Thor

thorThor, also known as the Thunderer, was considered to be a son of Fjorgyn (Jord) and Odin by some, but among many tribes Thor actually supplanted Odin as the favorite god. He is considered to be the protector of all Midgard, and he wields the mighty hammer Mjollnir. Thor is strength personified. His battle chariot is drawn by two goats, and his hammer Mjollnir causes the lightning that flashes across the sky. Of all the deities, Thor is the most “barbarian” of the lot; rugged, powerful, and lives by his own rules, although he is faithful to the rest of the Aesir. The day Thursday (Thorsdaeg) is sacred to him.

Thor is married to Sif, a fertility goddess, with whom he had a daughter, Thrud. He also had a mistress, the giantess Jarnsaxa with whom he had two sons, Magni and Modi. Thor is helped by Thialfi, his servant and the messenger of the gods.

Thor was the god of war, thunder and strength. Thor destroyed the enemies of the gods with his magic hammer. It was he who chased away the frosts and called gentle winds and warm spring rains to release the earth from its bondage of ice and snow. He was also the god of the household and of the common people. He even married Sif a peasant woman. The lightning’s flash was his mighty hammer, Mjollnir, hurled in battle with the frost giants, and the rolling thunder was the rumble of his fiery chariot.

Thor was a good-natured, careless god, always ready for adventure, and never tired of trying his great strength. He could shoulder giant tasks with the greatest ease and slay bulls with his bare hands. For sport he sometimes rode among the cloud-veiled mountains, hurling his hammer at their peaks and cleaving them in twain.

This adventurous god once visited Jotunheim, the land of the giants. The king of the giants looked at him scornfully and said, “Is this stripling the mighty god, Thor? Perhaps you are mightier than you appear. What feats do you deem yourself skilled in?” I will test my prowess in a drinking bout with anyone,” smiled Thor.

The king thereupon bade the cup bearer bring a drinking horn, and said, “Whosoever is a good drinker is able to drain this horn at a single drought.” Thor placed the horn to his lips and drank long and deep, but when he removed it the liquid had scarcely diminished. Three times he tried to empty the horn and failed, and at last he threw it down in disgust.

Next he was challenged to lift the king’s cat from the ground. After a great effort he only managed to raise one of its paws. “Is this the mighty god we have been taught to fear?” scoffed the king.

Thor held his temper and offered to wrestle with anyone who would stand against him, and a toothless old crone accepted the challenge. Thor placed his arms about the woman and tried to pull her towards him but she refused to budge. Thor scratched his head and tried again. Still he could not move her. Next he pushed her hard then shouldered her, still she stood like a rock. Then with mad rushes Thor attempted to throw the frail woman to the floor, but in spite of his best efforts he could not succeed and was in turn lucky to stay upright himself when she wrestled with him.
In great shame he departed the palace.

Outside the gates he was surprised to see the king ride up to him. “Mighty Thor,” said the king taking him by the shoulder, “when you attempted to empty the drinking horn you preformed a feat so marvelous, that had I not seen it myself, I should never have believed it. At the end of the horn lay the sea itself, and when you come to the shore you will see how much the waters have fallen away.

Then terror overcame everyone when you lifted the cat’s paw from the ground, for that cat is the serpent that encircles the earth, and the whole world shuddered when its hold was loosened.

To stand against the old crone for so long was marvelous, for it was indeed old age with whom you wrestled, and no man may conquer her. It was not the prowess of the frost giants that overcame you Thor, it was their magic.”

Thor, in wrath at being so tricked, reached for his hammer, but when he would have thrown it, the king of the giants had disappeared. Thor returned to his mountain peak and continued to beat his hammer for the world but with ever-increasing sadness. The fifth day of the week is still called ‘Thor’s day’ after this strong god.

Thor is usually portrayed as a large, powerful man with a red beard and eyes of lightning. Despite his ferocious appearance, he surpassed his father Odin in popularity because, contrary to Odin, he did not require human sacrifices. In his temple at Uppsala he was shown standing with Odin at his right side. This temple was replaced by a Christian church in 1080.

The Norse believed that during a thunderstorm, Thor rode through the heavens on his chariot pulled by the goats Tanngrisni (“gap-tooth”) and Tanngnost (“tooth grinder”). Lightning flashed whenever he threw his hammer Mjollnir. Thor wears the belt Megingjard which doubles his already considerable strength. His hall is Bilskirnir, which is located in the region Thrudheim (“place of might”). His greatest enemy is Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent. At the day of Ragnarok, Thor will kill this serpent but will die from its poison. His sons will inherit his hammer after his death.

