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Thor
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Thor

''This article is about Thor, the god of Norse Mythology. For other meanings see Thor (disambiguation).

Thor (ON Ţórr) is the red-haired and bearded god of thunder and lightning in Norse Mythology, the son of Odin and Frigg or Jord. While Odin is the god of the powerful and aristocratic, Thor is much more the god of the common man, often siding with mortals against other gods. Thor was an outright hero for mankind, powerfully defeating his enemies, though he lost a wrestling match to an old woman named Elli (old age). During Ragnarok, Thor will kill and be killed by Jormungand. He lived in the hall of Bilskirnir in Thrudheim.

Thor features strongly in the Eddas of Snorri Sturluson, where Thor's many conflicts with the race of giants are a main source of plots. As Snorri portrays him, Thor is a straightforward god, but not necessarily the sharpest pencil in the box, and he is (for instance) thoroughly made a fool of by the mysterious Utgardaloki and his magic spells.

His wife was called Sif, and little is known of her except that she had golden hair, which was made for her by the dwarfss after the evil god Loki had pulled out her own hair. With Jarnsaxa, Thor was the father of Magni, Thrud and Modi. Thor travelled in a chariot drawn by goats (Tanngnjóstr and Tanngrisnir) and with his servant and messenger Thjálfi or Thjelvar. These were not your normal goats or your usual chariot since the Eddas note that the earth was scorched and the mountains cracked as the goats ran across them.

Thor owned a short-handled war hammer, Mjollnir, which, when thrown at a target, returned magically to the owner. To wield this formidable weapon, even a deity like Thor needed special iron gloves and a belt that doubled the wearer's strength.

The strike of the hammer caused thunderclaps, and indeed, the name of this deity has produced the word for thunder in most Germanic languages. With the hammer, Thor indulged in his favourite sport of killing giants.

Most of the surviving myths centre on Thor's exploits, and from this and inscriptions on monuments we know that Thor was very much the favourite deity of ancient Scandinavians.

Loki was flying as a hawk one day and was captured by Geirrod. Geirrod, who hated Thor, demanded that Loki bring his enemy (who did not yet have his magic belt and hammer) to Geirrod's castle. Loki agreed to lead Thor to the trap. Grid was a giantess at whose home they stopped on the way to Geirrod's. She waited until Loki left the room then told Thor what was happening and gave him her iron gloves and magical belt and staff. Thor killed Geirrod, and all other frost giants he could find (including his daughters, Gjalp and Greip).

Thor's daughter, Thrud, was promised to Alvis, a dwarf, in exchange for which Alvis made weapons for the gods. Thor devised a plan to stop Alvis from marrying his daughter. He told Alvis that, because of his small height, he had to prove his wisdom. Alvis agreed and Thor made the tests last until after the sun had risen--all dwarves turned to stone when exposed to sunlight, so Alvis was petrified and Thrud remained unmarried.

The weekday Thursday is named in honor of Thor.

The Danes begged protection from his wrath when sailing.

Table of contents
1 Other names
2 See also

Other names

See also

Homologues in related Indo-European religions

Thor in modern literature, video games, etc.