May 07, 2021 7 min read
Thor was the indefatigable god who guarded Asgard.
The giants, the forces of chaos, were often trying to destroy Asgard and kill the Aesir, and it was Thor’s task to prevent them from doing so.
His hammer was his primary weapon. It was no ordinary hammer; whenever Thor cast it at an enemy, it returned to his hands like a boomerang.
Today’s tale is about the day the hammer was made and given to Thor.
Remember the story of Sif’s hair?
Well to avoid Thor’s anger and save his life, Loki had to bring back more than the golden hair. He brought treasures for all the Gods!
So, when Loki was in Svartalfheim, land of the dwarves, he first visited the shop of one of the most skillful dwarves in the nine worlds, the three sons of Ivaldi!
Entering the old underground forge, Loki sat for a while watching the dwarves crafting things he had never seen!
Inspecting a magical horn they had made, Loki said: “Sons of Ivaldi, when I came to Svartalfheim and asked people about the best craftsmen around here, many of them directed me to your shop; however, most of them told me about another shop! The shop of Brokkr and Eitri”.
Annoyed by this, one of sons replied: “Well, you must have heard from the wrong people! We, sons of Ivaldi, are the best craftsmen in the nine worlds! We make horns that never run out of mead; we make chariots that travel the heavens and make shoes that run at the speed of wind!”
Amused by their answer, Loki said: “Well, what I heard was very different; and I can only say who is the best when I see what they can make”.
Without much debate, the eldest of the sons replied: “Look, whatever Brokkr and Eitri can make, we can do better”.
Loki, knowing his plan is succeeding, added: “Well, I heard there is a challenge for you and for Brokkr and Eitri. A challenge by the Gods of Asgard!”
“Three treasures” Loki continued, “three treasures are what is needed by the Gods. And whoever can make the most impressive treasures will be considered by the Gods themselves the best craftsmen in the nine worlds!”
“We’ll win.” said one of the sons of Ivaldi.
Loki, excited and amused, left the shop to go visit Brokkr and Eitri.
Arriving to Brokkr and Eitri’s forge, Loki found them working on some magical things he had never seen, heard of, or ever imagined! Things that make the treasures of the sons of Ivaldi look like a puppet made by a child.
Entering the shop, Loki said: “I heard there was a challenge set by the Gods of Asgard to nominate the best craftsmen in the nine worlds”.
Brokkr, curious about what Loki had to say, said: “Well, we don’t really need a challenge to prove what’s already proven but I believe there is something more to this. Isn’t this your own doing Loki? We know you”.
“What do you mean?” said Loki, acting surprised.
“I think the challenge is your own creation to prove yourself to the Gods and you are using us and the sons of Ivaldi.”
“Anyways, your intentions don’t really matter to me,” continued Brokkr, “but let’s make it personal a little bit”.
“What do you have in mind?” asked Loki.
“We’ll bet on your head. If we win the contest, we get your head! There is a lot going on in there. I’m sure Eitri can make something out of it.”
Loki smiled but felt that things are getting out of hand. he had easily convinced the sons of Ivaldi, but the situation is different now.
As he couldn’t pull back now, he accepted!
So, the two brothers went on to work!
Loki wanted to make sure they don’t win! He now needs all his tricks and magic!
As the brothers started working, a fly started flying around Brokkr who was pumping fire while Eitri forged the treasures.
The fly was the biggest Brokkr had ever seen… Well… it was Loki!
Loki had the ability to turn into anything he wants (once he became a horse but ended up getting pregnant. That’s a story for another time).
Even with the fly, Brokkr continued pumping. After a while Eitri came in and pulled out a huge golden boar from the forge. It was perfect.
They went on to work on the second treasure. After a while Eitri came in and this time with a golden arm-ring! Brokkr was very impressed.
For the third and last treasures, Eitri asked Brokkr to pay extreme attention to the pumping and not pump too fast or too slow because the new treasure needed extra care.
Loki, feeling the eminent danger, decided to go very aggressive!
As Brokkr started pumping, Loki, in the form of a fly, went directly to Brokkr’s eye and bit the eyelid as hard as he could.
He bit so hard that blood started flowing on Brokkr’s eye and he could see no more.
Brokkr, in unimaginable pain, shook his head to get rid of the fly. And as he did that, his pumping pace changed!
“Enough” said Eitri from the inside.
Eitri came in and looked at Brokkr in disappointment. “What have you done? You almost ruined everything! The treasure will not be as impressive as I wanted it to be!”.
At this moment Loki opened the door and came in. “So, are you ready?” asked Loki.
