' "dragon's bed" (''dreka beðr'') for "gold" to Fafnir's treasure.
* DuelToTheDeath: After Hrungnir, the strongest of the giants, has insulted and threatened the Aesir, Thor and Hrungnir agree to settle the score by fighting each other in single combat.
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller: Hrolf Kraki of UsefulNotes/{{Denmark}} supposedly received his epithet when a [[UsefulNotes/{{Sweden}} Swede]], Vogg, saw the king for the first time and exclaimed:
-->''"I heard say that King Hrolf was the greatest man in the Northlands, but now here sits on the throne a little ''kraki'' [a pole ladder], and they call it their king!"''
* FramingDevice: Aegir is invited to feast with the Aesir and gets to sit besides Bragi, the god of poetry. Aegir questions Bragi about poetry, giving him opportunity to talk at length about poetical language.
* {{Golem}}: To assist their champion Hrungnir in his appointed duel with Thor, the giants of Jotunheim form an artificial giant from clay and bring him to life by putting a mare's heart into his breast (as this is the largest heart they can find). Unfortunately, the titanic creature, which is called Mökkurkalfi, is also a coward, and is dispatched by Thor's servant Thjalfi with relative ease.
* GroundhogDayLoop: The armies of the kings Hedin and Hogni are caught forever fighting each other on the island of Hoy.
* HandyFeet: Gunnar is thrown into the snake pit with his hands bound, but Gudrun gives him a harp which he plays with his toes and thus puts the snakes to sleep except for one.
* JustSoStory: The story of the magical mill Grotti explains why the sea is salt.
* MegaMaelstrom: Having robbed King Frodi's magical mill Grotti, the viking Mysingr loads it on his ship and orders the giantesses who turn the mill to make the mill create salt. When the ship is full, the giantesses ask him if they should continue. Mysingr tells them to make still more salt. The ship sinks, but Grotti is still turning on the sea-bottom, making a maelstrom where the sea falls into the mill-eye.
* MusicSoothesTheSavageBeast: On the orders of Atli, Gunnar is tied up and thrown into a snake pit, but his sister Gudrun gives him a harp which he plays with his toes. His music puts all the snakes to sleep except one which kills him.
* PeopleOfHairColor: All the Niflungs have "hair as black as ravens".
* RingOfPower: According to Andvari, the ring Andvaranaut has the magical property to make his owner rich.
* SnakePit: When Gunnar refuses to tell Atli the location of Andvari's gold, Atli has him thrown into a snake pit to die.

!!! {{Paratext}}

* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: The book was first only called ''Edda'', but it has been so often referred to as ''Snorri's Edda'' that it became a part of the title.