Thor’s Fishing Trip Viking Pendant – Thor’s Encounter with Jormungandr
Viking Pendant Thor’s Fishing Trip – Gold and Silver -Thor’s Encounter with Jormungandr
Jörmungandr and Thor met according to one detailed Viking tale when Thor goes fishing with the giant Hymir. When Hymir refuses to provide Thor with bait, Thor strikes the head off Hymir’s largest ox to use it. They row to a point where Hymir often sat and caught flat fish and where he drew up two whales. Thor demands to go further out to sea and does so despite Hymir’s protest. Thor then prepares a strong line and a large hook and baits it with the ox head, which Jörmungandr bites. Thor pulls the serpent from the water, and the two face one another, Jörmungandr blowing poison. Hymir goes pale with fear. As Thor grabs his hammer to kill the serpent, the giant cuts the line, leaving the serpent to sink beneath the waves and return to its original position encircling the earth.
The Eddic poem Hymiskviða has a similar ending to the story, but in earlier Scandinavian versions of the myth in skaldic poetry, Thor successfully captures and kills the serpent by striking it on the head. Thor’s fishing for Jörmungandr was one of the most popular motifs in Norse art. Four picture stones that are believed to depict the myth are the Altuna Runestone and the Ardre VIII image stone in Sweden, the Hørdum stone in Denmark, and a stone slab at Gosforth, Cumbria by the same sculptor as the Gosforth Cross.
Many of these depictions show the giant cutting the fishing line; on the Altuna stone, Thor is alone, implying he successfully killed the serpent. The Ardre VIII stone may depict more than one stage in the events: a man entering a house where an ox is standing, two men leaving, one with something on his shoulder, and two men using a spear to fish. The image on this stone has been dated to the 8th to 10th century. If the stone is correctly interpreted as a depiction of this myth, it would indicate that the story was preserved essentially unchanged for several centuries prior to the recording of the version in the Prose Edda around the year 1220.