Týr : The God Of War
A Change Of Heart And Mind
Týr did not want to leave Valhalla, but he fully understood that Odin, who had been married only a few years before, wished to see his wife, a woman named Frigga. As they journeyed through Asgard, to another great hall that Odin called Fensalir, once again Týr was mesmerized by the great beauty of this realm. It seemed to the Rock Jotun that every new landmark that he spotted was more beautiful than the last. Then, as they approached Frigga's great hall, Týr saw a sight that stopped him dead in his tracks.
" What is that Odin !? " he asked as he pointed to a distant mountain.
The Lord of Asgard smiled as he patted the young Jotun on the shoulder.
" That is the crystal mountain. I have been told by the Vanir Goddess Gullveig that it possesses magical powers. Supposedly there are many of these mountains in Vanaheim, though I have not yet seen them. She has promised one day to come and show us what she calls,.... "seidr",...., at least I believe that is what she called the cosmic energy they can channel. Personally I think she is just a witch, and I am not sure that I trust her. " Odin explained.
Týr did not understand much of what Odin was saying and replied simply by saying :
" I think it is a beautiful tower that rises above your land like a monument. "
Odin slapped the young Jotun on the back, and pointed to a golden structure in the distance.
" Let us go. Frigga is waiting to greet us. " he told the one only he knew as his son.
Týr had always been revolted by the harsh appearance of Brunniþoka, and feared her fire breathing abilities as a dragon. Hvítrbrún on the other hand, was more pleasing to his eyes, but her extreme kindness had always made her seem frail and weak to him. He loved and respected both of them greatly, but after meeting Odin's wife Frigga he saw in her all the best qualities of a female. She was feminine, and yet strong. Intelligent, but charmin. And friendly, but with a bit of suspicion as she studied you. As he eyed the Goddess, who sat on a golden high-seat before him, surrounded by her handmaidens, he could not help but notice the large knife that was tucked into her belt. Despite her compassionate eyes, and friendly disposition, he had the uneasy feeling that she knew how to use that weapon to defend herself if, and when, it became necessary.
At Frigga's feet a little child played with a ball of wool. Týr frowned as he looked over at Odin, for the child did not seem to be an Asgardian.
" Is that little girl your child ? " he asked in a whisper.
" No ! My wife rescued this Midgardian child from Hel after death. Her name is Hilda**, and she, along with all those children who die of disease, or from any premature death, now reside with the All-Mother here in Fensalir. " he explained, also in a whisper.
Týr nodded, but rolled his eyes.
" Is that why she has so many handmaidens ? Do they take care of all these children when they cry, or get hurt ? " he asked quietly.
" The children are forever happy and content here in Fensalir with the All-Mother. No one cries in her hall ! " he assured the Jotun.
Frigga, who felt she was being ignored by her husband and his guest, cleared her throat to remind them that she was sitting right in front of them.
" Am I not to be introduced to the guest you have brought to my great hall ? " she asked pleasantly, but with a slight hint of annoyance in her voice.
Odin held back his smile and nodded.
" This my dear is Týr, a Rock Giant from Jotunheim. I rescued him from his own kin who wished to do him harm. " Odin explained.
Týr bowed slightly to Frigga's beauty and majesty.
" It is nice to meet you Frigga. Your hall is most splendid,...., and your handmaidens are very beautiful. " he told her.
Frigga raised an eyebrow as she responded.
" That is most kind of you to say, Týr of Jotunheim. " she replied graciously.
Frigga then looked over at her husband with a look of suspicion in her narrowed eyes.
" Strange, he does not look much like other Jotuns I have seen. I would even go so far as to say he looks slightly like you my husband. " she told him.
The awkward silence that followed was broken only when a little boy ran into the room. Behind the rambunctious child was another handmaiden who was carrying an infant. Odin nodded to the handmaiden, and then pointed to the boy who seemed rather uncontrollable.
" These are my children. The wild one is Thor, I had him by fertilizing Jord, the Goddess who is Midgard. He will one day be the protector of my Midgardian children. The baby, which is being attended to by Fulla, is Balder, my child with Frigga. " he explained to Týr.
