Thor, who often sought out challenges to his strength, decided to slay the Midgard Serpent.
According to one story, Thor disguised himself as a young boy and journeyed to the oceanside home of a giant called Hymir.
Thor asked if he could join the giant on his next fishing trip.
Hymir did not like the idea but allowed Thor to accompany him. Thor chopped off the head of one of Hymir’s oxen for bait and returned to the boat.
The two set out, and Thor rowed so quickly that soon they were far beyond the sight of land.
Sensing that the serpent was near, Thor placed the ox head on the hook and cast it over board. They waited.
Suddenly, the ocean churned as the Midgard Serpent seized the bait in its jaws. Thor grabbed the line and began hauling the serpent toward the boat.
But the boat couldn’t support Thor and his feet crashed through the floor and hit the bottom of the ocean. Now that he stood on firm ground, Thor began dragging the hissing serpent closer and closer.
He raised his hammer and was about to crush the serpent’s skull, when Hymir panicked and cut the line.
As the serpent slithered away to safety, Thor roared with anger and threw Hymir overboard.
Thor and the Midgard Serpent are destined to battle again at Ragnarok, the doom of the Norse gods.