Völuspá ("Prophecy of the Seeress") is the first poem of the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems. It is preserved whole in two manuscripts, the Codex Regius and the Hauksbók, and partially in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda. J.R.R. Tolkien was influenced greatly by the saga, most obviously in the fact that most of the names of his Dwarves were drawn from it. Christopher Tolkien suggests that "those Dwarf-names in The Hobbit provided the whole starting-point for the Mannish languages in Middle-earth."
Almost all of the names of the Dwarves of Middle-earth, as well as Gandalf's, are taken from a section of the Völuspá called the Dvergatal (the "Catalogue of Dwarves").[note 1] The Dvergatal is contained in stanzas 10–16:
- The Dvergatal is now considered a later interpolation, and is often omitted from newer editions of Völuspá.
- Eikinskjaldi is directly translated to "Oakenshield"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "II. The Appendix on Languages", Commentary to §58
- Charles B. Noad, "Review: The Peoples of Middle-earth (The History of Middle-earth XII)" at Tolkiensociety.org. See section "Dwarvish and Mannish Related". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 25, (dated February 1938)