April 19, 2021 2 min read
This is one of my favorite Norse tales!
It tells the story of when Thor encountered his archenemy for the first, but not last, time!
So the Gods arranged to visit Aegir and Ran, two giants, for a lavish and enormous feast.
The two giants welcomed the idea (they were known for their hospitality) but had one request from the Gods; to provide a kettle large enough to brew mead for all of the guests.
The Gods thought for a while about this and then remembered that such a giant kettle can only be found in the house of Hymir, another giant.
Thor, with all his courage and bravery, volunteered to go bring the kettle. Courage and bravery are much needed on such a trip because, unlike Aegir and Ran, many of the other giants are very hostile to the Gods.
After a long trip, Thor arrived at Hymir's hall who immediately slaughtered three giant bulls to welcome the god.
Thor was the God who ate the most and his hunger was so legendary that he ate two of the three bulls in one setting!
Hymir, having witnessed such an extraordinary event, decided and informed Thor that they shall go fishing in the morning to provide the next day's food.
At dawn, Hymir and Thor woke up and Hymir asked Thor to go find a bait.
Thor, the reckless God, went on to Hymir's stable, slaughtered one of the remaining bulls and cut his head to use it as a bait.
Hymir was very irritated but didn't say anything hoping that Thor's strength would help in catching some huge fish.
The two got on an enormous boat and started rowing. Just a little bit off the shore, Hymir caught two whales and felt good about it.
Thor, not very impressed, continued rowing...
As the shore began to disappear, Hymir felt concerned and warned Thor that Jörmungandr, the world serpent, lurked in the nearby waters.
If you don't know him, Jörmungandr is Loki's son and he lurks under the sea and encircles the whole world.
Thor, the courageous and reckless God, refused to stop and continued rowing!
After a while, Thor stopped and cast his line with the bull's head at the end. A few hours later, Thor felt something powerful pulling the bait. Then a violent rumbling shook the boat and whipped the waves.
Thor planted his feet on the boat's ground so hard that the wood cracked and water poured in.
Thor pulled as hard as he could and Jörmungandr's head went above the water.
At that moment Thor reached for his hammer to finish the serpent!
Hymir, very panicked, cut the line and Jörmungandr got freed and sunk again deep into the ocean.
Thor, extremely angry at Hymir, punched him behind the ear and threw him overboard.
With the two whales slung over his shoulders, Thor waded back to land, picked up Hymir’s cauldron, and returned home to Asgard for the most lavish feast that has ever been!
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