Sunday, 17 February 2013

How did the mighty Thor, god of thunder, receive his powerful hammer Mjölnir?

One evening, while Thor was away hunting trolls leaving Loki behind after being tired of waiting for him, Loki got it into his head to do something truly wicked to get back at him. But he didn't want to cause a direct conflict with Thor because that would be too dangerous.
Loki was not a thinking god. Frankly, he was a dummy-head. Do you know what he did? He went and snuck into Thor's home and cut off all of Sif's (Thors wife) hair while she was sleeping. He then ran off, with her blonde golden hair under his cloak. But in his haste, he left behind a sandal. Any resemblance to Cinderella is strictly coincidence...I think. As you may all well imagine, Sif was in great distress. She looked a little butch and didn't like it one bit. Oh, how she wailed and cried and bemoaned her loss. And who could blame her?

When Thor came home that night, and saw Sif with her crew cut, he lost his temper. He knew the sandal belonged to Loki. "Loki, by Jormungander!" he thundered. That's how Thor spoke when he got angry. "I'm going to kill him. I'm going to break every tooth in his skull." He got hold of Loki and began shaking him, rattling his every bone. But Loki pleaded, promising to visit the dark elves and get Sif new hair, lovelier even than the hair he cut.
But Thor wasn't having any...till Loki also promised him a present too. Oh, how shallow the gods could be. A present? Well...why not?

So Thor let Loki go and Loki made haste to Svartalfaheim and approached the dwarfs, who were more skillful than all others when it came to working with gold and silver ornamented with diamonds and rubies which they dug from their own mines, except of course for yours truly, who's quite skillful indeed.
Well, it did not take the dwarfs long to make a fine head of golden hair for Sif. And while they were at it, they also made a spear for Odin, the king of the gods. This spear, once released, always found its mark. They also made a ship for Frey, which would always have a favorable wind, but when not in use, could be folded up and put in one's pocket.

Ahh...Loki was happy. Oh how he whistled a happy tune as he began to wend his way home. He was a cocky little god.
But as he traveled back up through the underground, toward the light of day, he happened to pass the smithy of a couple of dwarf brothers named Brokk and Sindri. "Heh heh", said Loki in a moment of exquisite cockiness. "Look at this stuff I have. You guys think you're good? Hah! I'll bet my head you can't make three treasures equal to these." You're on, said Brokk. It's a deal, said Sindri, wanting Lokis head if he should win the bet.
Uh oh. To coin a phrase, Loki saw he might "be headed" for trouble. The brother dwarfs began working. They stoked the fires and pumped the bellows. And in a bit they created a live boar with bristles of gold. And they pumped some more and stoked some more, and before you knew it, a ring was drawn out of the fire. And for their third trick, you guessed it folks, out came a golden hammer.

They took all the gifts to the gods who were the ones deciding the winner. After some council with each other they declared Brokk and Sindri the winner.
The gold ring, they said, would give birth, so to speak, to eight new precious gold rings every ninth night and thus supply with none ending wealth.
The boar, not only would carry his rider over land and sea, but in the darkest of night, his golden bristles would shine so as to always afford light.
And the hammer...well...this was a gift to Thor and it was the most useful gift of them all. Thor could use it to smite any target and the hammer would never fail to destroy. With it he was even capable of leveling mountains (Mjölnir means "crusher" or "destroyer" referring to its pulverizing effect).
Not only that, but the golden hammer, after having done its deed, would always return, of its own accord, to Thor's hand. And that was how Thor got his golden hammer.

Loki, having lost the bet, got desperate and tried to plead for mercy but when met with deaf ears he tried to flee and escape his doom, but was shortly caught by Thor, who was still angry with him and would surely like to see Loki punished.

But Loki is the god of mischief and cleverly got himself out of the situation. As the dwarfs were getting ready to sever it from his neck, he said, "hey, I only promised you my head. I said nothing about my neck. You can't touch my neck."
Dilemmas of dilemmas. Even the clever dwarfs could not get to the head without severing the neck.
Although since the dwarfs couldn't take his head they sew his mouth shut instead, much to the other gods amusement, and it would take a long time before Lokis wounds would heal and be able to speak again. The gods enjoyed the peace and quiet while it lasted.

And so Loki lived on to accomplish more deeds of devil-do..and that was the story of Thor got his powerful hammer Mjölnir.


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