It was told from the point of the view of the ghost traveler at first. It felt like folklore, and I think there was some sort of test that was failed during the dialogue where the true nature of the traveler tipped its hand.

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    In roughly which year did you read this? And did you read it in an anthology, a magazine, or online? Commented Jul 7 at 20:18
  • I think I read it in either a collection of short stories or it was at the back or beginning of a normal book. I think i read it 6-8 years ago, this is only a guess though.
    – prak
    Commented Jul 8 at 12:46
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    There are tales from the Norse folklore on this theme. One is a riddle contest between a (blind?) man and a king: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A1tur_Gestumblinda. The other is how king Geirröth put a wanderer called Grimnir to the torture, because he had been advised he was a powerful magician: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%ADmnism%C3%A1l. In both cases the surprise guest turned out to be Odin. Commented Jul 8 at 19:32
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    Oh, and there is also the contest between Odin and Vafthrund: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaf%C3%BEr%C3%BA%C3%B0nir however the reader knows right from the start the guest is Odin. Commented Jul 8 at 19:50
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    [Insert myth here]. The ancient gods tended to do this a lot.
    – Mark
    Commented Jul 8 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


This is probably "The Sorrow of Odin the Goth" by , part of his Time Patrol series. It was part of a fixup called Time Patrolman.

This features Professor Carl Furness, who has been time-traveling for historical research among ancient Germanic Tribes, and is recruited by Time Patrolman Manse Everard to perform a task to help preserve the timeline. Through a series of misadventures, Furness slips into the character of Odin, the Wanderer.

Another Poul Anderson story featuring (a different) Odin is "The Golden Slave".

  • thank you for your reply, i edited my original post because i was mixing the disk by Borges into the story i am looking for, which had a relative of Odin. Your answer sounds cool though.
    – prak
    Commented Jul 8 at 12:44

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