Angrboda ("she who brings sorrow") is an ice giant from Norse mythology. She is described as having hair that is the color of dried blood.

According to the Völuspá hin skamma, it was with Angrboda that Loki fathered the wolf Fenrir. Snorri Sturluson's Edda adds that she is a giantess of Jötunheim and that she is also the mother of Jörmungandr, the snake of Midgard, and of Hel, who rules the world of the dead. Her name appears only in these two sources, and it is probably an invention of the twelfth century.

Angrboda may be identical to "the old woman" ("in aldna") living in Járnviðr who raises Fenrir's offspring: Hati who pursues the Moon chariot led by the god Máni and Sköll who pursues the Sun chariot led by the goddess Sόl.


The Old Norse etymology of the name is as follows: angr (from Proto-Indo-European *anghu, constriction; related to Latin "angosto", narrow; to English "anger", anger, wrath; to Swedish "ånger", regret) means a feeling of "tightness" or "constriction" of the body and by extension "pain, sorrow, grief, anguish, anxiety".

In modern Icelandic "angr" is "sorrow", in Norwegian "angr" is a strait/throat. boda (related to English "to bid", to ask, beg, to Swedish "bud", request) means messenger or herald or a message (cf. in modern Icelandic, "boði", a messenger). The meaning of Angrboda is therefore "Messenger of sorrow" or "herald of sorrows".


In modern culture

This mythological giantess is mentioned in episode 10 (Our Father) of season 2 of the series Vikings. Her name is given to a newborn girl, the daughter of Floki and Helga.

She is also featured in the game Assassin's Creed Valhalla, where she delivers a quest sending the hero Eivor in search of the roots of Yggdrasil.

She is officially announced in the list of secondary characters of the next part of the God Of War series.