Þrymskviða – The Lay of Þrym

Thor dresses up as a bride and Loki as a bridesmaid. Click on the picture to go to the wiki .

aka The Lay of Thrym, Thrym’s Poem

The giant Þrymr steals Thor’s hammer Mjölnir and demands Freyja as payment for it, desiring the goddess as his own wife. Instead of Freyja, the Æsir dress Thor as the bride and Loki as the bridesmaid, and the two travel to Jötunheimr for the “wedding.” Thor’s identity is comically hinted at throughout the reception (the god eats an entire ox on his own), with Loki providing weak explanations that the giants somehow accept for the odd behavior (he claims that the bride’s immense hunger stems from her not having eaten for the last seven days for her excitement). Mjölnir is eventually placed into Thor’s hands as part of the wedding ceremony, allowing the god to strike down the giants and return home.

Bellows’s notes on the poem

Introductory Note:

The Thrymskvitha is found only in the Codex Regius, where it follows the Lokasenna. Snorri does not quote from it, nor, rather oddly, does the story occur in the Prose Edda.

Artistically the Thrymskvitha is one of the best, as it is, next to the Voluspo, the most famous, of the entire collection. It has, indeed, been called “the finest ballad in the world,” and not without some reason. Its swift, vigorous action, the sharpness of its characterization and the humor of the central situation combine to make it one of the most vivid short narrative poems ever composed. Of course we know nothing specific of its author, but there can be no question that he was a poet of extraordinary ability. The poem assumed its present form, most critics agree, somewhere about 900, and thus it is one of the oldest in the collection. It has been suggested, on the basis of stylistic similarity, that its author may also have composed the Skirnismol, and possibly Baldrs Draumar. There is also some resemblance between the Thrymskvitha and the Lokasenna (note, in this connection, Bugge’s suggestion that the Skirnismol and the Lokasenna may have been by the same man), and it is not impossible that all four poems have a single authorship.

The Thrymskvitha has been preserved in excellent condition, without any serious gaps or interpolations. In striking contrast to many of the poems, it contains no prose narrative links, the story being told in narrative verse–a rare phenomenon in the poems of the Edda.

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