A few months ago I had a little talk about the story of Thor and Loki who travel to Utgarda Loki for a selected group. This little talk took a couple of months in preparation and I have yet to start working on the reworked version of the in depth analysis, but I thought it might be nice for you to show a few aspects of the story here.
The story in short goes that Thor and Loki (for an unknown reason), decide to travel to Utgarda Loki, which is both the name of a kingdom, as the name of its ruler. In the beginning of the story, Thor and Loki need a place to sleep and they find a farm with a family that is willing to let them spend the night. For dinner, Thor slays his two goats and tells the farmer to throw the bones on the skins that Thor laid on the floor. The son breaks a bone to eat out the marrow though. In the morning, Thor takes his hammer, consecrates the goats and they come back alive, one with a limping rear leg. Thor immediately realises what has happened, breaks a fury and threatens to slay the family. Naturally the farmer got scared, offered his excuses and his children as compensation. Thor agrees and he, Loki, Thialfi (the son) and Roskva (the daughter) leave behind the goats and use a boat to cross the ocean.
After coming on the other shore, they start to walk through a big forest and at the end of the day they search for food in vein, but do find a place to sleep: a large hall with a portal as big as the hall itself. When trying to get some sleep, an enormous earthquake and ear-shattering sound wakes our friends in fear and they find a smaller side-hall in which they take shelter. In the morning they find out that both phenomena were caused by a gigantic man sleeping a little ahead and Thor walks towards him with his hammer in his hand. The man awakes and Thor asks for his name, which is Skrymir and Skrymir immediately recognises Thor of the Ases. The party decides to travel together, but our four friends have a hard time to keep up with the giant. As evening falls the giant finds a tree to sleep under and tells Thor to get some from from the knapsack in which everybody put their food together. Thor proves to be unable to open the giants bag though; annoyed and hungry, they also go to sleep. As soon as the giant falls asleep, the loud snoring is back and Thor runs over to him, hitting him with his hammer. The giant awakes and asks if leaves fell on his head. The second time Thor takes his change, he walks towards the giant and hits him again, but again the giant just asks if a bird dropped something on his head. The last time Thor is sure that he will succeed, he takes one step, hits the giant, but again he wakes up with a silly question.
When morning breaks, the parties part, the giant continues North, our friends towards the East. Soon they find a gigantic castle, but are not let in. Fortunately they can squeeze themselves between the bars and they immediately walk towards the drinking hall where king Utgarda Loki has a feast with his subjects. Instead of being greeted and invited to join the meal, our friends are asked which feats they can perform. After this follow three tests. First, Loki has an eating contest again a man named Logi, but Loki looses. After this Thialfi runs three races against a man named Hugi, but loses all three. Then Thor fails to empty a drinking horn, doesn’tmanaged to raise the cat of the king and is forced on a knee when wrestling against an old lady. After this they receive a warm welcome with dinner, sleeping places and breakfast in the morning.
When walking outside, Utgarda Loki tells Thor that he has tricked him. Utgarda Loki was Skrymir and every time Thor tried to kill him, he put a mountain between his head and Thor’s hammer. The man that Loki had his contest with was called “Wildfire” (“Logi”) who not only ate the meat from the bones, but also consumed the bones and the trough on which the food laid. No wonder Loki was no competition here. A similar trick Utgarda Loki has with Thialfi, because “Hugi” as his “thought” and nothing is faster than thought. The horn that Thor tried to empty had it’s tip in the ocean, the cat was actually the Midgard serpent that encircles the entire earth and the old woman was called “old age” (“Elli”) and even Thor can’t fight that. After hearing this, Thor got angry, raised his hammer to smash Utgarda Loki and his men, but suddenly the castle and its inhabitents are gone and Thor, Loki and Thialfi find themselves in an open field.