Interview with Njord
From the Charts of Dr. Karl Ljung, Ph.D.
Patient(s): Njord Vanirson and Skadi Thjazisdottir
Reason for Visit: Marriage Counseling
Dr. Ljung: Good morning to both of you. How are you today?
Njord: I've been better. My wife and I, you see… well, we're having some disagreements.
Skadi: Disagreements? That's the understatement of the millennium.
Dr. Ljung: Oh my. Okay. Why don't we start with a little personal history? How long have you been married?
Skadi: Too long!
Njord: [sighs] A little over a year.
Dr. Ljung: Very good, very good. And how did you meet?
Njord: We didn't meet. Well, not before we were engaged, anyway. That's part of the problem. It was an arranged marriage.
Skadi: You see, doctor, my father was cruelly murdered by the Asgard gods and—
Njord: Whoa there. That's not quite the whole truth. [Turning to doctor] My wife's father Thjazi had worked with Loki to kidnap the goddess Idunn, and we, um, accidentally killed him during our rescue attempt.
Skadi: You burned him alive, you mean! I didn't even get his body for a proper burial! Anyway, as a consolation prize, the gods gave me the pick of them for a husband, but I had to choose based only upon their feet. I meant to choose Balder, but…
Njord: I happen to have very beautiful feet.
Skadi: It's true. Unfortunately.
Njord: I would never have married her otherwise. We are completely wrong for each other.
Dr. Ljung: And why is that?
Skadi: Well, for one thing, he's much too old for me.
Njord: I wouldn't say that. But it's true that I've had more life experience. I've been the god of the sea, fertility, fishing, and so on, for centuries, and with these titles come a lot of important responsibilities. My wife just isn't interested in what I do.
Skadi: Well, what do you expect? Why would I want to have anything to do with the sea when I can spend my days skiing in the mountains? [Turning to doctor] Njord just doesn't understand.
Dr. Ljung: You're homesick?
Skadi: Not just homesick, although I do miss the mountains. But here, I can't sleep at night because of the screeching of those horrible gulls! And I get seasick on boats.
Dr. Ljung: How about a compromise? What if you lived part of the year here, and part of it in…
Njord: We tried that. But the howling of the wolves keeps me awake at night. And I can't stand to be away from the sea. Besides, my duties are here. What would the fishermen do without me to calm the waves for them and fill their nets? With great power comes great responsibility—you heard it here first.
Dr. Ljung: Hmmm, that leaves you in a tough position, doesn't it, Skadi?
Skadi: Yes! And there's another thing, too: Njord is way too lenient with his children, especially Freyja. I'm telling you, if I had a daughter who was consorting with dwarves…
Njord: What's so wrong about Freyja having some fun? I just don't understand you Aesir sometimes—you're all so narrow-minded! If I were back among the Vanir—
Skadi: Then you'd be married to your sister!
Njord: So? I'd certainly be better off than I am now! Let me tell you, doctor, my previous marriage was very successful. Nine children, including Freyr and Freyja. And my former wife and I always got along. We had so much in common.
Skadi: [snorts] Too much!
Dr. Ljung: [clears throat uncomfortably] Well, Skadi, Njord, that's all we have time for today. But you know, I think we've made some great progress…