There is a brand new movie about Thor, and you can watch in 3D in some theaters. The Thor in this movie is based on the comic book superhero that appeared in Marvel Comics. The comic book character was loosely inspired by Thor, God of Thunder, from Norse mythology. How much do you know about the original Thor’s family tree?
Norse mythology describes the gods and goddesses that people from Scandinavia believed in before Christianity was established. Scandinavia can refer to the Scandinavian Peninsula, which is located in the Northern part of Europe. It generally refers to countries like Norway and Sweden, but can also include Denmark, Finland, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands.
Norse mythology is polytheistic, which means that more than one god or goddess was worshiped. If you have ever studied Greek mythology when you were in school, then you have some idea about what that means. Norse mythology, like Greek mythology, includes what can be described as a family of gods. It is possible to put together a family tree centering around one of the Norse gods.
Thor, who was also known by the name Donnar, is the Norse god of thunder. He was described as being a large, powerful figure, with a red beard and eyes like lightning. (This is quite different from the blond Thor described in the comic books and the movie).
He was seen as the protector of both gods and humans against the forces of evil. It was believed that thunderstorms were caused by Thor riding his chariot through the heavens. Thor had a hammer called Mjollnir. When he threw it, lightning would happen. Thor became more popular than Odin among the Norse people because Odin required human sacrifices, and Thor did not. Today, Thor is remembered on the calender every Thursday.
Thor’s father was Odin, also known as Othinn, Wodan, and Wotan. Odin is the god of war and death, and he is also the god of poetry and wisdom. Odin has one eye, because he traded his other eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom. This gave him immense knowledge. Odin carries a spear named Gungnir, that never misses it’s target. He also rides a steed named Sleipnir that has eight feet. Odin (or Wodan), is remembered today on the calender, every Wednesday.
Thor’s mother was Jord. She was the mistress of Odin. Jord is the personification of the Earth, and is a goddess. Odin and Jord only had one child together, Thor. However, Odin was married to Frigg, (patron goddess of marriage and motherhood). Odin and Frigg had several children together: Balder, Hoder, Hermod, Tyr and Bragi. All of them are half siblings to Thor.
Thor was married to Sif, who had golden hair, and was a fertility goddess. Oddly enough, she and Thor did not have any children together. Instead, Thor had three children with his mistress, Jarnsaxa. Those children were named Magni, Modi, and Thrud.
Image by xploiteme on Flickr