Old Norse study notes: Thor and the Giant Skyrmir

Þá mælti Skrýmir til Þors at hann vill leggjask niðr at sofa, “en þér takið nestbaggan ok búið til náttverðar yðr.”

Then Skrymir said to Thor that he wanted to lie down and sleep, “And you take the food sack and prepare dinner for yourselves.”

mæla, to speak. cf. OE maþelian, Sw. anmäla

leggja, to lay. cf. OE lecgan, Sw. lägga

sofa, to sleep. cf. OE swefan, Sw. sova

búa, to dwell. cf. OE buan, Sw. bo but here meaning to prepare.

Því næst sofnar Skrýmir ok hraut fast, en Þórr tók nestbaggan ok skal leysa.

Soon Skrýmir slept and was snoring hard, and Thor took the sack to untie it.

hrjóta, to snore

leysa, to loosen. cf. OE lysan, Sw. lösa

En svá er at segja sem ótrúligt mun þykkja, at engan knút fekk hann leyst, ok engan álarendann hreyft svá at þá væri lausari en áðr.

And then, it is said – however incredible it may seem – that no knot could he untie, nor shift any strap so that it was looser than before.

þykkja, to seem. cf. OE þyncan, Sw. tycka

engi, not any. cf. Sw. ingen

Ok er hann sér at þetta verk má eigi nýtask, þá varð hann reiðr, greip þá hamrinn Mjǫllni tveim hǫndum ok steig fram ǫðrum fœti at, þar er Skrýmir lá, ok lýstr í hǫfuð honum;

And seeing that his efforts were useless, he became angry, gripped the hammer Mjolnir with both hands, took a step toward where Skrýmir lay, and struck him in the head;

reiðr, angry. cf. OE wrāþ, MnE wroth, Sw. vred

ljósta, to strike

hǫfuð, head. cf. OE hēofod, Sw. huvud, Ge Haupt, & through Grimm’s Law L. caput

en Skrýmir vaknar ok spyrr hvárt laufsblað nǫkkut felli í hǫfuð honom, eða hvárt þeir hefði þá matazk ok sé búinir til rekkna.

but Skrýmir awoke, asking whether some leaf had dropped on his head, and whether they had eaten and were ready for bed.

spyrja, to track/investigate/ask. cf. Sw. spörja

nǫkkurr, any/anybody. cf. Sw. någon

Þórr segir at þeir munu þá sofa ganga. Ganga þau þá undir aðra eik. Er þat þér satt at segja, at ekki var þá óttalaust at sofa.

Thor said that they would go to sleep then. They went away under another oak tree. And truth be told, they were not unafraid to sleep.

eik, oak. cf. OE āc, Sw. ek

ótti, fear

En at miðri not, þá heyrir Þórr at Skrýmir hrýtr svá at dunar í skóginum. Þá stendr hann upp ok gengr til hans, reiðir hamarinn títt ok hart ok lýstr ofan i miðjan hvirfil honum; hann kennir at hamarsmuðrinn søkkr djúpt í hǫfuðit.

But at midnight, Thor heard Skrýmir snoring, like a thundering in the forest. Then he stood up and went over to him, swung the hammer swift and hard and struck him over the head; he felt the hammer’s head sink in deeply.

heyra, to hear. cf. Sw. höra

En í því bili vaknar Skrýmir ok mælti: “Hvat er nú? Fell akarn nǫkkut í hǫfuð mér? Eða hvat er titt um þik, Þórr?”

But at that moment Skrýmir awoke and said: “What now? Did an acorn fall on my head? What’s happening with you, Thor?”

því, dat. of þat, i.e. “by that”. cf. Sw. ty

En Þórr gekk aptr skyndiliga ok svarar at hann var þá nývaknaðr, sagði at þá var mið nótt ok en væri mál at sofa.

But Thor quickly went back and answered that he had just then woken, and said that it was midnight and should be a time for sleeping.

skynda, to speed up. cf. MnE shunt

mál, measurement, time. cf. OE mæl, Sw. mål, MnE meal(time)

Þá hugsaði Þórr þat, ef hann kvæmi svá i fœri at slá hann it þriðja hǫgg, at aldri skyldi hann sjá sik siðan; liggr nú ok gætir ef Skrýmir sofnaði fast.

Then Thor resolved that, if there came the chance to strike him a third blow, then he should never be seen again; he lay down and watched to see if Skrymir would fall fast asleep.

slá, hit. cf. Sw. slå, OE slēan, MnE slay

hǫgg, a strike. cf. Sw. hugg, OE heawan, MnE hew

gæta, to watch/guard

Ok litlu fyrir dagan þá heyrir hann at Skrýmir mun sofnat hafa; stendr þá upp ok hleypr at honum, reiðir þá hamarinn af ǫllu afli ok lýstr á þunnavangann þann er upp vissi; søkkr þá hamarinn up at skaptinu.

And a little before dawn, he heard that Skrýmir must have fallen asleep; then he stood up and leapt at him, swinging the hammer with all his strength and struck at his upturned temple; the hammer sank in up to the shaft.

hlaupa, to run. cf. Sw. löpa, OE hleapan, MnE leap, Du lopen, Ge laufen

En Skrýmir settisk upp ok strauk of vangann ok mælti: “Hvárt munu fuglar nǫkkurir sitja í trénu yfir mér? Mik grunaði, er ek vaknaða, at tros nǫkkut af kvistunum felli í hǫfuð mér. Hvárt vakir þú, Þórr? Mál mun vera upp at standa ok klæðask. En ekki eigu þér nú langa leið fram til borgarinnar er kǫlluð er Utgarðr.”

But Skrýmir sat up and stroked his temple and said: “What birds might have sat in the tree above me? It seemed to me as I woke that some droppings fell down on my head from the branches. Are you awake, Thor? It’s time to get up and get dressed. And you don’t have far to go now to the fortress called Utgard.

klæða, to dress. cf Sw. klädda, OE clæþan, MnE clothe

leið, way/road. cf. OE lād, MnE lode(stone)

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