LOKI THE BETRAYER
E stole Frigga's dress of falcon feathers. Then
as a falcon he flew out of Asgard. Jötunheim
was the place that he flew towards.
The anger and the fierceness of the hawk was
within Loki as he flew through the Giants' Realm.
The heights and the chasms of that dread land
made his spirits mount up like fire. He saw the whirlpools
and the smoking mountains and had joy of these sights.
Higher and higher he soared until, looking towards the South,
he saw the flaming land of Muspelheim. Higher and higher
still he soared. With his falcon's eyes he saw the gleam of
 Surtur's flaming sword. All the fire of Muspelheim and all the
gloom of Jötunheim would one day be brought against Asgard
and against Midgard. But Loki was no longer dismayed to think
of the ruin of Asgard's beauty and the ruin of Midgard's promise.
He hovered around one of the dwellings in Jötunheim. Why
had he come to it? Because he had seen two of the women of
that dwelling, and his rage against the Asyniur and the Vanir
was such that the ugliness and the evil of these women was
pleasing to him.
He hovered before the open door of the Giant's house and he
looked upon those who were within. Gerriöd, the most savage
of all the Giants, was there. And beside him, squatting on the
ground, were his two evil and ugly daughters, Gialp and Greip.
They were big and bulky, black and rugged, with horses'
teeth and hair that was like horses' manes. Gialp was the ugliest
of the two, if one could be said to be uglier than the other, for
her nose was a yard long and her eyes were crooked.
What were they talking about as they sat there, one scratching
the other? Of Asgard and the Dwellers in Asgard whom they
hated. Thor was the one whom they hated most of all, and they
were speaking of all they would like to do to him.
"I would keep Thor bound in chains," said Gerriöd the Giant,
"and I would beat him to death with my iron club."
"I would grind his bones to powder," said Greip.
"I would tear the flesh off his bones," said Gialp. "Father,
can you not catch this Thor and bring him to us alive?"
 "Not as long as he has his hammer Miölnir, and the gloves
with which he grasps his hammer, and the belt that doubles his
"Oh, if we could catch him without his hammer and his belt
and his gloves," cried Gialp and Greip together.
At that moment they saw the falcon hovering before the door.
They were eager now for something to hold and torment and so
the hearts of the three became set upon catching the falcon.
They did not stir from the place where they were sitting,
but they called the child Glapp, who was swinging from
the roof-tree, and they bade him go out and try to catch
All concealed by the great leaves the child Glapp climbed up
the ivy that was around the door. The falcon came hovering
near. Then Glapp caught it by the wings and fell down through
the ivy, screaming and struggling as he was being beaten, and
clawed, and torn by the wings and the talons and the beak of
Gerriöd and Greip and Gialp rushed out and kept hold of the
falcon. As the Giant held him in his hands and looked him over
he knew that this was no bird-creature. The eyes showed him
to be of Alfheim or Asgard. The Giant took him and shut him
in a box till he would speak.
Soon he tapped at the closed box and when Gerriöd opened it
Loki spoke to him. So glad was the savage Giant to have one of
the Dwellers in Asgard in his power that he and his daughters
 did nothing but laugh and chuckle to each other for days. And
all this time they left Loki in the closed box to waste with hunger.
When they opened the box again Loki spoke to them. He told
them he would do any injury to the Dwellers in Asgard that would
please them if they would let him go.
"Will you bring Thor to us?" said Greip.
"Will you bring Thor to us without his hammer, and without
the gloves with which he grasps his hammer, and without his
belt?" said Gialp.
"I will bring him to you if you will let me go," Loki said.
"Thor is easily deceived and I can bring him to you without his
hammer and his belt and his gloves."
"We will let you go, Loki," said the Giant, "if you will swear
by the gloom of Jötunheim that you will bring Thor to us as you
Loki swore that he would do so by the gloom of Jötunheim—
"Yea, and by the fires of Muspelheim," he added. The Giant
and his daughters let him go, and he flew back to Asgard.
E restored to Frigga her falcon dress. All blamed
him for having stolen it, but when he told how
he had been shut up without food in Gerriöd's
dwelling those who judged him thought he had
been punished enough for the theft. He spoke as
before to the Dwellers in Asgard, and the rage
and hatred he had against them since he had eaten Gulveig's
heart he kept from bursting forth.
 He talked to Thor of the adventures they had together in
Jötunheim. Thor would now roar with laughter when he talked
of the time when he went as a bride to Thrym the Giant.
Loki was able to persuade him to make another journey to
Jötunheim. "And I want to speak to you of what I saw in
Gerriöd's dwelling," he said. "I saw there the hair of Sif, your
"The hair of Sif, my wife," said Thor in surprise.
"Yes, the hair I once cut off from Sif's head," said Loki.
"Gerriöd was the one who found it when I cast it away. They
light their hall with Sif's hair. Oh, yes, they don't need torches
where Sif's hair is."
"I should like to see it," said Thor.
"Then pay Gerriöd a visit," Loki replied. "But if you go to
his house you will have to go without your hammer Miölnir, and
without your gloves and your belt."
"Where will I leave Miölnir and my gloves and my belt?"
"Leave them in Valaskjalf, Odin's own dwelling," said cunning
Loki. "Leave them there and come to Gerriöd's dwelling.
