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We ain’t walked more than ten paces, when we came across a big, gapin’ hole in the road what I ain’t noticed the last time we journeyed through this part o’ the pass. I figured it must be Thrym’s doin’. Yup! Mean and grouchy as a badger, that Thrym! Always lookin’ to make things thorny fer anybody what’s trapsin’ through his damn pass!

Ain’t nobody asked me, but I’m thinkin’ the world would be a much happier place and Thrym would be havin’ a lot better temperament, if him and Thor had sat down and worked things out a little better ages ago, when he run off with Thor’s hammer. What Thrym really wanted to be runnin’ off with was one o’ Thor’s wives!

I’m sure everyone remembers that tale! You know, the one where the god o’ all the giants, Thrym was wantin’ the beautiful goddess Freyja for his own, but she already was wedded to Thor, and accordin’ to the official story, the one they puts out for public con . . .consum . . . uh, the one what regular folks is supposed to read, Frejya had a happy marriage and ain’t wanted nothin’ at all to do with Thrym!

Thrym clipped Thor’s hammer, thinkin’ he would be able to trade it back to him, even up fer Freyja, but Thor told him, no dice, and in the end, Thrym and Loki wound up havin’ to make a trip to Thrym’s castle wearin’ disguises, killin’ all the giants in the castle, and takin’ the damn hammer back by force!

That was kind of an abridged version o’ the story, you know? And the only part o’ it what’s accu . . . uh, really true is the part where Thrym pinched Thor’s hammer, and Thor, along with Loki, wore disguises! The rest is pure malarkey! Thor ain’t never went nowhere near Thrym’s castle, and Freyja . . well I got the real story straight outta me grand ma’s mouth! And she ain’t never told a fib ‘bout nothin!

You see, what really happened is that Thrym did have a thing fer Freyja, a beautiful goddess who by sheer chance, like I told ya, happened to be married to Thor! But even though she already had a husband, she ain’t liked him much cause he ain’t paid no attention to her whatsoever!

Thrym was her true love! Oh, she had eyes fer him, she did, and they was involved in a rom . . .uh, a roman . . . uh, they was seein’ each other on the side!

Anyways, one day as Thor was strollin’ through his lovely garden behind the castle what he kept full o’ pretty flowers in a rainbow o’ different colors, along with assorted shrubbery, he caught the two o’ ‘em . . . uh, well, let’s say Thrym and Freyja wasn’t just sittin’ there under the apple tree havin’ a nice chat ‘bout the weather!

Thor became enraged and began stompin’ on all the beautiful flowers he’d planted, even tearin’ up the shrubbery and pullin’ down all the green ivy what was growin’ so nicely up the walls o’ the castle! Oh geez! He was in an awful snit! After wreckin’ his garden, Thor demanded Thrym leave the grounds immediately and told him never to come back no more! Ever!

Then Thor went and socked poor Freyja in the eye; the bruise and the swellin’ lastin’ fer well over a month!

As he was makin’ his way outta Thor’s castle, Thrym spotted Thor’s favorite hammer sittin’ over a mantle in the main hall, balanced atop two large wooden pegs what Thor had driven into the mortar between the stones.

And that hammer had some magic wove into it! Thor was able to toss it at an enemy, bonkin’ him on the head, then that hammer’d snap right back into his hand again, allowin’ him to throw it quick at somethin’ else! Thor even had a name fer the damn thing! He called it ‘Mjolnir’!

Well, when Thrym seen that special hammer what belonged to Thor, he reached up, plucked it off the pegs and hid it away, under his cloak, then ran like hel outta the place! And let me tell you . . . gods can run really fast!!

Thrym knew how much Thor liked that hammer and he figured if he held onto it long enough, Thor would be dearly missin’ it and he might be able to bargin with Thor ‘bout tradin’ the damn hammer back to him for Frejya! Well . . . Thor wasn’t havin’ none o’ that, but he really liked that hammer a lot and wanted it back. So he sat down with Loki, another powerful god who was a very good friend o’ his, and the two o’ ‘em began plottin’ and scheming’ ‘bout how they’d be able to get back the hammer.

O’course Thor also wanted to keep Freyja as his wife, ‘cause she was a really good cook . . . even though he ain’t ever loved her one little bit!

What Thor and Loki done was plan a wedding. Well, actually, t’was the god Heimdall who came up with the idea and he done most o’ the plannin’. Ya see, Thor and Loki wasn’t exactly the two brightest candles in the candelabra, you know? ‘Course the whole thing was a sham. Thor was gonna dress himself up to look like Freyja—which was kinda hard to do—bein’ he was ‘bout three times her size, and Loki would disguise himself too, and would masquerade as Thor’s bridesmaid!

Then Thor sent a messenger off to Thrym carryin’ a note, along with an invitation. The invite was all fancy with swirly writin’ all done in a neat hand by a calli . . . calligra . . . . uh, some monk what was kidnapped from one o’ the islands far to the south o’ here, who was good at drawin’ letters.

In the note Thor told Thrym he really missed that hammer and wanted it back so badly he’d decided to settle their differences and he’d agree to swap’ Freyja fer it. Not only that, but he’d arranged a big weddin’ cer . . .cerem . . . ceremo . . . uh, party for the two o’ ‘em so they could be married proper like! The weddin’ was to take place in three days!

