Thor the Thunder is often pictured carrying his hammer called Mjolnir, which he uses as a battle axe. In this Norse Myth, he has to dress up as a girl. If you want to know how that could have happened, listen on.
Adapted by Bertie from The Lay of Thrym in the Poetic Edda (verses of Norse myths)
Read by Richard Scott.
Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.
Thor the Thunderer, the hallowed hammerer, the god of Thursdays, oak trees, and healing, slept with his weapon by his side. This was Mjolnir, the hugest, hardest, hammer that ever was.
With Mjolinir, Thor could knock down mountains, squash cities and bash whole armies. He was a god after all, and gods can do things like that if they want to. Giants can too. But generally speaking, gods do things bigger and better.
One night, when Thor was snoring (and that was pretty noisy, I can tell you), a giant tip-toed by his bed and stole Mjolnir. In the morning, Thor discovered the lack of his hammer.
Oh my... how his tantrum shook the ground and quivered the treetops. The sun ran scared and hid behind the horizon. The clouds blackened, whizzed around the sky, smashed into one another, and turned into hard cold rain. The human priests called out: “People, hide! The sky is falling down!”
Thor, when at last he grew weary of rage, vowed to get back his hammer. The task called for brains, which he did not have in quite such quantity as brawn. Now Loki, he was a different kind of god. His wits were as quick as a flame. He had as many tricks as a fire has sparks. He came to Thor’s aid in a flash.
“Loki,” called Thor. “Help me find my hammer!”
“This is serious,” said Loki. “Mjolnir is our main weapon against the giants… which leads me to think that it was most probably a giant who stole it. Let me prove my hunch, and then, we shall see what we can do.”
Loki first called on the lovely house of Freya, she of the long golden hair and the cloak of feathers.
“Freya, will you lend me your cloak?” he asked.
“That I will,” she replied. “Even if it were made of silver or gold I would let you have it, for we gods help one another in times of trouble.”
When Loki had wrapped himself in the wonderful garment he looked just like a hawk.
The feathers whirled as he winged his way across the sky, leaving the land of the gods, and reaching the realm of the giants.
Thrym was the giants’ king. He sat on a hill, making gold chains for his dogs. When Loki set down beside him, Thrym knew him right away.
“How are the gods?” he asked. “And what news of the elves?”
“The gods are doing far from well,” replied Loki, “and the elves little better. We’ve lost a hammer. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”
“That I do,” replied Thrym. “I’ve buried the hammer of Thor eight miles under, and I shall not return it until Freya is my wife.”
Loki spread his wings and took off. His feathers whirled as he winged his way across the sky, leaving the land of the giants, and reaching the realm of the gods.
Thor was waiting in the courtyard of the palace. Loki set down beside him.
“What news of my hammer?” he enquired.
And Loki replied: “Thrym has buried it eight miles under and will not return it until Freya is his wife.”
“Right then,” said Thor. And straight away the two gods made their way to the lovely house of Freya, she of the long golden hair.
“Freya, take the bridal veil,” said Thor. “Set a pretty cap upon your head. Choose a long dress with flowers and precious gems embroidered into its hem. Let your necklace, the wondrous work of dwarfs, shine upon your breast. You must marry the giant king Thrym before he will return my hammer. He has hidden it eight miles under, and there is no other solution. In times of trouble we gods always help one another. So cheer up, put on a smile sweetheart, today is your wedding day.”
But Freya did not do as she was told.
“Cheer up? Cheer up?
You must have lost what's left of your tiny little mind my big brutish friend. If you think I’m going to wed a giant then you’ve got another thing coming! You’ve lost your hammer eight miles under? Well here’s my advice to you.. Start digging.”
Then she took off her mighty necklace, the wondrous work of the dwarfs who live beneath the ground, and lashed the thunder god with it.
Something had to be done.
The ‘far famed’ gods and goddesses came to a council to decide. There spoke Heimdall, whitest of the gods, the sleepless watcher of the world. He knew the future well, and his advice was always worthy of attention.
This is what he said: “Thor, take the bridal veil. Set a pretty cap upon your head. Choose a long dress, with flowers and precious gems embroidered into its hem. Let Freya’s necklace, the wondrous work of dwarfs, shine upon your breast.”
“Now come on Thor my boy, why these angry scowls and growls? Cheer up, for today you shall wed Thrym the king of the giants.”
“I shall not be unmanned!” thundered Thor.
When the ‘far famed’ gods and goddesses had finally stopped laughing, Loki stepped forth and declared: “Thor, don’t you see, the deception will be a fine trick to play on Thrym the thief.
If you agree to this, then I shall dress up as your bridesmaid and stand by your side on your big day. If you do not agree, then, my friend, the giants will soon be here in Asgard wielding the mighty hammer against us and smashing down the walls of this very palace.”
Thor saw that he must go along with the plan, for in times of trouble the gods help one another. He took the bridal veil. The goddesses set a pretty cap upon his head. Freya chose a long dress for him with flowers and precious gems embroidered into its hem. Then she placed her necklace, the wondrous work of dwarfs around his neck so that it shone upon his breast.
“Truly, you are the loveliest bride I ever did see,” swore Loki. Then he too dressed as a maid. Together they left the land of the gods and reached the realm of the giants.
Thrym saw the bridal party on their way.
He called out: “Giants - set out the benches and the tables for a feast. I have many goats and sheep, a multitude of black-eared oxen, chests brimming with jewels and every possession that a giant could delight in. But one thing I lack, the beautiful Freya for my wife. Now they are bringing her to be my bride. Giants rejoice! This shall be our wedding day.”
The giants brought giant quantities of drink and food. Thor alone ate an entire ox, eight salmon, and all the dainty little dishes that were set out for the women. He washed down his food with three barrels of mead. Thrym marvelled at such appetite:
“Whoever saw a bride with such a greedy gobble, a bite so big, and a thirst so unquenchable?”
Quick as a flash, Loki the bridesmaid replied:
“So excited was she, waiting for her wedding day to dawn, that she did not eat or drink in eight whole days.”
“Aww what a sweetheart! Let me give her a kiss,” declared Thrym and he lifted up the bride’s veil. Thor glowered like a sky that was about to break into a storm. Thrym stepped back startled.
“What bride ever had eyes so red, a brow so furled, and lips so drawling?” he asked.
Quick as a spark, Loki the bridesmaid replied:
“So excited was she, waiting for her wedding day to dawn, that she did not sleep in eight whole nights.”
“Aww what a sweetheart!” declared Thrym. “Bring Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor. Lay it on the bride’s lap so that the high priest may bless our wedding.”
At last this was something that made the heart of Thor rejoice. As soon as the priest returned his hammer to his lap, he threw off the bridal veil, the pretty cap, and the long flowing dress, and around his head he wielded the weapon, killing Thrym and every giant who stood in his way.
So ended Thor’s wedding day, fortunately before he was actually wed. Another time he married Sif, the goddess of the golden corn, whose long hair Loki once stole as a trick. That is another story that you can listen to here on Storynory.com.