“Tor såsom Freya” by Carl Larsson (1853-1919) and Gunnar Forssell (1859-1903) as described above. Photograph by User:Haukurth. – The image is found on page 105 of Fredrik Sander’s 1893 edition of the Poetic Edda. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.
Like many Wiccans, we don’t feel the need to call this Imbolc. It seems to have been celebrated as Candlemas by the early covens, and may have been popularised as Imbolc by the publication of the books later compiled into “The Witches Bible” by Janet and Stewart Farrer. They wrote these in the early 80s, shortly after moving to Ireland, and the rituals are transformed to point towards the ancient Celtic religion.
Anyway, our links with Bride have become tenuous and we were looking for something else to do. In the end, we settled on Thor. There is a link, in that Iceland has celebrated a day for Thor around this time since the second half of the 19th century. Besides, Thor is a lovely god, so why not? We decided to act out the comic story told in Thrym’s Tale. Though it wasn’t written for the purpose, this would be a great piece to use if you want to find something that’s missing or take revenge for theft. 😉
An Updated “Lay of Thrym”
Narrator: One morning Thor woke up to find that his hammer was missing. He was not pleased. He stomped around and called for Loki.
LOKI: What is it now? Whatever it is, I’m not being a mare again. Not for anyone.
THOR: My hammer’s missing. We need to find it.
Narrator: So Loki and Thor went to see Freya.
THOR: someone’s taken my hammer and Loki’s going to help me find it.
FREYA: Fine. Whatever. Anything I can do to help, just tell me. Just don’t try any funny business with me, OK?
LOKI: Funny business? Moi? How can you say such a thing? I just need to borrow your feather cloak to go spying.
FREYA: That’s fine. Take it and fly!
Narrator: So Loki flew off in the form of a hawk. He wandered the worlds and talked to all sorts of people until someone told him to try the ettin, Thrym. So he flew to Ettinland and found Thrym weaving magic into his sword. Loki landed beside the giant.
THRYM: Well, well. Look what the wind’s blown in. What are you doing here, Troublemaker? Have the gods sent you to sort something out again?
Narrator: Now Loki had had plenty of time to cook up a story designed to persuade Thrym to hand over the hammer.
LOKI: Oh nothing. No one sent me to do anything. I’m just doing some research. I’ve heard that someone’s making hammers and trying to sell them as Thor’s. I don’t suppose you’ve bought one, have you?
Narrator: Then Thrym smiled a very unpleasant smile indeed. He wasn’t born yesterday. Everyone knew Loki.
THRYM: A copy? Damn! I’ll just have to destroy it, then.
LOKI: No, don’t bother. Just give it to me and I’ll dispose of it.
THRYM: You think I’m an idiot? If you want it back, you need to give me something equal in value. I’ll take the beautiful Freya. And don’t even think of cheating me. I’ll run you through without a moment’s hesitation. And don’t think you’ll find it, either – I’ve hidden well. Even well enough to hide from you.
LOKI: Really? Underwater, then?
THRYM: You think I’m playing twenty questions with you? Just bugger off and get me Freya.
Narrator: So Loki threw on the cloak and flew back to Asgard. Thor was watching on the battlements and seized him as soon before he could even fold up the cloak.
THOR: Did you find it?
LOKI: Do you want the good news or the bad news?
Narrator: hearing that, Thor let out a mighty groan, because he could see where that was going.
THOR: <mighty groan> Is there any good news?
LOKI: Well, I know who has it. The ettin, Thyrm. He’s willing to give it back in exchange for a small payment.
THOR: That’s brilliant! What’s wrong with that?
LOKI: Well…. the small payment is Freya.
Narrator: Thor did not take this well.
THOR: What??????????????????????????????? Oh, that’s that, then. Why don’t we just go and kill him and his whole family and be done with it?
LOKI: Just give me a few minutes. I’m sure I can think of a way to present this….
Narrator: So Thor and Loki went to see Freya again.
LOKI: Freya! Just the person! Time to go shopping for that special dress. I’ve found exactly the right man for you.
FREYA: What…? Why…? When did I ask you….? Oh no! Is this another one of your schemes? If you think I’m going to let myself be ransomed again, you are off your trolley. Don’t even go there.
LOKI: No, no! No dragons, this time. I promise! No ransoms. Well, not for you. Just a wedding. Seriously.
Narrator: Loki looked so sincere Freya almost fell for it.
