Thor Meets Skrymir

Thor had an unquenchable thirst to kill the giants, he could not help but think of it – an epic destruction of the cities and population of the giants. One morning he announced his intentions, and Loki joined him.

They left after the feast with the hosts and a lame goat (Chapter: Thor’s Goats); Thor, Loki, the boy Tialfi, and his sister Roskva set off on foot until they reached the beach, where they slept in the open air. In the morning they found a boat with which they surrounded the land of the giants, where their fortress spread. Tialfi was in Thor’s favor, it was he who sent him to reconnoiter the situation, and it was not long before he found a building in the middle of a meadow among pines and decided to sleep in it.
However, a noise startled and woke them, which was as deafening as an earthquake. The roar blasted out, and Thor expressed his suspicion that it might have been an the earth shaking and the roar stopped. Just in case, they went out and inspected the building and found a small room where the three of them entered, and Thor predictably stood guard with Mölnir. No one could take his sleep, as the rumble was repeated from time to time.

The morning came and Thor left the building and what to see – a sleeping giant outside. A huge creature, even to the gods it was a monstrously large creature. The giant snored, and Thor immediately saw where the rumbles that kept them awake all night, were coming from. The giant woke up, and Thor politely asked who he was.

The giant replied that his name was Skrymir. Then Thor realized that the building where they spent the night was actually his glove, and the small room was of his thumb on the glove!

Thor bashes Skrimir, Friedrich Wilhelm Heine, 1882

Skrymir invited them to breakfast together, then set off. The others followed him, but he took such great strides that they only caught up with him in the evening when he was resting. He invited them to see in his bag of food, and at the same time slept blissfully. Thor struggled and struggled and couldn’t untie the bundle, and neither did Loki, Tialfi, and Roskva. He got angry and hit the giant with his hammer Mölnir. The giant opened one eye and said:

“What a nuisance, did a leaf fall?”

He fell asleep again. There was almost nothing on the giant from the great hammer Molnir, a slight scratch, and Thor could not believe it. He bashed him again with all his might on his forehead, Skrymir replied sleepily:

“What a nuisance, now an acorn seems to have fallen on my head.”

The giant continued his sleep without answering, without even realizing that someone was teasing him. Thor regained his courage, slipped in at dawn, and struck Skrymir’s temple again with a mighty swing with Mölnir. The giant woke up:

“This time some birds are bothering me.”, he saw Thor at that moment. “You better go, little ones, there are bigger and scarier giants than me.”

Skrymir picked up his bag and headed north to the snowy mountains.

Thor, Loki, Skrymir and The Trials

Thor and his companions also headed north until they reached a large, high gate. Penetrating through the bars, they found themselves in a huge palace, and the giants looked at them menacingly on the benches. The King of Giants said:

“I know you’re the god Thor. But please show us all here your skills.”
“I can eat the fastest of all,” Loki boasted first. “I know such a trick, which I am ready to try: that there is no one within here who shall eat his food more quickly than I.”

Logi, a giant, accepted. The servants filled the plates. Loki and Logi sat down to eat, but Logi swallowed everything and Loki couldn’t keep up and lost.

“The next one?”, the King of the Giants called defiantly.
“Aye” , Tialfi said. “I’m the fastest and I can outrun anyone.”

A small giant named Hugi accepted and competed with Tialfi . And Tialfi lost to the giant’s great power. Three times he can’t win, three times he loses to Hugi.

It was Thor’s turn to proudly declare that he could drink more than anyone else. No one could overpower the glorious Thor, God of Thunder.

“Is that so?”, the king of giants replied. “Take this horn and drink!”

Thor drank, but there seemed to be much more in the horn. He drank again, and again, and more, but there was like a whole sea in the horn. Thor asked for another task, because this was obviously impossible.
The king of giants berated him that Thor’s might is not so strong and pointed to his cat:

“Lift my cat up from the earth; but I should not have been able to speak of such a thing to Ása-Thor if I had not seen that thou hast far less in thee than I had thought.”

Thor grabbed and pulled the cat, but the cat did not move, although its back twisted. He crawled under it and managed to move barely one of its paws.

Thor was not amused and challenged:

“Little as ye call me, let any one come up now and wrestle with me; now I am angry.”

The giants laughed, and only an old giantess named Elli, who limped, stepped forward to fight the great Thor. This was disgraceful – a fight with a woman, albeit a giant! They fought, but not only did she not move, but she threw Thor to his knees. At that moment, the king of giants ended Thor’s disgrace and invited his guests to a feast – what generosity to these invaders in a foreign land!

The next day the god and his companions left, but the king walked with them to the edge of the forest, where he turned to the angry Thor:

“You did very well. In fact, you proved your strength, but it was all a trick –  I made ready against thee eye-illusions; and I came upon you the first time in the woods, and when you tried to unloosed the provision-bag, I had bound it with iron, and you couldn’t find where to undo it. Loki had no chance –  the one who is called Logi was “wild-fire,” and he burned the trough no less swiftly than the meat. You wrestling with the giant woman Elli, was actually “old age”. The giant Hugi, with which Tialfi had to beat in the race, were actually my thoughts; the horn that you, Thor, had to dry was connected with the sea; and the cat, was Jormungandr himself, the serpent around Midgard biting its tail. And I’m Skrymir, the giant who you almost killed if you had hit me in the right place. But I warn you, never come back! I used magic, if necessary I will use it again! To protect Utgard, I will use again!”

Enraged, Thor raised his hammer, but no trace, no mention of Skrymir or the palace. The giant could compete, no, even surpass, Loki himself in the art of deception.