Like all classically written giant sagas, the poem's first stanza introduces the main character, provides a genealogy, and summarizes the entire tale to follow.
Amongst other feats, the story tells how Hjurnur snapped a dragon's backbone over his knee, ended up allowing the Queen of Dragons to eat his child after losing a riddle contest, and killed a dragon king. At the end of the tale, Hjurnur ends up drowning in the dragon king's blood.[note 1]
- I pour mead to the All-Father for
- Hjurnur, son of Hjurgen,
- leveler of Ranauroch,
- son of Ottar,
- Jarl of the northern wind-teeth,
- son of grand Annam,
- All Seeing, All Knowing, All Quelling,
- All Father —
- Mighty reaver of the wyrm's core,
- He who howled at the sun,
- He of the quenched heart,
- He who drowned in the river of swords,…
- ↑ There is an obvious error in the text of Giantcraft where this poem is described. After directly explaining that the poem is about Hjurnur and written by Hrotun, in some places, the author accidentally substitutes Hrotun for Hjurnur in the description of the lines. The poem itself is clear that it is Hjurnur, and not Hrotun, who performs the feats described. Moreover, Hrotun could not have written the poem if he is said to have died at the end of the story.