The theft of Thor’s hammer

Viking pagan mythology is dominated by eternal conflict between the gods and their archenemies, the giants. Among the gods, the role of ‘chief giant-basher’ belonged to mighty Thor. As defender of both the divine and human realms, he had a penchant for smashing in the skulls of giants with his magic hammer, Mjollnir. This short, humorous tale is a fine example.

Mjollnir is stolen by one of the giants, who refuses to return it unless the beautiful goddess Freyja agrees to marry him. Thor gallantly disguises himself as the requested bride – a truly courageous act in a society where cross-dressing was considered an outrage against virility – travels to Giantland, and pretends to take part in the wedding. As soon as the hammer is delivered, in accordance with the bargain, Thor seizes it and destroys the giant in a single blow.

Thor’s popularity in Viking times is demonstrated by the many pagan temples that were dedicated to him; the large number of miniature ‘Thor’s Hammer’ pendants ex-cavated, and the prevalence of personal names in the Sagas that include the component ‘thor’ – for example, ‘Thorunn’ for women, and ‘Thorstein’ for men.

Of all the strange Norse tales that survived, the theft of Mjolnir Thor’s hammer must be the funniest and somehow awkward. Many questions might come to mind, like who dared to steal Mjolnir or how Thor retrieved Mjolnir back. This blog post on BaviPower would retell the story in the most concise way. 

One day, Thor woke up from his bed and found out that there was something wrong in the cosmos, something that would definitely affect the destiny of all beings. His Mjolnir hammer was missing. He must have dug up the entirety of Asgard to search for Mjolnir but he could not see any trace of it. Thor quickly assumed that only Loki dared to think of this prank and off he went to find Loki. However, when Thor angrily asked Loki about the Mjolnir, Loki insisted he didn’t know where Thor put Mjolnir before, let alone stealing it. Actually, Loki knew who the hammer thief was but he didn’t constantly tell Thor because he got some plans. 

After successfully persuading Thor, Loki wanted to help Thor find and retrieve Mjolnir hammer. They went to see goddess Freya and asked to borrow her magical feather. With Freya’s magical feather, one could be given the wings of the birds and fly anywhere. There came Loki to the land of Jotunheim – the land of the giant. In Jotunheim, Loki met a giant called Thrym. He told Thrym that Mjolnir was missing and fast-talked with the giant. The giant then admitted his theft and hiding Mjolnir eight miles below the earth. When Loki expressed his want to retrieve Mjolnir, Thrym said he wanted Freya as his bride in exchange for Mjolnir hammer. As Loki could not decide this on his own, he flew back to Asgard and tell everything to the Aesir gods. Not surprisingly, Freya disagreed to get married to a giant. 

The gods once again assembled and discussed the way to bring back Mjolnir. Because Thor used Mjolnir to defend the stronghold of Asgard and the gods, the loss of Mjolnir hammer meant the loss of protection for the gods. And Mjolnir was also the symbol of Thor’s strength and hardly did he go outside without Mjolnir. So they must bring it back. Heimdall, the watchman of Asgard, came up with a smart plan: disguising Thor as Freya the bride to come to Jotunheim. Thor, of course, refused to implement this plant. Because no matter what, he was a muscular god who wielded a hammer to slay enemies bravely in the combat. He could not wear a wedding dress and kiss a giant. But there was no other plan better than Heimdall’s plan. And Thor accepted the bride role at last. 

Gods and other beings helped change Thor’s appearance to resemble the goddess Freya. But it seemed that the task was very difficult and the process of it was quite awkward, not to say hilarious. He wore a wedding dress and some jewelry of Freya, one of which was the Brisingamen necklace. Reluctantly Thor became the beautiful bride Freya and ready to retrieve his hammer. 

Loki accompanied Thor to the Jotunheim as a bridesmaid. Thor used his goat-pulled chariot to travel to Jotunheim. Thrym was waiting for them for days and nights after knowing Freya would become his bride. The giant prepared the feast hall in advance. Thrym actually got everything that a giant would ever want. He instructed his beautiful bride and her servants to the feast wedding with his overwhelming joy.

During the feast, “Freya” impressed Thrym by eating a whole ox, eight salmon, three vessels of mead, and the entire wedding cake. Loki excused “Freya” eating actions by saying that “Freya” was so excited for the wedding that she did not eat anything for days. When Thrym wanted to kiss his bride, he lifted the veil and immediately encountered the red eyes of his bride. Loki again explained that “Freya” cried in happiness for soon becoming the bride of Thrym. 

So the wedding nearly came to an end. It was time for Thrym to keep his word. He asked his servants to bring the Mjolnir and put it in the lap of “Freya” for the blessing. Thor suddenly felt his heart jump the moment he touched Mjolnir hammer again. Without any hesitation, Thor used the Mjolnir to kill Thrym giant and smash his family. 

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