or how our digital assistant got her name:
In Norse mythology, Elli is a personification of old age who, in the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, defeats God Thor in a wrestling match. She is the embodiment of the crone and the wisdom and strength of the elderly.
There are a lot of strong Goddesses to be found in Norse mythology, but Elli, nicknamed ‘the Giant Crone,’ takes the cake. She challenged the God Thor to a wrestling match — and won. We have to be fair to Thor though, as the whole thing turned out to be a bit of a trick. Elli, although the weakest of the giantesses of Utgardr, was actually the personification of old age. After the giantesses told Thor about their stunt, he obviously wasn’t too happy, even though the fact that Elli only managed to get Thor down to one knee was a mark of his strength.
This serves as a valuable lesson not to underestimate old people. We often think of the elderly as unfit, forgetful and out of touch with modern times, but they have a wealth of knowledge and can often give good advice. They are also not necessarily as helpless as we imagine ..
Elli is not mentioned in any other extant source but the notion that not even the Gods are immune to the effects of aging is supported by the fact that they must consume the apples of Idunn on a regular basis in order to remain young.