I've just started reading Poul Anderson's War of the Gods, and I came across this line towards the end of the second chapter:

"No," said Vagnhöfdi. "My daughter has lately borne a child, which died. The milk still aches in her."
He did not, then or ever, say who the father had been. Maybe he did not know. Maybe she did not. She had met someone in the woods who kindled her—another giant? A god, with something in mind that went beyond lust?
War of the Gods, chapter 2

What's this referring to with "something in mind that went beyond lust"? What is the possibility that's being hinted to with this line?

1 Answer 1


That a god deliberately got her pregnant.

In isolation, it might mean that a god actually loved her rather than lusted after her, but in context, the god's behavior is not compatible with that.

  • Do you have any context from elsewhere in the book/setting to support this?
    – bobble
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 1:49

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