According to Norse mythology, there are several supernatural deities believed to dwell in a place called Asgard. These deities were divided into two main groups known as pantheons, Aesir and Vanir, although some writings talk of a third group called Jotunn.
Dellingr is considered to be one of the Norse gods according to Norse mythology. This is based on various writings, among them is the Poetic Edda compiled in the 13th century, where he is attested in stanza 24. He is also referenced in Prose Edda in Chapter 10 compiled in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Another attestation is in the Hervarar Saga in five of the riddles in the poem.
The name Dellingr in Old Norse can be translated into different meanings, that is the Shining one or possibly the Dayspring. According to Norse mythology, Dellingr is considered the god of Dawn or the personification of Dawn. It is not clear what pantheon he is from, but considering that he is connected to an aspect of nature, he could be from Jotunn. Some believe, however, that he is from Aesir.
Dellingr is said to be the third husband to the giant Nott, the personification of night. As per the mythology, it is said that the Dawn and the Night gave birth to the Day, who is their son Dagr. Depending on the manuscript variation, however, the Prose Edda states that Dellingr’s wife and Dagr’s mother could be Joro instead, the personification of the earth.
Theories About Dellingr
Based on the available manuscripts, there are several theories put forth by various scholars. James Grimm for example believes that the name Dellingr is the assimilation of the names Delingr and Dagr, Dellingr’s son. Grimm further explains that the “-ling” in the name, could mean that Dellingr may have been an ancestor named Dagr before him. Alternatively, he proposes that it could mean that there was a reverse in the succession order, something, he states, was common in old genealogies.
Scholars like Benjamin Thorpe propose that Dellingr is the personified Dawn and his name can appear as a surname or a place name. Examples are like the English surname Dallinger proposed to have been derived from Dellingr. The English place name Dalbury is said to have come from Dellingeberie which is derived from Dellingr.
From the Hervarar saga, Christopher Tolkien believes that the term “Delling’s doors” was used to reference Dellingr the god of Dawn and father of Dagr (personified day). He proposes that the dwarf singing before the Delling’s doors could have meant he was warning his people of the sun coming up, so they could return to their dark houses. John Lindow, however, argues that there is some confusion with regards to Dellingr being referenced as Delling’s doors. He believes that the term could have been a metaphor for sunrise or the dwarf of the same name.
It’s difficult to tell what the writer of the riddles meant by the term, “Delling’s doors”. In any case, there isn’t much written on the Norse god of Dawn, Dellingr, to be able to tell.