Surely you will be well treated there."
"Yes, I will leave them in Valaskjalf and go with you to
Gerriöd's dwelling," Thor said.
Thor left his hammer, his gloves, and his belt in Valaskjalf.
Then he and Loki went towards Jötunheim. When they were
near the end of their journey, they came to a wide river, and
 with a young Giant whom they met on the bank they began
to ford it.
Suddenly the river began to rise. Loki and the young Giant
would have been swept away only Thor gripped both of them.
Higher and higher the river rose, and rougher and rougher it
became. Thor had to plant his feet firmly on the bottom or he
and the two he held would have been swept down by the flood.
He struggled across, holding Loki and the young Giant. A
mountain ash grew out of the bank, and, while the two held to
him, he grasped it with his hands. The river rose still higher,
but Thor was able to draw Loki and the young Giant to the
bank, and then he himself scrambled up on it.
Now looking up the river he saw a sight that filled him with
rage. A Giantess was pouring a flood into it. This it was that
was making the river rise and seethe. Thor pulled a rock out
of the bank and hurled it at her. It struck her and flung her
into the flood. Then she struggled out of the water and went
yelping away. This Giantess was Gialp, Gerriöd's ugly and evil
Nothing would do the young Giant whom Thor had helped
across but that the pair would go and visit Grid, his mother, who
lived in a cave in the hillside. Loki would not go and was
angered to hear that Thor thought of going. But Thor, seeing
that the Giant youth was friendly, was willing enough to go to
"Go then, but get soon to Gerriöd's dwelling yonder. I will
 wait for you there," said Loki. He watched Thor go up the
hillside to Grid's cave. He waited until he saw Thor come back
down the hillside and go towards Gerriöd's dwelling. He watched
Thor go into the house where, as he thought, death awaited
him. Then in a madness for what he had done, Loki, with his
head drawn down on his shoulders, started running like a bird
along the ground.
RID, the old Giantess, was seated on the floor of
the cave grinding corn between two stones. "Who
is it?" she said, as her son led Thor within. "One
of the Æsir! What Giant do you go to injure now,
Asa Thor? "
"I go to injure no Giant, old Grid," Thor replied.
"Look upon me! Cannot you see that I have not Miölnir, my
mighty hammer, with me, nor my belt, nor my gloves of iron?"
"But where in Jötunheim do you go?"
"To the house of a friendly Giant, old Grid to the house of
"Gerriöd a friendly Giant! You are out of your wits, Asa
Thor. Is he not out of his wits, my son—this one who saved
you from the flood, as you say?"
"Tell him of Gerriöd, old mother," said the Giant youth.
"Do not go to his house, Asa Thor. Do not go to his house."
"My word has been given, and I should be a craven if I
stayed away now, just because an old crone sitting at a quern-stone
tells me I am going into a trap."
 "I will give you something that will help you, Asa Thor.
Lucky for you I am mistress of magical things. Take this staff
in your hands. It is a staff of power and will stand you instead
"I will take it since you offer it in kindness, old dame, this
"And take these mittens, too. They will serve you for your
gauntlets of iron."
"I will take them since you offer them in kindness, old dame,
these worn old mittens."
"And take this length of string. It will serve you for your belt
"I will take it since you offer it in kindness, old dame, this
ragged length of string."
"'Tis well indeed for you, Asa Thor, that I am mistress of
Thor put the worn length of string around his waist, and as
he did he knew that Grid, the old Giantess, was indeed the
mistress of magical things. For immediately he felt his strength
augmented as when he put on his own belt of strength. He then
drew on the mittens and took the staff that she gave him in his
He left the cave of Grid, the old Giantess, and went to Gerriöd's
dwelling. Loki was not there. It was then that Thor began to
think that perhaps old Grid was right and that a trap was being
laid for him.
 No one was in the hall. He came out of the hall and into a
great stone chamber and he saw no one there either. But in the
centre of the stone chamber there was a stone seat, and Thor went
to it and seated himself upon it.
No sooner was he seated than the chair flew upwards. Thor
would have been crushed against the stone roof only that he
held his staff up. So great was the power in the staff, so great
was the strength that the string around him gave, that the chair
was thrust downward. The stone chair crashed down upon the
There were horrible screams from under it. Thor lifted up the
seat and saw two ugly, broken bodies there. The Giant's
daughters, Gialp and Greip, had hidden themselves under the
chair to watch his death. But the stone that was to have
crushed him against the ceiling had crushed them against
Thor strode out of that chamber with his teeth set hard. A
great fire was blazing in the hall, and standing beside that fire he
saw Gerriöd, the long-armed Giant.
He held a tongs into the fire. As Thor came towards him he
lifted up the tongs and flung from it a blazing wedge of iron. It
whizzed straight towards Thor's forehead. Thor put up his
hands and caught the blazing wedge of iron between the mittens
that old Grid had given him. Quickly he hurled it back at
Gerriöd. It struck the Giant on the forehead and went blazing
 Gerriöd crashed down into the fire, and the burning iron made
a blaze all round him. And when Thor reached Grid's cave
(he went there to restore to the old Giantess the string, the
mittens, and the staff of power she had given him) he saw the
Giant's dwelling in such a blaze that one would think the fires of
Muspelheim were all around it.