Thursday comes around once every 7 days, yet do you realize what the word Thursday comes from or its significance? Thursday is the combination of “Thor’s day” which is a day celebrating the life of one God, Thor. The most popular and known God of Norse mythology is known for his connection with thunder. Back in the time of the Vikings in Germanic and Scandinavian countries, thunder was not simply a weather occurrence, it was controlled by Thor.
He was the son of God of Thunder, the chief god of the Germanic people, and Lord, a personification of the uninhabited earth. Thor was married to Sif who was a gorgeous fertility goddess. This made Thor the stepfather of Sif’s child Ull who was the god of archery and skiing. With Sif he had a daughter named Thrud, and with a mistress Jarnsaxa he fathered two sons Magni and Modi.
In paintings and art depicting Thor, he is portrayed as a large muscular man with red hair and a beard. His eyes were like lightning in the way that they flashed. It is his immense strength that created the association between him and thunder. Due to his physique, he was the strongest of the Norse Gods. But despite his ferocious appearance he was said to be a protector of both gods and humans against evil. This is the opposite of his father Odin who asked for human sacrifices to be made in his honor.
Regardless of his already powerful strength, Thor would wear a belt, Megingjared, which had the effect of doubling his strength to superhuman levels. Along with the belt, he would wear Jarngreipr, which were iron gloves. Between both those items, it made Thor truly stronger then anyone. This was why he was able to pick up his hammer, Mjollnir, that not many others could lift. It is said that Mjollnir was Thor’s main weapon. Lightning was said to flash when the hammer was thrown. After striking the target it was thrown at, Mjollnir always returned to Thor.
Along with his items that make him super human, Thor was often seen riding a chariot that was pulled by two goats by the names of Tanngrisnir and Tanngnstr. Along with being what pulled Thor’s chariot they were also a ready meal for Thor. After he would eat them they could be easily revived simply by touching the remains.
There are many stories involving Thor which all tend to contain common themes. He is typically accompanied by his servant, Thialfi, who was a messenger of the gods. Overall most stories that included Thor were tales about his fights with giants.
One of the first tales is how Thor came to acquire Megingjared and Jarngreipr. It started as Loki, a shape shifting god, was forced to lead Thor into a trap laid by the giant Geirrod. He is warned of this trap by a giantess, Grid, who provided Thor with the belt and gloves to make him suitable to fight. Now with proper weapons of sorts, he goes on a killing spree, killing Geirrod and his daughters Gjalp and Greip, along with many other frost giants.
The most famous story involving Thor was the time that his hammer Mjollnir was stolen by another giant king. He was so determined to get his hammer back that he had to disguise himself as the goddess Freyja who was the bride to be of the giant king who stole the hammer. Once he was in the king’s court, he was able to get Mjollnir back and promptly attacked all the giants he saw.
In Norse Mythology, a lot of the tales often tell the demise of their Gods. Thor was no exception. At Raganork Thor faced his most deadly rival. That rival was Jormungand, the gigantic Midgard serpent. The fight raged on for a bit and despite Thor being injured he managed to kill Jormungand. The bite that Thor suffered were infected with the serpent’s deadly venom. As he was walking away from the battle field, he fell down and died. Mjollnir is rescued from the battle field and is given to his sons.
Just because Norse Mythology isn’t practiced today does not mean that Thor has disappeared from our everyday lives whether we know it or not. Besides every Thursday being a day named after him, there are comic books and other modern portrayals of the Norse God. Marvel comics, the popular company who made favorites such as Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk, has made Thor appear in many various comic books. His comic book debut was in 1962 in “Journey into Mystery” #83. Shortly after Thor’s debut in “Journey into Mystery”, it was renamed “The Mighty Thor”. There are even talks of a Thor movie to come out in the future based on the Marvel comic series. Through popular media the legacy of Thor is still alive in modern culture and has no signs of disappearing.
Written By Brittany Hanna copyright 2010 BestOfAllTopics.com all rights reserved