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I started this page for 2 reasons

  • So we can have more room on any character pages because Rick Riordan never has any lapse of information on his characters
  • So we can have a page to read myths instead of jumping from page to page reading/posting myths.

The Aesir - Vanir warEdit

In Norse Mythology there were two tribes of gods, the Aesir and the Vanir. The Vanir goddess Freyja was the main practitioner of seidr, a form of magic that alters the course of destiny. Under the name Heiðr, Freyja wandered to Asgard, the enclosure of the Aesir. The Aesir were quite taken with Freyja's powers and zealously wanted her services. Soon the Aesir realised that they were pushing aside honor, kin loyalty and their obedience to the law to pursue their own selfish reasons of Freyja's magic. They called her "gold greed" and they attempted to murder her, three times they burned her and three times she rose from the ashes. This lead to hostility between the Aesir and Vanir, which erupted into war. The Aesir used combat and brute force while the Vanir depended on magic, each group gained the upper hand at turns. The gods became weary of fighting and called a truce, with both sides sending hostages to the other group. Freyja, Freyr and Njörðr were hostages for the Aesir, Hœnir and Mimir were hostages for the Vanir. The Vanir thought they were cheated in hostages because Hœnir gave well thought advice but only when Mimir was there to counsel him, the Vanir beheaded Mimir and sent the head to Asgard where the distraught Odin chanted magic poems over his head and embalmed it in herbs, this allowed the head of Mimir to give Odin advice even though it was severed. They were still weary of fighting an evenly matched war so they still had a truce between them.

The Mead of PoetryEdit

After the Aesir-Vanir war, when they decided to have a truce, they sealed their truce by spitting into a vat. From the spit a man name Kvasir was born. Kvasir was the wisest man that had ever lived, nobody could ask him a question without receiving a satisfying answer. Due to his wisdom, Kvasir became very famous. He traveled the world giving counsel to anyone who paid him. Once 2 Dwarves named Fjalar and Galar invited Kvasir to their home. They slew him and made mead out of his blood, the mead was named Óðrœrir and anyone who ate a part of it would become either a poet or a scholar. When the gods questioned the dwarves about Kvasir's death they told them that he choked on his wisdom. The dwarves happened to love murder, once they took a giant out to sea and drowned him. They were annoyed by the sounds of his weeping wife so they killed her also. The son of the giant the dwarves killed was named Suttung and was very angry at the dwarves. He seized Fjalar and Galar and chain them to a low tide that would soon be covered by waves. Fjalar and Galar begged for their lives. Suttung granted them their lives if they gave him the mead they brewed from Kvasir's blood. Suttung hid the mead under a mountain guarded by his daughter, Gunnlod. The chief of the Aesir, Odin, learned of the hidden mead and set his mind to find it, as he was on a pursuit of wisdom. Odin went to the farm of Suttung's brother Baugi and went to the field. At the field, nine servants were harvesting wheat. Odin offered to sharpen their scythes with a whetstone he happened to have. The servants were astonished by how well their scythes cut through wheat after Odin sharpened them. They all wanted to buy the whetstone from Odin. Odin said "Very well, But you will have to pay a very high price". He threw the whetstone into the air and the servants dove for it, killing each other with their scythes. Odin then went to the door of Baugi under the name of Bölverkr. He said he would do the work of the servants who killed each other over a dispute in the field if he could have a sip from his brothers mead. Baugi said he had no power over the mead as his brother, Suttung, guarded it jelously, but he said that he could help obtain the mead if Bölverkr could truly do the work of nine men. At the end of the harvest season, Odin fulfilled his promise and Baugi accompanied Odin to his brother. Suttung refused to let Odin have a sip of the mead. Odin reminded Baugi of his promise and convinced Baugi to help him to the mead. When the made it to Gunnlod's dwelling Odin took a auger out of his cloak and handed it to Baugi to drill a hole into the dwelling. Baugi announced he was done when Odin blew into the hole to have the rock dust come back into his face, this revealed that Baugi had lied. He made Baugi do it again, when Odin blew the second time the debris flew through the hole. The disguised god thank Baugi for his help, assumed the form of a snake and went to the hole. Baugi, realising what he had done stabbed after the snake but Odin made it just in time. Odin assumed the form of a charming young man and charmed Gunnlod to make his way to the mead. Gunnlod made him a deal, if he slept with her for 3 nights she would grant him 3 sips of the mead. After the 3rd night Odin went to the three vats where the mead was stored and consumed each vat. Assuming the form of an eagle Odin flew toward Asgard. Suttung realised Odin had the mead and chased after him. Odin made it past the gates of Asgard and Suttung retreated. Once Odin was safe he regurgitated the mead into a container. As he did this, a few drops fell from his beak into Midgard. These drops were the source of all bad poets and scholars. The good poets and scholars are the ones that Odin handed mead to personally.

