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Viking Lexicon

Lexique Viking toutes les définitions

This Viking glossary offers an overview of key terms and significant names in Viking mythology and culture. Organized alphabetically, each term is accompanied by a dedicated space for its definition with links to articles on our site. It's a starting resource for anyone interested in Viking history and legends.




Aegir is a complex and powerful figure in Norse mythology, often depicted as a giant and the god of the sea. He is known for his legendary hospitality, particularly in organizing banquets for the gods and giants in his underwater palace, a place of splendor and wonders. Aegir is also associated with storms and raging seas, embodying both nurturing and destructive aspects of the sea. He is often accompanied by his wife, Ran, and their nine daughters, who personify the ocean's waves.


Angrboda is a central figure in several Norse myths, known for her strength and mystery. As the mother of three of Loki's most formidable children, she plays an indirect but crucial role in the events leading to Ragnar√∂k, the end of the world in Norse mythology. Each of her children ‚Äď Fenrir, Jormungand, and Hel ‚Äď represents powerful and often destructive forces. Angrboda herself is often associated with magic and the darker aspects of nature.


Animals in Norse mythology are not just creatures, but powerful symbols with deep meanings. Fenrir, the gigantic wolf, symbolizes brute force and uncontrollable chaos. Jormungand, the serpent of Midgard, represents the ever-present threat and the cycle of life and death. Odin's ravens, Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory), symbolize the quest for knowledge and wisdom. These animals are not just characters in stories, but incarnations of fundamental concepts and forces in the Norse universe.


The Aesir, or Æsir, are at the heart of Norse mythology. They represent a pantheon of gods associated with various aspects of life and the universe, ranging from war and wisdom (Odin) to thunder and protection (Thor), and including love, beauty, and fertility (Freyja). Their stories are filled with bravery, wisdom, but also human flaws, making their myths both inspiring and accessible.

To learn more, discover our article "VIKING GODS | THE AESIR DIVINITIES"


Asgard, the realm of the Aesir gods, is a place of grandeur and mystery. It is a fortified realm, often described as being located above the human world, symbolizing divine transcendence and power. Asgard is the scene of many important events in Norse mythology, including the council of the gods and the preparation for Ragnarök. The Bifröst, the rainbow bridge guarded by Heimdall, serves as a link between Asgard and Midgard, the world of humans.

To learn more, discover our article  "ALL ABOUT ASGARD"


Asgard, the realm of the Aesir gods, is a place of grandeur and mystery. It is a fortified realm, often described as being located above the human world, symbolizing divine transcendence and power. Asgard is the scene of many important events in Norse mythology, including the council of the gods and the preparation for Ragnarök. The Bifröst, the rainbow bridge guarded by Heimdall, serves as a link between Asgard and Midgard, the world of humans.


Atli, inspired by the historical figure of Attila the Hun, is a central character in the Völsunga Saga, a Norse epic. His marriage to Gudrun and his role in the saga illustrate themes of passion, betrayal, and revenge, recurring elements in Norse literature. The figure of Atli is complex, blending bravery and cruelty, and his story exemplifies how Norse myths reflect and interpret the history and values of the time.


Audhumla, the primordial cow, is a symbol of fertility and creation. Her licking of salt stones, which led to the birth of Buri, the ancestor of the Aesir gods, is a creation myth that underscores the importance of natural forces and nourishment in the birth of the world. Audhumla represents not only the source of life but also the interconnection of different elements and beings in Norse cosmology.



Balder, often called Baldur or Baldr, is a central god in Norse mythology, representing light, beauty, joy, and purity. He is often described as the most beloved of the gods, with his tragic death being one of the most poignant and significant events in Norse myths. Balder's death, caused by Loki's trickery and the innocence of his blind brother, Hodr, is seen as an omen of Ragnarök, the end of the world. His story is a tale of betrayal, loss, and the fragility of beauty and goodness in a world often cruel and violent.

To learn more, check out our article "WHO IS BALDER IN NORSE MYTHOLOGY?"


Beowulf is the eponymous hero of an Anglo-Saxon epic poem, an emblematic figure of ancient literature. He is famous for his heroic feats, notably defeating the monster Grendel and its mother, as well as a terrifying dragon in his old age. The poem of Beowulf is a narrative of bravery, strength, and morality, exploring themes such as glory, loyalty, and the fight against evil.


