The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 55

"It is useless for us to search for Thor's hammer," said Loki; "eh Thrym?"

"It is useless for you to search for it," said the Giant sulkily.

"But what a recompense you would gain if you restored Thor's hammer to the Dwellers in Asgard," Loki said.

"No, cunning Loki, I will never restore it, not for any recompense," said Thrym.

"Yet bethink thee, Thrym," said Loki. "Is there nought in Asgard you would like to own? No treasure, no possession? Odin's ring or Frey's ship, Skidbladnir?"

"No, no," said Thrym. "Only one thing could the Dwellers in Asgard offer me that I would take in exchange for Miölnir, Thor's hammer."

"And what would that be, Thrym?" said Loki, flying toward him.

"She whom many Giants have striven to gain—Freya, for my wife," said Thrym.

Loki watched Thrym for long with his falcon eyes. He saw that the Giant would not alter his demand. "I will tell the Dwellers in Asgard of your demand," he said at last, and he flew away.

Loki knew that the Dwellers in Asgard would never let Freya be taken from them to become the wife of Thrym, the stupidest of the Giants. He flew back.

By this time all the Dwellers in Asgard had heard of the[Pg 119] loss of Miölnir, the help of the Gods. Heimdall shouted to him as he crossed the Rainbow Bridge to ask what tidings he brought back. But Loki did not stop to speak to the Warden of the Bridge but went straight to the hall where the Gods sat in Council.

To the Æsir and the Vanir he told Thrym's demand. None would agree to let the beautiful Freya go live in Jötunheim as a wife to the stupidest of the Giants. All in the Council were cast down. The Gods would never again be able to help mortal men, for now that Miölnir was in the Giants' hands all their strength would have to be used in the defence of Asgard.

So they sat in the Council with looks downcast. But cunning Loki said, "I have thought of a trick that may win back the hammer from stupid Thrym. Let us pretend to send Freya to Jötunheim as a bride for him. But let one of the Gods go in Freya's veil and dress."

"Which of the Gods would bring himself to do so shameful a thing?" said those in the Council.

"Oh, he who lost the hammer, Thor, should be prepared to do as much to win it back," said Loki.

"Thor, Thor! Let Thor win back the hammer from Thrym by Loki's trick," said the Æsir and the Vanir. They left it to Loki to arrange how Thor should go to Jötunheim as a bride for Thrym.

Loki left the Council of the Gods and came to where he had left Thor. "There is but one way to win the hammer back, Thor," he said, "and the Gods in Council have decreed that you shall take it."[Pg 120]