Loki and the DwarvesEdit

One day, Loki the trickster found himself in an especially mischievous mood and cut off the gorgeous golden hair of Sif the wife of Thor. When Thor learned of this, his quick temper was enraged, and he seized Loki and threatened to break every bone in his body. Loki pleaded with the thunder god to let him go down to Svartalfheim, the cavernous home of the dwarves, and see if those master craftspeople could fashion a new head of hair for Sif, this one even more beautiful than the original. Thor allowed this, and off Loki went to Svartalfheim. There he was able to obtain what he desired. The sons of the dwarf Ivaldi forged not only a new head of hair for Sif, but also two other marvels: Skidbladnir (“Assembled from Thin Pieces of Wood”), the best of all ships, which always has a favorable wind and can be folded up and put into one’s pocket, and Gungnir (“Swaying”), the deadliest of all spears. Having accomplished his task, Loki was overcome by an urge to remain in the caves of the dwarves and revel in more recklessness. He approached the brothers Brokkr and Sindri (“Metalworker” and “Spark-sprayer,” respectively) and taunted them, saying that he was sure the brothers could never forge three new creations equal to those the sons of Ivaldi had fashioned. In fact, he even bet his head on their lack of ability. Brokkr and Sindri, however, accepted the wager. As they worked, a fly (who, of course, was none other than Loki in disguise) stung Sindri’s hand. When the dwarf pulled his creation out of the fire, it was a living boar with golden hair. This was Gullinbursri (“Golden-bristled”), who gave off light in the dark and could run better than any horse, even through water or air. Sindri then set another piece of gold on the fire as Brokkr worked the bellows. The fly bit Brokkr on the neck, and Sindri drew out a magnificent ring, Draupnir (“Dripper”). From this ring, every ninth night, fall eight new golden rings of equal weight. Sindri then put iron on the hearth, and told Brokkr that, for this next working, they must be especially meticulous, for a mistake would be more costly than with the previous two projects. Loki immediately stung Brokkr’s eyelid, and the blood blocked the dwarf’s eye, preventing him from properly seeing his work. Sindri produced a hammer of unsurpassed quality, which never missed its mark and would boomerang back to its owner after being thrown, but it had one flaw: the handle was short. Sindri lamented that this had almost ruined the piece, which was called Mjölnir (“Lightning”). Nevertheless, sure of the great worth of their three treasures, Sindri and Brokkr made their way to Asgard to claim the wages that were due to them. Loki made it to the halls of the gods before the dwarves and presented the marvels he had acquired. To Thor he gave Sif’s new hair and the hammer Mjölnir. To Odin went the ring Draupnir and the spear Gungnir. And Freyr was the happy recipient of Skidbladnir and Gullinbursti. As grateful as the gods were to receive these gifts – especially Mjölnir, which they foresaw would be of inestimable help in their battles against the giants– they nevertheless concluded that Loki still owed the dwarves his head. When the dwarves approached Loki with knives, the cunning god pointed out that he had promised them his head, but not his neck. Brokkr and Sindri contented themselves with sewing Loki’s mouth shut, and returned to their forge.

