Thor, god of thunder and son of Odin
Thor is a god of Asgard INCONTESTABLE. The god of thunder son of Odin is handsome, he's brave, and he's got mad charisma. And today, I'd like you to learn more about this big guy. So read the following lines very carefully
Who is Thor in Norse mythology?
Thor, son of Odin
Thor is the son of Odin, the lord of Asgard. Odin, he is a God with great wisdom. He is composed, thoughtful and never makes decisions in haste. His mother is the goddess Jörd, she is said to be the personification of the Earth (yep, no less). We often hear her name in Scandinavian poems to talk about the Earth.
Thor is the husband of the golden-haired goddess Sif (you guessed it, she has gorgeous blonde hair). Thor is also the God of strength and thunder. But it's also much more than that. Thor's name was invoked to conclude contracts and marriages, for example. He was also worshipped to grant his protection to travellers... and of course for battles!
And we'll see in a few lines how Loki the deceitful almost got a beating from Thor... because he'd messed with Sif ! But just before that...I need to tell you a bit more about Thor's personality.
The personality of Thor in Norse Mythology
I'm sure you've already watched the Marvels with Thor played by Chris Hemsworth the Australian actor. You see the tall, muscular blond guy with a short, clean-shaven beard ? Well, that's not really the Thor we know from Norse mythology. Thor had a big red beard and thick eyebrows (red too). He had a very raw life scarred face.
Also, Thor was said to have a very powerful and deep voice that could drown out the noise caused by a battlefield... in short, the guy could raise quite a ruckus! Otherwise, in terms of his personality... he's the complete opposite of his father Odin !
Thor ? He's not the kind of guy who thinks for 3 hours before doing something. He's impulsive, fearless and very instinctive. Like if you start to annoy him too much... he'll swing his hammer at your head. Yep, he's not too diplomatic the boy. On the other hand, Thor is said to have unlimited courage and he loves fighting... which makes him a perfect warrior !
He is even feared by the Giant people (the great enemies of the Gods of Asgard). Oh, and one more little detail. Thor is known for getting up early in the morning. He is a voluntary and enthusiastic person who munch life (as well as his enemies) to the fullest!!
Thor, the God who gets noticed
Thor is incredibly popular today... and surely even more than Odin today! (the number of Google searches proves it). But then why is Odin, the lord of the Gods less popular than his son ?
First of all, you have to know that in the years 800 - 1100 AD, Thor's popularity peaks. After that, it was a bit more complicated when the Christians came... but that's another story. Back then, many children were named after Thor... the belief was that this would allow the child to be under the protection of the God of Lightning.
And today, Thor is widely popularised by the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. We discover a tall, muscular and charismatic blond man in front of the screen! So inevitably, it makes everyone dream.
Sif, Loki and the little joke...
Loki is a little prankster... But sometimes he can overdo it a little (well okay, it happens a lot). This time, Loki had cut off the beautiful blonde hair of Thor's wife, the goddess Sif. I might as well tell you that when Thor found out... he was furious with Loki. So being the good diplomat that he is... He threatened him with death if Loki didn't fix his mistake soon(I told you, the guy is direct) !
So Loki went to the dwarves to have him make a hair made of gold. (it must have been a stylish wig). It's the dwarves Brokk and Eitri who successfully do it. But that's not all they'll be doing...
The little-known history of Thor's hammer
So already this hammer has a little name: Mjöllnir. And it has its own little story! When Loki went to the dwarves to fix his mistake... well he didn't stop there! The God of Deception provoked the two dwarves by telling them that they were incapable of building such a valuable weapon.
Forcibly the dwarves, wounded in their egos, set about making a mythical weapon... So the dwarves Brokk and Eitri roll up their sleeves, turn on the forge and bellows and begin to create the weapon. All goes well... until Loki turns into a fly (yes, he's a polymorphic God) and stings the dwarf forging the hammer to death.
Despite this the dwarf continues...but the weapon will still have only one flaw... the hammer handle will be a bit short. But that's okay, the newly created weapon is overpowered and controls the power of sparkling lightning. So the dwarves decide to give it to Thor.
