Made of the noise made by the footfall of a cat, the beards of women, the roots of stones, the breath of fish, the sensibilities of bears and the spittle of birds, it was used to strap down Loki's child, Fenris, but doing so cost Tyr his hand.

Gleipnir was the third of three magical chains forged by Brock the dwarf and his brother Sindri. The first was Laeding; the gods got Fenris to try it on and he broke through it right away. The second chain was Droma; Fenris also broke it with little effort.

The third chain, Gleipnir, was forged from six impossible and poetic sounding ingredients, which vary slightly from story to story:

  • the footfall of a cat
  • the roots of a stone (or a mountain)
  • the beard of a woman
  • the sinews of a bear (I don't get this one. Don't bears have sinews?)
  • the spittle of a bird
  • the breath of fish

Gleipnir was thin and soft as a silk cord. When the gods bet Fenrir he couldn't break it, he was (rightly) suspicious, and would not allow himself to be bound unless a god would put their right hand in his mouth. Tyr the swordsman let his hand be the sacrifice, and the terrible wolf Fenris was bound until Ragnarok.

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