Long before the world became as it is today, there was a black 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 fierce 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 realised 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 knowledge. 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 favourable to use one’s wit rather than physical strength, and most importantly, that the pursuit of knowledge is never-ending.
Great stories shape great people
The Thrud & Thor story is a tale of independence, wit and the never-ending thirst for knowledge.
Behind every great design is an even greater story
The story behind the Thrud & Thor collection is based on the poem Alvíssmál in the Poetic Edda. In the poem, it is Thor who converses with the black elf until sunrise. In our version of the story Thrud gets to speak for herself, as a battle goddess we believe she should - and can. Also, Alvíssmál is the only tale depicting Thor solving problems using his wit rather than physical force, which makes our version even more plausible. The goddess Thrud is attested in several sources, and Thor is sometimes referred to as ‘the tough father of Thrud’ or as in the poem Thorsdrapa, ‘he who longs fiercely for Thrud’. The runestone depicted in the design is the Karlevi stone, located on the island Öland, Sweden. The inscription tells us about a chieftain having ‘done the deeds of the battle goddess Thrud’ meaning having been a true and great leader.
Designed with an abundance of enchantments
In ancient Scandinavia, the patterns on fabric often carried a symbolic meaning or told a story, just as each Soldiser design does today. Indeed the Scandinavian people even believed that woven patterns were a magical way to manipulate the future and impact the turnout of major endeavours. That is why each design is bursting with elements of symbolic significance. For example, the rune word in this design is transcribed Þrõtt(r) – meaning power, strength in Old Norse. Apart from the many goddesses and gods, the old sagas also tell tales of plants and animals with supernatural powers, as well as women and men receiving guidance and protection from deities showing themselves in animal shape. For this reason, your Soldiser design includes several plants and animals, most of which are listed as endangered in Scandinavia, such as the bat Barbastella barbastellus, the great snipe Gallinago media, the pool frog Pelophylax lessonae, the butterfly Parnassius apollo and the beetle Osmoderma eremita.