KЛИHOM


Odin, Thor, and the giant Hrungnir by Andrew Hart
June 4, 2008, 11:11 am
Filed under: mythology

From the Prose Edda, by Snorri Sturluson

“Now an account shall be given of the source of those metaphors which have but now been recorded, and of which no accounts were rendered before: even such as Bragi gave to Ægir, telling how Thor had gone into the east to slay trolls, and Odin rode Sleipnir into Jötunheim and visited that giant who was named Hrungnir. Hrungnir asked what manner of man he with the golden helm might be, who rode through air and water; and said that the stranger had a wondrous good steed. Odin said he would wager his head there was no horse in Jötunheim that would prove equally good. Hrungnir answered that it was a good horse, but declared that he had a much better paced horse which was called Gold-Mane. Hrungnir had become angry, and vaulted up onto his horse and galloped after him, thinking to pay him for his boasting. Odin gal loped so furiously that he was on the top of the next hill first; but Hrungnir was so filled with the giant’s frenzy that he took no heed until he had come in beyond the gates of Ásgard. When he came to the hall-door, the Æsir invited him to drink. He went within and ordered drink to be brought to him, and then those flagons were brought in from which Thor was wont to drink; and Hrungnir swilled from each in turn. But when he had become drunken, then big words were not wanting: he boasted that he would lift up Valhall and carry it to Jötunheim, and sink Ásgard and kill all the gods, save that he would take Freyja and Sif home with him. Freyja alone dared pour for him; and he vowed that he would drink all the ale of the Æsir. But when his overbearing insolence became tiresome to the Æsir, they called on the name of Thor.

“Straightway Thor came into the hall, brandishing his hammer, and he was very wroth, and asked who had advised that these dogs of giants be permitted to drink there, or who had granted Hrungnir safe-conduct to be in Valhall, or why Freyja should pour for him as at a feast of the Æsir. Then Hrungnir answered, looking at Thor with no friendly eyes, and said that Odin had invited him to drink, and he was under his safe-conduct. Thor declared that Hrungnir should repent of that invitation before he got away. Hrungnir answered that Ása-Thor would have scant renown for killing him, weaponless as he was: it were a greater trial of his courage if he dared fight with Hrungnir on the border at Grjótúnagard. ‘And it was a great folly,’ said he, ‘when I left my shield and hone behind at home; if I had my weapons here, then we should try single-combat. But as matters stand, I declare thee a coward if thou wilt slay me, a weaponless man.’ Thor was by no means anxious to avoid the fight when challenged to the field, for no one had ever offered him single-combat before.

“Then Hrungnir went his way, and galloped furiously until he came to Jötunheim. The news of his journey was spread abroad among the giants, and it became noised abroad that a meeting had been arranged between him and Thor; the giants deemed that they had much at stake, who should win the victory, since they looked for ill at Thor’s hands if Hrungnir perished, he being strongest of them all. Then the giants made a man of clay at Grjótúnagard: he was nine miles high and three broad under the arm-pits; but they could get no heart big enough to fit him, until they took one from a mare. Even that was not steadfast within him, when Thor came. Hrungnir had the heart which is notorious, of hard stone and spiked with three corners, even as the written character is since formed, which men call Hrungnir’s Heart. His head also was of stone; his shield too was stone, wide and thick, and he had the shield before him when he stood at Grjótúnagard and waited for Thor. Moreover he had a hone for a weapon, and brandished it over his shoulders, and he was not a pretty sight. At one side of him stood the clay giant, which was called Mökkurkálfi: he was sore afraid, and it is said that he wet himself when he saw Thor.

