The Kidnapping of Idun

Posted by Ms Elly on

The Kidnapping of Idun

Idun "EE-dun" was a beautiful goddess who came from the Aesir god tribe. Idun was known as the guardian of the youth apples in Asgard. This coincidentally reasoned her name "Idun" because in Old Norse the word "Idun" meant "The Rejuvenating One". The most famous tale about Idun was her being kidnapped by a giant. And the question was that what happened to Norse gods when they lost their youth-preserving medicine. 

One day, three gods, Odin, Loki, and Hoenir, were on a journey to an isolated mountain far away from Asgard. Three of them were hunger and there was no food that they brought with themselves or food that appeared along the path. Then they came across a herd of oxen and they decided to slaughter one of them for their dinner. 

But the fire that they ignited could not cook the meat no matter how many times they tried to do. Suddenly came a voice from the branch of the tree which made them look above to find it out. On looking up, they saw a big eagle perching on a branch nearby. The eagle admitted to preventing the gods from cooking the meat and said that if gods shared him some meat, the eagle would break the spell. In this case, gods could do nothing but accept the eagle's offer, allowing him to have his portion of meat. The eagle then flew down and grabbed the best part of the meat. The gods were filled with much anger by the moment of the greedy action of the eagle. 

Loki no longer viewed that greedy action as a part of the bargain. He picked up a strong branch of a tree and lunged at the eagle. The eagle defended himself by holding the branch in this talons and Loki, in the other end of the branch, still held on. As a result, Loki was lifted toward the sky with the eagle. The terrified Loki begged the eagle to drop him down but of course, the eagle would never do that unless Loki agreed to do one thing for the eagle. And then he did. Loki agreed to swear to help Thjazi. 

Image of Idun Kidnap Norse myth

The Kidnapping of Idun

When three gods made it back to Asgard, Loki went to find Idun straight after. He told Idun that he had found many fruits that were even more magnificent than hers and she should follow him to bring the fruits back to compare. Idun followed Loki and was taken up by Thjazi (in the form of an eagle) into the sky only to keep her in the giant's fort. Thjazi's home was the Thrymheim (Home of Thunder) and it was located up in the mountain's peaks. As Idun was absent, the Gods felt something changed among them. Their skin became darker and winkled, their hair got grey, and they no longer felt the energy. They were so worried that they assembled to ask each other where Idun was seen for the last time. Reportedly, Idun was last seen with Loki and together they left Asgard. Gods seized Loki and threatened to punish him severely unless he told what happened to Idun goddess. There was nothing that he could do but to spill the whole story and Gods demanded him to rescue Idun or else he would be punished to death.

Borrowing the famous feather from goddess Freya, Loki flew to the home of Thrymheim. Fortunately, the giant was absent for fishing, leaving Idun alone in the fort. Loki then turned Idun into a peanut and held her within his talons. As Thjazi returned home and discovered his beautiful Idun was missing, he quickly turned himself into an eagle and set out his pursuit of Loki. As Asgard was in sight, Thjazi nearly caught up with Loki. Gods in Asgard caught sight of this and got ready to set Asgard's wall on fire. Once Loki had traveled through the barrier, Norse gods ignited the fire completely in time to burn Thjazi down to ash. 

As Idun was home, she brought the youth apples to the whole Norse pantheon. Their face was glowing with happiness and their beauty was recovered because Idun was here. 

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