The Rock Jotun looked down at the little boy and could not help but notice that he seemed rather large for his age. His flaming red hair, and piercing eyes that seemed to look right through you, also gave him the appearance of a child of much greater years. As he glanced over at Frigga he thought to himself that the child resembled Odin slightly, but he looked nothing like the All- Mother.
" How does he explain this child to the other Asgardians ? Does he even have to ? " he asked himself.
But the baby, held by the beautiful handmaiden Odin had called Fulla, was also rather odd. Not only was he much fairer than his half-brother but he seemed to,...., glow. And when he looked into the child's eyes he saw nothing but kindness, and a sense of true peacefulness. This child was unquestionably Frigga's son.
" It is nice to meet you all ! " Týr managed in a somewhat formal tone.
Suddenly, Thor ran over to the Rock Jotun and reached up for the axe-hammer that was tucked into his belt. The young Jotun recoiled initially, but quickly recovered and patted the boy on the head. Týr chuckled at the child's eagerness to hold the weapon and, after gently pushing the child back a step, he pulled Dauði out, and showed it to the inquisitive child.
" It is very heavy ! Do you think you can handle such a weapon ? " he asked with a huge grin.
Thor grabbed the weapon from him, and began to run around the hall killing imaginary foes.
" Take that you Frost Giant ! Die you ugly Dwarf !! " he yelled as he played.
Týr stood there in stunned silence watching the child. How could Thor, or any child of his age, hold, let alone wield such a weapon ? Odin, on the other hand, laughed jovially as his son played with the axe-hammer which had maimed and killed so many in Jotunheim.
" He is a little,...., energetic,...., isn't he ? " Odin asked.
Týr nodded, but could not bring himself to say anything.
Odin let Thor act out for a little bit longer before taking the weapon from his son, and handing it back to Týr.
" How will I kill the enemies of Midgard without a weapon father ! ? " Thor asked his father.
Odin grinned as he replied.
" Soon I will obtain for you a weapon that no enemy can defend themselves against. " he assured his son.
While Thor pouted, Odin pointed to the golden doors of the hall, and spoke to his wife.
" We must leave now my love ! I want very much for Týr to meet my old friend Mimir. " he told her in an apologetic tone.
Týr nodded to his host Frigga, who remained silent, before following Odin out of Fensalir. When they were outside of the hall the Rock Jotun turned to Odin and asked :
" Where does this Mimir live ? "
Odin smiled from ear to ear as he replied.
" At the center of the cosmos there grows a great tree, ...., a world tree, that holds the nine worlds together with its invisible limbs. Under one of its roots, the one that points towards the land of the Frost Giants, lies the well Mimisbrunn. Here all of the wisdom and knowledge of the nine worlds are hidden. " he explained.
Odin's words bewildered Týr.
" Have you sipped from these sweet waters ? " he asked.
Odin nodded as he remembered.
" Yes ! But Mimir asks for a gift for the privilege ! " he replied.
Týr could tell that the one called, " The All-Father ", did not wish to speak of what he had to give for the ancient knowledge and wisdom, so he quickly changed the subject.
The journey was long and arduous, but after many weeks they reached a beautiful meadow with a small modest hut on its southern edge. In the distance one of Yggdrasil's mighty roots rose up like a mountain, dwarfing the tiny abode that belonged to the one known as Mimir. As Týr carefully examined the area, with the careful eye of a warrior, he noticed a small well approximately a hundred yards from the house.
As they approached Mimir's dwelling, via a stone path, the weary travelers heard a door creak open. Moments later an old being peered out at them.
" Is that Mimir ? " Týr asked.
Odin's face became devoid of emotion as he answered.
" That is the Elder Mimir. " he responded.
Týr watched closely as the keeper of the sacred brunnr closed his door behind him and began to walk away from his dwelling.
" Where is he going ? " he asked.
Odin stopped and pointed to the well.
" He knows why we are here. " All-Father explained.
