Mythology Monday: The Fortification of Asgard

Loki_and_Svadilfari_by_Hardy.jpg

I like mythology and folklore. I think they’re extremely interesting. So, in that regard, I have decided to embark on a new project: Mythology Mondays. Basically, either every or every other Monday I will make a post about a story or mythological figure that I hope folks will find interesting, or at least entertaining.

(Note: I am fully aware that this is going on the blog proper on a Tuesday, but I’m putting it up on the Patreon on a Monday, so I’m counting it).

To that end, I have decided to start with one of my favorite Norse tales: “The Fortification Of Asgard,” or, as I like to call it, “That One Time Loki Fucked A Horse.”

We begin with the gods, hanging out in Asgard, probably drinking as they were wont to do. At some point, they decide that it might be a good idea for them to build a wall around the realm, to try and keep their enemies out. They put out the call, and this smith comes to the hold.

He tells them that sure, he can build them a wall within three seasons, no problem. The gods think that this is pretty awesome, but then he names his price: he wants the sun and the moon and, oh yeah, to marry Freya.

The gods are all like, “I dunno, can we have a second to talk this over?” The smith says to go ahead, and they convene. Freya, as you can imagine, is not particularly pleased about being handed over to this guy, and makes her feelings known. Loki, however, has a plan: they tell him that for the price he’s demanded, the smith would only have until the end of winter to complete the wall. I mean, that’s impossible, right? Nothing could possibly go wrong with that plan, right?

They bring the new terms of the deal to the smith, who, to their surprise, agrees to the request, at least as long as the gods swear an oath to fulfill their end of the bargain when the wall is built. They do, and the smith sets to work.

It doesn’t take long for the gods to notice that the work is going a lot quicker than they expected. See, it turns out the smith was actually a giant in disguise. Not only that, but he also has this ridiculously badass horse named Svadilfari, who can haul stones like a motherfucker. In fact, the work is almost totally completed three days before the end of winter.

This makes the gods, particularly Freya, a bit nervous. Which makes Loki a bit nervous when they tell him that he got them into this mess, so he best get them back out of it again. Or else they’ll kill him. Loki tells the rest of the gods that there’s no need for that, he’ll figure out a way to try and stop the giant from finishing his work.

Which he does.

So, the giant wakes up the next morning to find that Svadilfari is missing. Well, that’s because Loki, who transformed into a mare, ended up leading the stallion on a merry chase throughout the night. And he caught Loki, and let’s just say got a little bit amorous with the shape-shifted deity.

The giant, dismayed, realizes that there’s no way he can finish the wall in time. However, he does get a consolation prize. In the form of Thor destroying his head with his hammer.

Of course, Svadilfari knocked Horse Loki up, so he ends up disappearing for a while.. One horse gestational period later, he returns with a foal. Which would usually be cute, except for the fact that it has eight legs. He presents said foal to Odin, who names it Sleipnir, and it becomes the Allfather’s faithful steed.

And that’s how Odin got his bizarre spider-horse.

Now, as I mentioned before, this is one of my favorite Norse myths, mostly because I found it funny. In fact, a lot of Norse myths are pretty amusing. We tend to think of mythology as this super-serious, epic thing, but I think we have to remember that a lot of these stories were told for entertainment. And that ancient people still would have had a sense of humor.

Now, as I mentioned before, this is one of my favorite Norse myths, mostly because I found it funny. In fact, a lot of Norse myths are pretty amusing. We tend to think of mythology as this super-serious, epic thing, but I think we have to remember that a lot of these stories were told for entertainment. And that ancient people still would have had a sense of humor.

(Got a favorite myth or figure you want me to talk about? Feel free to shoot me an email at kittykatie2017(at)gmail.com. Otherwise, you can also donate at least $5/post to my Patreon to make a suggestion! Note that Patreon suggestions are given a higher priority.

Also, if you want to donate to help keep this blog running, you can do so at the aforementioned Patreon, or my Ko-Fi or PayPal pages. Otherwise, following, leaving comments, and sharing these points hither and yon would also be pretty cool of you. Thanks!)

 

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