Well, when Thrym read the message his heart began poundin’ and he jumped fer joy knowin’ soon he’d be spendin’ the rest o’ his days with the woman he truly loved! He then began layin’ out his fanciest clothes, preparin’ for the big event, all the while, whistlin’ a happy tune to himself!

‘Course all this time no one thought to ask Freyja how she was feelin’ ‘bout the whole thing. Nope! Thor had Freyja locked tight in a little room at the very top o’ his castle! The cell had only one tiny window, and it was placed so high up on the wall, she wasn’t able to see out o’ it!

She had a heavy iron chain danglin’ from a collar ‘round her neck what was bolted fast to one o’ the stone walls and an even heavier iron belt what was sealed with a big padlock, encirclin’ another part o’ her body! She ain’t had the slightest idea ‘bout the scheme what Thor and Loki was cookin’ up to get back his damn hammer!

Nope! Nobody told her a thing! She couldn’t even get no information outta the fella what shoved a bit o’ food under the door every mornin’ keepin’ her from starvin’ to death! Poor Freyja spent her days in sadness, sheddin’ tear after tear, pining away, thinkin’ only ‘bout Thrym, about how much she loved him, and wonderin’ if she’d ever see him again.

Anyways, the big day finally came and that mornin’ Thrym jauntily strode up to Thor’s castle, sportin’ his best finery and even wearin’ a new pair o’ boots! His heart was full o’ joy and happiness, his right arm wrapped tight ‘round ‘bout elevendy dozen long stemmed roses, for his betrothed, and swingin’ Thor’s hammer in his left hand.

But Thor’s footmen was told not to let him into the great hall right away. Before he could enter the hall, each footman, in turn, was instructed to make a toast to the new groom to be, with a special brewed ale what Thor had brought up from the cellars deep under the castle for the celebration!

O’ course Thor knew Thrym was never one to pass up drinkin’ a special brewed ale. Well . . . Thor had a whole bunch o’ footmen . . . scads o’ footmen in fact! By the time everyone had finished their toastin’ ‘bout four hours had passed. Thrym’s legs was now kinda wobbly from all that drinkin’ and he wasn’t seein’ so good either. T’was then, the footman led him into the great hall where the weddin’ was to take place.

Thrym took a seat right next to his bride to be, who o’course was really Thor, made up to look like his beloved Freyja. Poor Thrym was so drunk he ain’t knowed the difference, but did get a little suspicious after watchin’ her go about eatin’ a whole ox all by herself! Loki, playin’ the part o’ Freyja’s bridesmaid, explained to Thrym, all the excitement o’ the day had gotten to her and given her a ravenous appetite!

Thrym kept askin’ where the hel Thor was . . . wantin’ to thank him for agreein’ to part with his lovely wife. The bridesmaid, who was really Loki, told Thrym that Thor would be along shortly, to claim his hammer and wish them well.

Loki commented ‘bout the hammer bein’ heavy and surely Thrym was tired o’ luggin’ the damn thing around all day. Loki gestured to a small table with nothin’ on it, sittin’ just behind the bride-to-be — who was really Thor—and said, “Lay it on that table over there, why don’t you!” Sure enough, Thrym got up and plunked the hammer what he stole from Thor, down on that little table!

Well . . . soon as he done that, quick as a wink, Thor threw off his disguises, grabbed his hammer off o’ that table and began wavin’ it all about, a triumphant look on his face! Than Thor, Loki and a bunch o’ their lackeys ganged up on Thrym, throwin’ him outta the castle for a second time, and banishin’ him forever from it!!

Now it’s truly a sad thing, but as far as I know, Thrym and Freyja ain’t never seen each other again. That’s why Thrym’s always in such a snit and full o’ meanness I’m thinkin’. In a way I don’t blame him fer bein’ like that, you know?

I guess Thor was happy as a lark bein’ he got his hammer back and got to keep his wife, but he ain’t never planted nothin’ else in that garden o’ his, what he destroyed. Nope! To this day that land behind the castle still lies fallow and he don’t even go back there no more.

As far as Freyja . . . well Thor couldn’t’ keep her locked up in that tower forever. I mean, after all, she was a goddess and had considerable power o’ her own. I heard she still cooks fer him though. I also heard she tried to kill Thor by sprinklin’ poison in his meals ‘bout five or mayhap nine times over the years. But . . . everyone knows you ain’t able to kill a god as powerful as Thor with poison!

Some folks tell me that each time she done it, she did manage to make him dreadfully sick! And those who know, says Thor eats out a lot!

And there it is! The true story about Thor, Thrym, Freyja, Loki and the damn hammer! Straight off o’ me grand ma’s lips and onto this piece o’ parchment!

Now where the hel was I? Oh! I know! The hole in the pass! Well . . . anyways, Jon ain’t seen the hole straight off, and woulda tumbled down into it ‘cept Ithoz made a quick grab fer his cloak and yanked him back, away from the edge. Ya know, aside from havin’ a brain ‘bout the size o’ a peanut I’m thinkin’ Jon’s got bad eyes too. I thinks he has that eye ailment they calls guacamole, or somethin’ like that.