Old Norse Religion
Mjollnir was Thor's magic golden hammer. The hammer
came about when Loki cut off the hair of Thors goddess wife Sif. To save
his life from the angry thunder god, Loki traveled to the land of the dwarfs
where the Sons of Ivaldi made new hair for Sif out of stands of magical
gold . They also made a magical golden long boat for Frey and the magical
golden war spear Gungnir for Odin the Allfather. On the way back to Asgard,
Loki visited the dwarfs Brokk and Eitri and entered a dangerous bet. Loki
bet that his gifts for the gods from the Sons of Ivaldi where better than
any gifts that Brokk and Eitri could make, and offered his head should he
Brokk and Eitri took the bet and started work right away. Loki grew worried
and turned himself into a horsefly to watch the two work. As they made their
first item, Loki bit Brokk on the hand so that he could not fan the mighty
fire heating the forge, but Brokk didn't notice and a fine magical golden
boar named Gullinbur for the god Frey.
Brokk and Eitri started work on the second item as Loki bit Brokk on the
neck to stop him from fanning the fire, but Brokk didn't notice and finally
they finished a magical golden arm ring named Draupnir for Odin.
Brokk and Eitri started work on the final item, and when they where about
finished Loki bit Brokk on the eyelid. Brokk stopped fanning the fire to
wipe the blood out of his eye just long enough for the fire to cool down
too much to finish the third item, a magical golden hammer called Mjollnir
for Thor. It was a good hammer, but the handle was just a little too short.
Mjollnir won the bet for Brokk and Eitri because it would hit any object
Thor would throw at and return to his hand, But Brokk could not collect
Loki's head because it would mean cutting Loki's neck, and his neck was
not part of the deal. So Brokk sewed Loki's mouth shut to teach him a lesson
on when to use it, and most importantly, when not to.
Thor used his hammer many times in battle against the giants. One time it
was stolen by Thrym, the king of the frost giants, and buried nine miles
under the earth. The only way he would return it to the Thunder god was
if he could marry Freya. Thor disguised himself as Freya and Loki as her
maidservant and traveled to Jotunheim to retrieve the hammer, which they
did at the cost of Thrym's life.
Mjollnir also carved out three valleys in a mountain near Utgard when Thor
threw his hammer at a giant named Skrymir, who was really Utgard-Loki in
disguise and using the mountain as a shield.
Thor will carry the mighty hammer into the final battle called Ragnarok
where he will use it to crush the world serpent Jormungand's head, but he
will be poisoned by the mighty serpent and die after taking nine steps.
This will not be the end of Mjollnir though. The hammer will be passed along
to Thors two sons named Modi and Magni to defend the worlds yet to come
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This article appeared in Valhalla's Svar Vol. 7 No. 4, April 1996