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The Thorsdrapa or Þórsdrápa (Hymn to Thor) is a poem of Norse mythology usually attributed to Eilífr Goðrúnarson (11th century). It is a poem which has a number of striking kennings, and is noted for its particularly labyrinthine complexity. The poem is summarised in prose form by Snorri Sturluson in the Skaldskaparmál; as is often the case with Snorri, however, there are a number of contradictions between his abridgement and the base text; for example Thjalfi (Þjálfi) is erased entirely from the story in Snorra-Edda, despite his prominent role in Thorsdrapa, and is substituted by Loki.
Brief synopsis of the narrative
The principal subject of the poem is a narrative relating as to how Thor came by his hammer, Mjolnir (Mjlnir), and, as is usually the case in stories with Thor, how the giants came off worse. Behind it all, of course, is Loki, who gulls Thor into a confrontation with the giant Geirrod (Geirrǫðr). With the aid of some magical gifts from the giantess Grid (Gríðr), Thor, accompanied by Thjalfi, defeats Geirrod and kills a number of other giants.
The narrative begins with an account of the trickery of Loki in inciting Thor to make war again against the giants; Thjalfi joins up with Thor but Loki is altogether more reluctant to the point of not going. The narrative then details Thor's (highly metaphorical) crossing of the oceans to Jotunheim, with Thjalfi hanging onto his waist band. Being a drapa (drápa) the poem is fulsome in its praise of Thor and Thjalfi's valour in making the difficult crossing.
They are immediately set upon by a gang of giants from the cave of Geirrod, but Thor and Thjalfi quickly put them to flight. Thor is then brought into Geirrod's house whereupon the seat he is sitting in is raised to the ceiling crushing him, however he strikes the ceiling with the stick gifted to him by Grid and he descends crushing two giantesses, daughters of Geirrod, beneath him.
Geirrod then invites Thor to play a game, and throws a lump of molten iron at him which he (Thor) catches in his iron gloves. Geirrod hides behind a pillar and then Thor throws the iron through the pillar and giant.
- Jörmungrund: Þórsdrápa. (Old Norse text with English translation and thorough structural and linguistic analysis.)
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