Of Broken Bones And Gods

By | November 13, 2009

People seem to be entertained when I tell stories of norse myth, so why not add one of these stories here?

In this story Thor and Loki are returning from Udgard after a troll hunt.

Alright, ok, I might need getting you up to speed on a few things. First of all, the gods. There are many gods and godlike creatures and beings and spirits. Thor is one of the big ones, and while you probably have heard of Thor before, you got it all wrong. Thor is NOT a blonde bimbo hunk like the Marvel Thor. The REAL Thor is a force of nature, a man of huge girth and strength, with a temper to match his red hair and beard. Think “fat drunken Irishman” and you’re not far off, only he’s not drunk, he’s just not the brightest god there is. Thor is the thing you put between you and the enemy, and tell him to make them dead. His main weapon is the hammer Mjølner, a magical hammer that he can throw at people and it will return to his hand at his command.

And his buddy on this trip is Loki. Loki is… hard to put in a box. He’s a god, but also a free spirit. He’s been called the “God of Lies” but that’s only part of the story, as he is the gods’ main diplomat and an intellect to be admired. Problem is he gets bored. He then get into problems. And the problems usually grow to such an extent that he has to use all his intellect and diplomacy to get out of the problems. And, uh, lie and cheat. You might call him the prototype politician.

So, they’re returning from Udgard, which is where the trolls live. Udgard is one of the three major portions of the world, the other being Midgard, where the mortal humans live, and Asgard, where the Asir, a flavour of gods, lives. Udgard is a nasty place, full of foul creatures. Here be dragons. Oh, did I mention that Loki came from there originaly? As for trolls, all you need to know is that they are not nice and need to be hunted from time to time.

So there we have it. Thor and Loki returning from the troll hunt, a bro-thing. They’re riding along in Thor’s sweet ride, the goat cart, powered by the biggest meanest goats ever. I’m trying hard here to make them sound awesome. Oh, yeah, they can fly! Also their hooves make the thunderous sound, AKA “thunder”. Did I mention that Thor is the god of thunder and lightning? This is partly why. Yeah, because of… goats. Anyway…

In order to get from Udgard to Asgard, where they live, they have to pass over Midgard. They’re running a bit late, so they decide to stay in Midgard for the night, so Thor swings the cart down from the skies and into the farmyard of a small farm.

The farm is run by a man and his wife, and their son and daughter, Tjalfe and Røskva. Yes, those are names. Anyway, here comes the God of Thunder and the God of Skillful Avoiding of a Beatdown and they demand to be fed for the night. The farmer complains that they are poor people, and if they had only gotten an advance notice they could have started soaking the dried meat and maybe brought out the spare bed, but Thor laughs at the silly humans and promptly slays one of his goats with a stroke of his hammer and goes, there, cook that. It’s good goat. Only don’t break any bones, for reasons that will be apparent later. So the farmer sets his kids and wife at work with preparing the dead goats.

So, they have a nice evening with Thor eating, drinking and telling stories of how many trolls he slew and so forth. Meanwhile Loki, having heard the same old bullshit stories over and over again, grows bored. He notices that the kid, Tjalfe, is eyeing the bones, and scoots over to him and ask him what the deal is? The kid really likes marrow, it seems, but Thor told him not to break the bones. What are you, chicken?, asks Loki, and Tjalfe, while being a good kid, is a teenage boy, which is another way of saying he is not thinking with his head half of the time, so he’s all Me? Chicken? Never! Loki proceeds to make clucking sounds and even dares him, yes, even double dares him to break the bones. It’s just a goddamn bone, Thor will never notice. Or perhaps mortals just lack the guts. Prove me wrong, kid, prove me wrong. So the kid does so, eats the marrow, and tosses the broken bone in the pile with the others.

So, yeah, the next morning, Thor gets up and goes to the bone pile and swings his hammer over them, and PRESTO, a live goat appears. See, the goats are getting more and more awesome, yeah? Anyway, the goat walks around with a limp, obviously a broken bone, so Thor goes into a rage and pulls the poor farmer out of his bed, shakes him like a maracas and threatens to punch his fucking face in, you shithead! Tjalfe wakes up and goes oh CRAP when he remembers the broken bone from last night, but goes to face the music, or in this case face the red-faced gorilla shaking his father, and soon Thor is shaking the kid instead, while he tries to explain that Lllloki mmmade mme doooo ittttt. Loki steps in and tells Thor to settle down, maybe we can find a solution, let’s not get violent towards the mortals we are usually protecting, chill bro, chill, while the farmer agrees that we would also like that he and his family remained living.

Loki puts forth that the kid, as a penance, could work for Thor as a manservant. Thor is still mad and starts complaining that this is little comfort since they now have to WALK the whole norndamned way home which is literally at the end of the world and back, so the Farmer, still shook up and scared offers his daughter as well. The red mist finally subsides and Thor see the benefits and agrees.

So, well, that’s the story really. Loki was a dick as usual, but it worked out in the end, for the gods at least. The goat eventually got better too, so don’t feel sad about it.

There may be a moral to this story somewhere. Maybe something about not going along on a dare, I dunno. Anyway, it’s a story with magic goats, so there is that.

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