We first meet Thor's friend and servant, Thjalfi when Thor was on a journey with Loki. One night they stopped at a farmer's homestead where they were given lodgings for the evening. For supper that night Thor skinned and cut up his goats and threw the meat into the cauldron to cook. Thor graciously invited the farmer, his wife, and their two children, to join Him for dinner. He told them to eat heartily, but to be careful and throw the goat's bones onto their skins when they were done. The farmer' s son Thjalfi, decided to get at the marrow in one of the thigh bones of the goats and split it open with his knife. When Thor awoke the next morning he consecrated the bones that were lying on the goat skins, and the goats stood up. One, however, was lame in a hind leg. Thor became furious ! He knew that the farmer's family had done something foolish to the goat bones. When the farmer and his wife saw that Thor' sknuckles had gone white on his hammer, they sank down to their knees and begged for mercy. When Thor saw this, and the terror in the terrified couple's eyes, He calmed down, and decided to be kind and show mercy on these simple Midgardians. Thor told the farmer that He would take in compensation for his lame goat his two children, the boyThjalfi, who had cause the mischief, and his sister Roskva.
I really love this little story of how Thor meets Thjalfi and Roskva. It shows a side of Thor that we rarely see in the Eddas. It shows Him as a God who has compassion, and one who has a heart that can forgive. In most of the stories in the Eddas, Thor is shown simply as a God of vengeance, war, and generally only his angry side is written into the tales. Here we see a compassionate Thor who can feel sorry even for people who have wronged Him. In Thor, here in this tale, we see a God who is aware of the misjudgments that Midgardians can make, and can accept them for what they are, which is in fact lesser beings. Compare this forgiveness to the tale where Thor is consecrating Balder's funeral ship, and the Dwarf, named Lit, walks in front of him and gets kicked into the blazing ship ! I guess Thor felt that a Dwarf should have known better !
One of Thjalfi' s first journeys with Thor was to the land of Utgard - Loki. Once again Thor was traveling with Loki as well, but Roskva seems to disappear from the stories at this point. After traveling some distance, the three now weary travelers, came to a great hall that they had found in the dark. During the night the three companions heard a muffled roaring sound near by, and all sorts of other strange noises as well. When they awoke the next morning they saw that where they had been staying was actually a large glove, and the strange noises in the night had been made by a Jotun named Skrymir, who had been sleeping close by. After introducing themselves our three travelers decide to tag along with Skrimnir.
The next night Thor becomes very annoyed after the Jotun, who had tied Thor's food sack so tightly that even the Mighty Thor could not untie it, went to sleep leaving them hungry. The Jotuns incessant snoring throws Thor into a fit, and He tries three times to kill the annoying Giant. Skrimnir, however, feels none of the mighty blows delivered by Thor, and his mighty hammer. The next morning Skrymnir, and Thor part ways, and Loki, Thor, and Thjalfi, continue on to the fortress of Utgard - Loki. It is here in this great hall of Utgard - Loki that we hear of one of the great physical attributes of Thjalfi. Unfortunately my health is not too good today so I will have to save that for part 2. See you then !
P.S. I want to personally thank the 6,285 of our folk who came to my site last month. You are incredible !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !