The myth of Thor’s journey to the land of giants – Scott A. Mellor

The myth of Thor’s journey to the land of giants – Scott A. Mellor


Thor—son of Odin, god of thunder,
and protector of mankind— struggled mightily against his greatest
challenge yet: opening a bag of food. It’d all started when Thor, along with his fleet-footed human servant
Thjalfi and Loki, the trickster god, set out on a journey to Jotunheim,
land of the giants. Along the way, they’d met
a giant named Skrymir, who offered to accompany them and
even carry their provisions in his bag. But when they made camp,
Skrymir dozed off and Thor couldn’t untie the sack. Frustrated and hungry, Thor tried
to wake the giant three times by striking his head with his hammer
Mjolnir as hard as he could. But each time, Skrymir thought
it was only a falling acorn and went back to sleep. The next morning, Skrymir departed and eventually, the travelers reached
a massive fortress called Utgard. Inside the long hall,
they met the king of giants, Utgard-Loki, who greeted his guests with a challenge: each of them was to prove they were
the best at some particular skill. Loki went first, declaring himself
the world’s fastest eater. To test him, the king summoned
his servant Logi and the two were placed at either
end of a long trough stuffed with food. Loki ate his way inward
with blinding speed. But when the contestants
met in the center, Loki saw that his adversary
had not only eaten just as much food, but also the bones
and even the trough itself. Next was Thjalfi, who could
outrun anything in the wild. The king summoned an ethereal-looking
giant named Hugi, who outraced Thjalfi easily. But the boy would not give up
and demanded a rematch. This time, Thjalfi finished close behind and the king admitted he’d never
seen a human run so fast. Thjalfi tried a third time,
running like his life depended on it, but Hugi was even faster than before. Finally, it was Thor’s turn. The king offered him a drinking horn, saying all his men
could drain it in two gulps. Thor raised it to his lips and drank the surprisingly
cold and salty mead in the longest gulp he could muster. Then a second. Then a third. But the level of the mead
in the horn was only slightly lowered. To test Thor’s renowned strength, the king
offered a seemingly easy challenge: lift his pet cat off the ground. But this cat was as tall as Thor. Every time he tried to lift it,
it arched its back, and straining with all his godly might,
he only managed to lift one paw. Enraged, Thor demanded
to wrestle any of the giants. The king summoned
the giants’ old nursemaid, Elli. Though the woman looked frail,
Thor couldn’t overpower her and grew weaker the longer he struggled,
until he was brought to one knee. The three companions prepared
to leave, disappointed and humbled. But as the king escorted them out, he revealed that nothing in the castle
had been what it seemed. Loki lost the eating contest because
his opponent Logi was wildfire itself, devouring everything in its path. Thjalfi couldn’t outrun Hugi because
Hugi was the embodiment of thought, always faster than action. And even Thor couldn’t defeat Elli,
or old age, which weakens everyone eventually. As for the other challenges,
they had also been illusions. The drinking horn
was filled with the ocean, and Thor had drained
enough to cause the tides. The cat was the serpent
that encircles the world, and Thor’s efforts shifted the earth. And Skrymir had been
Utgard-Loki in disguise, deflecting Thor’s hammer-blows to form
valleys in the surrounding mountains. The giant congratulated
them on their prowess, which so frightened him he would
never allow them in his land again. Thor and his companions failed
the challenges presented to them. But in trying to achieve the impossible, they’d pushed themselves
harder than ever before and changed the world
in ways no one had expected.

100 Replies to “The myth of Thor’s journey to the land of giants – Scott A. Mellor”

  1. Interested in exploring this world further? Download a free audiobook version of Neil Gaiman's beloved novel "Norse Mythology" here: http://adbl.co/2om4O4Q. Each free trial started with this Audible link helps support TED-Ed's nonprofit mission.

  2. probably what would've happened after Loki lost:

    Utgard-Loki: Prepare to die

    Loki: chuckles I have never met this man in my life

  3. Kratos and Atreus:
    I M
    A B O U T
    T O
    E N D
    T H I S
    M A N S
    W H O L E
    C A R E E R
    (in the next game of course)

  4. Thor lived 801,372,127,981,712 years ago then he was the true god of thunder he had a mission to defend man-kind he was killed by all man-kind now he was vanished forever none knows where he has gone………..

  5. For those who want to know, the contestants' true names are references to their "identities" as their names are also names for things in Icelandic

    Logi: flame
    Hugi: Mind
    Elli: Old age

  6. So your telling me…
    Thor attempted to beat Thanos
    Can lift an iron hammer 200x my weight
    And is able to control lightning,
    but couldn’t open a bag of food?

  7. Thor looks more like the Giants according to my research https://forums.mmorpg.com/discussion/481515/the-engineers-of-giants#latest

  8. Gaiman’s Norse mythology is incredible and this was my favorite story in it, I love Thor Loki and Thialfi so much

  9. "Thor and his comanions failed the challenges presented to them. But in trying to achieve the impossible,"
    LOLSRSLY?? Haha

  10. I believe e how people view religion I mean it’s like my god is real beacause he created everything and that is me evidence

  11. I read Neil Gaiman’s book and it was good, a little inappropriate at times but still good

  12. Thvoli: I can’t outrun anything in the wild

    Thor: I am mightier than all of you

    Loki: I can eat really fast

  13. I did it the other way around actually. I loved Gaimans albeit short read and this was perhaps my favorite story. Thank your for the animation

  14. It is so funny to, as a danish person, try to guess what the english names corelate to in danish.
    Many times fx., i will be like "who tf is that human?", and then like struck by a lightning, i'll go "oh, that's totally tjælfe!"
    I had also never heard of the land of the giants.
    Fun fact, they're not giants. They are described as big troll-looking creatures, called either one "jætte" or to "jætter". It is a very tough word to pronounce in english, and i tried my best to find a clip of someone saying it, without luck.

  15. Actually Thor should have won the challenge with Eli since Old Age strengthens Asgaurdians.. I guess

  16. Man polytheist stories are just so much better than anything in the bible I have a hard time understanding why people converted…besides the whole threat of death of you and everyone you love thing

  17. If this myth gets used as a quest in God of War 5 and the trials get turned into mini games or boss fights, it would make fire an interesting challenge.

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