An insider’s look at Thor where people view the history that created a massive successful character. From being remember by his bulging biceps to his golden locks. Even to his constant need to keep his hammer by him at all times. The thing that he is most remembered for these days is his work with the Avengers, created by Marvel Comics, though his story is much, much older than this.
Thor’s legend begins from the second century, coming from the Norse religion. This Aesir (god), known by many today as the god of thunder and lightning, was also known to the Vikings as a fierce and relentless god in hunting down his enemies. He would crush them with his hammer Mjolnir, which was the embodiment of lightning.
Thor continued as nothing more than a legend in Norse mythology until 1962. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought back Thor in a new light. They created a comic that still runs today in new universes through Marvel. With this new found life, many things in Thor’s history may have changed that most people did not know before. For instance, Thor has not always had golden hair and he is not clean shaven. In the mythology Thor actually has red hair and a scruffy beard.
In the comics, Thor has the ability to fly around by flinging his hammer around. When compared to the mythology this is just a new age idea. In mythology Thor could only fly around in his chariot carried by goats named, Toothnasher and Toothgrinder.
Looking inside Thor’s hammer it is viewed as a hammer with a sense of people’s characteristics to see if they are worthy of using it. This goes against the mythology once again. Within the myths Mjolnir was granted to Thor as a gift from Sindri and Brokkr. Also he could not just bring it back to his hands by sheer will power; it took the help of magical gloves to bring it back. There are chunks of the comic that match the mythology of Thor. This includes the facts that Thor comes from Asgard. Thor is also the son of Odin. Also the fact of Thor being the brother of Loki though not his blood brother.
The character of Loki in the marvel comics is different than in the mythology as well. In Marvel he is just seen as a constant threat and someone Thor needs to constantly punish. In mythology he was a prankster. He may have upset the other gods but he was not so bad that he did not help them get out of trouble that he may have caused.
Thor’s legend will continue on for centuries, changing with the times as all things do. Today he is remembered by the Marvel comic style. One day he may return to the Thor of mythology. It is unclear as to when that may happen but in reading the comics it may cause some people to become questionable about where Stan Lee got his inspiration and cause them to want to do their own research. Any insider may be able to find some different way to view the mythology of Thor and find some other meaning behind the portrayal of Thor for future generations.
By: Nathan Sullivan