This week's Soldiser Sunday Story is about Alvíss, an all-knowing elf who wishes to have the Norse battle goddess Thrud for his bride. The story is based on the poem Alvíssmál in the Poetic Edda. I have made some intentional deviations from the original storyline, and if you are curious about why, I promise to tell you the next time you stop by. But for now, I hope you enjoy my unique version of this Old Norse story about an elf, the goddess Thrud and the never-ending quest for knowledge.
Long before the world became as it is today, there was an elf whose name was Alvíss, meaning the all-knowing, and he was indeed a very clever creature. One day, in the days now long departed, Alvíss arose from his home under rocks and stones and headed towards Thrudheim, meaning place of might. Here dwelled Sif, the goddess of the abundance of earth, and Thor, the god of thunder, lightning, winds, rains and fair weather. This divine union of an earth goddess and a sky god had resulted in a most beloved daughter, the battle goddess Thrud.
As soon as Alvíss arrived in Thrudheim, he boldly suggested that Thrud should be his bride. Thor, known for his hot temper and physical power, found Alvíss to be a foul, pale creature and had no patience for such insults. Thor reached for his hammer Mjölnir to make the visit short when Thrud intervened. Thrud, whom just as her father was a strong-armed warrior albeit perhaps a bit more astute, answered Alvíss ‘For a creature with such a name you have behaved quite foolish since I am no one’s to claim and I decide my own fate. But, despite your mistake, I will grant you my hand if you succeed in answering all of my questions correctly.’
Thrud, whose name means strength in Old Norse, had realized that perhaps this was an opportunity to benefit from the immense knowledge Alvíss possessed. So, she proceeded by asking one question after another, and as evening became night, Alvíss shared his infinite wisdom. Finally, the sun rose and – because he was a black elf – Alvíss turned to stone as soon as the first rays of sunlight touched him. Therefore, in this time before remembrance, it was known that it is always favorable to use one’s wit rather than physical strength, and most importantly, that the pursuit of knowledge is never-ending.