So there’s this giant named Skrymir
which, yes, is pretty much an anagram for Skyrim
so have fun with that lawsuit, ancient norse dudes
but anway, one day Skrymir just runs up to a dude
who is standing in the middle of a thunderstorm
because he didn’t check the weather report before going apple-picking
and Skrymir is like DUDE
I WILL PLAY YOU CHESS FOR YOUR LIFE
now this dude is a dude who goes apple-picking in thunderstorms
which means he’s not what you would call a chess grand master
but it also means he’s too stupid to realize that
so despite the fact that he doesn’t even know the rules of chess
he agrees to play
AND HE WINS
I don’t know what kind of dude runs around
challenging people to life-or-death chess games
despite the fact that he is TERRIBLE AT CHESS
but apparently his name is Skrymir
and he has yet to grasp the finer points of hustling
So Skrymir is like bro, bro
let me buy my life back from you, yeah?
and the dude is like sure
but it’s gonna cost you
it’s gonna cost you ALL OF THE BOOZE
and ALL THE BACON
and by bacon I mean ACTUAL BACON
not bacon as in money
although actually I want all the money too
and build me a huge hollywood dream house
and make it so no one in my house ever dies either
and Skrymir is like YES, WONDERFUL
WHAT A FAIR AND TOTALLY NON-IMPOSSIBLE PRICE YOU HAVE SET
so the dude goes home to his wife
and his wife is like hey honey where have you been
and he’s like oh you know
just picking apples in a rainstorm and pissing off giants for profit
and his wife is like oh cool cool
i’m just gonna head down to the cellar for a bit
to wait out the vengeful shitstorm you’ve called down upon us
meanwhile, Skrymir is traveling all over the world
reaming treasure out of mountains like a 14-karat enema
building this fantasy castle the dude has commissioned
and getting very, VERY pissed.
But he still builds the castle
because giants are basically the ultimate contractors
and the dude takes one look at its shiny majesty
and proceeds to abide.
the dude gets a reputation as a pretty chill fellow
throwing sick feasts and inviting whoever
when suddenly Skrymir shows up like DUDE
LET’S PLAY CHESS
I HAVE BEEN TAKING LESSONS
I don’t think I need to remind you about how dumb this guy is
he plays another game of chess against the giant
and this time
luckily he wasn’t playing for his life or his castle
just a little thing called his SON
naturally the dude can’t be arsed to pay up
he calls up the number one dude for getting out of deals with giants:
he’s like Odin, buddy, hide my son for me
and Odin is like well you’re rich, so okay
and then he makes a huge field of wheat grow up overnight
and he hides the kid inside a single grain of a single stalk of wheat
instead of just letting the kid crash at Asgard for a couple nights
because in case it isn’t clear already
Odin is a phenomenal cheapass
so the next day Skrymir comes to get the kid
and the kid is nowhere around
but there IS this suspicious wheat field that wasn’t there yesterday
so he’s like HMMM
and just puts the whole wheatfield in his mouth
which understandably freaks out the kid hiding in the wheatfield
so Odin is like okay dude, okay, just come out and run over to me
I’ll take you back to your dad
then he goes back to the castle and hands over the kid
problem solved, right?
WHAT? NO! There is still an angry giant looking for this kid
but Odin called no tag-backs, so they have to go bug another god
who has never done anything useful for anyone ever
and Hoenir’s big plan is to just do what Odin did
except with seagulls instead of wheat
and feathers instead of grains
but here’s the problem with this plan:
BIRDS ARE BASICALLY AT MOUTH-HEIGHT FOR GIANTS
so Skrymir is just going through his morning routine
walking around swallowing pelicans
when the kid he’s looking for just ends up inside his mouth
(this is one of those “I swear it’s not what it looks like officer” situations)
at which point Hoenir is like okay that went bad
here kid, teleport back to me real quick
I’ll take you back to your parents
what i don’t get at this point
is if they can just teleport the kid whenever they want
why bother hiding him inside things that giants like to eat?