9 Comments

  1. hawken
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    THOR has been around for a long long time and he will be around as a god or deity for a even longer time but consider where this mythology came from . All mythology is formed from some event that happened in a place and time . Thor worshipped by the nordic norse peoples as a god in old norse as Porr but worshipped by the germanic peoples as a deity Punor and old high deutsche as Donar, just think how important a god or deity Thor is, he has 14 different names he goes by in differnet religions, He is even named after a day of the week Thursday how incredible is that, but consider the source of his main power his hammer Mjollnir a hammer that has such power that it can flatten the highest mountain there is even mention of Thor splitting a mountain in two with it, but whats the most incredible is the mention of his powerful hammer Mjollnir in the runestones in denmark and sweden, also an invocation to Thor reads on these 4-5 runestones MAY THOR HALLOW THESR RUNES hence the word runestone also known AS THE WORD monuments, pictorial representations of Thors Hammer Mjollnir appear on 5 different runestones throughout denmark and sweden but incredibly its the same pictorial representation and its the same on each runestone , so you have to conclude this hammer had a great influence on the people of that time, they realized it was a source of great power , and hence Thor wielded the hammer Mjollnir he had great great power. His adventures or fables have lasted thousands of years. So ask yourself where did this deity come from these stories of Thor and his adventures of his powerful hammer Mjollnir that shot lightening across the sky. He was supposedly the protector of mankind and he has been listed in many other cultures from the same time period not just in europe and nordic cultures but also in the americas there is mention of him in his chariot shooting lightening bolts across the sky . Maybe just maybe these stories that have traveled down through the centurys the millennia there is truth in them , maybe just maybe we were visited by a traveler from somewhere else whose abilitys and powers literally awed the peoples of that time he Thor declared himself the protector of mankind, his abilitys and power were so inspirational that his exploits last to this day.

  2. The Grey Wolf
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Thor exists in the thought forms and energies created by the vikings them selves, he still offers the power to protect and bring about the destruction of foe, the form and belief of Thor drove the axes and swords that cut down their enemies on the battlefields, he drove the subconscious minds of armies to victory, simply by the creative thought of protection, like
    the romans and pagans, and early Christians it worked on the same principle and still works today if you believe he will protect you. Ask yourself one question about history, how did Spartacus cause so much grief to the roman empire in 71BC, answer he believed he could and he did, the viking gods are an interesting study, but they are no different to the gods used today in many parts of the world, one thing we must all remember the fact we are alive today proves the fact we have survived history we can trace our ancestors to the very start of mankind, I think in truth there is a little Thor in all of us, as they say enjoy your history and remember the link from where you came..

  3. Judi
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I am trying to help my son as he researches character flaws of Thor. This is his first essay and he is suppose to come up wiht a thesis statement about Thor and his flaw. He feels that Thor’s was flawed by his ‘temper’ and is now trying to back it up. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Norman
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Although Thor’s temper was legendary, it was not necessarily a character flaw, he was the most powerful and the guardian of the Norse Gods and as such he was challenged often.

      His temper is mentioned in many of the Myths, check the end of Myth #3 where he kills a giant who tried to dupe Odin into handing over his wife.

      • Judi
        Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks…wiht further research he is going to go with ‘hubris’ and he is thinking of using the two myths- fishing and trying to pick up the cat…he feels these two myths demonstrate that his desire to demonstrate his ‘strength’ and outfox the giant clouded his judgement and ultimately led to his death as he could have killed the serpant twice.

  4. Zearing
    Posted October 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Quite different from the Marvel Thor.

  5. Jinger
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Though most people believe that the Marvle’s version of the Norse gods is correct, I think that the only reason they used Thor is because of his legendary strength. Thursday was named after him, and he can reduse mountains into piles of rubble. They changed most of the facts, and now he has a brother named Loki in the eyes of most.

    • Koora
      Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      in a sense Thor and Loki were brothers not just biologically
      while Odin never took Loki in, they grew up together and considered each other brothers
      which is probably why Thor put up with so much of Loki’s shit

  6. bob john
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Quite different from the Marvel Thor.

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