Thor the TransvestiteEdit

One morning, Thor awoke to find his hammer, Mjölnir (“Lightning”), missing. This was no small matter; without the thunder god’s best weapon, Asgard was left vulnerable to the attacks of the giants. In a rage, he searched everywhere for his most prized possession, but it was nowhere to be found. The goddess Freyja owned falcon feathers, with which one could change one’s shape into that of a falcon. She lent these to Thor and Loki so that the hammer could be located. Loki, who knew how to shift his shape, donned the feathers and flew off in search of the treasure. He quickly surmised that it had probably been stolen by the giants, so he rode the winds to their homeland, Jotunheim. Upon his arrival, he changed back into his god-form and approached the chief of the giants, Thrym (“Noisy”). When questioned regarding the hammer, Thrym answered that he had indeed taken it, and that it was buried eight miles below the ground. And, added the lonely, ugly giant, he had no intention of returning it until Freyja was made to be his bride. Loki flew back to Asgard and told this news to his fellow gods, who were alarmed and furious – especially Freyja. As they sat in counsel, Heimdallr put forth the following solution: that Thor go to Jotunheim disguised as Freyja, and thereby win back his hammer and take vengeance on its thieves. Thor protested, saying that this was a dishonorable and unmanly thing to do, and that all of the inhabitants of Asgard would mock him for it for the rest of his days. Loki pointed out, however, that if he didn’t consent to Heimdall’s plan, Asgard would be ruled by the giants. The gods thereby obtained Thor’s acquiescence. No detail was spared in the assemblage of Thor’s bridal dress. After the humiliated god had donned the costume, Loki offered to go with him as his maid-servant. The pair climbed into Thor’s goat-drawn chariot and made their way to Jotunheim. When they arrived, they were welcomed by Thrym, who boasted that the gods had at last brought him the prize he was due. At dinner, Thor and Loki found themselves in trouble. Thor singlehandedly ate an entire ox, eight salmon, and all of the dainties that had been prepared for the women – not to mention the many barrels of mead he drank. This made Thrym suspicious, and he declared that he had never in his whole life seen a woman with such an appetite. Loki quickly devised a response: “The fair goddess has been so lovesick for you,” he claimed, “that she hasn’t been able to eat for a week.” Thrym accepted this answer, and was overcome by a desire to kiss his bride. When he peeled back the veil, Thor’s eyes glared at him so intently that they seemed to burn holes right through him. He exclaimed, “Never have I seen a maiden with such frightfully piercing eyes!” Loki, the master of deceit, explained to the giant that while Freyja had been unable to eat, she had also been unable to sleep, so fierce was her longing for him. The ceremony soon followed. As was customary, Thrym called for the hammer to hallow their union. When Mjölnir was laid in Thor’s lap, he grabbed its handle and slew first Thrym, then all of the guests before contentedly returning to Asgard and changing back into his preferred clothes.

Thor's Duel with HrugnirEdit

Hrugnir was the most powerful of giants. He animated the spirits of night, winter, darkness and the grave, who are often enemies with the gods. One day Hrungnir was paid a visit in Jotunheim, the homeland of the giants, by Odin. Hrungnir didn’t recognize the god at first, and instead wondered aloud who this stranger might be whose horse could ride through the air and the water, as he had seen the horse do at the god’s approach. Odin bet his head that his horse – none other than the eight-legged steed Sleipnir- could outrun any horse in Jotunheim. Hrungnir was insulted by this provocation, and straightaway accepted the bet and mounted his own horse, Gullfaxi (“Golden-Mane”). The two raced through mud and streams, over steep, rocky hills, and between the trees in thick woodlands. Before the giant realized it, he had passed through the gates of Asgard, the home of the gods. And, of course, he still hadn’t caught up with Odin and Sleipnir. The gods, seemingly in good cheer, invited him to drink with them. After he had become drunk, he became belligerent, and boasted that he would kill all of the gods except for the Freyja and Sif, the wife of Thor. These two lovely goddesses he would carry back to Jotunheim with him. Freya alone was stout of heart enough to continue filling his horn. Next he bellowed that he would drink every last drop of the gods’ ale. The gods soon grew tired of his anger and sent for Thor, who had been elsewhere fighting other giants. When Thor arrived and discovered the situation, he lifted his hammer and prepared to slay Hrungnir there on the spot. The bellicose (and yet, we may suspect, inwardly fearful) giant accused Thor of cowardice for intending to kill someone who was himself unarmed. “Your name would be held in far higher honor,” the giant declared, “if you will accept my challenge to a duel.” Never one to lose an opportunity to gain renown and prove his abilities, Thor accepted. When the arranged time had arrived, Hrungnir walked to the field near Jotunheim where the duel was to be held. He wore stone armor, brandished a stone shield, and menacingly waved a whetstone, his chosen weapon, in the air above him. Suddenly, he saw lightning and heard thunder clap above him, and Thor roared onto the battlefield. Thor hurled his hammer at the giant, and the giant slung his whetstone at the god. The stone burst against Thor’s forehead and shattered into pieces, and this is the origin of all flint on earth. Thor’s hammer also struck Hrungnir’s head, but this time it was the giant’s head that was shattered. But a piece of Hrungnir’s whetstone was lodged in Thor’s forehead. So Thor sought out the sorceress Groa (“Thriving”), who sang spells over the stone to remove it from the god’s brow. When Thor felt the stone moving, he told the sorceress many joyous things to encourage her, chiefly that he had encountered her lost husband, who would soon be home. But Groa was so overcome with emotion upon hearing this that she forgot her chants, and will remain there until Thor's death at Ragnarök.