Berserkers are legendary warriors in Norse culture, known for their intense and almost supernatural battle rage. They are often associated with the cult of Odin, the god of war, and are renowned for their strength and fury in battle. Berserkers embodied the ideal of the Viking warrior, capable of extraordinary feats on the battlefield, often entering a state of furious trance.

To learn more, check out our article "ALL ABOUT VIKING BERSERKERS!"

Bor and Bestla

Bor is a key character in Norse mythology, being the father of Odin, Vili, and Ve. His wife, Bestla, a giantess, is the mother of these gods. The couple symbolizes the union of divine and giant forces, a recurring theme in Norse myths that highlights the interconnectedness and complexity of relationships among the various beings in the Norse universe.


Bragi is the god of poetry and eloquence in Norse mythology. Known for his wisdom and bardic talent, he is often depicted as a storyteller and musician in Odin's court. Bragi embodies the importance of speech, poetry, and art in Norse culture, where bards were highly respected and considered guardians of knowledge and history.


Buri is the first god in Norse mythology, born from the ice licked by the primordial cow Audhumla. He is Odin's grandfather and represents the beginning of the divine lineage in Norse cosmology. His emergence from the ice symbolizes the birth of life and order from primordial chaos.



Cosmogony in Norse mythology refers to the creation of the universe and the world. This narrative involves Ymir, the primordial giant, whose body was used to create the various worlds. This creation story is fundamental to understanding the complex, multi-layered structure of the Norse universe, with its nine interconnected worlds.


In the Norse context, creation generally refers to the emergence of the nine worlds and the first beings from the body of Ymir, the primordial giant. This process of creation is a mix of violence and transformation, symbolizing themes of death and rebirth that are pervasive in Norse mythology.



Dag is the god embodying the day in Norse mythology. The son of Delling, the god of dawn, and Nott, the goddess of night, he symbolizes the daily cycle of light and darkness. The figure of Dag represents the natural order and rhythm of life, emphasizing the importance of natural cycles in Norse cosmology.


Delling is the god of dawn in Norse mythology. As the father of Dag (the day) and Nott (the night), he embodies the transition moment between night and day. Delling symbolizes hope, renewal, and the beginning of new possibilities, representing dawn as a time of rebirth and renewal.


Dwarfs are mythological beings known for their skill in craftsmanship and metallurgy. Living underground, they are responsible for the creation of many powerful artifacts in Norse mythology, symbolizing skill and ingenuity.



The term "Edda" encompasses two essential collections of medieval Norse literature. The first, known as the "Prose Edda," was written by Snorri Sturluson and serves as both a manual on poetic techniques and a rich source of Norse mythology. The second, the "Poetic Edda," comprises a collection of ancient Norse poems that delve into themes of mythology, heroic tales, and ancient legends. Together, these texts provide invaluable insights into the rich cultural heritage of the Norse people, offering a comprehensive view of their myths, legends, and poetic traditions that continue to captivate scholars and enthusiasts alike.


Embla is the first woman in Norse mythology, created by the gods Odin, Vili, and Ve from an elm tree. Along with Ask, the first man, created from an ash tree, they are the ancestors of all humanity. Embla symbolizes life, fertility, and perhaps resilience, much like the elm endures and persists in the Nordic environment.



Fafnir, originally a dwarf, is transformed into a formidable dragon by his greed and desire to protect a treasure. His story is a classic tale of corruption by wealth and power. Fafnir is ultimately slain by the hero Sigurd, an act symbolizing the triumph of bravery and virtue over greed and evil.



Fenrir is a gigantic wolf in Norse mythology, the son of Loki and Angrboda. He is destined to play a major role during Ragnarök, where it is prophesied that he will devour Odin. The figure of Fenrir symbolizes the forces of chaos and destruction, inevitable and powerful.

To learn more, check out our article "THE WOLF FENRIR | THE GIANT WOLF OF DESOLATION AND THE END TIMES!"


Forseti is the god of justice, reconciliation, and truth in Norse mythology. The son of Balder, he is renowned for his ability to resolve conflicts and bring peace. Forseti symbolizes the importance of law and order in Norse society.


