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When Shiltzen took Hafnir in, he did not leave him out in the hills as custom dictated, but instead brought Hafnir up. Though Shiltzen was ugly and strange, and found Hafnir discomforting to look at, he was kind to Hafnir. He taught Hafnir about his past, and tried to 'humanise' Hafnir. He even brought Astrid to the house so that Hafnir could see her, though Shiltzen never told Astrid his reasons or allowed her to catch a glimpse of her brother. For a large part, this seemed to work, but it was obvious that Hafnir had a vicious temper and a weakness for drink, so Shiltzen kept him always penned. For company, Shiltzen sometimes brought the elves to see him, but when Shiltzen's back was turned, the elves were often cruel and taunted Hafnir.

When Hafnir was about eighteen, a group of elves, seeking sport, brought a keg of mead and dropped it over the wall of the pen as a 'gift' for Hafnir. Quickly, Hafnir became drunk. With the elves taunting him, he became enraged, broke down the fence, and killed several of them. For several days he hid in the hills, confused by the blood he found on his hands when he sobered up. He never returned to Shiltzen, though he knew the gnome sought him out. Instead he went to find his sister, and would often watch her secretly. When the day came that she was attacked by drunken traders, Hafnir became enraged and came to her rescue. From that day on, he stayed clear of the settlements, though he would sometimes watch his sister. But try as he might, bounty hunts or chance encounters prevented him from remaining unknown to the islanders, and soon his legend began to spread.