THORsday!

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.

File:Manuscript Odinn.jpg

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!

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5 thoughts on “THORsday!

  1. Hey there! So, did you like it? I LOVED it. Just loved it. I cried, actually. ;) I cried with joy that my childhood deities were being so well treated (to my mind, anyway). I mean, the art direction was INSANE. (Sorry for the all caps, but gosh I’m excited!) That first shot of Asgard – wow!

    Now, my wife and several of my not-so-comix-geeky friends thought it was “ehn.” Sooo…I’m totally willing to chalk up at least some of my enthusiasm to my personal history with Marvel.

    I won’t say much more until I know that you’ve seen it, but it touched me deeply.

    • Hi Ian, I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! I’ll be seeing Thor later this week, so I’ll have a response for you soon. Yes, I have seen mixed reviews too–Ebert’s negative comments were particularly surprising.

    • So I finally saw Thor and loved it! Hemsworth totally owned Thor, Hopkins was fabulous and the visuals, especially of Asgard, was one big WOW. I thought Sif was super kickass awesome, as was Hawkeye in his brief cameo.

      I think my only complaint is the villains…the Frost Giants were one-dimensional and Loki’s jealousy was totally predictable–even though that’s how it is in the myths. Also, New Mexico was super super boring, though they couldn’t have dropped Thor in New York.

      Did you stay past the credits? It seems that Loki might be a villain in the Avengers movie *shifty eyes*

  2. I read a review recently that said that it might have been better in 2D (I saw it in 3D – as I’m sure you know, they shot it in 2D and then added 3D on after – it’s kinda cheesy, but it was okay with me. I’m gonna go see it again in 2D).

    Yeah, I feel like the story was simplistic – but so was the comic, originally. 4-color, you know? Simple, straightforward – often that’s not enough these days, but for me, here, it worked.

    Yes! I stayed past the credits. Yup, it looks like Loki’s had enough of Midgard, and just wants to nuke us all. Rawk!

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