Grid the Giantess was very pleased to see Thor when the thunder god of the Vikings called on her one day. It was a long time since she had seen him.
Grid was less pleased, though, when she learned that Thor was on his way to visit Geirrodur, the King of the Trolls.
Geirrodur lived in a housemade out of a mountain not far from Grid's cottage, and like the Giants who were his cousins; he hated the gods of Valhalla.
"But why visit Geirrodur, Thor?" Grid asked in a worried voice. "Where is your mighty hammer, Miolnir?"
"Miolnir is in Valhalla," said Thor as he sat down to the delicious dinner Grid had cooked for him. "You see, Grid, I have heard that Geirrodur's house is full of marvellous treasures. The walls of his banqueting hall are covered in jewels bright as sunlight. And he has chests full of gold and silver and money..." Thor paused to take a huge mouthful of Grid's tasty meat pie. "Geirrodur invited me to come and see it all," Thor went on. "But he was afraid of my hammer Miolnir, so I left it behind."
Then, Thor saw Grid's worried face.
"What is the matter, Grid?" he asked.
"Why are you frowning?"
"Who has told you all this?" Grid asked
"Loki the demon," Thor replied. "Loki went to Geirrodur's house and saw all the treasures."
"Loki! Oh, no!" Grid's voice sounded alarmed and suspicious. Loki was a very cunning fellow. He was always up to some wicked trick, and Grid guessed this was one of them.
Grid guessed correctly. Geirrodur had caught Loki peeping in through the windows of his mountain house and he had seized and imprisoned him. For a long time Geirrodur had wanted to take revenge on Thor for killing his cousin, Rungnir the Giant. This was his chance to do so.
Geirrodur refused to let Loki go until he promised to persuade Thor to visit his mountain house, and leave the mighty and fearsome Miolnir behind in Valhalla.
"I am sure Loki was lying to you," Grid told Thor "You know how wicked and mischievous he can be! As for the Trolls, you should never trust them, there is some wickedness afoot; some harm will come to you, my dearest ï¿½Thor Now Thor was feeling worried. Grid was usually right when she suspected the enemies of the gods were planning some evil. There was a big problem, though.
"I cannot go back to Valhalla now," Thor protested. Everyone will think I am a coward. What am I to do?"
Grid went over to the big wooden chest she kept in her dining hall. It contained her most treasured possessions. She opened the lid and pulled some of them out.
"Here," she said, returning to Thor. "Take this Girdle of Might, and this iron rod. And here are gloves made of iron. . .
They have often protected me against the Trolls and the Giants. I pray they may protect you, too!"
Thor was very grateful to Grid. Because of her warning, he was watching out for danger as he made his way towards Geirrodur's mountain house. To get there he had to cross the River Vimur.
When he reached it, Thor found that the river was not flowing quietly. It was a raging flood, racing past at tremendous speed. Grid's girdle and the rod will help me across,' thought Thor. For extra strength, he fastened, the girdle around his waist and as he stepped into the fast-running waters he rammed the iron rod down into the river bed. The waters pushed against him with mighty force, but Thor managed to stay upright. Then, in the middle of the river, Thor suddenly found it was ?owing twice as strongly.
Now it was very difficult for him to stay on his feet, even with the iron rod to steady him.
Just then, Thor saw a female Troll standing on the river bank. She was watching him with a wicked smile.
"That's Gialp, Geirrodur's daughter!" Thor cried. "Grid has often warned me against her.
Gialp was holding the banks of the river apart. So, she was making the ?ood that threatened to drown him!
"We'll see about that!" Thor shouted. He picked up a huge boulder from the river bank and threw it at Gialp. With a cry of fright, she jumped aside. The boulder landed in the river with an enormous splash. At once, its waters became as calm as a pond, for the boulder had stopped the river's ?ow.
When Gialp saw this, she began to run. By the time Thor climbed up the river bank, she was safely inside Geirrodur's mountain house.
"The plan to drown Thor has failed," she told her father, in a disappointed voice. "He is on his way here right now."
"Never mind, daughter," Geirrodur said, with an evil grin. "We have others ways of trapping him! Look!" he said, pointing out of the window. "There go my Trolls to welcome Thor - or so he will think."
As the welcoming Trolls came towards him, Thor was on his guard against danger. Never trust a Troll! Grid had often told Thor that - and she was right!
Even so, Thor could not go back now, so he followed the Trolls into the guest house which they had prepared for him.
"Wait here, great Thor," the Trolls asked respectfully. "King Geirrodur is preparing his Great Hall to receive you as you deserve."
Thor sat down on the only chair in the guest house. He was thankful for a rest after his struggle with the river. Thor leaned back. The chair was comfortable. Then suddenly, he felt himself rising upwards. Up and up he went until he was very close to the stone roof of the guest house Grid's iron rod will save me,' Thor thought, and using all his strength he pushed the rod against the roof. Harder and harder he pushed. Then all at once the chair fell and landed on the ?oor with a loud crash. Thor looked down. The chair had landed on top of Gialp and her sister Greip. They were screaming with pain and fury as they lay trapped beneath.
"Serves you right!" Thor said. "You tried to crush me against the roof, but I have crushed you ï¿½instead."
King Geirrodur , meanwhile, was warming himself by the fire in his great hall.
When he heard shrieks and thumps in the guest house, he thought his daughters had succeeded in crushing Thor. However, when Geirrodur heard the heavy tramp of feet outside and saw the doors flung back, it was not Greip and Gialp who stood there, but Thor. His face was black with rage, as black as a storm.
Terrified, Geirrodur grabbed some fire tongs from behind him. He drew a white-hot bar of iron out of the fire, and flung it at Thor. Quickly the thunder god put on the iron gloves Grid had given him, and caught the bar. "This is yours. Geirrodur!" he roared. And before Geirrodur knew what was happening, Thor had hurled the iron bar back at him.
As it came whizzing across the hall, Geirrodur jumped behind an iron pillar. There was a tremendous crash. Then the pillar and King Geirrodur were lying on the floor of the hall. Both of them had been split in two. The white-hot bar had gone straight through them, and then on through the wall of the house. It did not stop until it buried itself deep in the earth outside.
The Trolls who had been watching all this started yelling in fear and tried to run away. But they could not escape Thor. He strode round the hall, whirling Grid's iron rod from side to side and killing dozens of tiny Trolls with each blow.
Thor was so angry at what had happened in Geirrodur's house that his roars of rage could be heard far away across the mountains in Valhalla.
"Just wait until I get my hands on that demon, Loki!" Thor yelled as he returned to Valhalla in a huge chariot. "He will pay for the lies he told me about Geirrodur's treasure. I will teach him a lesson he will never forget."
The whole of Valhalla trembled as Thor leapt out of his chariot and marched inside shouting, "Loki! Loki! I am coming to get you, Loki!"
Thor looked everywhere, but Loki was nowhere to be found. Loki had in fact, heard Thor returning to Valhalla, and he knew exactly what was going to happen to him if he stayed there. So Loki rushed out of Valhalla and raced towards the mountains. There he hid himself in the furthest passageway in the deepest cave he could find. He crouched there, trembling, as Thor's voice thundered out and made the cave walls shake. Loki stayed in the mountains for a very long time before he dared even to peep outside the cave. It was even longer before he dared to think about returning to Valhalla.