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Elaria EvenStar
on March 22, 2020
Tyr is the Norse God of Justice and War, but he is only really mentioned in Two stories from Prose and Poetic Eddas but that doesnt make him any less meaningful or powerful to the Norse people in fact he was highly thought of and recognised not only for his ability to bring justice but for his bravery and sacrifice at the mouth of Fenrir. but without further ado let's learn a little about Tyr and his background. I shall change things up a bit and start with a lesser known Tale of Tyr and how he goes to visit his Foster father so without further ado let's get in to it:
The Aesir Gods were having a ball at Aegir's party when a presumably exhausted and frustrated Aegir came to them and said, "If we do this again, someone needs to bring me a bigger kettle."
The Aesir were disgruntled by this, How on earth would they find a kettle big enough for their colossal drinking habits? But then Tyr saved the day when he suddenly remembered that his foster father, Hymir, had a kettle a mile wide and a mile deep. So he and Thor go to collect this Kettle from his Foster Father but alas that is all that is mentioned of Tyr in this Tale.
This next Tale is the most well known about Tyr and that is The binding of Fenrir. A fact of the story that is often overlooked is that Fenrir was Tyr's friend, Due to Tyr and Thor being the ones to collect these so called 'monster children' from Jotunheim when they were only young. Tyr had a very big hand in raising Fenrir and that is how trust and friendship was built between them.Tyr being the Bravest of the Gods was never afraid of him. He hated having to tie his friend up, but he knew he couldn't change Odin's mind.
So the Aesir brought out huge chains of iron to bind the wolf. He broke them in an instant, as a show of strength. The Wolf failed at one thing, however. He couldn't hide his one weakness; his pride. So the Aesir challenged him again, and he broke the chains with ease. Starting to worry, the Aesir went down to Nidavellir to have the dwarves make an unbreakable chain to hold the wolf. The dwarves returned with a delicate looking thread called Gleipnir These Fetters looked like a silken ribbon but were made of six magical ingredients: the sound of a cat's step, the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain, bear's sensibility, fish's breath, and bird's spittle.
It is said that these things do not exist because they were put in this chain.
The Aesir gave Fenrir his new challenge, but the Wolf was suspicious. After all, if this was a test of strength, a thread would be no match for the mighty Wolf. He refused to be bound with it. The Aesir said "Its just a thread, you can break it easily. Unless you're afraid?"
The Wolf did not enjoy having his bravery questioned. He agreed, so long as one of the Aesir would put his hand in Fenrir's mouth. Cold sweats ran down the Aesir's backs until Tyr stepped up and placed his hand in the Wolf's mouth. Fenrir trusted Tyr, and thus assumed there was no trick involved. Thus, the Wolf was bound, and he struggled. He struggled, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't break free. The Aesir all began to laugh at the Wolf's predicament, all but Tyr, whose hand was still in the Wolf's mouth. Fenrir looked up at Tyr with his bright yellow eyes, asking, "Why?" But he still didn't bite down.
Tyr shook his head, gritted his teeth, and blinked back tears for his friend. "Do it." He said. The Wolf bit down. Tyr didn't cry out let alone flinch. He simply cradled his badly injured arm and went back to his home with the rest of the Aesir.
Tyr losing his hand that day was seen as the ultimate sacrifice for Týr knew what the Aesir Gods had planned for Fenrir that day and took it upon himself to sacrifice his hand in order to protect his friend and to keep the rest of the Aesir safe for they were also his friends.
Tyr teaches alot about facing our fears but also about loyalty, honour and justice for those who have been wrongfully accused or judged harshly by another.
(Disclaimer to say the image used is not my own it is from Google and also the information I have used in this post is from Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology)
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