Thor's Fight with the Giants
by Mårten Eskil Winge (1872).'
|Title(s)||God of Thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, hallowing, fertility and the protection of mankind|
|Parents||Odin and Jörð|
|Sibling(s)||Baldr, Höðr, Víðarr, Váli, Hermóðr, Heimdallr, Bragi, Týr|
|Children||Magni, Móði, Þrúðr|
This article is about the Norse deity, for other uses see Thor (disambiguation).
In Norse mythology, Thor (/θɔːr/; from Old Norse Þórr), is the hammer-wielding god of thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, hallowing, fertility and the protection of mankind. The cognate deity in wider Germanic mythology and paganism was known in Old English as Þunor and in Old High German as Donar (runic þonar ᚦᛟᚾᚨᚱ), stemming from a Common Germanic *Þunraz (meaning "thunder").
Thor is often depicted wielding his powerful hammer, known as Mjölnir, the attribute most commonly associated with him as his weapon. Other times he is depicted wielding the hammer and other two items which are: the iron gloves known as Járngreipr and the magic belt Megingjörð. He is also the idol of craftsman and the fighter of evil. Like Odin, Thor is also a widely revered god and one of the principal Æsir gods of legend.
Several Finno-Ugric peoples have thunder gods with names similar to Thor: Tiermes, Tordöm or Torum ("the golden light", Finno-Ugric). Some, like Estonian Taara even retain the connection with Thursday.
He is the son of Odin and Jörð, and the grandson of Borr, stepson of Frigg, older brother of Baldr, Höðr, Víðarr, Váli, Hermóðr, Heimdallr, Bragi and Týr, husband of the goddess Sif, and stepfather of the hunting-god, Ullr. Thor features strongly in the Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson, in which Thor's many conflicts with the race of giants are a main source of plots. Thor is one of the most powerful Norse gods. He uses his superior power and sworn duty is to protect both Asgard (home of the gods) and Midgard (home of the humans).
In most myths, Thor is said to be Odin's most favorite son of all, for his heroism and compassion. He is a great warrior represented as a middle-aged man of enormous strength, an implacable foe to the harmful race of giants but benevolent toward mankind. His figure was generally secondary to that of his father, and perhaps among all northern peoples except the royal families, he was apparently worshiped more than any other god.
It is said that the hammer, Mjölnir, is one of the most fearsome weapons in Asgard, created for him by the dwarven brothers Sindri and Brokkr. It is what helps Thor boost his powers, and it has many marvelous qualities, including that of returning to the thrower like a boomerang; it is frequently carved on runic stones and funerary stelae. Thor is capable of hurling Mjölnir with great force and, by holding onto the leather thong, is capable of flying through the air at tremendous speeds.
Thor is well known for his fights with the race of giants. Among Thor's chief enemies is the midgard serpent Jörmungandr, the symbol of evil. During Ragnarök, Thor will kill and in turn be killed by Jörmungandr.
Main article: JörmungandrIt is said and prophesed, that Thor will confront the world serpent Jörmungandr at Ragnarök, and that he will slay the creature, but not before the creature also causes him to perish.
Records and Accounts
In the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from traditional source material reaching from the pagan period to later times, most of his accounts in the Poetic Edda been included in the Codex Regius, Thor appears and is mentioned in the poems Völuspá, Grímnismál, Skírnismál, Hárbarðsljóð, Hymiskviða, Lokasenna, Þrymskviða, Alvíssmál, and Hyndluljóð.
Hárbarðsljóð: In this poem, the ferryman Harbard (Greybeard) competes with Thor, on a verbal contest with one other. The ferryman Hárbarðr (Greybeard) is rude and obnoxious towards Thor who is returning to Asgard after a journey in Jötunheimr. Competition which Thor ends loosing.