Freyja is a major goddess in Norse mythology, associated with love, fertility, war, and magic. She is a complex and powerful figure, a member of the Vanir, and often invoked in matters of the heart, fertility, and divination.

To learn more, check out our article "GODDESS FREYA | THE HIDDEN STORY OF THE VALKYRIE GODDESS"


Freyr, the brother of Freyja, is a god associated with royalty, virility, peace, and prosperity. Like Freyja, he is an important member of the Vanir and is often linked to fertility and abundance, as well as sovereignty and prosperity.


Frigg is the chief goddess, wife of Odin and mother of Balder. She is associated with wisdom, foresight, and motherhood. Frigg is often seen as a maternal and protective figure, endowed with the ability to see the future, though she cannot change it.


Frodi is a mythical king often associated with a golden age of peace and prosperity in ancient Scandinavia. His reign is idealized as a period of great harmony and abundance, often used as an ideal to aspire to in Norse narratives.


Fulla is a goddess in Norse mythology, often described as the handmaiden or faithful advisor to Frigg. She is associated with wealth and abundance, and her role alongside Frigg emphasizes the importance of trust and support among the deities.



Giants, or Jotnar, are central figures in Norse mythology, often in opposition or interaction with the Aesir and Vanir gods. They represent the forces of nature, often chaotic and untamable, and play various roles in the myths, ranging from enemies to ancestors or spouses of the gods.


Gefjon is a goddess associated with virginity and agriculture. She is known for her role in the creation of the island of Seeland, which she is said to have formed by tearing out a part of Sweden with her giant oxen. Her myth emphasizes the importance of land and agriculture in Norse society.


Geirroed is a legendary king mentioned in Norse mythology, known for his conflict with the god Thor. His story is often interpreted as a tale of caution, cunning, and the confrontation between divine power and mortal might.


Gerd, a giantess of exceptional beauty in Norse mythology, becomes the wife of Freyr, a god associated with fertility and prosperity. Their story is an example of love transcending the boundaries between different beings of the Norse universe, with Freyr renouncing a part of his power to win her love.


Gilling is a giant whose death at the hands of the dwarves Fjalar and Galar leads to the creation of the precious mead of poetry, a substance that bestows the gift of poetry to those who drink it. This myth illustrates the importance of poetry and knowledge in Norse culture and how they are often obtained or transmitted through extraordinary means.


Gjalp, a giantess and daughter of Geirroed, is known for her interactions with Thor. These stories often highlight Thor's strength and cunning, as well as the complex and sometimes hostile relationships between the gods and the giants.


Gna is the messenger of Frigg in Norse mythology. She travels through the different worlds on her horse Hófvarpnir. Gna represents communication and connection between the different realms, playing a key role in maintaining order and harmony among the deities.


Grendel is a terrifying monster in the epic poem "Beowulf". He attacks Heorot hall, representing the forces of chaos and destruction that threaten social order and civilization. His defeat by Beowulf symbolizes the victory of human bravery over dark and evil forces.


Gullveig is a mysterious figure in Norse mythology, often associated with magic and greed. She is sometimes considered a cause of the war between the Aesir and Vanir, symbolizing the tensions and conflicts inherent in human and divine nature.


Gunnlod is the guardian of the mead of poetry. She is seduced by Odin, who uses this opportunity to seize the mead. This myth illustrates Odin's cunning and the importance of poetry and knowledge in Norse mythology.



Heimdall is a god in Norse mythology, known for his exceptional sight and hearing. He is the guardian of the Bifröst bridge, connecting the realm of the gods and the human world. Heimdall symbolizes vigilance and protection against external forces that threaten the cosmic order. He will use the Gjallarhorn to signal the onset of Ragnarök.
To learn more, check out our article "THE STORY OF GOD HEIMDALL | FATHER AND PROTECTOR OF HUMANITY!"


Hel is the goddess of the dead and the ruler of the world of the dead, also called Hel. Daughter of Loki and Angrboda, she reigns over a realm where reside those who have not died in battle. Her kingdom is often described as a dark and gloomy place, reflecting Nordic attitudes towards death and the afterlife.

 To learn more, discover our article  "HEL, GODDESS OF DEATH | THE DARK VIKING LEGEND"


Hermod is a god, often considered a son of Odin, known for his journey to Hel to attempt to bring Balder back from the world of the dead. His journey highlights themes of loyalty, courage, and futility in the face of death and fate.


