On this planet traversing the cosmos, there are thousands of tales which span the centuries of time. Fairytales have entertained and enlightened generations.
One such tale is East of the Sun, West of the Moon. It hails from the Norse regions of the far North.
The elements are simple: a white bear, a young woman, a prince, a curse, trolls, mystical castles, extraordinary gifts, the four winds, and fabulous riches—and most of all true love, the love between a man and a woman. Of course you have a treacherous journey fraught with dangers.
The white bear is a handsome prince who has been cursed by a wicked mother troll who has a hideous daughter. The cursed prince is destined to marry the daughter troll unless true love can set him free.
I have added names to these characters. Here’s the synopsis of the tale.
After Prince Erlingr tells Kelda, the young woman, this sorry tale of woe, he leaves her to meet his eventual fate at the troll castle east of the sun west of the moon. Kelda is determined to find her Erlingr no matter the sacrifice.
Searching proves fruitless yet somewhat profitable since she is given three exquisite gifts for her journey—golden apple, golden carding comb and golden spinning wheel. She is weary as is her horse when she arrives at the east wind’s abode.
The east wind does not know of the castle east of the sun, west of the moon. He takes her to his brother, the west wind. Of course he has no idea where the castle is, but he takes her to the South Wind. The South Wind does not know, but he is convinced his older brother, the North Wind, knows since he was the first wind created in Asgard.
The North Wind is grouchy and cranky. He reluctantly agrees to take Kelda to the troll castle.
Off they go and face some challenges along the way. Finally, with his wings growing heavy he just makes it to the troll shore and deposits Kelda safely below the castle.
As fate would have it the Huld, the troll daughter, sees her playing with the golden apple. Trolls have an avaricious appetite for all things gold and silver.
The price for the apple is one night with the Erlingr. Huld agrees, but Kelda cannot awake her Erlingr who has been given a sleeping potion by Huld.
The next day Huld sees the golden carding comb which she must have. The price is the same, but the result is the same.
Erlingr is informed by some Christian prisoners about a young woman who they have heard for two nights in his bedchamber attempting to arouse him from his stupor. Erlingr instantly knows who she is and is prepared for Huld’s subterfuge that night.
For the third time Huld takes the golden spinning wheel in exchange for a night with Erlingr. This time Erlingr is awake and is reunited with his Kelda.
Angrboda, the troll mother, and her daughter are thwarted and vanish into the nether regions. Erlingr frees the Christians and gathers all the gold and silver. Erlingr and Kelda return home via the North Wind who loved a happy ending.
Will your love for your chosen one be sufficient to carry you to the four winds of earth? What would you do for love?
G. D. Williams © 2013
East of the Sun West of the Moon