During about 80 years in the 1800s, the Oregon Trail
Marvel Universe has been drawing from Norse mythology to bring us some of its most popular characters in recent years, including Thor and Loki. But do they get their mythology right? Let’s take a look at the myth and the movie to see how the Thors compare.
1. In both the Marvel universe and the traditional mythology, Thor carries the hammer Mjolnir, and in both he can induce it to come flying back to him. The major difference is that in mythology he wears special gauntlets to use Mjolnir appropriately, and his belt is what lets him gain its full power. In the movies, Mjolnir can also control some elements of weather and help him travel without the help of the Bifrost.
2. One of the major plotlines of the Thor movies circulates around Thor’s love for a mortal woman, but in the myths Thor is actually married to Sif, a goddess of Asgaard. In the movies she is a fighting brunette, while her mythological counterpart doesn’t fight and has an entire myth about why she is blond.
3. Movie Thor is able to fly with the help of his hammer, but mythological Thor can only fly in a cart drawn by two goats, Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder.
4. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor as a blonde, clean-shaven, blue eyed beauty, but in the myths Thor’s beard and red hair play an important role. A beard was a hugely important signifier of masculinity, which meant that a clean shaven Thor would have lost his masculine identity.
5. In mythology, Thor wasn’t allowed to travel using the Rainbow Bridge of the Bifrost as the other gods thought he was so powerful that they thought he might destroy it. He uses it regularly in the movies.
6. Thor’s role in the world varies greatly between mythology and movies. Mythologically, Thor is destined to battle the Midgard Serpent, and while he will kill it, he will eventually die from his wounds. This is part of Ragnarok, the end of the world and the beginning of a new era of peace. If Thor dies in the movies, it isn’t too hard for Marvel to resurrect him or replace him in the Avengers pantheon with another character.
7. The personality of Thor is fairly similar between myth and movies. In both, he does fight for the good of people. He’s a defender who takes on battles to save others.