Hlin is a Norse goddess associated with protection and comfort. She is often seen as one of Frigg's handmaidens and symbolizes care and protection, particularly in times of distress and sorrow.


Hod is a blind god who, manipulated by Loki, kills his brother Balder with a mistletoe branch. This tragic incident is a key element in the events leading to Ragnarök. It highlights themes of fate, exploited innocence, and inevitable tragedy.


Hoenir is an ambiguous divine figure in Norse mythology, playing a role in the creation of humanity. He is often depicted as a companion of Odin and Loki, and his character is sometimes enigmatic, reflecting the complexity of Norse deities.


Hraesvelg is a giant in the form of an eagle. His wing flapping is said to cause the wind. This myth illustrates how natural phenomena were often explained in Norse mythology through the actions of supernatural creatures.


Hrungnir is a giant renowned for his strength, killed by Thor in a duel. This story is an example of Thor's strength and bravery, as well as the constant rivalry between the Aesir gods and giants.


Humans in Norse mythology are often depicted interacting with the gods, benefiting from their favors or suffering from their conflicts. These interactions underscore the importance of the relationship between the divine and mortal, as well as the influence of the gods on human fate.


Hymir is a giant known for his immense cauldron and his fishing adventure with Thor. During this adventure, they confront the Midgard Serpent, Jormungand. This myth illustrates Thor's bravery and strength, as well as the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the world.



Idunn is the goddess of eternal youth in Norse mythology. She is the guardian of magical apples that allow the gods to maintain their youth. Wife of Bragi, the god of poetry, Idunn symbolizes regeneration and renewal, essential to the survival and vitality of the gods.



In ancient Scandinavia, a "Jarl" was a title denoting a noble or war chief. In Norse mythology, this term is sometimes used to refer to high-ranking characters, highlighting their importance and power in Norse society.


Jord is the goddess of the earth and the mother of Thor by Odin. She symbolizes fertile earth, nature, and the nurturing strength of the Earth Mother in Norse mythology.


Jormungand, also known as the Midgard Serpent, is a giant serpent that encircles the world. Arch-enemy of Thor, he is destined to fight him during Ragnarök. Jormungand symbolizes destructive and chaotic forces that threaten the world's order.

 To learn more, discover our article  "JORMUNGANDR: ALL ABOUT THE MIDGARD SERPENT"



Kvasir is a being created from the saliva of all gods, making him the wisest of all. He was killed by dwarves who used his blood to create the mead of poetry, a tale that highlights the importance of wisdom and knowledge in Norse culture.



Lofn is a goddess associated with love and perhaps arranged marriages. She is described as gentle and kind, and she has the permission to arrange unions even against the will of parents or other obstacles, symbolizing the importance of love and union in Norse mythology.


Loki is a complex and ambiguous god, often considered the god of mischief, deceit, and change. He plays many roles in Norse mythology, ranging from the trickster to the provocateur of disasters, and is a central figure in many myths, especially those leading to Ragnarök.

¬†To learn more, discover our article¬† "GOD LOKI | THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF THE GOD OF CHAOS‚ÄČ!"



Menglod is a figure sometimes associated with the legends of Svipdag in Norse mythology. She is a woman guarded by giants and eventually freed by Svipdag, a story that may symbolize the quest for love and liberation.


Mimir is a wise giant known for his knowledge and wisdom. After his beheading during the war between the Aesir and Vanir, his head is preserved by Odin for consultation, symbolizing the invaluable value of wisdom and knowledge.


Mjöllnir is the legendary hammer of Thor, the god of thunder. Known for its ability to return to Thor's hand after being thrown and for its destructive power against the gods' enemies, Mjöllnir is a symbol of divine strength and protection.

To learn more, discover our article  "THE MJOLNIR HAMMER - THE STORY OF THOR'S ASTONISHING HAMMER!"



Nanna is a goddess and the loving wife of Balder. She dies of grief after Balder's death and is burned on the funeral pyre with him, illustrating the depth of love and sorrow.


Nerthus is a goddess venerated by several ancient Germanic peoples, often associated with fertility and the earth. She symbolizes the deep connection between the ancient people and the nurturing earth.


