"The third gift—an enormous hammer" (1902) by Elmer Boyd Smith.
“The third gift—an enormous hammer” (1902) by Elmer Boyd Smith.

Viking mythology is riddled with struggles between the gods and giants. One such story is about the theft of Thor’s magical hammer, Mjollnir. One day Thor woke up with a sunken feeling, something was definitely wrong. His mighty hammer, Mjolnir, was nowhere in sight. Thor immediately assumed that the trickster god, Loki, was behind it. When Thor approached Loki accusing him of the theft he denied ever touching the hammer. After much argument between the two he stubbornly realized that the Frost-Giant Thrym could possibly have taken his hammer. He is the only other living being that can manage to steal it.

Loki decided to get to the bottom of it and obtained “The Feather” from Freyja which gave the power of flight, Loki used it to fly to the land of the Frost Giants Jotunheim in search of Mjolnir. There he spoke with Thrym and had him confess of the stolen hammer. In return of the hammer Thrym, the Frost Giant demanded a trade, Freyja in the hand of marriage. If Freyja agrees to be his wife the Frost Giant Thrym promises to return Mjolnir to Thor.

Once Loki returned to Asgard, he told Thor what Thrym had said. They asked Freyja if she would even consider it, but the answer was a definite NO WAY!

A council was held to discuss the theft of Mjolnir. They couldn’t let the giant keep the hammer as it surely would lead to the end of Asgard. Heimdall the guardian of Asgard’s Rainbow Bridge, suggested that Thor would disguise himself as Freyja in order to fool the giant. Thor Immediately objected to dressing as a woman. After all, he is the god of thunder! After much discussion and thought between the gods he quickly agreed there was no other way. Thor allows the gods to dress him up as a bride and even agrees to put gems on and, of course, Freyja’s magical necklace, Brisingamen. Humorlessly the god’s did their best to make him look more like a woman, which was very difficult due to his immense size and physique.

Loki escorted Thor in a magnificent carriage pulled by goats. Thor arrived in Jotunheim in a wedding dress adorned in jewelry he looked stunning! Thrym was very eager to see his bride and bragged about having lots of cows and gems at his disposal. All that the Frost Giant ever wanted was a beautiful bride, like Freyja, by his side.

Soon enough the wedding feast started and the giant saw that his so called wife could eat an ox, half a dozen of fish, an entire cake and to top it off she drank all the beer in the barrels. The giant was very impressed and astounded at the same time that his bride could eat so much and hold her alcohol in so well. Loki excused “Freyja’s” behavior mentioning that she fasted for a week before the wedding. The Frost giant eagerly wanted to kiss his bride. He lifts Thor’s veil and remained speechless staring deep into his very red eyes. Loki explained that her eyes were so red because “she” hadn’t slept for a week knowing that she will get married to Thrym.

Thrym’s sister came forward to “Freyja” demanding that they pay the bridal fee. This fee was money that the bride or her parents had to give to the man who married her. With the fee paid it was time for Thrym to honor his end of the bargain. He took out Mjolnir and set it in the bride’s lap for good luck.

Overwhelmed with the sight of his beloved hammer, Thor couldn’t restrain himself anymore. He grasped the Hammer with the power rising back out of him he tore his disguise off and crushed the entire courthouse of Thrym.