The rnir or rns were a group of female supernatural beings closely related to ideas about fate in Old Norse tradition. Karen Bek-Pedersen provides a thorough understanding of the role played by rns and other beings like them in the relevant sources. Although they are well kwn, even to people who have only a superficial kwledge of Old Norse mythology, this is the first detailed discussion of the rns to be published amongst the literature dealing with Old Norse beliefs. Surprisingly little has been written specifically about the rns. Although often mentioned in scholarship treating Old Norse culture, the rns are all too often dealt with in overly superficial ways. The research presented in this book goes much deeper in order to properly understand the nature and role of the rns in the Old Norse world view. The conclusions reached by the author overturn a number of stereotypical conceptions that have long dominated our understanding of these beings. The book has a natural focus on Old Norse culture and is especially relevant to those interested in or studying Old Norse culture and tradition. However, comparative material from Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Classical traditions is also employed and the book is therefore of interest also to those with a broader interest in European mythologies.
Karen Bek-Pedersen is lecturer in Early Scandinavian Studies and currently works at the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, the University of Aberdeen.