Tag: Thor (Page 1 of 2)

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 Death of Balder

The Death of Balder
The gods and goddesses gathered in the shadow of Balder’s terrible dreams, dreams that threatened to pitch him into the darkness for ever. Not one of them doubted his life was in danger and for a long time they discussed how to protect him.

The gods and goddesses thought of all the ways in which one can die; they named each earth-thing, sea-thing and sky-thing that can cause sudden death. Then Balder’s mother, Frigg, began to travel through the nine worlds and get each and every substance to swear an oath that it would not harm Balder.

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The Lay of Alvis

Alvis and ThrudALVIS TRAMPED ALL THE WAY from the world of the dark elves to Asgard. He hurried towards Bilskirnir and in that hall he saw the god he was looking for, but he did not recognize him. “I’ve come for my bride,” the dwarf said bluntly. “It’s taken long enough to get here, I must say, and now it’s high time that Thrud graced her new home. Everyone will say I can’t wait for my wedding night, but I don’t mean to hang around here any longer than I have to.”

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The Lay of Harbard

thor harbard leftA rank of mountains stood behind Thor. Some were like upturned ships, some like unfinished pyramids and monstrous cones with their tops sawn off, and none of them were smiling. Thor strode west over the tundra, and the sun kept pace with him. Then late in the morning he left the wilderness behind and hurried across scrub and undulating land.

So he came to a sound, a swift deep channel. The air was utterly still there. The sun placed a dazzling hand on the water, and the water seemed barely to move as it moved.

On the far bank a figure sprawled in the midday sun, and his flat-bottomed boat lounged beside him,
“Hey!” bawled Thor, and the water quivered. “You over there. Are you the ferryman?”
The figure stirred and sat up. He cupped his hands. “Who is that oaf yelling over the water?”
“Ferry me across,” called Thor. “I’ll pay you well from this pannier.”

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Thor’s Duel with Hrungnir

Odin, god of gods, was not content with being able to see everything that happened in the nine worlds. He was not content even with being able to understand all that he saw. His blood raced and he longed to test life’s winds and tides for himself. While Thor was away fighting trolls and troll women and their wolfchildren in Iron Wood, Odin bridled at his own lack of action. He became so restless that he donned his golden helmet and leaped on to Sleipnir hungry for some happening.

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Hyndla’s Poem

The giantess Hyndla was asleep. She was growling in her gloomy cave, and it wasn’t a pleasant sound. Freyja and her boar stood in the cave’s mouth, listening. Then Freyja called out: “Hyndla, my friend! Hyndla, my sister! Wake up! Came out of your hole in the hill.”

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The Lay of Hymir

The gods had plenty of food but they had run out of mead and ale. They began to feast but the more they ate, the less they felt like eating, with no drink to wash the food down.

They sacrificed a small animal and dipped twigs into its blood. They shook them and the runes scored on them began to shine; they shook them again and divined that Aegir, god of the sea, could help them. So a group of gods and goddesses left Asgard and made for the island of Hilesey; and there they found Aegir and his wife Ran in their hall beneath the waves, lit only by gleaming gold.

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Thor’s Journey to Utgard

Thor and the giant SkrymirThor said Summer was the open season and he announced his plan of making a journey east into Utgard and flexing himself against the giants. ‘However few they are,’ he said, ‘they are too many.’
In Utgard,’ said Loki, ‘you’ll need sharp wits.’
‘Sharp wits,’ repeated Thor seriously.
‘And yours are as blunt as your hammer,’ said Loki, winking at Thor. ‘Why not take me?’

Thor ignored the insult and accepted the offer. ‘Evil creature: good companion,’ he said.
Loki’s eyes gleamed, now brown, now green, now indigo. His scarred lips parted a little and twisted into a wolfish smile.
‘Tomorrow, then,’ said Thor.

Very early in the morning, before the sky turned blue and before a cock crowed, Thor had his goats brought in from Thrudvang and harnessed to his chariot.

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The Lay of Thrym

MjollnirWHEN THOR AWOKE and reached out to grasp his hammer, it was not there. The Hurler leaped up. He tousled and tangled his red beard; his hair bristled as he searched for Mjollnir. ‘Listen, Loki!’ said Thor. ‘No god in Asgard has seen my hammer; no man in Midgard has seen my hammer: it has been stolen.’

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