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1001 Stories Collection

Thor and Utgard-Loki

Added on 11th June 2020

Oral tradition Norse mythology
First written version 13th century

A story from Norse mythology.

Story

Thor and Loki, are travelling to Jotunheim, the land of the giants. On their journey they meet the giant Skrymir who welcomes them back to the giant-king Utgard-Loki’s castle. The gods and the giants challenge each other to a series of contests, but the giants have some tricks up their sleeves…

Why we chose it

A great story about Thor and Loki, who are probably the best known of the Norse gods. With, humour, trickery and some challenging contests it lends itself to a dramatic retelling.

Where it came from

The poems and myths which tell the stories of the Norse gods were told orally for many centuries before they were written down in the 13th century in one of two manuscripts. The Prose Edda, was written by Snorri Sturluson to preserve the stories of the Icelandic skalds (or court poets). A section of it tells the story of Gyfli the king of the Swedes who visits Asgard, home of the gods, and is told tales about the adventures of the gods. The second manuscript, known as the Poetic Edda, is a collection of poems by unknown authors, which date back earlier than the skaldic poetry (to 800-1100AD) and are generally dramatic mythological poems.

This story is found in the Prose Edda.

Where it went next

Thor and Loki have influenced literature, TV, and film. They appear in Marvel comics and in several Marvel films. Thor is portrayed in the comics as the ultimate warrior god, and Utgard-loki was often his enemy.

Associated stories

The Norse myths begin with the creation of the world and finish as the world ends. In between are stories of gods and giants, men and dwarves, shape shifters, tricksters, monsters.

Our 1001 includes How the World Began, The Treasures of the Gods, Thor Loses His Hammer, Thor and Utgard Loki and Ragnarok. Others include Three Monstrous Children, The Death of Balder, Thor goes fishing, The Apples of Immortality.

The Norse myths and legends have been retold many times. Two recent highly acclaimed collections are Norse Myths, Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki by Kevin Crossley Holland with illustrations by Jeffrey Alan Love and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

Thor and Loki appear in the Marvel films Thor, Thor:the Dark World, Thor:Ragnarok and in the Avengers films.

Added on 11th June 2020

Oral tradition Norse mythology
First written version 13th century