|One morning as Thor, the mighty God of Thunder, awoke from a deep slumber, he reached for his hammer as he was wont to do first thing every morning. Alas, on this day, his fist formed around thin air -- the hammer had disappeared.
Thor was beside himself. His rage was immense and would probably have been quite destructive; without his hammer, all he could do was rant and rave. What good was the God of Thunder without his mighty weapon?
Of course he had his suspicion as to the identity of the thief ... it could only have been those pesky Giants! But no matter, he needed his hammer back, and quickly! First thing though, he had to find out here the Giants might have hidden it.
Who better than Loki, the wiley one, to make inquiries. Not to lose any time, Loki went to Freya and asked her for the loan of her feather-dress, the famed falcon-cloak, so he might quickly fly to the land where the Giants dwell. When Freya heard what the cloak was needed for, she was more than willing to help.
So Loki went on his way and it wasn't long before he happened upon Thrym, one of the princes of the Giant clan. Trym feigned surprise and inquired what could possibly be so wrong in Asgard, or perhaps Elfland, that Loki dared enter the realm of the Giants on his own.
Loki told him of his mission, to find the hammer of Thor. Whereupon the Giant threw back his huge, ugly head, shook with thunderous laughter, and then told Loki that the hammer was well out of the reach of the Asgards ... safely buried, some eight fathoms beneath the earth's surface. And it would never again be swung by Thor ... lest Freya herself be brought to him as his bride.
Loki hurried back to Asgard, to inform Freya that she needed to ready herself to become the bride of the Giant Thrym. For the good of Asgard, of course!
Freya's outrage became the stuff of legend in the halls of Asgard -- the idea, she, the beautiful, wild, free-spirited Freya, the bride of that mangy dog!
But something had to be done. Finally, Heimdall, the wise one, advised Thor that there was no other solution than that he, Thor, dress up in women's bridal frocks and pretend to be Freya.
To say that Thor was less than taken with this idea would be an understatement. No way was he going to risk the ridicule of all Asgard. There had to be a better way!
But nobody could come up with a better plan. Everyone knew that the Giants had long had their eye on Asgard, and with the with the help of the hammer, they might even accomplish this goal. And that would simply not do!
Loki even offered to accompany Thor, decked out as his handmaiden and soon, the great rams were ready to draw Thor's wagon across the heavens. Mountains split open, forests burst into flames, and the rumble from the mighty wagon could be heard from a long way off. Thrym believed it to herald the arrival of his bride. He bade his hall to be decked and the tables readied for a great feast.
As night fell, the great meal had begun. Thor alone ate a whole roasted ochsen, eight salmon, and every bit of the sweetmeats that had been served for the women; all this he washed down with three barrels of mead. Thrym thought this just a bit odd, but Loki whispered to him that Freya had not eaten for eight days, too overcome with longing for the Giant Prince. Now that was more to the brute's liking, and he felt a desire to kiss his betrothed. But as he lifted "her" veil, he pulled back in shock ... the eyes he encountered glittered as with madness. Again, Loki explained that Freya had not slept for many nights, from longing for her groom.
Then the giant's oldest sister came forth and bade "Freya" take her golden bracelets from her arms; with these she would insure the old giantess' favour and good will.
Meanwhile Thrym, impatient with the ways of women, called for the hammer to be brought and laid in his bride's lap. Thus would their union be sealed before the Gods.
Those words were music to Thor's ears. No sooner did he hold his hammer in his hand than that he sprang from his chair ... the first blow killed Thrym outright.
None of the clan of the giants survived that night, not even the old women who had asked for his bracelets in return for her favour. He paid her in blood instead of trinkets.
And it was thus that the God of Thunder reclaimed his hammer.
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|This page created October 2000 by Valkyr|