The term "Nibelungen" is often associated with the legend of the Nibelungs, an epic saga centered around the treasure of the Nibelungs and figures such as Siegfried and Brunhilde, reflecting themes of honor, betrayal, and heroic quest.


Njörd is the god of the sea, winds, fishing, and wealth. A member of the Vanir and father of Freyr and Freyja, he symbolizes maritime prosperity and abundance.


The Norns are female deities who determine the fate of gods and men. The three main Norns are Urd (the past), Verdandi (the present), and Skuld (the future), representing the inescapable concept of fate in Norse mythology.


Nott is the goddess personifying night. Mother of Dag (the day), she travels across the sky in her chariot, bringing the night. She symbolizes the eternal cycle of day and night and the natural order of the world.



Norse mythology is full of magical and powerful objects, each with unique characteristics and stories. Among the most famous are Mjöllnir, Thor's hammer, renowned for its ability to return to Thor's hand after being thrown and its destructive power. Gungnir, Odin's spear, is another famous artifact, as well as Skidbladnir, a magical ship that can be folded like cloth when not in use. Naglfar is a ship made from the nails of the dead, playing a crucial role during Ragnarök.


Odin is the chief god of the Aesir in Norse mythology. He is associated with many aspects, including wisdom, war, death, magic, poetry, and prophecies. Odin is known for his thirst for knowledge, even sacrificing his eye to drink from the well of universal wisdom. He is the father of several gods, including Thor, and rules over Asgard. Odin is also linked to Valhalla, where he welcomes warriors fallen in battle.

 To learn more, discover our article  "THE GOD ODIN 'WOTAN' THE STORY OF THE VIKING GOD"



The Norse pantheon includes a wide range of gods and goddesses, divided mainly into two groups: the Aesir and the Vanir. The Aesir, including Odin, Thor, and Frigg, are generally associated with war and governance, while the Vanir, like Freyr and Freyja, are related to fertility, wisdom, and the ability to see the future. The two groups were involved in a war before concluding peace and coexisting.


In Norse mythology, many mythical places such as Asgard (the world of the gods), Midgard (the world of humans), Jotunheim (the world of giants), and Niflheim (a world of ice and fog) are mentioned, each housing different species or deities and playing a crucial role in Norse cosmology.



Ragnarök is the apocalypse in Norse mythology, a series of cataclysmic events including a great battle, the death of many major gods like Odin, Thor, Freyr, and Loki, and the submersion of the world in water. After these destructions, the world is said to be reborn, purified and fertile, and the survivors, both gods and mortals, will build a new world.

¬†To learn more, discover our article¬† "RAGNAR√ĖK IN NORSE MYTHOLOGY: THE VIKINGS' APOCALYPSE"


Ran is a sea goddess in Norse mythology, wife of the giant Aegir. She is known for using a net to capture sailors and take them to her underwater kingdom. Ran and Aegir together have many daughters, who are personifications of the waves.


Rig is another name for Heimdall, a god who, according to the poem "R√≠gs√ĺula" from the Poetic Edda, created the three classes of human society: slaves (thralls), free peasants (karls), and the nobility (jarls). Heimdall is also known as the guardian of the gods, watching over the rainbow bridge Bifr√∂st.


Runes are an ancient writing system used by Nordic and Germanic peoples. They were not only used for writing but were also considered to have magical powers, used for divination, incantations, and rituals. Each rune had a symbolic meaning and was believed to carry specific powers.

To learn more, discover our article  "VIKING RUNES: ORIGINS AND MEANINGS"



Thialfi is the servant of Thor, known for his exceptional speed. He accompanies Thor in many of his adventures and challenges, often playing a role in solving problems or providing quick and agile assistance. Thialfi represents loyalty and cleverness in Norse mythology.


Thiazi is a powerful giant, known for abducting Idunn, the keeper of the youth apples, and her precious apples. This act leads to the weakening of the gods and ultimately to the death of Thiazi at the hands of the gods, especially Thor. Thiazi's story highlights the gods' dependence on Idunn's apples for their youth and vigor.


Thor is one of the most revered gods in Norse mythology, associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oaks, strength, the protection of mankind, sanctuary, and fertility. He is particularly famous for his heroic feats, immense strength, and his hammer Mjöllnir, a symbol of protection and power. Thor is often invoked for protection against evil forces and enemies, and he plays a central role in defending Asgard and the world of men against giants.

