Deep thoughts: the Thrymskvida

So, in the Thrymskvida (that one myth where Thor dresses up as a bride), Thor and Loki’s first thought upon learning that the Hammer had been stolen by a jotun and would only be returned if Freya became his bride was to make Freya marry him. You know, for the good of all and all that. Her response?

Freya snorted with fierce rage,
The hall shook and shuddered about them,
Broken to bits was the Brising Necklace:
‘In the eyes of the gods a whore I should seem,
If I journeyed with you to Gianthome.’ 🙂 That’s my Lady.

And so Thor ended up dressing up as Freya-the-Bride and fooling the jotun instead, which, while uncomfortable for Thor, worked out well for everyone in the end. The point I would like to make here is that Thor and Loki (and all of the rest) did not attempt to figure out a way for Freya to avoid marrying the jotun or otherwise try to protect her from having to deal with this situation. Instead, the dynamic duo that is Thor and Loki demanded that She Do This Thing, and were stumped when She said no. Plan B did not come about until after Freya had shut them down, unequivocally, all on her own. (And, to their credit, none of the Aesir attempted to argue with Her or change Her mind about it. Instead, they brainstormed a new solution.) And anyway, did they honestly think She would have said yes?

It makes me wonder, though. Would the Gods have acted the same way had it been Sif, or Idunna, or Frigga on the line? Or maybe one of Frigga’s handmaidens? Was it just because Freya was (effectively) single that they thought they could demand this of Her? Or maybe it just made for a better story? Who knows. All I know is that this small but key part for this myth is one of the main sources of information that we have about Freya’s personality. So, regardless of the reason that it is included in the story, I’m glad somebody wrote it down.

2 thoughts on “Deep thoughts: the Thrymskvida

  1. Greetings Cara,

    Synchronicity!

    The last 3 weeks I have been working on lessons based on a Yoruba “pataki” about Oya saving Chango’s life by putting Her clothes, jewelry, and hair on Him.

    Reading your blog made me think. Thank you!

    Ashe,

    Antonio

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