Lookin’ good there, boys.
…Especially you, Loki.
(The Mighty Thor 12.1)
you’ve gotta love how Loki is so into this idea. He’s just … brimming with excitement.
So, like. Here’s the thing.
First of all, in the Þrymskviða, there’s no explanation for how Mjǫlnir gets stolen: Þórr just literally wakes up at the start of the story to find it gone. Then he’s all like, “Loki. Loki, my hammer is gone. Help find it!”
And Loki’s like, “Righty-right!” because he’s pretty agreeable like that in most of these sagas.
So Loki goes to Freyja and borrows her falcon cloak, then uses it to fly to Jǫtunheimr where he finds Þrymr, the king of the jǫtnar. For the record, the sagas record Þrymr as “plaiting gold bands” for his hounds, as well as smoothing his horses’ manes when Loki arrives. Just, yanno. To add some characterisation in there for you.
So anyway, Loki’s all like, “Dude. Did you steal Mjǫlnir?”
And Þrymr’s all like, “Lul yup. I buried it. I’ll give it back when I’ve married Freyja.”
So Loki dutifully flies back to Ásgarðr to relay this news to Þórr. The pair of them, in turn, go to see Freyja and tell her, with all the tact you’d imagine, she has to marry Þrymr to get back Mjǫlnir. Freyja’s answer can be summed up as: “Har har fuck you no.”
With Plan A having fallen through, the æsir have a meeting to try and decide what to do about this SRS BIZNESS.
And then? Well, here’s the kicker. The guy who comes up with Plan “First, We Dress As Women”?
So Heimdallr’s all like, “No, seriously guys this will totally work. We dress Þórr up all pretty, like a bride y’know? And we stick Brísingamen”— that’s Freyja’s Special Necklace, for those playing along at home —“on him and, voilà!”
And Þórr’s like, “Dude, no. I’m not dressing up like a girl. The guys will call me a fag.”
To which Loki goes, “Man up and put the fucking dress on, Þórr. I’ll come too. It’ll be fun.”
So the æsir get the pair dressed up all pretty-like, and soon bride!Freyja!Þórr and maidservant!Loki are heading off to Jǫtunheimr in Þórr’s goat-driven chariot. Seems legit.
Þrymr certainly thinks so, getting all his guys to set up all fancy for the bridal feast. “Get out the good aurochs!” says Þrymr. “And all the best treasure for my new bride! I heard she likes necklaces. Get lots. Pretty ones!”
The evening rolls around, and it’s Bridal Feast time. And Þórr is all like, “Food? Do I!” and eats:
- an entire ox
- eight salmon
- “all the sweetmeats women should have” , and
- three salds of mead (I have no idea what a “sald” is either, for the record, and neither does Google).
To which Þrymr is all like, “Wow. I’ve never seen a chick put so much away.”
Luckily Loki is busy thinking, not stuffing his face, so he says, “No but seriously. Freyja was so keen to get here she hasn’t eaten for eight whole nights!”
Þrymr obviously takes this as a good sign in a new bride, so goes to sneak a kiss beneath “Freyja’s” veil, only to get a Fiery Þórr Death Glare.
“Dude, WTF?” says Þrymr.
And Loki’s like, “Er… she hasn’t slept, either. ‘Cause, yanno. Eager. Legit, man, I swear.”
Anyway, then Þrymr’s sister comes in and asks for rings as a bridegift. In return, Þrymr orders Mjǫlnir brought in, and put on “Freyja’s” lap, so they can get married over it. (Apparently hammers were like celebrants in those days? Or something? Who knew!)
So this happens, and Þórr is like, “Fucking finally!” and grabs the hammer, and kills Þrymr, then all the jǫtnar, then even the lady who wanted the rings. And this murder in particular gets an entire stanza of puns devoted to it! Vikings, right?
Anyway. That’s pretty much how that goes.
And now you know.