The Marriage of Skadi and Njord
The giantess Skadi was the daughter of Thjazi whom the gods had ambushed and killed. Thjazi had kidnapped Idun with the assistance of the god Loki but the other gods threatened Loki harshly and he helped her escape the giant's fortress in Jotunheim. Thjazi gave chase and fell victim to a trap set by the gods.
Upon learning of her father's death, Skadi stalked the cold halls of Thunder-Home with rage. She donned her battle regalia and began her long trip to Asgard, the home of the Gods. She decided she would have blood or compensation for her loss.
The gods of Asgard were very elated to have Idun back in their fold. Her magical fruit of immortality brought them back to themselves. They were merrymaking when the alert went up from the god Heimdall. He saw Skadi's approach long before any other god could see her.
When Skadi arrived the gods were waiting on the battlements. She yelled up to them that she demanded justice for the killing of her father. The gods had patience with Skadi and Odin asked if she would take one of the gods as a husband in compensation.
Skadi agreed to take a husband and she also demanded a belly full of laughter as she felt she could not laugh after the slaying of her father.
Odin and Skadi came to that agreement and in good faith Odin took Thjazi's eyes and threw them high into the sky to become Stars. Odin told Skadi that this way her father could always keep watch of her and the goings-on in the nine worlds.
Now it was time to make Skadi laugh and Allfather Odin knew just the god for the task. He called the trickster god Loki forward.
Loki came forward and he had a goat with him. He looked at Skadi and began the story that he had been at the market with his goat and no one bought the goat but he bought several things and his hands were full. Not knowing what else to tie the goat to so he could walk it home he came up with a solution. He tied the goat to his testicles. He demonstrated before the giantess. As soon as he had tied one end of a rope to the nanny goats beard and one end of the rope to his testicles a hilarious tug-of-war ensued. Loki screeched and the goat screeched also and finally Loki fell into Skadi's lap and she couldn't help but laugh.
Next Skadi was to chose a husband but Odin set a rule that she could only chose her husband by the legs and feet of the god. With only the legs and feet exposed under a tarp Skadi made her choice. She chose the fairest and most handsome of the legs and feet, so she was hoping it to be Baldur, most handsome of the gods.
When the tarp was dropped she discovered she had chosen the god Njord. A god who loved the sun and the sea while she craved the dark mountains and snow-covered peaks of Jotunheim. They had to come up with a compromise. They decided they would spend nine nights in Thunder-Home and 9 nights in Ship-Haven (Noatun)
The first nine nights in Thunder-Home were awful for Njord. So used to the sun and the cry of the swans and seabirds. All he heard then was the whipping wind and the sound of wolves howling in the night. It was just as terrible for Skadi on the sunny coast. The sun playing off the waves and the cry of seabirds would not let her rest. In the end Skadi and Njord decided to part ways but keep their marriage bed and visit each other as often as possible.
(Artwork by Laura Daligan - https://www.lauradaligan-art.com )
So as Skadi's sea ice retreats each year to give way to the rolling waves of the sea god Njord we remember the endless cycle of interplay between these two powerful deities.