it’s like they’re charging by the hour or something
anyway then Hoenir dumps the kid with his parents
and is like there, problem solved
that will be six million gold, parts and labor
so Hoenir peaces out
thus once again failing to be at all useful
which is when the dude and his wife bust out plan Z
the plan you only enact if you want all your shit stolen
sold for a profit
and then stacked in a big heap so horses can have sex on it
THEY CALL LOKI
and Loki is like here is what I need you to do, dude:
first, build a boathouse with a wide door
then hang a metal club or spike or something over the door
and then leave the rest to me
I’ve got this like I’ve got horse-herpes
then Loki goes and pulls some Hoenir/Odin shit
but with fish and their eggs instead of wheat and birdhair
and then he invites Skrymir to come fishing with him
which is dumb, because Skrymir catches the fish the kid is hid in
and loki asks him for the fish
and he’s like no I’m going to find the kid in this fish
I know he’s in there
but then loki just has the kid get out of the fish egg
and stand behind him so the giant can’t see him
and when they land, the kid jumps out of the boat and starts running
and the giant chases him, but he’s way too fat to run on sand
so he sinks in
and the kid runs into the boathouse
and Skrymir follows
and just impales his face on that metal spike
or whatever was in there
and then loki chops off his legs
except they grow back together
until loki stuffs a bunch of sticks and stones in there
and puts an end to that.
then Skrymir dies of legless
and the problem is ACTUALLY solved
So the moral of the story
is that sticks and stones may break your bones
but CHESS is really deadly
Oh wow, I’m more surprised at what Loki did to the giant instead of the fact that he solved the problem.
Why didn’t the other Gods just kill the giant from the beginning? They are not metal enough as Loki, that’s why.
Oo, the Norse are back! I missed them already. Btw, have you done a retelling of that one Norse myth in which they kill an otter and turns out it was somebodys son and the grieving family holds Odin hostage? I think it was called Otter’s Ransom or something.
If he tells that story then he should also tell the rest of the volsung saga, or at least the story of sigurd dragonslayer, since that is the origin story of regin and fafnir
I’m stunned. Did Loki not then proceed to steal the castle or something? Why is Loki being so goddamned nice?
Traditionally, Loki was known as a “doer of good, and doer of evil”. He was viewed on the “good/evil, lawful/chaotic” chart as a chaotic neutral. Whatever served him the most he’d do it, whether or not it was socially acceptable, but morals never really drove him. This was because he was half Aesir, and half Giant, so never viewed as having much of a moral compass.
So here, Loki likely helped so as to attempt at proving his superiority in erudition over that of Odin and Hoenir.
Oh, and you also should tell the story of Heimdall’s day off trip to the humans where he banged some chicks, thus creating the castes of norwegian society or something.
Well, Loki is associated with hearths, and probably Was a god of fire, and fire isn’t a good or evil thing, it’s chaos, Loki likes messing stuff up, not for any particular reason. Fire is useful, but it burns everyone, the Norse didn’t make a “separate” god of hearth fires like a lot of religions. Fires are fires, and sometimes fire is a good thing to have around, and sometimes it burns down everything-oh-god-why. Loki’s chaotic neutral, really. Also, Loki is a dick to a lot of immortals, but he never really seems to hurt kids of any type in all the myths I’ve read (besides indirectly through Ragnarok I suppose [but thousands of years of acid venom to the eye could drive most anyone to decide to destroy the earth, I’d think]). Maybe he’s got a soft spot for kiddies?
How awesome is it that I made a post almost exactly like this. We both even referenced Chaotic Neutral.
“Loki is a dick to a lot of immortals, but he never really seems to hurt kids of any type”
Which is something he has that Odin doesn’t, so… go figure.
The kid gives Loki a big ol’ hug. LOKI. Seriously.
I come back here on a regular basis only to read your retold myths. Love the norse stuff, by the way, especially stories about Loki. I don’t know what it is – maybe it’s only the way you write, maybe it’s his random behaviour – but either way, I do greatly sympathise with this chaotic guy 😀
Great job! Please never stop writing!
“but there IS this suspicious wheat field that wasn’t there yesterday
so he’s like HMMM”
Oh god how could I live without this blog before.