Constantin Hansen - Aegirs Gjaestebud

“Why Threaten So Loudly, Thor?”

I shared Lokasenna in its entirety for April Fools’ Day a few months ago, but I found this awesome colorized version of an old lithograph (see above) that illustrates the final few stanzas of Lokasenna and wanted to share. This image shows Aegir’s hall fairly clearly, with Loki turning away from the just-arrived Thor, about to flee as he realizes he’s taken his flyting too far.

The image is called “Ægirs Gjæstebud,” or “Aegir’s Banquet,” and was produced sometime in the 1840s by Constantin Hansen. The original’s hanging out in the British Museum, but not on display.

Here are those stanzas from Lokasenna:

Then came Thor forth, and spake:

57. “Unmanly one, cease, | or the mighty hammer,
Mjollnir, shall close thy mouth;
Thy shoulder-cliff | shall I cleave from thy neck,
And so shall thy life be lost.”

Loki spake:
58. “Lo, in has come | the son of Earth:
Why threaten so loudly, Thor?
Less fierce thou shalt go | to fight with the wolf
When he swallows Sigfather up.”

Thor spake:
59. “Unmanly one, cease, | or the mighty hammer,
Mjollnir, shall close thy mouth;
I shall hurl thee up | and out in the East,
Where men shall see thee no more.”

Loki spake:
60. “That thou hast fared | on the East-road forth
To men shouldst thou say no more;
In the thumb of a glove | didst thou hide, thou great one,
And there forgot thou wast Thor.”

Thor spake:
61. “Unmanly one, cease, | or the mighty hammer,
Mjollnir, shall close thy mouth;
My right hand shall smite thee | with Hrungnir’s slayer,
Till all thy bones are broken.”

Loki spake:
62. “A long time still | do I think to live,
Though thou threatenest thus with thy hammer;
Rough seemed the straps | of Skrymir’s wallet,
When thy meat thou mightest not get,
(And faint from hunger didst feel.)”

Thor spake:
63. “Unmanly one, cease, | or the mighty hammer,
Mjollnir, shall close thy mouth;
The slayer of Hrungnir | shall send thee to Hel,
And down to the gate of death.”

Loki spake:
64. “I have said to the gods | and the sons of the god,
The things that whetted my thoughts;
But before thee alone | do I now go forth,
For thou fightest well, I ween.

65. “Ale hast thou brewed, | but, Ægir, now
Such feasts shalt thou make no more;
O’er all that thou hast | which is here within
Shall play the flickering flames,
(And thy back shall be burnt with fire.)”

Loki fled, and attempted to use his shape-shifting abilities to escape. He was captured, and sent to an eternal punishment having serpent’s venom dripped into his eyes while chained to a boulder. His escape marks the beginning of Ragnarok.

Loki and Sigyn (1863) by Mårten Eskil Winge
Loki and Sigyn (1863) by Mårten Eskil Winge
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One comment on ““Why Threaten So Loudly, Thor?”

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