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Music / Wardruna

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Wardruna (meaning "The Guardian of Secrets" or "She Who Whispers" in Old Norse) is a Norwegian Ambient / Dark Folk / Neo-Pagan folk music group formed in 2003 by Einar Selvik, Gaahl (of Gorgoroth fame) and Lindy Fay Hella.

They create musical renditions of Norse cultural and esoteric pre-Christian traditions with lyrics in the Old Norse language, making significant use of Nordic historical and traditional instruments including deer-hide frame drums, flutes, kraviklyra, tagelharpe, mouth harp, goat horn, and lur. They're essentially modern-day skalds.


  • Runaljod – Gap Var Ginnunga (2009)
  • Runaljod – Yggdrasil (2013)
  • Runaljod – Ragnarok (2016)
  • Skald (2018)
  • Kvitravn (2021)

They haven't gone unnoticed among creators of modern fiction set in The Viking Age, as they participated to the soundtracks of the likes of Vikings and Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.

Tropes in Wardruna songs:

  • Divine Birds: "Kvitravn" (from the eponymous album) is a call to invoke a white raven spirit (ravens are associated with Odin in Norse myths). It's also the Stage Name Einar Selvik uses, and the motif is reprised in his songs for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Runaljod – Ragnarok means to convey the atmosphere following the Ragnarök, the end of the Norse gods and the world in an epic battle from which everything will be reborn. That latter "rebirth" aspect is given way more focus in it than the epic battles or destructions.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: They frequently make use of non-traditional instruments and other sources of sound like trees, rocks, water, torches and even ice (in the song "Isa" from Runaljod – Ragnarok for the latter, if you ask).
  • Gold Fever: "Fehu" (which was used in the first season of Vikings during a raiding scene) tells of the dangers of gold and wealth and how greed takes over the hearts of men.
  • Healing Spring: The song "Lyfjaberg" ("Healing Mountain") is about a mountain where the injured (be it physically or in the mind) are healed (by the goddess Eir in Norse myths, though the song doesn't mention her). It doesn't necessarily involve water, but the music video features a lake and a man immersing himself in it.
  • Prefers Going Barefoot: Einar Selvik often walks barefoot in their music videos filmed in Norway's nature.
  • Thematic Series: Their first three albums form a thematic series around runes called Runaljod.
  • Uncommon Time: "Fehu" (from Runaljod - Yggdrasil) utilizes 5/4 meter throughout.
  • The Weird Sisters: "Andvevarljod" (from Kvitravn) is about the Norns, female deities responsible for shaping human destinies.
  • World Tree: The album Runaljod - Yggdrasil is themed after the Trope Codifier, Yggdrasil.