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3 Story Telling - Examples

Monica Johannessen (NO)

Stories can be told in many different ways. At Landa we involve the guests in the story. Our goal is to make the guests feel they are living in the time of the story.
Every visitor of the different arrangements that we have here, like the museum, the event, school classes, groups, and private arrangements, will learn history through activities, storytelling, and experience during their stay at Landa
If we manage to get someone who is not interested in history to change his or her mind during their visit, we have achieved our goal!

Stories you can use in activities

Thor with the hammer 
Odin has many sons, one of them is Thor. Thor is a very kind and a good person. But when he gets angry you have to watch out and be very careful because danger lurks. He will use his large hammer to hit something, or you, and sparks and lightning will surround him!
When the sky is dark in the middle of the day, when there air is filled with vibrations of thunder, when the sky is filled with lightning that could set fire to the earth, yes, then the God Thor goes round. He drives his wagon, drawn by two goats, Tanngjost and Tanngrisen, in full speed across the skies. He hits everywhere with his large hammer, Mjølner, and violent sparks and flashes of lightning surround him.
Mjølner is forged by dwarfs and it hits everything it is aimed at. And if that weren’t enough, as soon as the hammer has reached its goal, it flies back and returns to Thor’s hand, all by itself! Thor has quite a hammer, it was a gift from Loke.
But now Thor is furious and angry. He can’t find his hammer. He’s been looking everywhere, but the hammer is gone. Not even Siv, Thor's beautifully wife with the long golden hair, can calm him down. Not only Thor is upset, all the Gods are upset and furious now. Without the hammer Thor cannot protect the Gods and the people against the terrible Jotnene (Giants). What are they to do?
Sly Loke has been informed where the hammer is. The terrible Jotnen Trym has stolen it. But he has promised to give it back, if he gets married to the only love goddess there is, Frøya! She is the most beautiful Goddess there is. When she flies over the sky in her wagon drawn by two cats, yes, then nobody in the whole world can take his eyes off her.

Thor As A Bride
But Frøya doesn’t want to marry the terrible Trym. She shivers and cries, and it doesn’t help when the Gods explain to her that there is no hope for anyone if she doesn’t agree with the marriage.
Then one of them gets a very good idea; Thor himself can dress up as Frøya and travel to Trym and take back the hammer. Thor is not at all impressed by the idea, but he knows that he has no choice. He needs to get his hammer back. So now he gets dressed up as a lady, he takes two large stones as breasts. Then he puts the wedding veil over his face and is ready to go. Loke is dressed up as a bridesmaid, as he doesn’t want to miss this, so he joins Thor on his journey to Trym.

The Wedding In Jotunheimen
Thor and Loke are now on their way to Jotunheimen. In Trymsheim they have started to prepare for the wedding party. Many of the wedding guests sit on benches around tables filled with delicious food. Thor eats a whole oxen, then he eats tree salmons for dessert, and finally I washes it all down with tree whole barrels of beer, all by himself. Trym sits silent and watches. What an appetite the lady had! But sly Loke laughs and answers: “Yes, but it is no wonder that Frøya is hungry! She didn’t eat for eight days, because she yearned for you so much!” Trym smiles self-confidently when he hears this, and he takes the veil aside to kiss his bride. Then he sees the angry eyes of Thor, and surprised he jumps back.” Why does she have eyes like flames of fire”? he asks Loke suspiciously. “Oh” Loke smiles, “it is no wonder that she has blood red eyes, poor thing! She didn’t sleep for eight nights because she yearned for you.”

Thors Revenge
Now Trym is satisfied. He calls out for his mother and asks her to get Mjølner , Thors hammer for him. He wants to have it on his brides lap, so they can vie over it. Tryms mother lays the hammer in the lap of Thor. He smiles in his beard. As soon as he has the hammer in his lap, he takes it and sways it over his head. Trym is so much surprised that he nearly faints. Not a single giant is spared from Thors hammering, and so this story too, ends for the Gods in Åsgård.

The death of Balder
The good must give in for the bad...
Balder was the most beautiful and pleasant of the Nordic gods. The other Gods adored and loved him. Balder was the “light and lamp” of their life. Frigg, his mother, makes the whole world promise not to harm the beloved Balder. But she forgets to ask the mistletoe. The sly and jealous Loke knows how to take advantage of this mistake!

Balder The Good One
Odin has a son, Balder, who is so beautiful, handsome and nice that everyone just has to be fond of him. It is as if a beautiful light radiates from him. When he is around, no one can even think a bad though or say a bad word. But why is Balder looking so pale and tired these days? Balder doesn’t sleep well at nights. He has evil dreams. He sees the mountain crack, the sky’s burn, he sees his name written in blood. In his sleep he tosses and turns, he sweats and cries out silently. Every night these visions come to his mind. Finally he needs to tell all the other Gods about his visions. This frightens the other Gods. Balder is their light and lamp, they say. If Balder goes, it would mean the end for all of them.

