Thors Hammer Essay

The stories which feature the god, besides noting his strength and impatience with delays, all emphasize his reliability.Even when Thor is tricked our outsmarted, his past victories and assurance of future triumphs excuse him; he may not win a battle but will eventually win the war.

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Scholar Preben Meulengracht Sørensen comments that Thor “was master of thunder and lightning, storm and rain, fair weather and crops, and the pagans sacrificed to him when threatened by hunger or disease” (Sawyer, 203).

He had three magical items which helped him defend Asgard and Midgard: his hammer Mjollnir, his belt of strength Megingjörð (which doubled his strength when he wore it), and his great iron gloves which he needed to wield his hammer.

He strides through the northern realm of the gods, a fitting symbol for the man of action.

(74) Thor was not just the preferred god of the Viking warrior, however, as his strength and direct response to any given problem were equally appealing across the spectrum of Viking Age social classes.

He also asked Thor to show him where to build his new farm, but he named it after Christ.

(Sawyer, 223) The introduction of Christianity to Scandinavia, at first, did nothing to diminish the importance of Thor in people’s lives.

Thor functioned primarily as a protector-god, although stories concerning him also explained natural phenomena, thus linking him with the etiological type of myth (one which explains how some aspect of life came to be).

He was said to burst forth from his great hall in his chariot, drawn by two male goats – Tanngnjóstr (Tooth Gnasher) and Tanngrísnir (Snarl Tooth) – who could be killed and eaten by the god and then brought back to life the next day as long as their bones remained unbroken.

Thor was invoked to seal business contracts and consecrate marriages, for agricultural abundance, for protection during voyages (especially at sea) and for victory in battle, but he seems to have been called upon whenever any need arose.

Sørensen notes: The relationship with the pagan gods had been a sort of friendship, a contract by which man sacrificed to the gods and was entitled to their support in return…The Icelandic Landnamabok (The Book of Settlements) relates that Helgi inn Magri, who settled Iceland in about 900, believed in Christ but invoked Thor when in distress at sea.


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