Thor and Loki... a special relationship
At first glance you might think these two hate each other... but it's much more complex than that. Sometimes allies and best friends, sometimes enemies... I like to see Thor and Loki as magnets. They constantly attract and repel each other.
And for good reason, Loki is the exact opposite of Thor. He is very thoughtful, calm, intelligent, forward thinking and inventive! Whereas Thor is more like the muscle mountain who is never afraid and is there whenever he is needed. So in the end... the two are very complementary.
It all depends on Loki's mood...because it's true that sometimes he teases the God of Lightning a little too much...as we saw with his little joke to Thor's wife Sif.
Thor during the Ragnarök
Ragnarök is the end of the world for the Vikings... but it also marks the time of a revival. During Ragnarök, Thor will battle the serpent world Jormungand which lies in the waters of Midgard (the middle land and humans). He will win his final battle... but will later perish due to the serpent's venom flowing through his veins.
Thor is a simple person. He likes women. He likes big buffets. And he loves violent fights.He's a very popular Norse God back in the day (when children were named after him) ... and still today, where he's featured in movies or even comics.
And for good reason, the guy is brave and not afraid to fight anyone (even very strong giants) ! I'd say Thor can be a model of courage and execution... like the guy, he's not a procrastinator. On the other hand, it's still cool to be inspired by Loki's qualities... because he's pretty damn smart anyway!
What are Thor's powers?
Thor, that big muscular bearded guy who loves a fight... And you know why he loves a fight so much ? Well it's because the guy has a lot of powers... so inevitably it's a lot easier for him to be the winner on the battlefield! Finally it's a bit normal that Thor has so much power... after all he's the son of Odin the lord of the Gods and the boss of Asgard.
It's true that Thor has a lot of powers and qualities in his person... but the guy is also lucky to have Mjöllnir by his side. Oh you don't know who Mjöllnir is ? It's simply his hammer forged by the most talented dwarves of the 9 worlds.
Mjöllnir grants Thor many powers. The two are indistinguishable, which is why in the following lines I will introduce you to the powers of Thor and his divine hammer. Anyway, now that you know everything, I will be able to reveal to you what are the powers of Thor, son of Odin and God of Lightning.
#1. Thor controls the elements
It doesn't take a genius to guess that Thor, the God of Lightning can control the elements. But hey, I'm reminding you because it's still pretty damn stylish. The guy makes the weather, plain and simple. He can make it rain, he can call for thunder, wind or even snow! Yep, nothing else.
But he couldn't control the weather without his hammer. Indeed, it's Mjöllnir which allows him to control the elements! And as you'll see in the following lines... Fortunately Thor has his hammer, this one is primordial for the God. And Thor knows it, Mjöllnir is the apple of his eye and for nothing in the world he wishes to lose it.
In fact, one day he even disguised himself as a woman to go and get it back because a giant had stolen it from him... So for Thor to disguise himself as a woman... is because he is very attached to his hammer. Because he's not the kind of guy who cross-dresses for fun. Anyway, let's get straight to another power of the heir to the throne of Asgard.
#2. Thor's Herculean strength
Thor is a big guy. And yes, to carry and wield Mjöllnir, the sacred hammer, you have to be pretty damn strong. And Thor is. But did you know that at first he couldn't carry his hammer? Yep, he had to put on a belt that doubles his power so he could enjoy the limitless power of Mjöllnir!
According to some fans Thor is as strong as Hercules (the son of Zeus)... and he could even beat the Hulk. That's how strong the guy is! It's also a characteristic that makes him an excellent warrior on the battlefield. Legend even has it that he led the Vikings of Midgard to victory in battle.
#3. Thor has stamina
Well yeah, it's cool to be strong... but if you can't last the duration of a battle it's no use ! That's why Thor, besides being strong, is a very enduring God who can fight for centuries without getting too tired.
And it's important for him to have stamina because Thor is the guardian of mankind (which is also why he is so revered). And Midgard, the Earth where men live, is not a place for carefree people.
Effectively, Earth is surrounded by a giant snake rather nasty... besides Thor will face this same snake at the time of Ragnarök... and after killing the beast, he will perish from its poison.
