Brokkr is the coolest name in mythology you probably have never heard of.
Specifically, his character was taken from Norse mythology. He is the mastermind behind the making of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and other fantastic devices. He is name means "worker of metal" which ties in nicely with our business of creating advanced surface alloys. An astute observer will note that we’ve taken some liberties in our modern interpretation of this ancient persona to fit our own story to some degree giving our Brokkr a more heroic stature more akin to the Roman god Vulcan. Images abound depicting Brokkr (or Brokk) as a dwarf. To us, though, his powerful physical embodiment is more reflective of his mighty inner stature. His creativity and mastery of metals are captured in the story of the creation of Mjolnir.
There’s a terrific rendition of this story in Neil Gaiman’s book, “Norse Mythology”.
We highly recommend both the audiobook and the printed version for those even mildly curious about Thor, Odin, Loki and the whole host of Norse characters. Let us provide, though, a brief retelling of how Thor came to have his mighty hammer and how our namesake showed his skill in working with metal. *Spoiler Alert*
Loki, being a mischievous trickster, decided it would be funny to cut off Thor’s wife’s, Sif, hair. Thor was not amused and demanded that Loki provide a suitable replacement for this slight. This led Loki to seek out the sons of Ivaldi to craft three magical gifts, one of which was to be a golden head of hair for Sif. Loki achieved this goal but, being unable to resist the urge to cause further mischief, he went to taunt Brokkr and his brother Eitri. He told them that the sons of Ivaldi had made the most impressive gifts imaginable for the Asgardians and that they could never hope to make gifts as good as the sons of Ivaldi did. Brokkr took the challenge and made a bet with Loki that if he and his brother could make gifts the gods favored more than those made by the sons of Ivaldi, he could cut off Loki’s head.
The story unfolds telling how Brokkr and Eitri worked together to create the magical golden armband (Draupnir), the golden boar (Gullinbursti) and Thor’s hammer Mjolnir and goes on to describe why the war hammer has such a short handle. [We take further liberty in just saying Brokkr made Thor’s hammer] Loki, fearing he may lose the bet, disguised himself as a fly and tormented Brokkr as he worked the forge bellows for Eitri. Brokkr suffered through the biting and torment of the fly to make the golden boar and the self-reproducing armband. But, at the very last stage of the forging of Mjolnir, the fly bit Brokkr on the eyelid and caused him to lose his rhythm on the bellows for a brief instant. This hesitation resulted in the handle of the hammer being shorter than it was supposed to be.
When Loki presented all six of the gifts to Thor, Odin, and Frey, they were amazed at each gift, but they were even more thoroughly impressed with the unbreakable Mjolnir and all its abilities that they declared Brokkr and Eitri the winners of the competition. Brokkr, of course, won his bet with Loki to cut off his head. However, Loki, pleaded with Odin keep his head on a technicality. The trickster claimed that cutting off his head would necessarily damage his neck, and that was definitely not part of the bargain. Odin agreed with Loki. So, Brokkr, taking as much revenge as he was allowed, sewed Loki’s lips shut to prevent him from further boasting.
As an end note
*Spoiler Alert* about Thor: Ragnarok. We'd be remiss to not mention the Marvel movies depicting Thor. He's become a tremendously popular character of late. Now that his hammer has been destroyed by his sister Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, we're quietly hopeful of some mention of Brokkr (or Brokk) in the upcoming Avenger's movies. Fingers crossed!