Saxa was our favorite character in Ragnarok, right after Loki, and much like them, she also did not get the writing she deserved. Saxa was introduced as part of the Jutul family, and she was a giant. She wasn’t related to any of the other members, but they had all come together, probably after the original Ragnarok or a few thousand years earlier, and had been living under the same roof for convenient assimilation into the human world. Frankly, their lives were more or less human, except for their supernatural strengths.
One of the few ways in which they exhibited their primitive nature was through their inherently patriarchal system. After living together for so many years, the insistence on only men running the show exhibits a clear lack of wisdom and a stubbornness to adhere to outdated power structures. This lack of logic and hunger for power could be taken as a sign of unintelligence, which is what made the giants inferior to the gods. But Saxa was different, and to be honest, she was the only one who was so. It had always surprised us that Ran was willing to take a backseat in favor of Vidar and Fjor, despite them not being competent enough to run the war or the company. Even she had an adherence to the power structures of the past that did not allow her, much like Vidar, to let their sensibilities step into the modern age. But that was not the case with Saxa.
First of all, we never understood whether they had to stay together due to some special benefits because of easier survival or whether they were allowed to go their separate ways? What we mean is that we don’t know whether there was any other special reason for their cohabitation other than convenience. It felt rather strange that Fjor and Ran humiliated Saxa the way they did, but she could not leave. In Norse mythology, Saxa of Jarnsaxa is not a god, but she is not described as a giant either. Her race is said to be “jotunn,” and while the accepted meaning of it in modern times is ‘giant,’ it initially meant something of the supernatural realm between gods and humans. Saxa’s race in Ragnarok is not so ambiguous, but her sensibilities set her apart from the rest.
In the myths, she is primarily known for being Thor’s lover and even having his child. Only the former happens in the series, but we also get a look at what she is like, and we were quite impressed. Saxa is someone who is seeking to live and enjoy the eternal life she has been given by achieving and exploring everything that she wants and is capable of. In the many years that the family had lived together and changed their identities, appearances, and locations, let us assume, for the sake of the series, that this was the first time that Saxa had put forward her name in the contest of inheritance. Or it could be that it had all happened before but never in circumstances as unique as this, which is why this was the first time everyone had to take her seriously.
We should remember that Saxa was the only person who was not openly hostile towards Magne or Laurits after the truth of the Jutuls was revealed. She was smart, and it wasn’t just because she knew that Magne was stronger but because she knew how to work her emotions. While it was not explained clearly, there seemed to be an implication that giants do not feel emotions the way humans or gods do. It is hinted at repeatedly during season 1 of Ragnarok. Not feeling emotions doesn’t mean that one becomes as impassive as a stone. It means the ability to detach, assess, and project things while protecting and predicting one’s own reactions. It is the ability to be calculative with one’s heart, and Saxa knew how to do that. Much like Loki, she was working against her family as much as she supported them. Her one misstep may have been that she did not anticipate the chaos that would follow if she gave Laurits the keys to the Jutul warehouse. When Magne ended up forging his hammer, Saxa had to face the punishment for it. She gets together with Magne soon after, but we think that the first time wasn’t a calculated move but a way to get over her sense of disappointment at how those closest to her had treated her.
Saxa spent a year being a slave to Fjor and Ran, but we don’t think she was just suffering. She was biding her time. Her mind must have been going a mile a minute to contemplate the ways she could get out of the situation, and finally, Magne’s growing arrogance proved to be the answer. By offering to be a honey trap, she not only proved to her family that she did not hold a grudge but that she could be of help to them. In school, Saxa knew the exact way to play Magne. He is angry about the disparity between him and the Jutuls, and that is exactly what she uses to position herself as an ally of his. Saxa’s trick works, and Magne is with her in no time. However, we don’t think either of them loved each other.
For Magne, it was a way of getting revenge on the Jutuls by being with one of them and making use of all their resources, which he says are blood money. As for Saxa, the plan that she told Ran and Fjor was solid, but she had no intention of keeping it. She had learned that she couldn’t trust the people she called family, and they could turn on her once again if they got what they wanted. She could not take the chance to be the bigger person, so she did the better thing and became the queen bee with Magne’s support. He was the only person Ran and Fjor were scared of, and as long as Saxa was with him, she would be safe.
Jarnsaxa doesn’t feature prominently in the myths, but Saxa is phenomenal in Ragnarok. If only we had gotten to see her become as formidable as she could have been instead of just being on the defensive all the time, it would have been a far better script.