Study Guide

Skadi - Foreign Exchange Students

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Foreign Exchange Students

A lot of history's most famous women—and some goddesses—have had to leave behind their homes and families and become strangers in a strange land when they married. That's certainly the case for Skadi, who has to move from her beloved, snowy mountain home to hang out at Njord's seaside pad. As you might expect of a relationship where one half makes all the sacrifices, these foreign exchanges usually end badly.


The Greek anti-heroine Medea was willing to travel to the ends of the earth for the love of Jason. After schlepping all over the Mediterranean in search of the golden fleece, the duo landed in Corinth, where Jason promptly traded in Medea for a newer model, the king's daughter Glauce (classy, Jason). Depending on whom you believe, Medea's children by Jason either died by accident or were murdered by their mother to get back at good ol' dad. Medea's travels didn't end, though: she made extended stops in Athens and Thebes before at last returning home for good.


Isolde of Ireland couldn't have been happier when her dragon slayer turned out to be her lover in disguise. But her happiness was short-lived, because that lover, Tristan, won her hand for his lord, King Mark of Cornwall. Isolde traveled with Tristan to Cornwall to marry Mark, but the lovers soon began a not-so-permitted relationship and had to hoof it again, this time into exile in a nearby forest.

Helen of Troy

Helen of Troy started out as Helen of Sparta. This well-traveled beauty's first big trip was as a kidnap victim. Theseus of Athens decided she was just the wife he was looking for, and carried her off to Athens with the help of his brother, Pirithous. Helen's brothers managed to get her back, but her time in Sparta was short-lived. After an arranged marriage to Menelaus, Helen journeyed to Troy with her lover (or maybe, abductor) Paris. Menelaus's attempt to recover her was pretty famous (maybe you've heard of it?): the Trojan War.

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