Norse mythology and the Viking sagas seem to be ahead of their time a lot. Because we can still catch sight of what Norse mythology once depicted in this day and age. Topics like the women rights, love without races, etc. were captured in many Norse tales. The problem of loveless marriage once appeared in the Norse mythology. As usual, it attracted much attention because love story has always been a favorite topic. Njord and Skadi were the main characters in this sad-ending story.
Who was Njord?
Njord was the chief god in Vanaheim. It meant Njord and Odin had the same power in their own kingdom. After the war between the two god tribes, Njord came to live in Asgard land of Aesir gods (Odin was the ruler). His stay in Asgard was like the ritual of hostage exchange.
Njord fathered Freyr and Freya – the powerful twin in Norse mythology. Njord and his children came to Asgard together and lived there. They became the honorary Aesir gods.
Who was Skadi
Skadi was the frost giantess in Norse mythology. She was the giantess of ice, winter, and skiing. Some accounts told that Skadi influenced the Vikings to certain extent. As the Vikings endured the harsh winter every year and they also loved skiing. Sometimes, we might hear someone explain the word “Scandinavia” relating to the name “Skadi”.
From the Revenge to the Doomed Marriage
Skadi was the daughter of the giant Thjazi who kidnapped Idunn the guardian of youth fruits. Aesir gods killed Thjazi for his kidnap of the important guardian in Asgard. And blood by blood, Skadi the daughter of Thjazi came to Asgard to seek revenge.
But the Aesir gods managed to persuade the frost giantess to accept the compensation from the gods. They asked Skadi to accept three compensations. Among them was gods’ permission for Skadi to pick up a groom from the Norse gods by looking at their feet. From the bottom of her heart, she really admired Baldur the beloved god and the son of Odin.
When choosing husband by looking at the legs, Skadi chose the nicest legs for she thought they belonged to Baldur. But it turned out to be the legs were Njord’s. Njord was Vanir god of seafaring and ocean.
The home of Njord was on the sea while that of Skadi was on the mountain. The pair could not agree where to live after their marriage. The pair tried to choose what place was suitable for their life. And they decided that they would live in each home for a certain period of time. When on the mountain, Njord couldn’t bear the howl of the wolves and the coldness. When on the sea, Skadi couldn’t stand the noise of the seabirds and the noise from the harbor that kept her awake at nights.
Njord and Skadi ended up divorcing for they could not accept the difference of the other. In Norse mythology, there was a love story that transcended the social barriers and got a happy ending. It was the love story of Freyr and Gerd