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Frigga fiddled with her scrying bowl. She encouraged the fire to burn higher then let her magic flow into the flames.
“Show me Thor.”
Her vision turned dark around the edges. At the center, she saw gold. The golden light grew, and Frigga realized she was looking at Thor’s bowed head. He looked dirty and miserable. She looked around as the rest of the room became clear.
The room was stark white and bare. Her son sat in the only chair in the room. A mortal in formal dress stood above him, asking questions. Electricity hummed in the walls. Through the large mirrors that doubled as doors, Frigga could see humans hunching over technology she had never seen on Midgard before. She felt a little ashamed of herself. Humans were still scared of the dark – using unenchanted metal and wood for weapons – the last time she had seen this realm. They had grown much in Asgard’s absence.
Glancing the other way, Frigga gazed through the wall. Mjölnir was stuck in the mud and rain. Lightning flashed slowly overhead. Ah, Mjölnir had reject Thor.
The door slid open and the human stepped out of the room. Out of the corner of her eye, Frigga saw Guna following the human – causing little bouts of chaos in her wake. She grinned and reached out with her magic, poking her son in the forehead.
Thor jerked back. He raised up a fist, but he quickly lowered it when she allowed him to see.
Frigga smiled. “Hello, Thor.”
“Mother,” Thor breathed. “Has something happened? Is it Jotunheim? I can explain to father…” Thor trailed off when Frigga shook her head.
“Your father has fallen into Odinsleep. It came on suddenly, but we’re enduring. I’m ruling Asgard until he wakes.”
“What of Loki? Was he punished as well?”
“Loki’s as well as can be expected. There will be consequences he’ll have to face, but it’s necessary.”
“Mother, it wasn’t Loki’s idea to travel to Jotunheim. It was mine. He advised us all against going, but I talked them into it. They shouldn’t have to suffer for my bad decision.”
“I know, son. Loki’s punishment hinges on his own bad decisions.”
Thor looked confused. “What bad decisions has Loki made?”
“I cannot say for now. The Aesir are looking into the matter. When I have the information I need, I will make a decision about your brother.”
“I- Can I come home?”
Frigga took in a breath and conjured a chair for herself. “I wish I could, but I don’t have the power to reverse this. Before the Odinsleep, your father said it was something even he couldn’t undo.”
“So this is forever? Is this… the last time I’ll ever see you?” Thor’s voice trembled.
“Oh, my sweet son. I doubt this is forever. And, even if it is, I’ll be back to visit you.”
Thor reached for her hand. It went right through the illusion.
“I’m so sorry, Thor.” Frigga let her magic caress Thor’s cheek.
His eyes fluttered shut before they opened again. “What have you to be sorry for?”
“Your father and I have failed you and Loki. We thought you were ready to rule, but… Before all of this began, I should have asked you an important question.”
“What question is that?”
Frigga gave Thor a sad smile. “Do you even want to be king?”
Thor looked genuinely flummoxed before he laughed. “Of course. Wh- why wouldn’t I what to be king?”
“Do me a favor and close your eyes.”
Thor immediately did as she asked.
“Imagine you are King of Asgard. What would a good day be like?”
“Uh…” Thor shrugged. “Everyone is happy and we all celebrate with good mead at the end of the day.”
“And a bad day? What would that look like?”
“Losing a battle.”
“Don’t think about this one. Just give your first thought. Before all of this, what was your number one desire? What did you want to do before being given the crown?”
“I wanted to travel – experience all there is in the realms,” Thor answered, frowning after he said it.
Frigga nodded. “You can open your eyes.”
“But,” Thor paused for a long moment. “If I’m not to be King, what am I supposed to do?”
“That is something you have to decide for yourself. Your father had no choice in the matter. Your grandfather died suddenly in battle and all the power fell to Odin. You have a choice. And you may not want to rule now, but may change your mind as you grow. Take this as an opportunity – it’s time where you can figure out who you are and what you want to do.”
Thor frowned for a while, but he eventually nodded. “I will try my best.”
“Good.” Frigga smiled and stood up, letting her chair disappear.
“Thank you for coming.”
“A mother would do nothing less for her children.” She reached out, brushing her magic down Thor’s face. “I’ll come again when I can.”
Thor nodded and smiled.
Frigga pulled herself from the view of Thor and the humans. She walked through the mirrored doors to join Guna on the other side.
“Thank you for giving me time to speak with him.”
“My pleasure, Allmother. It’s ridiculously easy to confuse the mortals here.” Guna snapped her fingers and all of the viewing ports around them read in Asgardian.
“Not again,” groaned one of the humans wearing spectacles.
Frigga kept the smirk from her face and gave Guna a look.
Guna sighed and snapped her fingers again, changing the text back to normal.
“Allmother,” a voice whispered in her ear.
Even though she knew no one was there, Frigga turned her head in the direction of the voice. “Yes, Volla?”
“I’m sorry to say that you were right. Loki led the Frost Giants into Asgard. Lofin tells me his feelings on the matter are… conflicting. We have him with us now.”
Frigga sighed and closed her eyes briefly. “Conflicting how?”
“Lofin said he was a maelstrom of fear, panic, resentment, jealousy, hate, and giddiness.”
She blinked for a moment. “I… can only begin to grasp where all that stems from.”
“Would you like me to put him through the Gauntlet?”
It would be better if she could just shake the answers she needed out of her son, but it wouldn’t work. Loki could out-stubborn Ragnarök – living through such an event out of sheer spite. Frigga sighed again. “Yes, but gently. Please?”
“Lofin’s presence will make the process much easier. We require some time to do it.”
“Very well. I’ll visit with Halfin and Heimdall before joining you later. Thank you, Volla.”
“My pleasure, Allmother.”
Frigga turned back to Guna. The other woman lifted her brow in query. Frigga told Guna what Volla had said.
Guna hummed. “Regardless of his reasons, Loki did commit treason.”
“Yes, I know.”
“What will you do with him?”
Frigga shook her head. “I don’t know.”
“May I make a suggestion?”
“You told Thor to see his banishment as an opportunity to discover himself. Perhaps Loki will need something similar.”
Frigga frowned. “I haven’t the power or the heart to banish him.”
Guna shook her head. “No, not banishment. Apprenticeship, perhaps?”
“Hmm,” Frigga said as she thought. Loki wouldn’t thank her for it, but no child ever likes discipline. “It’s an idea with many merits. Thank you, Guna. I will definitely keep it in mind.”
“You’re welcome, Allmother.”
|Left to right: Richard Armitage, Constance Wu, Jennifer Hudson, Aishwarya Rai, Charlize Theron|