All about Thor’s Sons: Magni & Modi (with giantess Jarnsaxa)

Thor was twice married; first to the giantess Jarnsaxa (iron stone), who bore him two sons, Magni (strength) and Modi (courage). Their names come from the Old Norse words âs-megin (power, strength) and âs-módr (courage).

Modi and Magni, Thor's Sons with Jarnsaxa
Modi and Magni, Thor’s Sons with Jarnsaxa

His second wife was Sif, who also gave Thor two children: Lorride and a young giantess named Thrud.

Both Modi and Magni were destined to survive their father and the twilight of the gods, and rule over the new world which was to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the first after its destruction during Ragnarok.

The two will also recover posession of Thor’s hammer Mjollnir, and use it in Thor’s stead after he is killed during Ragnarok.

In this new world, Balder and Hoder will return, as will all the kindly spirits of nature. When this happens, Magni and Modi will be there to give men new strength and courage.

Magni removes a giant’s foot that pinned Thor

One day, the giant Hrugnir had been welcome by the gods in Valhalla, but proceeded to rudely boast about how he would in the future destroy all the Gods with the exception of Freya and Sif, Thor’s wife. According to the giant, he would keep those godesses for himself.

Enraged at this insult, Thor challenged the giant Hrungnir to a duel, which the giant fearfully and reluctantly accepted.

During the duel, Thor quickly dispatched the giant with a deadly blow of his hammer, Mjolnir, to the giant’s head. Unfortunately for Thor, the lifeless body of Hrungnir fell upon the god, and Thor was trapped beneath the giant’s foot.

Try as he might, neither Thor nor any other god of Asgard were strong enough to lift the foot and free the god of thunder.

Salvation came from Magni, Thor’s son who was then only three days old. The young god easily lifted the gigantic foot that pinned his father, and so set him free.

This exhibition of strength made the gods marvel greatly, and helped them to recognise the truth of many prophecies, many of which claimed that their descendants wouldbe mightier than Aesir gods, would survive them, and would rule in their turn over the new heaven and earth.

To reward his son for his timely aid, Thor gave him Hrugnir’s steed, Gullfaxi (golden-maned), which he had obtained by right of conquest, and Magni forever after rode this marvellous horse, which almost equalled the renowned Sleipnir in speed and endurance.


Resources:

  • The Mythology of All Races – Eddic by John Arnott MacCulloch, Louis Herbert Gray
  • The Norsemen Myths and Legends by Guerber Helene Adeline
  • Asgard and the Norse heroes by Katharine Boult
  • Old Norse stories by Sarah Powers Bradish
  • Teutonic Mythology by Viktor Rydberg & Anders Rasmus Bjorn
  • Teutonic Mythology by Jacob Grimm
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