“Yes, we are” said Eitri, “Brokkr can go to Asgard and present the treasures to the Gods then cut off your head”.
Loki hurried to visit the sons of Ivaldi and see what they had made. The sons of Ivaldi had made three treasures. A ship, a spear, and Sif’s hair. Loki took the treasures and went on to the hall of the Gods to meet Brokkr there.
Loki and Brokkr stood before the Gods and Loki took the lead.
He gave Sif her hair and then took out the spear and gave it to Odin.
“This is Gungnir” said Loki, “a spear that never misses its target”.
“Looks good,” said Odin.
Loki took out a small box and gave it to Frey.
“What’s this?” said Frey “it looks like a toy”.
“It does”, said Loki, “but once you unleash it, it becomes a true ship. A ship to whom the wind is always fair. And it’s the biggest ship you’ll ever see. Its name is Skidbladnir”.
Frey was impressed.
Loki felt relieved as he thought the Gods were really impressed (Thor with the hair, Odin with the spear, and Frey with the ship). He thought that Brokkr could never have something better.
Brokkr now took the lead and greeted the Gods and thanked them for having him in their hall.
Brokkr took the golden arm-ring and placed it before Odin. Odin looked curious and asked what was special about this arm-ring.
“It’s no normal arm-ring All-father”, said Brokkr, “This arm-ring will increase your wealth infinitely. Every nine days, the arm-ring will produce nine identical golden arm-rings that are equivalent in beauty and value”.
Odin looked impressed and said, “It’s indeed very fine”.
Brokkr then stood before Frey and took out the golden boar.
“This boar was created for you. It will pull your chariot on earth and in the skies. It’s faster than the fastest of the horses and it lightens its path, so wherever it is, darkness disappears. Its name is Gullenbursti”.
Frey looked impressed but Loki felt safe as he thought the ship was more impressive.
Brokkr then stood before the all-mighty Thor and presented a hammer to him.
Thor looked curious and said, “the handle is short”.
“That’s my fault”, said Brokkr, “as I was pumping fire, a fly bit my eye and I accidentally changed pace”.
“But don’t get mistaken” continued Brokkr, “the hammer is called Mjölnir and it’s the most powerful weapon in the nine worlds. It shall never miss its target and whenever you throw it, it comes back to you. It’s unbreakable and can kill and destroy any creature or object”.
Thor looked more interested now and started smiling, and that was rare, like very rare!
Thor clapped his hands in delight and thunder was heard across the nine worlds.
Odin and Frey looked impressed as well because they knew the hammer will protect them and protect Asgard from the giants or any other enemy.
“What about your wife’s hair Thor” said Loki “isn’t it impressive?”
“Well, yeah it is” said Thor uninterestedly ‘Thanks Loki and thank the sons of Ivaldi on my behalf”.
“Now show me how to use it” said Thor, turning again to Brokkr.
“It’s more impressive than my spear and my arm-ring. It’s indeed fine,” said Odin.
“I wish I could have something like that. It’s better than my ship and boar,” said Frey.
At this point, Loki knew he was in trouble.
The Gods clapped to Brokkr and told him that he and his brother were indeed the best craftsmen in the nine worlds.
Brokkr felt really flattered and thanked them. He then turned to Loki and said “Well, Loki, we both know what happens now”.
“I’ll pay you gold for my head” pleaded Loki.
“We have all the gold we need. We can make anything we wish”.
“Well, then catch me if you can” said Loki as he leaped to the sky.
“Thor, would you like to try your hammer?” said Brokkr.
“Well, that’s a good idea” said Thor as he threw the hammer targeting Loki’s feet.
Loki then stumbled and fall in front of them.
“Come here Loki, let’s cut that head” said Brokkr.
“Well, here is it. But I promised you my head. Please don’t touch my neck” said Loki “If you cut any of my neck, you’re violating the terms. Isn’t that right All-father Odin”?
“That’s right Loki” said Odin, smiling.
“You see, the All-father said it himself” said Loki while feeling amused.
“Alright” sighed Brokkr then went to Odin and whispered a suggestion to him.
“That sound fair” said Odin, smirking.
Brokkr took out a strap and a knife from his pocket and wrapped the thread around Loki’s mouth and tried to make a hole in Loki’s lips to tighten the knot.
The knife couldn’t do it.
“Well, I have made my skin immune to knives in case the “my head not my neck” trick didn’t work”.
“Can I borrow your spear” Brokkr asked Odin.
“Well, here it is,” said Odin.
Brokkr then took the spear and pierced both of Loki’s lips and made a tight knot.
From that moment on, nobody heard from Loki for days!
And that’s the story of Mjolnir and all the Gods’ treasures.
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