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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Story of Thjalfi (part I)

One day, Thor and Loki decided to go for a journey. This is not at all abnormal for Thor. He does a lot of journeying. Mostly to pick fights with giants, or to pal around with Loki. They get into a lot of trouble that way. This particular journey, Thor stopped at a peasant's house to spend the night. Because Thor is aware of his own appetite, and generally just a generous guy, he offered one of his goats for dinner-- because they're magic, as you will recall-- and the peasants were thrilled. I'm sure a whole goat, even with Thor eating a good portion of it, was more meat than they had seen on their table, well, ever.

I am the giant Skrymir by Elmer Boyd Smith
Not Thjalfi's proudest moment

Now, the peasant and his wife had two children, a boy named Thjalfi, and a daughter named Roskva. Thjalfi was a little bit precocious, and apparently he really liked the taste of bone marrow. Now, for myself, I don't really understand the appeal, but I guess it's nice and rich, and the kid was probably in heaven over the sheer quantity of food one his plate, so I can give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest that maybe he just got a little bit carried away. But for whatever reason, at some point during this incredible feast, Thjalfi broke one of the goat's leg bones and sucked the marrow out in an excess of enthusiasm.

Nobody seemed to really notice him doing this. Probably because Thor was making a racket belly-laughing, back-slapping, and mead-guzzling. He was good at those things, and peasants were HIS PEEPS, so I'm sure he was perfectly at ease. In any event, they enjoyed their dinner, and everyone went off to bed in his or her corner of the cottage.

The next morning as he was getting ready to continue on, Thor gathered the bones of his goat and laid them on top of its hide, then swung his hammer over the mess of it. Through the magic of Mjolnir and the goats themselves, the bones and the hide reformed into his goat, whole and uneaten. But there was a hitch. The bone Thjalfi had cracked for the marrow didn't heal. Thor's goat was lame in one leg.

Now, Thor, being Thor, was most decidedly and most obviously displeased about this turn of events. He doesn't hide much, and he is KNOWN for having something of a temper. Plus, I mean, c'mon. He had shown these people a great deal of generosity, favoring them with his presence and sharing his meal of magic goat with them! So when they saw his brows crashing down over his eyes in anger, they fell to their knees before the god of thunder and begged for his forgiveness, terrified of his anger.

Thor, being Thor, was willing to forgive them, and frankly, he hadn't meant to frighten them quite so much, but when it came down to it, their son had cost him a valuable STEED. With the goat lame, he would have to leave his cart-chariot behind and travel on by foot. The peasants, recognizing this, offered Thor their son Thjalfi, and their daughter, Roskva, as bondservants to repay the god for the trouble their son had caused him, and probably also to keep themselves in his good graces. He was the god of an incredible elemental force, after all. Thor agreed, and leaving his goats and the chariot with the peasants, he struck out again on his journey with Loki, Thjalfi, and Roskva in tow.

And that, my friends, is how Thjalfi, a peasant's son, came to be in Thor's service. But stay tuned! Thjalfi's story is not quite over yet.


  1. I like how your voice kind of peeks through every once in a while :) You should bring it out more

    <3 Kelsey Leigh

  2. As a foodie, I have to say I might also suffer the wrath of Thor for some magical marrow ;)

  3. lol. I'm not sure that Thjalfi really knew what he was doing when he did it! But I don't really love Marrow so much as to risk the wrath of a Thunder God, myself.

  4. *stresses* was supposed to be a compliment *meh*

    <3 Kelsey Leigh

  5. I really liked this story! Sometimes I feel like an idiot for not being familiar with the mythology. This one was very easy for me to understand, and super funny! Yeah, marrow does NOT sound like a yummy treat to me. I feel bad for poor Roskva, getting dragged into servitude because of her brother. But I'm guessing they have some awesome adventures with Thor.

  6. don't feel like an idiot at all! MOST people know absolutely nothing about the majority of mythology, especially when you get beyond the usual Greco-Roman stuff.

    And yeah, Roskva kind of gets the raw end of this deal. More on that in part II!

  7. Great humor. I love road stories, and of course, Thor, being Thor. Would it be presumptuous to assume Thor, Loki, Thjalfi and Roskva find trouble in Part II? I know, I know, but patience isn't one of my virtues.

    Poor goat. :(

  8. You'll have the answer tomorrow, VR! :)

  9. So great to read the story behind Thjalfi! And I'm with you... marrow doesn't sound very appealing. Poor kids though.


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