#4. Thor the Traveller
You should know that Thor has two goats to pull his chariot, the goats are called: Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. But be careful... they are not the normal goats you find in the fields. And yes, these goats allow him to travel between the 9 worlds. Because yes, according to Norse mythology there are 9 worlds that are all attached to the Yggdrasil tree.
But that's not all! Thor when he's hungry... well he eats his goats. But rest assured... once he's eaten them, he resurrects them with his hammer Mjöllnir. There's just one condition... don't break the beasts' bones.
#5. Long life expectancy
A God as powerful as Thor who would live the time of a human life ? That doesn't make sense. So that's why he has a long life expectancy... and you know what the little youthful secret of the God of Lightning and the Gods of Asgard ?
It's that he eats the apples of Idunn (aka apples of youth) which come from the goddess of youth Idunn. And as soon as you eat these apples, you get younger. As simple as that! So as soon as the Gods feel a bit old (because yes, basically they are mortal and get old), well they take a little apple from Idunn.
#6. Thor's breath of Energy
Thor, with his hammer Mjöllnir can create powerful blasts of energy that can destroy nearby enemies in seconds. This is pretty handy on the battlefield. For the energy blast we also talk about anti-force. In short, a great asset when it comes to fighting.
Once again this is not a power of Thor's... but of his divine hammer Mjöllnir. In truth Thor doesn't have the ability to regenerate on demand like Wolverine...so he needs something against poison because otherwise he would be too vulnerable.
Especially against his lifelong enemy the world serpent Jörmungand who is very venomous and aggressive. So that's why Mjöllnir can purge its wearer's (in this case Thor's) body of all toxins and poisons. Pretty handy, isn't it? Only snag... this power of the hammer Mjöllnir was not enough to save him from the venom of the world snake Jörmungand during his fight with it during the Ragnarök.
Well, you'll get it. Thor is a guy you'd rather have on your team when you go to war. The guy is hotheaded, he's brave, he's not afraid of anything... and he's always there when it's time for war! He's even often called the God of War...that's saying something.
So there you go...you were wondering what Thor's powers are... now you know everything ! And you even know that Thor, in the end, is not a God who has much power directly. He relies a lot on his hammer forged by two talented dwarves to help him in the wars he wages.
In my opinion, Mjöllnir is MORE powerful than Thor... but the two are inseparable. Mjöllnir can't be mastered by anyone else but Thor. In the Marvel movie "End Game" we'll see that Captain America will be able to use the hammer... but in Norse mythology it doesn't happen like that (there is no Captain America haha)! Here you go you know everything now!
What are Thor's feats of arms?
With parents like Thor's... Thor's fate was bound to be exceptional... and it turned out to be TRUE ! So that's why I'm going to reveal to you 6 little-known feats accomplished by Thor himself. In the following lines you will discover:
- Why Thor had to disguise himself as a woman...
- The reason Thor smashed the skull of a giant who had done nothing...
- Why Thor terrorized a family of peasants over two goats...
- How Thor tricked a giant into going to fight his greatest enemy...
- The weird reason Thor was barefoot in the water trying to catch a salmon...
So stay with me for a few minutes to learn all about Thor and his little unknown stories...I promise you, you'll love it! Without further ado, we begin:
A giant thief... and Thor dressed as a bride
I have to admit that this story made me laugh the first time I heard it! I'm telling you all about it. Thor was quietly camping. His hammer was near him and all was well in the best of worlds. The problem? It's that when he woke up his hammer was gone! Mad with rage he looks for it everywhere but to no avail... completely lost, Thor calls on Loki to help him.
No sooner or later, Loki sets to work and finds that the hammer is at the giant Thrym. And Thrym agrees to return the hammer if the gods of Asgard offer him the hand of the goddess Freyja. But she refuses (and that's understandable considering the giant's face).
So here's Loki's plan... Thor is disguised as a bride so he can pose as Freyja and Loki will accompany her, disguised as a servant. The two sidekicks go to the giant's buffet...and all goes well. The giant doesn't notice a thing !
