Thor’s Hammer - Mjolnir

ONE morning Thor was greatly distressed to discover that his most prized possession, his wondrous hammer Mjolnir, had been stolen in the night. He searched everywhere in the vain hope that he had simply mislaid it. Eventually his cries of anger and annoyance brought Loki to his hall, wondering what major calamity was troubling the mighty Thor. Thor explained his loss, describing how, if the enemy giants came to know of his misfortune, they would lose no time before storming Asgard and destroying the gods.

Loki promised to do all that he could to discover the identity of the thief, and borrowing Freyr's falcon shape new off in his search. He was soon flying over the barren rocky wastes of Jotunheim where he expected to find the culprit. Below him he saw Thrym, the frost giant prince and lord of destructive thunder, sitting alone on a hillside. Loki approached him and by careful questioning discovered that it was indeed he who had stolen the magical hammer, and further that Thrym would only give it back if the Aesir consented to him marrying the goddess Freya.

Loki, distressed by the giant's dark words, returned to tell his tale. Thor suggested that Freya should be persuaded to sacrifice herself for the future of Asgard, but when the Aesir told her of their problem and haw she could help, she flew into such a temper that she smashed her fabulous necklace against the door. Realizing that their persuasion would be fruitless, Thor and Loki retired along with the rest of the Aesir to plan other means of recovering Mjolnir. Eventually and reluctantly they agreed to an idea of Heimdall's. Thor was to borrow Freya's clothes and, impersonating her, he would go to the giant accompanied by Loki in the guise of her handmaiden.

Thrym was overjoyed to receive the two maidens, thinking that he was about to wed Freya, the beautiful goddess of love. He led them with much pride and pleasure to his great hall where the wedding feast was laid before them. The disguised Thor ate so much that Thrym was more than a little worried by his bride-to-be's prodigious appetite, but Loki managed to reassure him by saying that she had not been able to eat even the smallest amount for the past eight days, such was the effect of her love for him. Pleased at this explanation, the giant sought a kiss from his beloved. He drew back Freyr's veil and was shocked at the sight of the burning red eyes that stared out at him, but Loki passed this off by saying that she had not slept for eight nights such was her longing for him. Again the giant was satisfied by the quick-witted god's explanation.

The giant had been drinking heavily and was no longer in complete command of his senses when Loki suggested that perhaps the time had come for the marriage ceremony. Drunk with passion and mead he fervently agreed, calling his manservant to bring the sacred hammer to bless the union. As soon as the hammer was presented Thrym took it and laid it in his future wife's lap. With a sigh of relief Thor's mighty hand grasped the handle firmly. In moments the giant and all his followers lay dead around the wedding table, slain by the vengeful Thor.

The two gods hastily left the shattered ruins of Thrym's hall behind them and travelled quickly back to the waiting Aesir, where Thor was glad at last to return his unmanly disguise to Freya.

Some time later when Odin sat upon his high seat Hlidskialf, he looked towards that part of Jotunheim where Thrym had lived and found it to be covered with young green shoots. Thor had taken possession of the place, which from that day on was no longer a land of desolate waste.

© copyright Clive Barrett 2012

Hammers of Thor