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Norse Mythology: Rán

Rán is the Goddess of storms and the drowned dead. She is wife to Ægir, god of the ocean and king of the sea creatures. Her willingness to capture sailing men is referred to in the Eddic poem Helgakviða Hundingsbana I where escaping the perils of the sea is referred to as escaping Rán. Whether men drowned by her doing or not, she appears to have received those drowned at sea. Furthermore, her close association with the sea permitted the kenning for gold “brightness of the sea” to be rendered as “brightness of Rán”. Rán was a dangerous goddess and Snorri adds a stanza of poetry by the skald Refr where the voracious sea is called "Ægir’s wide mouth” and “Rán’s mouth”.

      Gymir’s wet-cold Spae-Wife
      Wiles the Bear of Twisted Cables
      Oft into Ægir’s wide jaws,
      Where the angry billow breaketh.
      And the Sea-Peak’s Sleipnir slitteth
      The stormy breast rain-driven,
      The wave, with red stain running
      Out of white Rán’s mouth

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