But everything is about to change. Tradition dictates that the giant places the hammer in the bride's lap... Thrym therefore complies. As soon as Thor finds himself with Mjöllnir in his lap...he takes it in his hand and smashes the giant as well as all his family present at the buffet ! And yes, he's not kidding Thor, especially when you touch his hammer!
The betrayed giant with the smashed skull
One fine day, a master builder offers his fortress-building services to the Gods of Asgard... The builder promises to erect a fortress in just 1.5 years... a fortress that would protect the Gods from the Giants. And he asks for one thing in return, the hand of the goddess Freyja. The Gods don't take him seriously, everyone thinks he'll never make it. So the Gods accept the offer.
And then surprise... the builder is moving very fast, which worries the Gods, who ask Loki for a ploy to slow the builder down. Loki by an unfair process will distract the builder's horse, necessary for the construction of the fortress... And this drives the builder crazy, who reveals to the Gods that he is in fact a Giant! And that's when Thor arrives to smash his skull with his hammer. Quick. Simple. Effective. It's Thor.
The Goats and the Peasants
Thor and Loki are greeted by a peasant. Thor then offers the peasant's family to eat his goats but warns the family to not to break the goats' bones. Because yes, Thor can resurrect his goats but he can't fix their bones. You guessed it, a peasant breaks the bone to get the marrow... and inevitably Thor didn't like it. Terrified, the peasant offers his two children as servants to Thor (better not laugh at Thor).
The Giant, the Peach and the Snake
This time Thor had the appearance of a young boy. The story takes place with the giant Hymir who had taken him in for the night. In the morning, Thor offers to go fishing with him, and the God of Lightning brings back an ox's head as bait. They set sail at great speed.
Very quickly, the Giant becomes worried... for he knows very well that if they go too far they will surely encounter the terrible world serpent named Jörmungand... So the Giant tries to turn back... but Thor stops him!;
Then he throws the hook into the water... and guess who takes the bait ? Actually, the world serpent ! Thor pulls with all his might and prepares to strike the world snake with his hammer...but the completely panicked giant quickly cuts the fishing line and walks away with his boat. Of course Thor was furious and he will not fail to strike the giant!!
Murder, Salmon and Punishment
The Gods learn that Loki has killed Baldr (God of light and beauty). So after Baldr's funeral... it's time to make Loki pay. To hide, Loki will turn himself into a salmon and jump into the water. The clever Gods use a fishing net and swim up the river to find Loki.
But Loki is quick, and jumps over the net ! This time Thor is in the middle of the river... and as soon as Loki jumps, Thor grabs him by the tail! The Gods of Asgard then bring Loki while taking his sons Vali and Narfi and metamorphose them, the former into a wolf to eat his brother (yep, that's cruel). Then, with Narfis' guts,the Gods will tie Loki to a stone and will put a snake right in front of him that spits venom directly into his face.
The pain is unbearable... But Loki will stand there and suffer this fate until Ragnarök when his chains (well, his son's guts) will break.
There you go, you know more than 99% of the people about Thor now. And yes, these stories are misunderstood, and for good reason they are taken directly from the text Gylfaginning which is the pillar of Norse mythology.
Thor and Jörmungand his greatest enemy
Thor and Jörmungand... they are not the best of friends, far from it! And in a few lines I'll reveal why.Now that I've introduced you to Thor... let me tell you a bit more about Jörmungand the world serpent. And for that... I'll tell you the journey of his childhood...
The coming into the world of Jörmungand
I'm sure you know the creator of the world serpent Jörmungand... his pet name ? Loki, the God of deceit and dirty tricks, in short, not a very nice guy. Jörmungand is therefore the offspring of Loki and the Ice Giant Angrboda... but wait the little couple didn't just make Jörmungand.
These two are also responsible for the birth of the raging wolf Fenrir (who scares even the Gods of Asgard) and the goddess of the underworld named Hel. In short, real little demons in power. But let's get back to Jörmungand, the serpent world. The Gods of Asgard know very well that according to the prophecy the children of Loki and the Giantess will cause their downfall. So inevitably... they had to act.
