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Know Your Gods: Thrym

I write urban fantasy and fantasy romance novels which are frequently inspired by mythology. (Click here to check them out.)

In this occasional Know Your Gods series, I’m presenting gods, myths, and legendary figures both as they are depicted in the original source material and as they appear in my Gods and Lovers books.

And, while I talk about these gods as historical and literary figures, it’s important to note modern pagans still revere these figures. I’m not discussing them as devotional figures, but I also mean no disrespect to modern pagan traditions.

Who is Thrym?

In the Eddas, our only surviving record of Norse myths, the giant Thrym plays a bit part.

Thrym is a Jötunn, one of the other races that the Æsir and Vanir of Asgard are constantly murdering and/or marrying. He appears in exactly one myth.

It happens to be one of my very favorite myths.

Ah,_what_a_lovely_maid_it_is!_by_Elmer_Boyd_Smith
“Ah, what a lovely maid it is!” (1902) by Elmer Boyd Smith.

Once upon a time, the Thrymskvitha goes, Thor woke up to find his hammer Mjölnir was missing. Loki, using Freyja’s falcon cloak, discovers Mjölnir with the giant Thrym.

Thrym refuses to return Mjölnir… unless he can marry the beautiful Freyja in exchange.

Freyja is less than thrilled with that proposition. So, instead of marrying off Freyja, Thor dresses up as a bride and travels to Thrym’s castle with Loki as his bridesmaid. Hilarity and slaughter ensue.

Tor_såsom_Freya
Thor dresses up as a bride and Loki as a bridesmaid. Illustration by Carl Larsson.

This is an excellent myth.

I love the storyline, the universal hilarity of imagining a big, burly man dressed like a woman, and the gender flexibility that means Thor’s manliness isn’t diminished by a little thing like cross-dressing.

Sadly, Thrym’s role in Norse mythology – the surviving Norse myths, anyway – begins and ends with the Thrymskvitha. All told, it’s not a bad way to be remembered.

Who is Thrym in the Gods and Lovers Universe?

The Thrymskvitha is a fine myth. It’s just missing one thing.

Sex.

I correct that oversight, and seize a chance to explore Loki and Thor’s bisexuality, in my short story Claiming Thor’s Hammer. This story follows the Norse myth for a few pages, then veers wildly off course and becomes part of my erotic romance universe.

ClaimingThorsHammer

Once I published Thor’s Hammer, I figured I was done with Thrym.

Wow, was I ever wrong.

Since I’m not a plotter, my stories just happen. And Thrym just happened to drop in as I was wrapping up the massive re-write of my next Loki novel, The Briar and the Rose.

As it turns out, Thrym has a lot to say. He’s a gay character in Jötunheimr’s oppressive, patriarchal society. He’s a warlord who rules with ferocity and compassion. Thrym is not especially trusting, but he does care deeply for his friends and lovers — possibly enough to make a major sacrifice when the Nine Realms need him.

And I think Fenris is going to need him, too….

Like what you’ve read? Click here to join my newsletter and I’ll send you a free copy of Tam Lin, my sexy modern take on the Scottish folktale.

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