The Death of BaldrEdit

Baldr was one of the most beloved of all the gods. The son of Odin, the chief of the gods, and the benevolent sorceress goddess Frigg, Baldr was a generous, joyful, and courageous character who gladdened the hearts of all who spent time with him. When, therefore, he began to have ominous dreams of some grave misfortune befalling him, the fearful gods appointed Odin to discover their meaning. Baldr's father wasted no time in mounting his steed, Sleipnir, and riding to the underworld to consult a dead seeress whom he knew to be especially wise in such matters. When, in one of his countless disguises, he reached the cold and misty underworld, he found the halls arrayed in splendor, as if some magnificent feast were about to occur. Odin woke the seeress and questioned her concerning this festivity, and she responded that the guest of honor was to be none other than Baldr. She merrily recounted how the god would meet his doom, stopping only when she realized, from the desperate nature of Odin’s entreaties, who this disguised wanderer truly was. And, indeed, all that she prophesied would come to pass. Odin returned in sorrow to Asgard, the gods’ celestial stronghold, and told his comrades what he had been told. Frigg, yearning for any chance of saving her treasured son, however remote, went to every thing in the cosmos and obtained oaths to not harm Baldr. After these oaths were secured, the gods made a sport out of the situation. They threw sticks, rocks, and anything else on hand at Baldr, and everyone laughed as these things bounced off and left the shining god unharmed. The wily and disloyal Loki sensed an opportunity for mischief. In disguise, he went to Frigg and asked her, “Did all things swear oaths to spare Baldr from harm?” “Oh, yes,” the goddess replied, “everything except the mistletoe. But the mistletoe is so small and innocent a thing that I felt it superfluous to ask it for an oath. What harm could it do to my son?” Immediately upon hearing this, Loki departed, located the mistletoe, and brought it to where the gods were playing their new favorite game. He approached the blind god Höðr and said, “You must feel quite left out, having to sit back here away from the merriment, not being given a chance to show Baldr the honor of proving his invincibility.” The blind god concurred. “Here,” said Loki, handing him the shaft of mistletoe. “I will point your hand in the direction where Baldr stands, and you throw this branch at him.” So Höðr threw the mistletoe. It pierced the god straight through, and he fell down dead on the spot. The gods found themselves unable to speak as they trembled with anguish and fear. They knew that this event was the first presage of Ragnarök, the downfall and death, not just of themselves, but of the very cosmos they maintained. The angry gods imprisoned Loki as punishment where a serpent dripped venom into his eyes while he was chained. Baldr would not return until the end of Ragnarök.

The Binding of FenrirEdit

The Norse pseudo-god Loki, who is by turns the friend and the enemy of the other gods, had three fearfully hideous and strong children with the giantess Angrboda (“She Who Bodes Anguish”). The first was the serpent Jörmungandr, and the second was the death-goddess Hel. The third was the wolf Fenrir. The gods had terrible forebodings concerning the destiny of these three beings. And they were absolutely correct. Jörmungandr would later kill the god Thor during Ragnarök, the end of the great mythical cycle, an event which would be largely brought about by Hel’s refusal to release the radiant god Baldr from the underworld. During these cataclysmic events, Fenrir would devour Odin, the chief of the gods. In order to keep these monsters at bay, they threw Jörmungandr into the ocean, where he encircled Midgard, the world of humankind. Hel they relegated to the underworld. Fenrir, however, inspired too much fear in them for them to let him out from under their watchful eyes, so they reared the pup themselves in their stronghold, Asgard. Only Týr, the indefatigable upholder of law and honor, dared to approach Fenrir to feed him. Fenrir grew at an alarming rate, however, and soon the gods decided that his stay in Asgard had to be temporary. Knowing well how much devastation he would cause if he were allowed to roam free, the gods attempted to bind him with various chains. They were able to gain the wolf’s consent by telling him that these fetters were tests of his strength, and clapping and cheering when, with each new chain they presented him, he broke free. At last, the gods sent a messenger down to Svartalfheim, the realm of the Dwarves. The dwarves, being the most skilled craftspeople in the cosmos, were able to forge a chain whose strength couldn’t be equaled; it was wrought from the sound of a cat’s footsteps, the beard of a woman, the roots of stones, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird – in other words, things which don’t exist, and against which it’s therefore futile to struggle. Gleipnir (“Open”) was its name. When the gods presented Fenrir with the curiously light and supple Gleipnir, the wolf suspected trickery and refused to be bound with it unless one of the gods would lay his or her hand in his jaws as a pledge of good faith. None of the gods agreed, knowing that this would mean the loss of a hand and the breaking of an oath. At last, the brave Týr, for the good of all life, volunteered to fulfill the wolf’s demand. And, sure enough, when Fenrir discovered that he was unable to escape from Gleipnir, he chomped off and swallowed Týr's hand. The fettered beast was then transported to some suitably lonely and desolate place. The chain was tied to a boulder and a sword was placed in the wolf’s jaws to hold them open. As he howled wildly and ceaselessly, a foamy river called “Expectation” (Old Norse Ván) flowed from his drooling mouth. And there, in that sordid state, he would remain – until Ragnarök.

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