In Part 2 of 8 Weird stories from Norse mythology, we are to discuss other four stories. Thor once became the bride wearing the wedding dress. Gods used Baldur Odin’s son as the target to throw things at. The chain that bound Fenrir the Wolf was made from the unbelievable materials. And Yggdrasil Tree lived a squirrel that loved gossips and hatred.
Thor became the strangest bride in Norse wedding.
We might hear of Thor wielding the Mjolnir hammer to crash the skull of many giants. But do you ever hear the story that Thor gave up his face to retrieve the Mjolnir hammer.
One day, Thor woke up only to find out that his Mjolnir hammer had been missing. He immediately thought it was Loki who stole it. But Loki swore his life that he had never spared a thought of stealing such a precious treasure. Then by some ways or another, they found out that the giant Thrym stole the Mjolnir hammer of Thor. Thrym demanded Freya as his bride and he would give Mjolnir hammer back to Thor. But how could Freya and other gods agree to turn Freya into the wife of a giant. Heimdall the Guardsman of Asgard and Loki came up with the idea of dressing Thor into the bride to travel to Jotunheim the land of the giant to see Thrym.
Thor didn’t act as a beautiful and tender bride though. He ate an ox the moment he came to the feasting table. This made Thrym suspicious and Loki explained that “Freya” (Thor in disguise) was so lovesick that “she” could barely eat anything. Then Thrym lifted the veil and tried to kiss the bride. But he had to exclaim at the piercing eyes of the bride. Loki explained that the bride was so excited about the wedding that she could barely get any sleep.
After they had carried out a series of ceremonial rituals, they finally came to the part of exchanging things. Thrym placed the Mjolnir hammer in the lap of Thor at which moment Thor grabbed his weapon in the hand and dealt a deadly blow at Thrym.
Baldur Odin’s son became the dartboard for other gods to throw things at
Baldur was the son of Aesir chief god and goddess, Odin and Frigg. He was so handsome and shining that all even the most stunning creatures in the world bowed down on seeing him. Baldur dreamt of his own death, which according to the prophecy would signal Ragnarok the Doom of Gods. Knowing of this, Frigg Baldur’s mother travelled the Nine Worlds and asked all creatures not to harm her son. Everyone agreed to do so except for the mistletoe tree which was so small that Frigg ignored it.
After all creatures had vowed, there was hardly any creature that could harm Baldur. One of the weird stories from Norse mythology was that the gods started to view Baldur as the dartboard. They threw things at Baldur only to see them bounce off. Loki knew of this and set out to make an arrow from the mistletoe tree. He came and instructed the blind god Hodr who was also the twin brother of Baldur. Loki handled the mistletoe and guided the blind god to throw the arrow into the Baldur. Within a second, Baldur who seemed to be invulnerable fell dead on the spot. Of course, Odin and gods didn’t let Hodr and Loki get away with their actions even though Hodr was deceived by Loki.
Gleipnir, the unbelievable chain the bound Fenrir
Gods brought Fenrir to raise him up in Asgard by themselves. But the growing up speed of Fenrir astonished gods so much that they soon realized they could no longer let Fenrir roam. The more Fenrir grew up, the more gods became worried about this danger. They finally came down to the conclusion of binding Fenrir so that he couldn’t roam.
But it wasn’t until the third attempt that gods finally bound Fenrir to the rock. After the first two attempts that failed, gods traveled to Svartalfheim asking the dwarves to create a magical chain the bind a monster. This wasn’t a difficult task for the dwarves the most talented craftsmen in the world. The materials to make the chain was completely unbelievable. The dwarves created the magical chain with the breath of the fish, the spat of the birds, the beard of the woman, the sounds of cats’ footsteps, and roots of the mountain. All of these things didn’t exist. They mixed them all creating the magical chain and named it Gleipnir.
The journey to bind Fenrir became somewhat harder because Fenrir was suspicious of this third attempt. He demanded one god to put his hand in Fenrir’s mouth as a oath that gods wouldn’t play any trick on Fenrir. Tyr God of Justice volunteered to put his hand in Fenrir’s mouth. The final result was the Gleipnir managed to bind Fenrir to the rock. But the wolf also managed to bite off Tyr’s hand for Gods didn’t keep their words.
The Squirrel that loved gossips and hatred
On the trunk of Yggdrasil Great Tree of Life lived a squirrel whose name was Ratatoskr. This squirrel looked like every normal squirrel we know. What makes him different is that he could run from the root of the world to the sky. This meant he ran from the root to the top branches of Yggdrasil Tree of Life.
According to the myth, up in the top branches was an eagle and under toe root lay the serpent-like dragon. The pair hated each other so much that they often exchanged insult. Ratatoskr was their messenger which made the little squirrel running from the top to the root everyday. But Ratatoskr loved this job and he wanted to see the eagle and dragon hating each other more and more. Ratatoskr even added more things to ignite the wrath of two parties. The hatred became so great that the dragon always wanted to gnaw at the root of Yggdrasil in order to make the tree collapse and hit the eagle to death. Meanwhile, the eagle threw the logs and branches toward the root of Yggdrasil to strike the dragon below. But the pair never managed to kill each other.