Monday, 20 August 2007

Mythology: Thor, The God of Thunder

Thor is known as the God of Thunder, from Scandinavian mythology, not Greek or Roman. By all accounts a very large and impressive God, with fiery red hair and beard. Thor traveled around in a chariot drawn by two goats, called Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher. What made these goats special was that when Thor was hungry, he could eat them, and just by touching their remains they would come back to life and carry on doing what they had to do. The problem was that the bones of the goats had to be intact. He had a big war hammer that was made for him by the dwarf Brock, which he could throw at anyone or anything that pissed him off. Now this hammer had a special quality, it would always return to the owner, like a boomerang.
It was he who chased away the frost and called gentle winds and warm spring weather to release the earth from rain and snow. He could cause lightning and his hammer made the sound of thunder. He was a good-natured, happy go lucky kind of guy who liked bragging with his strength.
There is one story I like. The king of the Gods challenged him. Firstly he was to drink from a drinking horn. The one who could empty the vessel in one draught would be considered worthy of being a God. Three times Thor tried, and he could not empty the vessel, it remained full. Next he was challenged to lift the Kings cat from the floor, but could only succeed in lifting one of its paws. The Giant jeered, was this the mighty God that all feared? His last challenge was to wrestle a toothless old woman. He tried but could not bring her down to the ground. In shame he left the palace.
After he left the King of the Giants came to him and said that the sea itself was at the end of the horn, and he drank so much that the level of the sea dropped. The cat was the serpent that encircled the earth, and when he lifted its paw the whole world shuddered. The fight with the old woman no man could win, as it was with Old Age that he wrestled, an no man can win that battle, so, magic had overcome him.
In his honor the 5th day of the week is named after him, “Thors Day” or Thursday


Jonny said...

It's late and already Thors Day. Thor used to make me proud to be a norseman... but I never knew he was a redhead, LOL! Interesting in light of my own recent theories... a coincidence only??!!

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a coincidence.