“Thor went to the meeting-place, and Thjálfi with him. Then Thjálfi ran forward to the spot where Hrungnir stood and said to him: ‘Thou standest unwarily, Giant, having the shield before thee: for Thor has seen thee, and comes hither down below the earth, and will come at thee from beneath.’ Then Hrungnir thrust the shield under his feet and stood upon it, wielding the hone with both hands. Then speedily he saw lightnings and heard great claps of thunder; then he saw Thor in God-like anger, who came forward furiously and swung the hammer and cast it at Hrungnir from afar off. Hrungnir lifted up the hone in both hands and cast it against him; it struck the hammer in flight, and the hone burst in sunder: one part fell to the earth, and thence are come all the flint-rocks; the other burst on Thor’s head, so that he fell forward to the earth. But the hammer Mjöllnir struck Hrungnir in the middle of the head, and smashed his skull into small crumbs, and he fell forward upon Thor, so that his foot lay over Thor’s neck. Thjálfi struck at Mökkurkálfi, and he fell with little glory. Thereupon Thjálfi went over to Thor and would have lifted Hrungnir’s foot off him, but could not find sufficient strength. Straightway all the Æsir came up, when they, learned that Thor was fallen, and would have lifted the foot from off him, and could do nothing. Then Magni came up, son of Thor and Járnsaxa: he was then three nights old; he cast the foot of Hrungnir off Thor, and spake: ‘See how ill it is, father, that I came so late: I had struck this giant dead with my fist, methinks, if I had met with him.’ Thor arose and welcomed his son, saying that he should surely become great; ‘And I will give thee,’ he said, the horse Gold-Mane, which Hrungnir possessed.’ Then Odin spake and said that Thor did wrong to give the good horse to the son of a giantess, and not to his father.

“Thor went home to Thrúdvangar, and the hone remained sticking in his head. Then came the wise woman who was called Gróa, wife of Aurvandill the Valiant: she sang her spells over Thor until the hone was loosened. But when Thor knew that, and thought that there was hope that the hone might be removed, he desired to reward Gróa for her leech-craft and make her glad, and told her these things: that he had waded from the north over Icy Stream and had borne Aurvandill in a basket on his back from the north out of Jötunheim. And he added for a token, that one of Aurvandill’s toes had stuck out of the basket, and became frozen; wherefore Thor broke it off and cast it up into the heavens, and made thereof the star called Aurvandill’s Toe. Thor said that it would not be long ere Aurvandill came home: but Gróa was so rejoiced that she forgot her incantations, and the hone was not loosened, and stands yet in Thor’s head. Therefore it is forbidden to cast a hone across the floor, for then the hone is stirred in Thor’s head. Thjódólfr of Hvin has made a song after this tale in the Haustlöng. [It says there:

On the high and painted surface
Of the hollow shield, still further
One may see how the Giant’s Terror
Sought the home of Grjótún;
The angry son of Jörd drove
To the play of steel; below him
Thundered the moon-way; rage swelled
In the heart of Meili’s Brother.

All the bright gods’ high mansions
Burned before Ullr’s kinsman;
With hail the earth was beaten
Along his course, when the he-goats
Drew the god of the smooth wain forward
To meet the grisly giant:
The Earth, the Spouse of Odin,
Straightway reft asunder.

With the bitter foe of earth-folk.
Rocks shook, and crags were shivered;
The shining Upper Heaven
Burned; I saw the giant
Of the boat-sailed sea-reef waver
And give way fast before him,
Seeing his war-like Slayer.

No truce made Baldr’s brother

Swiftly the shining shield-rim
Shot ‘neath the Cliff-Ward’s shoe-soles;
That was the wise gods’ mandate,
The War-Valkyrs willed it.
The champion of the Waste-Land
Not long thereafter waited
For the speedy blow delivered
By the Friend of the snout-troll’s crusher.

He who of breath despoileth
Beli’s baleful hirelings
Felled on the shield rim-circled
The fiend of the roaring mountain;
The monster of the glen-field
Before the mighty hammer
Sank, when the Hill-Danes’ Breaker
Struck down the hideous caitiff.

In the skull of Odin’s offspring,
Then the hone hard-broken
Hurled by the Ogress-lover
Whirred into the brain-ridge
Of Earth’s Son, that the whetter
Of steels, sticking unloosened

Stood there all besprinkled
With Einridi’s blood.

Until the wise ale-goddess,
With wondrous lays, enchanted
The vaunted woe, rust-ruddy,
From the Wain-God’s sloping temples;
Painted on its circuit
I see them clearly pictured:
The fair-bossed shield, with stories
Figured, I had from Thórlelfr.”

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1 Comment so far
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youve got the star all wrong sleipner and goldmane have a race, gambling thier heads but odin sees hrungnir s disappiontment and lets him keep his head an to show no hard feelings he invites the giant to asgard for a drink, guaranting his safety whilst there, but during the drinking the giant gets all cocky, embracing sif and freya and challenges thor to a fight. the next day whilst suffering with a hangover realises his boastful antics the night b4 and his mistake dawsns on him(the duel with Thor) but he doesnt back out and has the cloudcalf built etc etc

Comment by Will




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