Odin, lord of the Aesir Gods, orders the children of Loki to be seized...and they have managed to capture Jörmungand. But Odin is not going to kill the beast (though that was his goal)... he is going to throw the snake Jörmungand into the sea of Midgard, the land where men live. The snake Jörmungand doesn't die because it grows fast... and soon, its body will encircle the world of men named Midgard. Now that you know where Jörmungand comes from, I'll tell you some stories that link this snake to Thor... and you'll see why they aren't very chummy.
The anecdote of the cat to be lifted
One fine day Thor was at the castle of the Giant King Útgarða-Loki (the name is too hard to pronounce, don't even try). And you may know...the Gods of Asgard and the Giants... well they're not exactly buddies ! Both sides have heavy liabilities but now they're in a "truce."
Bref, even if there is a truce, there is still a rivalry between the two sides. So when Thor arrives at the castle... the Giants can't help but play a trick on him. So the Giants issue a somewhat bizarre, seemingly easy challenge to the God of Lightning... carry a cat ! So Thor approaches the cat...he gathers all his strength and tries to lift it, to no avail. I can't get it to move, it's like it's stuck to the ground.
But the Giants don't scoff...because Thor still managed to lift one of the feline's paws. And the Gylfaginning tells us that the cat was actually a visual illusion... and that Thor was trying to carry the Jörmungand world serpent instead of the cat!" And that's why the Giants were shocked at Thor's strength.
The first meeting of Thor and Jörmungand
Thor had disguised himself as a child and went to see a Giant named Hymir...the God of Lightning begged the Giant to take him fishing. Thor had even brought an ox head with him to use as bait (yep, a change from the little maggots). The Giant agrees to take him along, and the two go to sea. Everything goes normally... but Thor, God of Lightning, wants the Giant to take him even further from the land shores... Hymir refuses because he knows very well that the world snake Jörmungand would be around.
The fishing party continues... while the Giant Hymir is fishing for two whales... something bites at Thor's hook. Thor with his Herculean strength pulls the line with all his might and manages to get the snake out and then hit it with his hammer! The Jörmungand world serpent takes a blow and takes refuge in the water. Hymir is not happy about this adventure... he sets sail for the coast to get away from the sea monster.
During the return trip, the Giant is said to have doubted Thor's strength... well, it annoyed Thor a bit who ended up killing him (like I told you, the boy is impulsive). This is one version of this anecdote between Thor and Jörmungand, the story may depend on the texts.
The Ragnarök, Thor vs Jörmungand
Nordic prophecy indicated that Loki's offspring would cause the downfall of the Aesir Gods (the Gods of Asgard). And it didn't fail. Norse mythology tells of a huge war breaking out between the Giants, led by the God of deceit Loki and the Gods of Asgard, on the plain of Vigrid.
This war is called Ragnarök. And it is a bit of an end of a world for the VIkings. But it is also the event that marks a renewal, a new era. It is not just a negative event. In short, at Ragnarök the chains built by the dark elves to imprison the wolf Fenrir will break...and the beast will be released, expressing its wrath on the Gods of Asgard.
Loki, who is tied to a rock with the guts of his offspring and a snake spitting venom in his face, will also be, released from his fetters. And as for the world-snake Jörmungand...he will storm into the lands of the humans with his father and brother, causing a huge tidal wave. The battle is huge. And in the course of it, Thor, the son of Odin, faces Jörmungand the huge snake of Midgard.
Thor overcomes Jörmungand... but not without difficulty. The serpent has poisoned him with its venom. Thor, great God of Thunder, will only take 9 more steps only to perish from his wounds. The Ragnarök is a veritable pool of blood. The majority of the Gods of Asgard and the men of Midgard will perish in battle... leaving a ravaged world behind.
Yes, it's a little less fun than everything else Ragnarök but that's what makes the magic, the complexity, and the exciting of Viking mythology. It's that not everything is so rosy... the good guys don't always win. And I think it's a beautiful message of life and makes Norse mythology even more thrilling!
You'll have understood... Thor and Jörmungand, they are not the best of friends. It all starts when Loki and the Giantess give birth to the snake... mythology already said that this snake would kill the Gods. So obviously... Jörmungand was not welcome. And as a child Odin threw him into the sea. In a way, it's understandable why the beast was pissed off at the Gods of Asgard.
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