Monday, March 28, 2011

Myths, Folklore & Symbolism: Njord


"A Scandinavian god of the sea and ships, the husband of the mountain goddess Skadi and the father of Freyr and Freyja. In one verse fragment, the marriage of Njord and Skadi failed because Njord was unhappy away from the sea and Skadi could not bear to be far from the mountains." (Tresidder)


  1. I've always loved the Skadi story because it's still very tellable and funny for all ages; the giantess finds out the Aesir killed her father, so she straps on her "hjalm ok brynju ok oll hervapn"(sp?) - her helmet and armor and all her war-weapons - to stomp off to Valhalla and demand a husband from Odin because she's been left alone and helpless.

    (You can't NOT do her in a kinda Klingon bark.)

    Then you find out that Njord is the only god with clean feet, and even he just happens to get that way from standing in the ocean....

    In addition, her complaint about why she can't live by the sea, and his about why he can't live in the mountains, are nearly identical, which also can't help but be funny.

    And to cap it off with a last fillip of WTF-itude, it's because she's left alone in her mountains at the end that she ties sticks on her feet and invents skiing.


    I take the Norse religion, past and present, seriously, but this story was clearly not told with a straight face in the first place.

    And like the best bits of oral tradition, it's utterly retellable because you can't possibly forget it.

  2. Nonie - I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply to this amazing comment. Do you have a blog or Twitter I can follow?