[Mythological Female Figures 9/?]
The Norse Goddess of Winter, Mountains, Skiing and Bow-hunting
In all sources, Skaði is the daughter of the deceased Þjazi, hence she is a giantess - a jötunn. Skaði married the sea god Njörðr as part of the compensation provided by the gods for killing her father Þjazi. In Heimskringla, Skaði is described as having split up with Njörðr and as later having married the god Odin, and that the two produced many children together.
She also had close ties with the trickster god Loki: in one story he tried to make her laugh by tying the ends of a rope to a goat’s beard and his testicles (she laughed when they both shrieked in pain).
In both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, Skaði is responsible for placing the serpent that drips venom onto the bound Loki.
The origin of “Scandinavia” may be related to the name Skaði (potentially meaning “Skaði’s island”) or the name may be connected to an Old Norse noun meaning “harm”.
49. “Light art thou, Loki, | but longer thou mayst not
In freedom flourish thy tail;
On the rocks the gods bind thee | with bowels torn
Forth from thy frost-cold son.”
50. “Though on rocks the gods bind me | with bowels torn
Forth from my frost-cold son,I was first and last | at the deadly fight
There where Thjazi we caught.”
51. “Wert thou first and last | at the deadly fight
There where Thjazi was caught,
From my dwellings and fields | shall ever come forth
A counsel cold for thee.”
52. “More lightly thou spakest | with Laufey’s son,
When thou badst me come to thy bed;
Such things must be known | if now we two
Shall seek our sins to tell.”
(from the Poetic Edda: Lokasenna)