Thor's usual approach to problems is to throw his hammer at them. In this particular story, though, the problem is that his hammer is missing. Without it, Thor has to use his brains to achieve his goals. This approach doesn't really come naturally to Thor. Cue Loki the trickster god, who uses cunning and cleverness all the time. It's thanks to Loki's quick thinking that Thor's crossing-dressing disguise lasts for as long as it does. He manages to convince Thrym that his bride's masculine appetite and fiery eyes are simply the result of pre-wedding jitters. Uh, right. Without Loki, we'd say that Thor would have about a 3% chance of tricking Thrym – and that's only because Thrym isn't too sharp.
"The Theft of Thor's Hammer" seems to be proving the necessity of a god like Loki, and the cunning and cleverness he represents. Sure, it's nice to have a beefy muscleman like Thor protecting Asgard, but muscle alone isn't enough. You've got to have some brainy people around when muscle falls down on the job. That makes all of us brains here at Shmoop feel pretty good about ourselves.
Questions About Cunning and Cleverness
Why is the loss of Thor's hammer such a big problem for him? How does it change his normal approach to problem solving?
What plan do the gods come up with to get Thor's hammer back?
Why do you think Loki decides to go with Thor to Jotunheim?
How does Loki's cleverness save the day in "The Theft of Thor's Hammer"?