I wanted to choose a story that was both enjoyable to read and memorable, and at the same time showed me a different perspective of a God or Goddess that made me feel that I knew them better. After a very long deliberation I chose the Lay of Alvis. This short story, or Lay, shows Thor In a totally different light then any of his other stories. He is not the Hammer wielding defender of Asgard, but the compassionate father who is defending his daughter, Thrud, from having to marry Alvis, a dwarf who was promised her hand in marriage. Who promised this to Alvis is unclear, but it was obviously not Thor !
Instead of just flinging his hammer at Alvis, Thor uses cunning to trick him into believing that if he can answer all of Thor's questions he may have what he came for. The contest of wits was probably his best option because the bargain was an oath made by one or more of the Gods and Goddesses. It is Also mentioned several times that you cannot shed blood in the hallowed halls of Asgard.
Thor asks the witty Alvis question after question, all of which are answered in a correct and precise manner. The dwarf at the end of the contest believes that he has defeated the Mighty Thor only to be shown by Thor that the sun has risen and that the only thing Alvis will be married to is his own demise. This is really the only time in the Eddas where Thor shows that he has inherited the wisdom of his father, Great Odin. The great defender of Asgard and Midgard proves in this story that he is not one dimensional. For me this is a wonderful story which expands my knowledge of Thor and gives me new insight into his great personality.
I would very much like to know what my readers favorite stories are from the Eddas. I think it is a fun and interesting way to re-visit the Eddas and broaden our scope of understanding of our Gods and Goddesses. Don't be surprised if it takes you much longer than you think it will to decide. I promise you it will be time well spent !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !