Chapter 9: The Marriage of God Njord and Giantess Skadi
The story of this not-to-say-awkward marriage began when the Kidnap of Idun finally came to an end. The reason why we call it "awkward" was that it was initially a revenge project of the giantess Skadi. But in the end, it turned out to be the marriage that made the bride and groom popular.
THE ORIGIN OF THE REVENGE
Skadi the giantess of frost and winter was the daughter of Thjazi giant of thunder and winter in Jotunheim.
On one occasion, Thjazi played a trick on Odin, Thor, and Loki who were embarking on their journey. Finding themselves fooled by a frost giant, the gods were very angry and Loki hit Thjazi only to get caught between the claw of the eagle that Thjazi shapeshifted. Thjazi threatened to kill Loki unless he could bring Idunn the guardian of youth fruits to Thjazi. And as your guess, Loki was a complicated trickster who was willing to do anything for the sake of himself. Then the cunning Loki tricked Idunn resulting in her kidnap. When the guardian of youth disappeared, youth and dynamic energy disappeared in Asgard, too.
Wasting to time to ponder, gods blamed Idun's kidnap on Loki and demanded him to bring back Idun. How could Loki refuse to do so when the Mjolnir hammer was one inch above his head? The visit of Loki and the rescue of Idun came at the expense of the death of Thjazi the giant.
On discovering gods slew father, Skadi the giantess stormed into the stronghold of Asgard to seek revenge.
THE REVENGE AND THE MARRIAGE
It was Skadi that arrived at the gate of Asgard, armed to the teeth to make gods pay for what they had done. The Aesir gods who were very calm at that time offered Skadi three parts of compensation.
First, Odin took the eyes of the giant Thjazi and placed them on the sky. The eyes made the bright stars on the dark sky at night.
Second, gods were willing to make Skadi laugh. Nearly everyone in hall attempted to break the ice on the face of Skadi but she showed no facial expression but anger. Loki the trickster then came up with an idea. But the idea of Loki turned out to be useful as it made Skadi chuckle when Loki fell over in the laps of Skadi.
Third, gods offered Skadi a god as her husband. But she chose her husband by the look of their leg and feet. She picked the finest ones hoping they belonged to Baldur the shining god. But it turned out to be Njord the seafaring god that Skadi chose.
Skadi picked her husband from the gods by looking at their feet and legs. She chose the finest legs thinking they belonged to Baldur. But they turned out to be Njord's
DECISION AND BREAKUP
After the marriage, the couple faced a big problem: where to live. The house of Njord was Noatun "The Place of Ships" where the seabirds sang their songs all day long, the waves lapping against the ships. The house of Thjazi was no other than the Thymheim where her father used to keep Idun. It was the Thunder-home, a dark place where the mountain peaks covered with snow that never melted.
There is a saying that "If you don't try, you will never know". So the pair decided they should spend their time trying to live in their partner's home.
They started the first nine nights at Thrymheim. After the first nine nights, Njord concluded that Thrymheim was not a place that he could live. He could not tolerate the howling sound of the wolves and the coldness on the highest mountain peak. He missed the sun, the breeze on the shore, and songs of the seabird.
The the next nine nights were spent in the home of Njord. And this time, it was Skadi that could not tolerate. Indeed, Noatun failed Skadi as she could not stand the cries of the seabirds.