Hymir, Thor and Jörmungandr. An illustration from Nils Fredrik Sander's 1893 Swedish edition of the Poetic Edda
Thor stood at the shore. He had a demented smile on his face and a reckless gleam in his eyes.
Hymir closed the door to his shack and sighed.
He had moved all the way to the edge of Jotunheim to get away from all of this. Gods, Giants, Elves, they were all the same. He couldn’t be doing with their drama. All he wanted to do now was to see out the rest of his days in peace.
‘What do you want, Thor?’ he asked.
‘I’ve come to do some fishing.’
‘Fishing?’ Hymir said. He looked at Thor suspiciously. ‘You don’t seem like the kind of person who likes fishing.’
Thor stamped his feet. ‘I am too!’
Hymir noticed Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. He gulped. Hymir was, after all, a giant, and that hammer was responsible for crushing the skulls of many of his brothers and sisters.
He laughed uncomfortably. ‘I was just pulling your leg. You’re a born fisherman if ever I saw one!’
‘So, do you have any fishing tackle with you?’
‘What’s in that bag, then?’
Thor looked around.
‘Oh. You mean this bag.’ He lifted the bag he was holding. Blood dripped from it. ‘It’s a snack in case I get hungry.’
Hymir sighed. ‘I think I’ve got a spare rod somewhere. I’ll go and have a look.’
He went back into his shack.
Thor hummed while he waited.
Eventually, Hymir came back out carrying an old fishing rod.
He handed it to Thor.
‘So, now that I have my rod, can we go fishing?’ Thor asked eagerly.
‘I suppose so.’
Thor ran to the fishing boat and jumped aboard.
The boat sank at one end.
Hymir rubbed his forehead. What had he got himself into?
He slowly walked over to the boat and climbed in.
‘Can I row?’ Thor asked.
Hymir was about to say no when he caught another glimpse of Mjolnir. He smiled at Thor. ‘Maybe later.’
Hymir grabbed the oars and started to row.
After a while, Hymir stopped. The shore had completely vanished, and they were surrounded by a vast, rippling ocean. Hymir shut his eyes and breathed in the warm sea air.
‘So, can I row now?’ Thor asked.
Hymir opened his eyes and frowned. ‘Why would you want to leave here? This is the perfect fishing spot.’ He looked down at the clear blue sea. ‘I can see thousands of fish swimming around down there. What is there not to like?’
Thor shrugged. ‘I guess I just like rowing.’
‘Have it your way, then.’ Hymir reluctantly handed him the oars.
Thor snatched them and began to row. The boat shot forward so fast that Hymir had to hold on to make sure he wasn’t thrown overboard. Seawater splashed everywhere.
Eventually, Thor stopped and looked around. ‘A perfect spot,’ he said.
Hymir sniffed the air. He shuddered. ‘Are you sure? The waters here look a bit dark and murky. I don’t think we’ll find that many fish here.’
‘Sure we will.’ Thor pointed at a fish that was floating on the sea. ‘Look there! I’ve found one already.’
‘I think that one’s dead.’
‘Then, it’ll be much easier to catch.’
Thor picked up his blood-stained bag and took out a boar’s head.
Hymir watched Thor attach it to the end of his line. Then, it hit him! He was trying to fish up the Midgard Serpent.
Thor tossed the boar’s head into the water and held out his fishing rod.
‘Stop! You’ll kill us both,’ Hymir yelled. He took out his knife and tried to get to his feet.
When Hymir had managed to stand up, the boat lurched forward, and he fell back down.
There was something on the other end of Thor’s line.
The boat was pulled onto its side and dragged through the sea. It was only a matter of time before it would capsize.
‘Let go of the rod!’ Hymir yelled.
Thor ignored him.
Hymir got up and dived at the god.
With his knife, he managed to cut Thor’s fishing line.
Thor tumbled backwards, and the rear-end of the boat crashed back down.
‘I nearly had it. Why’d you do that?’
‘It would’ve dragged us under. We would’ve both drowned.’
Thor looked at Hymir sheepishly. 'Oh, right.'
‘So, what now?’ he asked.
‘We’re going back,’ Hymir snapped. He grabbed the oars and started rowing.
‘Are you mad at me?’ Thor asked.
‘Yes, I am.’
‘Well, if you think you are mad at me, imagine how mad Freya will be when I tell her I’ve killed her favourite boar.’
Hymir scowled at him.
'Ok, I'll be quiet.'
When they finally got back to shore, Hymir climbed out of the boat and stormed into his shack. He slammed the door behind him.
‘I take it you don’t want to go fishing with me again,’ Thor shouted.