Scholars have theorized on Thor's role in Germanic religion, his origins and purpose. Scholar H'ilda Ellis Davidson summarizes that:
The cult of Thor was linked up with men's habitation and possessions, and with well-being of the family and community. This included the fruitfulness of the fields, and Thor, although pictured primarily as a storm god in the myths, was also concerned with the fertility and preservation of the seasonal round. In our own times, little stone axes from the distance past have been used as fertility symbols and placed by the farmer in the holes made by the drill to receive the first seed of spring. Thor's marriage with Sif of the golden hair, about which we hear little in the myths, seems to be a memory of the ancient symbol of divine marriage between sky god and earth goddess, when he comes to earth in the thunderstorm and the storm brings the rain which makes the fields fertile. In this way Thor, as well as Odin, may be seen to continue the cult of the sky god wh'ich was known in the Bronze Age.
Thor is usually seen wielding a giant hammer known as Mjölnir that can cast lightning, and only those with the greatest strength could pick it up. It has the ability to level mountains and has been used many times by Thor to kill Jötunn.
The Jarngreipr are depicted as iron gloves or gauntlets used by Thor.
Megingjord was a magical belt that increased Thor's already godly physical strength.
- Blunt Weapon Proficiency
- Empathic Weaponry
- Deity Lightning Manipulation
- Electricity Manipulation
- Lightning Bolt Projection
- Electricity Manipulation
- Divine Weather Manipulation
- Storm Manipulation
- Sky Energy Manipulation
- Celestial Manipulation
- Sky Manipulation
- Soil Manipulation
- Fertility Inducement
- Supernatural Strength
- Terrain Manipulation
Lay of Trym
The Lay of Trym (original name is þrymskviða) from the Poetic Edda features Thor. It reads as follows:
- Unsourced accounts state the Mjölnir was only able to be lifted by Thor, strong enough beings or beings who are worthy of the hammer, though it is not specified in what aspects a being needs to be worthy to lift or wield the hammer.
- ↑ Davidson (1975:72).
|Gods and goddesses of Norse mythology|
|Æsir||Baldr • Bragi • Dellingr • Forseti • Heimdallr • Hermóðr • Höðr • Hœnir • Ítreksjóð • Lóðurr • Magni • Meili • Móði • Odin • Thor • Týr • Váli • Vé • Víðarr • Vili|
|Asynjur||Bil • Eir • Frigg • Fulla • Gerðr • Gefjun • Gná • Hlín • Ilmr • Iðunn • Lofn • Nanna • Njörun • Rán • Sága • Sif • Sigyn • Sjöfn • Snotra • Sól • Syn • Þrúðr • Vár • Vör|
|Vanir||Dagr • Freyja • Freyr • Gersemi • Hnoss • Kvasir • Nerthus • Njörðr • Óðr • Skaði • Skírnir • Ullr|
|Jötunn||Ægir • Angrboða • Býleistr • Fárbauti • Fornjót • Hel • Helblindi • Jörð • Laufey • Loki • Mímir • Surtr • Útgarða-Loki • Ymir|
|Others||Bifröst • Borr • Búri • Einherjar • Elf • Máni • Norns • Valkyries|
|Realms||Álfheimr • Asgard • Jötunheimr • Midgard • Muspelheim • Niðavellir • Niflheim • Svartálfaheim • Vanaheimr|
|Abodes||Breidablik • Fólkvangr • Þrúðheimr • Utgard • Valhalla|
|Topics||Æsir-Vanir War • Ginnungagap • Poetic Edda • Prose Edda • Ragnarök • The Sagas • Yggdrasil|
|Norse mythology articles|
|Major Deities||Odin | Thor | Freyr | Freyja | Frigg | Loki | Baldr | Týr | Njörðr|
|Races||Æsir | Vanir | Jötunn | Elves | Dwarves | Valkyries | Einherjar | Norns|
|Realms||Álfheimr | Asgard | Jötunheimr | Midgard | Muspelheim | Niðavellir | Niflheim | Svartálfaheim | Vanaheimr|
|Abodes||Breidablik | Fólkvangr | Þrúðheimr | Utgard | Valhalla|
|Topics||Æsir-Vanir War | Ginnungagap | Poetic Edda | Prose Edda | Ragnarök | The Sagas | Yggdrasil|