Tag: Skadi

The Binding of Loki

Loki and the serpentLoki knew that his days in Asgard had come to an end. He knew how soon anguish can give way to anger and was sure the gods would avenge Balder’s death and detention in Hel.

He ran away. He made for a deserted part of Midgard, a remote place in the mountains at the head of a steep valley that fell into the sea. He found a hollow near Franang’s Falls and, using the rock and rubble lying all around, built a low house that no man was likely to see until he had stumbled into it. It had four doors so that Loki could keep watch in every direction.

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Loki’s Flyting

On one occasion some while after Balder’s death, when they could think about him quietly and talk about him calmly for all their foreboding, many of the gods went over to the island of Hlesey for a feast.

Aegir received them in his gleaming hall under the waves. And since Thor and Tyr had secured Hymir’s mighty cauldron for him, he had no choice but to keep his promise, brew a welter of ale and entertain his guests.

Thor himself was away on another foray into Jotunheim, but Odin and Frigg led the way; Thor’s wife, Sif, and Bragi and his wife Idun, accompanied them. So did Tyr who had left one hand in the mouth of the wolf Fenrir and to him the gods renewed their thanks for the part he had played in wresting the cauldron five miles deep from his father Hymir. Njord and his wife Skadi made the journey; so did Freyr and Freyja with Freyr’s two servants Byggvir and Beyla. Odin’s son Vidar, went with them. And Loki was there.

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The Lay of Grimnir

Grimnir maskHRAUDUNG, KING OF THE GOTHS, had two sons, Agnar and Geirrod. One day when Agnar was ten winters old and Geirrod eight, the brothers gathered their tackle and went out rowing in the hope of landing some fish. But soon the wind began to bluster, and the boys were driven so far out to sea that they lost sight of land. The night-shadow grew long, and in the darkness the small boat tossed and spun and was smashed to pieces on a rocky shore. Standing bedraggled in the darkness, with waves breaking around them, Agnar and Geirrod had not the least idea where they were.

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The Marriage of Njord and Skadi

Njord and SkadiBEYOND THE GIRDLE of flint-grey water and the loveless lava flows, beyond the burning blue crevasses, lay Thrymheim, the storm-home of Skadi and her father Thiazi. It was a wonder that the hall withstood the charges of the wind and the batteries of hail.

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The Theft of Idun’s Apples

idun's applesVERY EARLY ONE SUMMER MORNING, Odin, Loki and Honir crossed into Midgard, happy in one another’s company, and in- tent upon exploring some part of the earth not already known to them.

In the pale blue, almost pale green light that gives an edge to everything, the three friends crossed a desolate reach of grit, patrolled only by the winds. Before men in Midgard had stirred and woken, the gods were striding over scrubby, undulating ground. Then they tramped round a great mass of spiky, dead, dark rock, and headed for the summit of a conical mountain.

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Njord

njordNjord is the God of the wind and fertility as well as the sea and merchants at sea and therefore was invoked before setting out to sea on hunting and fishing expeditions. He is also known to have the ability to calm the waters as well as fire.

Njord, one of the Vanir gods, was first married to his sister Nerthus and had two children with her, Frey and Freyja. His second wife was Skadi (Skade), a Giantess. When Skadi’s father was killed by the Aesir she was granted three “acts” of reparation one of which was to let her choose a husband from among the gods. She was allowed to pick her new husband but the choice had to be made by looking only at the feet. She picked Njord by mistake, assuming his feet belonged to Balder.

Njord and Skadi could not agree on where to live. She didn’t like his home Noatun at the Sea, and he didn’t like hers Trymheim, in the mountain with large woods and wolves, so they lived the first half of the year in Noatun and the other half in Trymheim.

Njord is said to be a future survivor of Ragnarök in stanza 39 of the poetic Edda:

“In Vanaheim the wise Powers made him and gave him as hostage to the gods; at the doom of men he will come back home among the wise Vanir.”

Skadi

skadhiSkadi is the Goddess of Winter and of the Hunt. She is married to Njord, the gloomy Sea God, noted for his beautiful bare feet (which is how Skadi came to choose him for her mate.) Supposedly the bare foot is an ancient Norse symbol of fertility. The marriage wasn’t too happy, though, because she really wanted Balder for her husband. She is the goddess of Justice, Vengeance, and Righteous Anger, and is the deity who delivers the sentence upon Loki to be bound underground with a serpent dripping poison upon his face in payment for his crimes. Skadi’s character is represented in two of Hans Christian Anderson’s tales: “The Snow Queen” and “The Ice Princess.”

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