Nothing Can Hurt Balder
But Balders mother Frigg knows what to do. She travels the world, from east to west, south to the north, and she makes everything and everyone promise never to hurt her son Balder. Now, the Gods feel happy and safe. Balder can’t be hurt , he is safe and will always stay with them. The Gods have a big party to celebrate that from now on nothing can hurt Balder. They start to throw all kinds of weapons at him: stones, spears, swords and axes. It is a delight to see that nothing harms him. Balder stands amidst the other gods and laughs. And when Balder is laughing , you can hear happy cheers from the other Gods. But someone is not happy about this, someone who sits there all by himself in a dark corner, making fists and biting his teeth. It is the envious Jotnen Loke.

Lokes Revenge
“Why are they praising Balder?” Loke wonders. “Who does he think he is!” He can’t fight, he is as weak as a woman. Look at me, I am someone! I am the one who always finds a solution to a problem. I am the one who utterly manages everything. Even so, it’s Balder they are celebrating, these foolish and unfair Gods. But just wait, I will give them a lesson!
Loke has come to know a secret. Everyone and all things in the world had promised not to hurt Balder, all the things except the small plant called mistletoe. Loke fetches the plant and then he return to the party. The Gods are still throwing weapons at Balder. The only one who doesn’t throw anything is Balders brother Hòd . He is blind, and can’t see where Balder is.
“Come here, I will help you” says Loke to Hòd, and he gives him the mistletoe. “You to have to honour your brother” . Loke raises his arm. Hòd spans the bow and shoots the mistletoe arrow at his brother. Balder screams and falls dead to the ground.
There is complete silence. The Gods are paralysed. Their arms fall helplessly down their sides, they bow their heads, and tears fill their eyes. Then the silence ends. They all turn to enclose Hòd. Someone brings Loke too. They want to hold them responsible for Balders death.
Fists clench, voices raise . But Odin stops them. "Enough blood has been shed for one day” he says tiredly. Loke accuses Balders mother, Frigg: “it’s your fault, you said you had made everything and everyone promise not to hurt Balder. You have fooled us, now Balder is dead”. Frigg turns her head the other way and cries. “It is destiny” she says silently. “No one can prevent that”.

Hermod Rides To Hell
Frigg refuses to let her son go. “Who will ride to Hel in the realm of death and ask Hel to let Balder come back to us?” she asks. Everyone falters. Even Thor and Tyr look at their feet. Then Hermod , Balders second brother, comes to the fore. “I will ride” he says. "Odin, bring me your horse Sleipner”. Hermod mounts Sleipner, and in a tremendous speed he runs off to the realm of death. The hooves strike sparks on the stones, the wind drags his hair. For nine nights Hermod rides through darkness and deep valleys. Many obstacles are in his way, but he keeps on riding. He passes the guards who protect the realm of the dead, he passes the beach of Nåstrand where rotten bodies lay all over the place. The stench hits him, and almost suffocates him, but Hermod keeps on riding.
He now arrives at an enormously huge gate, Helgrinden. It is made off human knuckles and scalps. But Hermod spurs the horse to move on and with an immense jump they pass the gate. Then Hermod rides down to Hels farm. Here he is kindly welcomed by Hel. She is tall and very skinny. One side of her face is white, the other is black. At the end of the big hall he gets a glance of Balder, his dead brother. On Balders side he can also see Nanna, Balders faithful wife who died of grief when Balder died.

Loke Finishes his Feat
Hermod begs for Balder, but Hel doesn’t want to let him go. Hermod cries in despair: “The death of Balder has given the world more grief then it can bear. No one has ever been as beloved as Balder”. Then Hel gives in. Hermod can bring back Balder, but there is one condition, Hel says. “Everything alive in the world has to grieve for Balder. If only one creature does not mourn, Balder has to stay. Go now, quickly, before I change my mind!” Immediately Hermod rides back to Åsgård, the kingdom of the Gods, and tells the good news. Every living creature grieves over Balder. But then the Gods meet an old wizard called Tokk. She doesn’t want to grieve. “Let Hel keep what she has got”, she says, and walks away. And so, Balder may never leave the kingdom of the dead. But Tokk is no one else but Loke in disguise, who now has accomplished his feat.

When will there be no more stories?

In the ocean there is a mountain, reaching as far as you can see. Once in every hundred years a bird comes to stroke its beak on the mountain. When, and only then, the mountain is worn down, there will be no more stories...