FREYA: I just know I’m going to regret this. But I’ll bite. Who is this wonderful god?
Narrator: Thor started laughing though he tried to disguise it.
THOR: He’s not a god. He’s an ettin.
Narrator: Freya was not happy. Freya was distinctly not happy.
FREYA: An ettin?? Are you out of your cotton-picking mind?? A GIANT??? You think I’m desperate or something???
LOKI: Now, Freya, sweetheart. Your brother was perfectly content to marry a giant. Thor’s wife is an ettin. Both my parents are ettins.
THOR: That might not be….
FREYA: Case proven, I think?
Narrator: seeing that Freya wasn’t about to go along with Loki’s scheme, Thor sighed. Time to think of something else. So he called on all the gods to help. They argued for eight days. Then Heimdall the Wise came up with a plan.
HEIMDALL: Right, we’re going to have to fool Thrym into surrendering the hammer. A marriage is the perfect opportunity. Once the ceremony is over and the feasting ended, he’s going to have to place a hammer in the bride’s lap for the blessing, and what other hammer is he likely to use? So all he needs is the bride.
THOR: all well and good, but Freya refuses.
FREYA: Damn right. Leave me out of this. You notice the hammer only comes after the wedding ceremony? No chance.
HEIMDALL: You misunderstand me, cousin. I wasn’t thinking of you. I had in mind someone else entirely.
Narrator: the gods were all agog. Who could Heimdall mean? Heimdall was happy to explain.
HEIMDALL: what better bride than Thor himself? The wedding will have no effect on two men. All we need to do now is to dress him up in the right clothes.
Narrator: Then everyone fell about laughing at such an idea. Except Thor.
THOR: Dress up like a woman? Not on your life! You can forget that! I’m not giving everyone the chance to call me a big girl’s blouse!
LOKI: Oh right. So shall we hand Asgard to the ettins now? Or shall we wait until they beat the shit out of us?
Narrator: So they dressed Thor up as a bride, with the works: dress, veil and all. And Freya loaned her precious Brisingamen, to convince Thrym he was marrying her. Meanwhile, Loki dressed up as a bridesmaid. Then Thor harnessed up his goats and drove the two of them to Thrym’s kingdom. Thrym heard them coming and was delighted.
THRYM: She’s coming! I’ve got riches a-plenty. I’ve got golden taps and diamond studded shoes and champagne every night in the hall. All I needed was a treasure like Freya to make it all worthwhile. Sister! Time to pull out the wedding gifts!
Narrator: So Thor and Loki arrived, and gifts were exchanged. Thrym presented Thor with beautiful dresses, while Thor and Loki gave handsome red dresses and shirts to all the ettins present. The wedding followed, and then everyone went to the feast. And what a feast! Thor did his usual. He consumed:
ALL: twelve ostrich drumsticks
Eleven lambs done leaping
ten Texan beefsteaks
nine bowls of goat stew
eight crates of strong ale
seven bowls of baked beans
six whole turducken
five rounds of cheese
four pigeon pies
three North Sea cod
two giant squid
and a porker roasted whole on the spit!
Narrator: But I think Thrym was most worried by the baked beans.
THRYM: That’s some appetite! But not exactly what I expected from Freya.
LOKI: Ah, but she hasn’t eaten for eight days. She’s been saving herself for this wedding.
Narrator: Thrym was so stricken with love, he tried to raise the bride’s veil and kiss her. But he shrank back when he saw Thor’s gaze.
THRYM: That’s some Medusa stare! It’s scarier than my mother-in-law, and that’s saying something! She could turn a man to stone with that!
LOKI: She’s ready for bed, that’s all. She’s been awake for eight nights thinking of you. Time for the blessing! Bring the hammer!
Narrator: So Thrym brought in the hammer and laid it in Thor’s lap.
THRYM: My darling, I have been dying for this day.
Narrator: That made Thor laugh.
THOR: That’s truer than you think!
Narrator: Then Thor took his hammer and struck Thrym dead. And his sister. And all the wedding guests. And then Thor and Loki rode back to Asgard, taking with them the rest of the wedding feast and all the gifts.
LOKI: Well, you can’t say they weren’t warned. We did give them all red shirts.
THOR: I don’t get it.
LOKI: It’s a nerd thing. Don’t worry about it. Have another squid.
© Alexa Duir 2016. Please do not copy without asking me first. 🙂