From Iceland — Gods Of Iceland: Elli, The Sexy Wrestling Grandma

Gods Of Iceland: Elli, The Sexy Wrestling Grandma

Published September 7, 2021

Gods Of Iceland: Elli, The Sexy Wrestling Grandma
Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Adobe Stock

Superpowers: Old age.

Weaknesses: Wrinkly. Society’s perpetual underestimation of the elderly.

Modern Analogy: Your grandma when someone turns off ‘M.A.S.H.’

Botox. Retinoids. Push-up bras. Women do a lot of things to hide their rotations around the sun, spurred on by a society that deifies the young and relegates the old to silent corners. C’mon, you never saw any online counters anxiously tallying down the seconds to Meryl Streep’s 65th birthday—only the Olsen twins’ 18th.

That said, ladies need not be ashamed of your mortality anymore. For if there’s anyone that shows us that age is but a number—and that one can always be a bad sexy, bitch—it’s the Norse giantess Elli.

“Stricken with age”

Elli’s known as the Norse personification of old age—the Crone, one might say. In fact, one could easily make the point that Elli being old is really her only defining characteristic, like Sif having blonde hair or Víðarr wearing one shoe. In the ‘Gylfaginning’—Elli’s only Edda appearance—she’s described as being “stricken with age” and really, all other online or scholarly resources on the Norse Pantheon always begin by harshly illustrating her wrinkles, frail appearance and other such elderly epithets. Totally a three-dimensional female character. Yas Queen!

But her presence in the Nine Worlds is a rather meaningful one. Old age has, of course, oft been a recurring enemy in bedtime stories and parables across time. From The Epic of Gilgamesh to Lord Voldemort—humans have been afraid of hip replacements for thousands of years. So where does Elli fit into this?

Momoa vs. White

Picture this: Tough heartthrob Þór was not having a particularly spectacular day. He had just been defeated in a drinking challenge—a devastating blow to his masculinity, for sure—and needed to prove, once and for all, that he was a totally macho dude. Obviously, he decided to do this—as many a drunk white dude has done—by fighting someone.

So Þór searched for a competitor and Loki, iconic trickster he is, decided to “help out” by picking Þór’s adversary, ultimately deciding on a competitor he was sure to beat—an old fucking woman.

Yes, Þór challenged Elli—our wrinkly, elderly protagonist—to a wrestling match. For comparison, imagine Jason Momoa going on Celebrity Boxing to TKO Betty White. You’d be kind of weirded out right? Jesus, talk about toxic masculinity.

That said, Elli, like Harry Potter, had powers to which the Norse God was not privy. She, bad bitch of the eons, totally pwned Þór like a 13-year-old on Call of Duty, pinning him down on one knee and probably yelling something like, “Where’s your hammer now, bitch?!”

So, to simplify, no one—not even a Norse god—beats old age. Unless you make a Horcrux or something. But that’s another article.

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