Bragi is the Norse god of skaldic art. He is the keeper of the knowledge of the Aesir's history and their best narrator. He welcomes the dead to Valhalla on behalf of his father, Odin. He is long-bearded like him, and according to his wife Idunn, fond of beer.
Like her, he is an obscure figure in recorded mythology. Several, including Folke Ström, have suggested that he may not have been conceived as an actual deity, but instead was merely a literary construct.
In Icelandic sources he is associated with poetry and described as the supreme of all bards. But apart from Lokasenna, where he is subjected to the worst mockery by being accused of cowardice, he does not appear in any known myth.
According to Snorri Sturluson, Bragi is famous for his wisdom, and especially for eloquence. Curiously, he is rarely mentioned by the bards themselves; he is even more unknown than Hermod, although - according to Eyvind Skaldaspillir - it was Hermod and Bragi who together received King Haakon the Good in Valhalla when he died of his wound after the battle of Fitjar outside Stord in 961.
The name Bragi is associated with "bragd" ("great work", "achievement") and with bragr, the Norse word for poem and poetry. In addition, Bragi is named after a famous real-life skald, Bragi Boddason, who lived in 9th-century Iceland.
This is the only known example from the Nordic countries of a god's name being used as a personal name without a second part (see Thorólf, Ásgeir and Odinkar, among others).
Based on this, it has been suggested that he is a deified version of the real skald. Anne Holtsmark believes that Bragi represents a late development, since in mythology he has the same function as a skald and herald of a Viking king. She also points out that he is nowhere portrayed as an actual god.