Today is aptly dubbed Thorsday, in honor of the premiere of Thor tonight!!
Even though he may not be as famous as Captain America and Iron Man (until now, of course), this Marvel superhero’s roots go way back, all the way back to Norse mythology. Norse mythology comes from Norse religion, practiced by Scandanavian and Germanic tribes. It was a largely oral tradition, but the Eddas and Heimskringla, written accounts of Norse mythology, was written down by Snorri Strurlson in the 13th century. You might be familiar with gods such as Thor and Odin; Valhalla, Odin’s hall in Asgard (not just the rock band!); and Ragnarok, a series of apocalyptic events and great battles that will result in the rebirth of the world.
But first and foremost: Burger King Thor toys!!
Thanks to Comics Alliance for the find. I don’t usually eat at BK but that Mjolnir hammer disc-launcher looks pretty sweet.
*ahem* Did you know that Thursday actually means Thor’s day?
Saturday, Sunday and Monday are named after Saturn, the sun and the moon, but the rest belongs to Norse gods and goddesses. So, perhaps ironically, we keep the Norse mythology alive every day, with every calendar, appointment, and schedule. Which is pretty darn cool.
Tuesday is Tiw’s day; Tiw or Tyr is one of Odin’s sons and the god of combat and victory. He sacrificed his arm to the wolf Fenryr, which is pretty morbid.
Wednesday is Woden (Odin)’s day; Odin is the king of the gods, commonly called the “All-father,” and ruler of Asgard, realm of the gods. He is Freya’s husband, Thor’s father…and he’s also Anthony Hopkins. Woot.
Thursday is Thor’s day. I hope you know who Thor is by now, but if not, he’s Odin’s son and the god of thunder. Thor is banished from Asgard to Earth, but I won’t say any more–go and watch the movie!
Friday is Freya’s Day; Freya is the preeminent goddess in Norse mythology and Odin’s wife. She will be portrayed by Rene Russo in the film!
You might also be interested to know that Norse mythology can take a lot of credit for much of modern fantasy today. Yes, we all love Lord of the Rings, and JRR Tolkien was more than likely inspired by Norse and Germanic mythology; dwarves, elves, as well as trolls were prominent in Norse storytelling, myths and fables, and all three are now prominent motifs in modern fantasy, mostly thanks to the popular success of LoTR. Connections have been made between Odin and Gandalf–though the hobbits are all Tolkien.
Even though this really has nothing to do with the actual movie (as far as I know, at least), I hope Thor is not only a fantastic film, but also gives us the opportunity to learn more about Norse mythology and culture. Usually when we think “mythology” our minds turn to Greek, Roman and Egyptian myths, but Norse mythology has given us a lot in our present society to be thankful for as well. Happy Thorsday!