Thor's Duel With Hrungnir ( A Retelling )
Thor grabbed Magni by the arms and thanked him for his help.
" One day you will be the strongest of all the Gods ! " he told his son proudly.
Thor did not take kindly to the Gods making fun of his predicament . He knew his father was jealous of the children he had fathered with the Giantess Jarnsaxa, and he had often seen the cold stares that Odin had given Magni and Modi. Thor thought bitterly of Odin's double standard of having children with Giants, and then resenting his son for doing the same. It was then that Thor thought of a way to get back at his father. With a wicked grin Thor peered over at his father, and said to Magni :
" To show my gratitude for your great show of strength here today I will give you Hrungnir's horse Gold Mane ! "
Odin's eye widened, and his face turned bright red with anger. How could his own son insult him so in front of all the Aesir like this ! ? Odin stomped forward and stood directly in front of Thor. With his eye narrowed angrily he addressed his son in a formal tone for all to hear.
" It is wrong of you to give such a fine horse as Gullfaxi to the son of a Giantess instead of his own father ! " Odin said in a furious tone.
Thor did not back down ! He returned his father's cold stare.
" Then should I give this ' fine horse ' to Vidar YOUR son by a Giantess ! " Thor replied sarcastically.
Odin lost his composure for a moment and turned his back on his son and his grandson.
" No ! You should give the horse to your father who rode Sleipnir faster than he has ever been ridden to save his son from an angry mob of Jotuns ! " Odin replied furiously.
A collective gasp came up from the Aesir gathered around them. Hearing this both Thor and Odin realized that they were acting badly in front of their fellow Asgardians.
Thor spoke first.
" Yes, I believe that you are right, and that I should offer you the Jotun's mount first father ! " Thor told Odin sternly.
Odin, realizing that he would seem to be the agressor if he did not compensate Thor for his kind gesture spoke wisely to his son for all to hear.
" I thank my son for his generosity, and my fine grandsons, Magni and Modi, are welcome to ride Gullfaxi any time they so choose ! " Odin said almost as much to the crowd gathered around them as to Thor.
You could almost hear as a sound the moment that the tension passed. The Aesir cheered both Odin and Thor, when the anxiety of the moment dissipated, for their wise decisions, and their ability to compromise. For many of the Aesir would not have known what to do if they situation had escalated, and the two had come to blows.
Odin patted his son on the shoulder, and it was then that Valfather noticed the wound on the side of Thor's head.
" You should have Eir look at that nasty gash, my son ! " he told Thor in a calmer voice.
Thor placed his fingers over the wound and flinched slightly when they touched the tear that had been ripped in his scalp.
" I am afraid that not even the ' Best of Physicians ' could remove the shard of Hrungnir's hone that has lodged itself in my head. " Thor replied.
" Then, my son, what you require is a little magic ! You should go and see Groa, who lives not far from here in Jotunheim, at once before that splintered rock becomes forever embedded in your skull . " Odin told his son.
Thjalfi, who had been standing outside of the circle of Aesir that surrounded the Lord of Asgard and his son, heard Odin's words and immediately ran to the golden cart. Thor's faithful companion hit the goats with the reins and drove the cart up to the outskirts of the circle. The Gods gave the human a curious look, but parted to allow Thor a path to his golden chariot.
As Thor stepped onto the cart he waved to everyone.
" I thank you all for coming to my aid, and I will see you all soon back in Asgard ! "
With that Thjalfi slapped the goats with the reins and headed for Groa's home.
It took but a moment to travel to Groa's house near the border with Midgard. Thjalfi was surprised at how small the structure was in comparison to the other halls he had seen in Jotunheim while traveling with Thor. He thought back to the lavish hall of Utgard - Loki's ..... but then again that was only a mere illusion.
As the Jotun sun's light was lost to night Thor stepped off of the golden cart and turned to Thjalfi.
" You will wait here ! " he commanded his human companion.
" Yes, my Lord ! " he replied.
Thor walked slowly to the entrance and knocked hard upon the wooden door. Inside he heard footsteps coming closer, and then the lock turned and the door slowly opened.
Thor was shocked by the female figure that stood before him in the doorway ! The Thunder God had expected an old hag, or a three headed monster to greet him. The Seeress who stood before him was neither ! She was a shapely female with a beautiful face, and a comforting smile.
" Why does a God come to my home when my husband Aurvandil is away ? " Groa asked.
Thor stood for a moment gazing into the beautiful blue eyes of the Volva before answering.
" I am sorry for disturbing you, but I am in need of your magical powers, great lady. " Thor replied politely.
Groa nodded and stepped to the side to allow Thor to enter her tiny abode.
" And what exactly is it that I can do for you Thunder God ? " she asked.
Thor sat down by the fireplace, and Groa followed sitting down across from him.
" I have been struck in the head by a piece of a hone, and it is stuck fast. I was hoping that you could use one of your magical spells to remove it. " Thor replied with a smile.
Groa stood up and placed her hands on Thor's head. She turned it to the side to get a better view, and then began to examine the wound.
" Hmm !...... Yes, yes,..... that is a nasty wound. You are in luck Asgardian for I believe that it is within my power to remove this object that is stuck in your head. " she told Thor as she continued to look at the deep laceration.
" I would be greatly honored if you would ma'am ! " he replied almost shyly.
Groa placed her hands on both sides of the God's head, and began to recite spells as her body moved to the rhythm of her words. Thor became very relaxed at her touch, and envied Aurvandil for having such a fine wife. As Thor felt the hone fragment begin to move in his head, he became very grateful. And thinking that it would soon be removed he told Groa of how her husband had saved his life, and how in turn he had saved Aurvandil's life.
" To honor your husband I removed his big toe , which had become frozen and useless, and made of it a star in the heavens to shine forever more ! " Thor told her.
Groa began to cry tears of joy when she heard the Thunder God's words. Thor in an act of tenderness reached out and wiped awar her tears.
" It will not be long now before your husband comes home ! " Thor assured her.
Groa removed her hands from Thor's head, and ran to the door, which she flew open. As she stepped outside she looked up into the night sky, and there spotted the great star that had once been her husband's toe. She smiled at its great beauty. When she lowered her eyes Groa spotted a dark shadowy figure silhouetted by the star's light on a distant hill. Aurvandil had come home !
Thor's shoulders slumped when the Seeress left and the shard did not work its way out any further. The Thunder God rose up, left the hut, and returned to his golden cart.
" Take me home Thjalfi ! " he commanded his traveling companion.
Thjalfi nodded, but did not answer.
As they passed over Aurvandil Thor waved to the Jotun friend who had saved his life. Aurvandil returned the gesture and then continued home.
- The End
- Next : Jord : The Goddess Born Of The Cosmos © 2015.
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), Copyright, 2015.