Fenrir the wolf was born under a dark star. The son of the infamous Loki and a giantess, Fenrir was the subject of ominous prophecies. After kicking the subject around the table awhile, the Æsir came up with a brilliant plan to contain the threat.
The Æsir appealed to Fenrir’s vanity, and asked him to test his strength with some nifty shackles. Breaking out of the first pair was too easy for the enormous wolf, so the gods made a second pair twice as strong. Fenrir took that challenge too, and won.
Hmm, what to do?
The gods appealed to the smithy dwarves to forge something impossible to break. They fashioned a ribbon-like shackle called Gleipnir, woven of impossible items (see recipe, below). Fenrir, suspecting a trick, refused this challenge. The gods pinky-swore to release Fenrir if he couldn’t break out.
Fenrir was unimpressed.
But he offered the Æsir a deal. If one of the gods would put his or her hand in Fenrir’s jaws as an act of good faith, he’d take The Gleipnir Challenge.
The brave and heroic god Týr volunteered.
When Fenrir was unable to break free from Gleipnir, the gods rejoiced. All except for Týr, of course, who could no longer clap. 😦 Hats off to Týr, by the way, for taking one for the team. He had the Right Stuff.
~ S.G. Rogers
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