Fate and weaving: justification of a metaphor

Karen Bek-Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The essay explores the well-known metaphor of referring to fate as something that is woven or spun and it attempts to explain why this metaphor works so well. Initially, a definition of what fate is is produced and the ways in which it operated in Old Norse tradition are discussed. Following this, an explanation of the technicalities of weaving is given. Finally, it is suggested that the interaction between the warp and weft on the loom is akin to the relationship between the given fate and the free choice of the individual, with the warp representing necessity and the weft possibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalViking and Medieval Scandinavia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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