Thor's Duel With Hrungnir ( A Retelling )
A Hero To His People
The Jotun left the hall quickly, and did not look back as Gna closed the doors to the great hall behind him. Hrungnir mounted Gullfaxi, ( Gold Mane ), and kicked his mount into a furious gallop through Asgard to the Rainbow Bridge. As he approached Bifrost, Hrungnir had a terrifying thought . " What if Heimdall refuses to open the gates and let me leave ? ! " To his great relief the Silent Sentinel stood stoically at his post holding the golden gates open as he rode up to the entrance to Asgard. With a nod of his head, and a wave of his hand, the Jotun flew past the God and never looked back.
When the local Jotuns of Grjotunagardar heard of Hrungnir's incredibly brave visit to Asgard, and his bold challenge to duel the Thunder God Thor in single combat, they quickly hailed Hrungnir as their hero. One by one they came to his hall to congratulate their comrade on his exploits, and wish him well when he went up against Thor.
It was very important to Hrungnir's people that he should defeat the Mighty Thor. First and foremost it would rid them of one of their worst enemies. But more importantly if Hrungnir lost the duel they feared that Thor might turn his wrath upon them. To prevent Thor from winning and to give their champion an edge, they met and came up with a plan to insure Hrungnir's victory, and their salvation.
From the thick clay that lined the river banks of the Grjotunagardar river they fashioned for themselves a Jotun to stand and fight alongside Hrungnir. This creation stood nine leagues tall, and was three leagues in width when measured under his arms. The being that they had made was so large in fact that they could not at first find a heart large enough to animate the Giant !
After days of searching, and much trial and error, they found a mare's heart that seemed as though it would be suitable. While several Jotuns held the large horse down Hrungnir himself cut the still beating heart out of the mare, and placed it into the chest of the clay Jotun. Hrungnir smiled when he saw the creature open its eyes and move for the first time, and he danced around in circles with joy when their clay Jotun picked up a sword and swung it from side to side .
Hrungnir laughed hysterically at the strange faces the creature made as he took in his surroundings for the first time.
" I will call this clay Giant ' Mist Calf ' ! " he shouted to his fellow Jotuns.
Although the clay Giant was unsteady on its feet the crowd cheered as it stumbled forward with its first steps. The Jotuns all congratulated each other, and assured Hrungnir that there was no possible chance that Thor could defeat him now that he had the help of ' Mist Calf ' !
Hrungnir acted confidently around the other Jotuns, but privately he was worried about going up against the God of Thunder, who had killed so many of his fellow Giants. Many of whom had been certain that they could kill the Asgardian, honorably, or otherwise. He remembered how Thrym had thought that he had gotten the best of the Gods only to be struck down by the hammer wielder, who was dressed up as Freyja in a wedding gown. Then Hrungnir recalled how Geirrod, with the help of Loki, who he had starved in a trunk for three months, had tricked Thor into coming to Geirrodargardar without his mighty hammer. But even with the help of his daughters Gjalp and Greip, they were no match for the God of Thunder who easily killed all three of them.
Alone in his great hall Hrungnir looked over at ' Mist Calf ', and asked himself :
" Am I skilled enough to defeat a God ? Am I strong enough to be victorious over the Mighty Thor even with the help of this huge monster that we have created ? ! "
Hrungnir had not much longer to wait for the answers to his questions. The next phase of the moon was about to begin !
- End Chapter 9
- Next ; The Duel !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.