To learn more, discover our article "THOR: THE INCREDIBLE ORIGINS OF THIS VIKING LEGEND"


The daughter of Thor and Sif, Thrud is often associated with strength and possibly war. Although information about her is limited, she is sometimes mentioned in skaldic poetry and a few sagas, where she is depicted as a strong and powerful figure, in the image of her father.


In Norse mythology and folklore, trolls are described as large, brutal creatures with slow wits. They are often hostile to humans and known for their aversion to sunlight, which can turn them to stone. Trolls vary greatly in size and form, ranging from monstrous giants to smaller, more cunning beings.


The god of war, sky, and justice, Tyr is best known for his act of bravery when he placed his hand in the mouth of the wolf Fenrir to allow the other gods to bind him. Fenrir bit off Tyr's hand, making him a symbol of sacrifice and courage.



Ull is the god of hunting, archery, and skiing. He is considered an excellent archer and skilled skier. Ull plays an important role in winter sports and is sometimes invoked for protection in battles.


A king of the giants encountered by Thor and his companions. Utgarda-Loki uses illusions and cunning trials to deceive and test Thor, revealing the power and limitations of the gods.



A giant famous for his wisdom, Vafthrudnir is the protagonist of a knowledge duel with Odin. In the Poetic Edda, their exchange is a means to explore Norse cosmology and mythology, revealing details about the creation of the world and its fate.


Valhalla, in Norse mythology, is a majestic hall located in Asgard, ruled by Odin. It is where warriors who die in battle, the Einherjar, are welcomed and prepared for Ragnarök. They train daily and feast each night, symbolizing honor and glory in battle. Valhalla represents the Viking ideal of bravery and eternal resurrection.

To learn more, discover our article "WHAT DOES VIKING VALHALLA LOOK LIKE?"


Born to avenge Balder's death, Vali is the god of vengeance in Norse mythology. He is often described as having grown up in a single day and immediately undertaking to avenge his brother.


The Valkyries are divine warriors serving Odin. They choose warriors who die in battle worthy of going to Valhalla and serve them in the great hall. They are often depicted as powerful and mysterious figures, riding in the sky to observe and influence battles.

To learn more, discover our article "THE VALKYRIES | THE ASTOUNDING STORY OF VIKING WARRIORS!"

Vanes / Vanir

The Vanir are a group of gods associated with fertility, wisdom, and the ability to see the future. After a war with the Aesir, they ended up coexisting peacefully, with some Vanir like Freyr and Freyja becoming important members of the Aesir pantheon.


Var is a goddess associated with oaths and agreements. She is often invoked in marriage rituals and solemn promises, ensuring that commitments are honored.


Brother of Odin and Vili, Ve is one of the creator gods. With his brothers, he endowed the first human pair, Ask and Embla, with various human characteristics, including sight, hearing, and feelings.


The god of silence, vengeance, and strength, Vidar is famous for his revenge against Fenrir during Ragnarök, where he avenges his father Odin's death by killing the wolf.


Brother of Odin and Ve, Vili played a crucial role in the creation of man and woman, endowing them with intelligence and emotion. He is less mentioned than his brothers in mythological sources.


The Norse goddess of wisdom and insight, Vor is so wise that nothing can deceive her. She symbolizes deep knowledge and understanding.



Known as Wayland the Smith, he is a central character in many Germanic and Norse sagas. Weiland is famous for his unmatched skills in metallurgy and his tragic adventures.


Another name for Odin in some Germanic traditions, Wotan is associated with wisdom, war, magic, poetry, and the dead. He shares many characteristics with Odin of Norse mythology.



Yggdrasil is a colossal cosmic tree in Norse mythology, connecting and supporting the nine worlds. It is often depicted as an ash tree, at the center of the mythological universe. Yggdrasil symbolizes the connection between all aspects of existence, life, death, and destiny, playing a crucial role in Norse cosmology.

To learn more, discover our article "THE 9 WORLDS OF YGGDRASIL"


The first living being and primordial giant in Norse mythology. The world was created from Ymir's body after he was killed by the sons of Borr. Ymir is often considered the ancestor of all giants.


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