Odin, followed closely by Týr, changed direction and walked across the meadow to meet the wise one at the well of knowledge and wisdom. To the young Jotun's great surprise Mimir seemed rather spry for his age, and he was already leaning up against the wall of the spring when they arrived.
Mimir and Odin respectfully nodded to one another, but said nothing. Odin then turned slightly and pointed to Týr.
" This is Týr. He has traveled far to gain the knowledge and wisdom of the well. " he explained to Mimir.
Mimir looked the youth up and down before motioning for him to step forward. Týr slowly walked over to Mimir, but Odin remained where he was, and became a mere spectator to what was about to take place. When the two were facing each other Mimir motioned again, this time for the Jotun to bend down slightly. When the Giant was at his height, Mimir stood on his toes and whispered into Týr's ear.
" What will you give for this knowledge ? " he asked.
Týr shrugged his shoulders.
" I am but a poor Rock Jotun. I do not have much to offer. " he told him.
Týr then quickly added :
" What is it that you want ? "
" From a poor Jotun I would not ask for much, but from one as high born as yourself I will ask for that which you most cherish. " he replied.
Týr placed his hand protectively on his weapon.
" I will not give up Dauði ! " he responded angrily.
" I do not want your weapon,...., what I demand as compensation is your anger. " he explained with a little smile.
Týr's brow frowned heavily, for he did not understand what the wise one was telling him.
" My fury fuels my ability to be a great warrior ! " he replied sternly.
Mimir looked deeply into the youth's eyes.
" Your skills as a warrior are what make you a God of War. Your anger merely serves to dull your thinking, and makes you an unstable murderer. " he replied.
" You cannot take away a Jotun's anger ! " he told the wise one.
" And if I could ? " he asked.
Týr rolled his eyes sarcastically.
" Then you can have it. " he assured Mimir.
Mimir went over to the well, picked up a cup that sat on its wall, and dipped it into the sacred spring water. He then returned to Týr and handed him the cup.
" Drink this ! " Mimir instructed in the form of a command.
Týr took the cup and placed it up against his lips. Before taking a sip, however, he studied the wise one to see if there was any sign of deception on his face. When he saw nothing there he drank the full contents of the cup, and handed it back to Mimir.
The wise one smiled.
" Beings from all over the known universe come to me because there is something that they seek to gain. What most do not realize, however, is that Mimirsbrunnr can take as well as give. " he told the young Jotun.
Mimir placed one hand over Týr's heart. When the Jotun collapsed onto his knees he then placed a hand on his forehead as well. The Jotun screamed so loud that the harts, and the birds nesting in the lowest branches of Yggdrasil, scattered in all directions to escape the high pitched noise. Odin stood stoically in the background while his son writhed under the touch of Mimir. Despite knowing that this was all for the best the All-Father could not help but feel pity for Týr, whose body and mind were now experiencing an agony that few would ever have know. When it ended, Odin's body, which had tightened due to his son's heart wrenching screams, slumped slightly and he was greatly relieved.
Týr felt as though he had been lightened of a great burden. The burning hatred and anger which had weighed down his life were gone, and he suddenly could think clearer than ever before. As he stared up at Mimir he saw the wise one carrying something in his arms. He was shocked when he realized what it was ! For it was ugly,...., a horribly deformed mass of,...., his former self !
In his new clarity the Rock Jotun suddenly remembered something that Mimir had said : " From a poor Jotun I would not ask for much, but from one as high born as yourself I will ask for that which you most cherish. " he had said. Then he also recalled what Frigga had said to Odin : " Strange, he does not look much like other Jotuns I have seen. I would even go so far as to say he looks slightly like you, my husband. " she had told Odin.
Despite feeling an overwhelming weariness, Týr turned his body slightly and looked at the God called Odin, who had not only saved his life, but given him new hope for the future.
" Thank you,...., father ! " he blurted out before his mind could take no more and he collapsed onto the ground.
Odin's eye watered slightly.
" You are most welcome Týr, my son and the great God of War ! " Odin responded proudly.
** See my short story All - Mother © 2011. ( Ravensheart )
- End Chapter 9
- Next : Chapter 10 : The Final Choice
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.