By Tim Stevens
The following is an excerpted transcript of a therapy session with Fandral the Dashing, Hogun the Grim, and Volstagg the Voluminous, known collectively as the Warriors Three. Tim Stevens is on-hand to facilitate the session.
TIM STEVENS: I just want to make sure I have your names sorted. You, the man in green, (gesturing) are Fandral the Dashing?
FANDRAL: Aye! But you may just call me Fandral, Son of Steven.
TS: Err…just Stevens is fine.
F: As you would have it good sir.
TS: Thank you. Now who is—
F: I must beg your pardon, but before we go too far, I must know of the enchanting lass in thine outer room. Is she spoken for?
TS: The administrative assistant?
F: Perhaps. Though that be a peculiar name.
TS: It is not her name. It’s her…it’s her title. Like you are “the Dashing?” Well, she is “Ellen the Administrative Assistant.”
F: I understand. Is this considered a title worthy of boast?
TS: I—well, it comes with dental.
F (concealing some confusion): Grand! Does she have a paramour?
TS: To be honest, Fandral, I do not know and, more to the point do not feel it is appropriate to discuss in this context.
F: Yes, yes. Very well. To the task at hand!
TS: Fine. Now which of you is…Hogun the Grim?
Hogun acknowledges TS with a nod of the head.
TS: That’s an unusual nickname. Could you possibly explain to me how you got it?
HOGUN: I could not speak to its origins. My fellow Asgardians have seen fit to render it upon me and for that I am honored. Unusual or no, I remain Hogun the Grim.
TS: Yes, yes. Understood. I was simply curious.
VOLSTAGG (laughing): Forgive him, boy! He has but one mood and it is one of deep seriousness. But he respects you, I can tell!
TS: I see. And you must be Volstagg the Voluminous?
V: Indeed. I am the Lion of Asgard before you!
TS: Well, I thank you for your enthusiasm. I noticed you arrived with quite a spread. It is fine if you wish to eat here, I only ask that you keep things clean and that it not interfere with the session.
V: Aye. Fear not, fastidious lad. While I enjoy supping deeply of food and beverage, I will do so in a manner so stealthily it will be as though the vittles have been spirited to Asgard, not consumed.
TS (clearly playing catch-up): Well, good then. So would one of you like to explain what has brought you in to me today?
F: It was our ally in arms, Thor. He instructed us that if we must continue our “ceaseless prattle” we should do it away from him.
V: And, instead, submit it to one who receives payment for such “nonsense.” We were told by many that you are such a man and well skilled in the performance of nonsense.
TS (grimacing): Fair enough then. And when did this begin?
H: With Fandral.
TS: Could you elaborate?
V: I believe he is speaking of Fandral and the lady of A.I.M.
TS: And what happened there—
F (bristling a bit): Is none of your concern! The maidens I choose to woo or not are not…fodder for nonsense.
TS: If we could not refer to my work as nonsense that would be—
H: If I could ignore it, lascivious friend, trust that I would. I wish it not to be my business but you continue to make it so.
F: Methinks you make it so, not I, with your lack of good humor.
H: You confuse my lack of frivolity with other things. I need not flit from bedchamber to bedchamber. I need not fill myself with vittle nor drink to wi—
V: Hogun, brother, still thy tongue. I do not dispute that Fandral can be…lead astray, but we need not review my appetites.
TS: Now, Volstagg, it would appear Hogun has some legitimate concerns. And while I might wish him to share them in a more…diplomatic fashion, I do believe they deserve our attention. Now, please, Hogun, how would you prefer your teammates here compose themselves?
F: Like himself, no doubt. You, master of nonsense—
TS: I’d really prefer we—
F: —did pose a worthy question as to Hogun’s “nickname,” I believe you refer to it. Would you not look upon him now and understand? And Volstagg, you be not one to speak ill of my…interests when the insatiability of yours far outstrips my own.
TS: Okay, I think we all need to take a moment and compose ourselves again.
Silence. The Warriors shift uncomfortably in their chairs.
TS: It is clear everyone has strong opinions here and that’s fine. It is good even. But everyone needs to express those opinions in a way that is healthy and helpful for everyone involved. Now Hogun, I know you have a different opinion on this, but from the message I received, this…difficulty actually started with hunting a creature named “Fenris?” Could someone speak to that?
V (glancing to Hogun and Fandral before speaking): Aye. We all could. But we must not, I fear.
TS: I’m sorry.
F: On this score, I must agree with my brother.
H: While you may be sovereign onto the nonsense like Thor is onto wielding the lightning, there remain some matters unfit for mortal ears.
TS: I don’t…understand.
V: Indeed. Quite correct. The Grim speaks well on this matter. Midgard is a fine place and you seem to be a robust lad, but alas, we remain Asgardians. As your “Real Housewives of New Jersey” may remain inscrutable to us, this matter would no doubt prove to you.
TS: I’m not sure what I can do for you if you are unwilling to discuss the event that brought you in. I mean, we can talk about interpersonal skills, but without—
F (rising from his chair and walking towards the door): Worry not, kind sir! A mortal life is one of limits. ‘Tis the shame and beauty of it. So we will bid farewell with many thanks! I must hasten to the enchanting Ellen the Administrative Assistant so that I may drink in her beauty forthwith.
H (following suit): My mace needs tending.
V (bringing up the rear): And if I do not return to my dragon with much speed…I fear for mortals everywhere. Additionally, I must avail myself of that which I have heard spoken of as “malts.” A thousand gratitudes to you, master of blather.
TS (to the now empty room): You know that’s not any better than nonsense…
Doctors Bill Willingham and Neil Edwards’ notes from their session, available under file name WARRIORS THREE #3 for review on January 26, 2011, may offer further details and insight into Fandral the Dashing, Hogun the Grim, and Volstagg the Voluminous. The clients are not expected for a follow-up at this time.
Tim Stevens, MA, a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute, has experience in organizing and facilitating group therapy sessions.