Thunder and Lightning – Thor

My family has been
dealing with the
implications of a
lightning strike on the
house a couple days ago….
we’re still working on
getting services restored.

No structural damage,
it seems, but most all of
our electronics were fried-
– extra crispy, like.


Just like that.

We live on top of a hill…
and this isn’t the first time,
nor, do I expect it to be the

And, thinking about it,
I figure maybe now
would be an oddly
appropriate time
to revive a subject
that I first posted about
four years ago —
— the story of Thor.

thorI remember the comic book
Thor from my childhood…

(so much for my Father’s theory
that there’s nothing that can be
learned in a comic book….. )

I guess I was a
little disappointed,
when in College, I found
that I really knew nothing
at all about the Nordic god
on whom the comics I loved
as a kid were so loosely based.

Þórr — translated from
Old Norse, Thor
was the Germanic God
of Thunder; his name inthor
Old High German is
‘ Donar ‘ – ‘Thunder’.

His name is still very
active in our daily
vocabulary, as the
origin of ‘Thursday’
was ‘Thors-Day’.

He was the son of Odin
God of Death, and
King of Asgard ,
and Fjorgyn, the Queen
and mother of Earth.

He possessed enormous strength,moljnir
and was often understood by
the ancient Romans to be
Hercules, son of Zeus.

There are certainly some
similarities between the
two mythologies, particularly
in relation to the use of
Hercules’ club, and the
renowned hammer of Thor
( the Mjollnir- or Mjölnir )

Some scholars think the
hammer represented a
lightning bolt, and theorize
a relationship between the
word Mjölnir and the Russian
word for lightning- ‘Molniya’,
but it is morely likely to have
derived from the Icelandic word
( to crush).

The Mjollnir gave Thor
tremendous power–
The ‘Prose Edda’ says
that with it, Thor:

” … would be able to strike as firmly as he wanted, whatever his aim, and the hammer would never fail, and if he
threw it at something, it would never
miss and never fly so far from his
hand that it would not find its way
back, and when he wanted, it would
be so small that it could be carried
inside his tunic
. ”

In addition to the Mjollnir,hammer

Thor wore a belt called the
Megingjörð’, which was
said to double his strength,

and a set of gloves called
the ‘Járngreipr’, which he
must wear in order to
handle his magic hammer.

Norse Gods , in general,
were not well loved by
the Icelandic and Norwegian
farmers, particularly Odin,
whom the dreaded Vikings

—- but Thor acquired a
reputation for justice and
was appreciated as a
dedicated enemy of the
Frost Giants, and this is
reflected in the number
of Scandanavian names-
first and last–
derived from his…

Last names like Donner,
Thorson, Thorogood….

First names like Dustin,
Arthur, and Thurston.

Thor and the Jörmungandr

There is also a seemingly strong tie to stories of Thor and those in East Asia of Indra, the Hindu god of thunderstorms — and there may very well be some prototype relationship between the two.

In the Rig Vedas, Indra is described as the: “… mighty Thunderer with his fair complexioned friends won the land, the sunlight, and the waters.”

He was said to be “born of
Father Heaven and Mother Earth”….

Indra’s principal weapon
was the sacred thunderbolt
( Vajrayudha ), and he was
engaged in a mortal struggle
with a serpent ( Vritra ).

Thor’s arch enemy was the
Jörmungandr, (World Serpent),
with which he will battle several times.

This story of Thor and the
Jörmungandr is a classic death struggle —

To be understood as an ongoing struggle between the forces of darkness and light, with the final battle– Ragnarök, ending with the death of the Jörmungandr, a civilization-ending flood, and the ultimate death of many of the pantheon of Nordic
gods including Odin, the trickster god Loki,
and of course, Thor, himself- poisoned by
the venom of the serpent.

Only two humans survive,
to repopulate the earth in time.

This “Twilight of the Gods” was powerdrill
the theme of Richard Wagner’s
famous opera “Götterdämmerung”.

In the Eddas, the primary
source of Nordic mythology,
Thor was often in the company
of Loki, the shape shifter and fire god..

Loki is said to have been
so attached to Thor that
he hung from Thor’s belt.

As one might imagine,
Thor’s relationship with Loki
caused him a good deal
of trouble….cigar

While Thor is described as a pretty straight-forward fellow, Loki was a classic archetype of the rapacious and unpredictable nature of Nordic Gods in general.

Devious, clever, mischieveous, dangerous.

Where Thor’s motivations were
often simple and clearly understood,
Loki’s were murky, complex, and
often deceitful.3

Still, Thor’s brawn was sometimes
balanced by Loki’s brains.

My favorite story relating to
Thor and Loki involves the
mysterious loss of Thor’s Mjöllnir—

While Thor was sleeping,
the Mjöllnir was stolen by
some dwarves and delivered
into the hands of the Frost
Giant Thyrm (Þrymr).

Thyrm demanded the fertility goddess Freyja be brought to Thyrm’s kingdom
Jotunheimr as ransom and bride to be.

Loki convinced Thor
to dress in bridal clothing and
journey to Jotunheimr disguised
as Freyja, while Loki would play

Once they arrived, Thor had
trouble concealing his voracious
appetite, eating several whole
animals and three casks of mead..

A suspicious but somewhat gullible Thyrm is told by Loki that Freyja’s strange behavior is due to her not having eaten for eight days out of excitement about the upcoming wedding.

Thyrm then lifts her veil to kiss Freyja, and is frightened by the glare of two burning, angry red eyes staring back at him …..

Loki again explains it away to the clueless Thyrm, with the
excuse that Freyja has not slept
for eight days in anticipation
of the wedding.

Loki suggests an earnest token
on the part of the groom be
presented, and when the Mjöllnir
is laid upon the bride’s lap…

….. well, that’s when Thor
reveals himself, and his bad temper.

The slaughter that followed
was, in mythological terms
at least, some compensation
for the humiliation Thor felt in
having to dress in women’s
clothes to recover his rightful

What has always struck me, though…
…… is just how blind cupidity
can make someone like Thyrm.

How he could confuse a hulking
Thor for the beautiful Freyja is
key to understanding the story—

———– and the nature of
blind ambition,
greed and lust

Well, OK-

So, maybe Thor did make
one ugly bride,
but he also made one
helluva motorcycle.






20 thoughts on “Thunder and Lightning – Thor

  1. YarrowHill says:

    Here’s a picture of Arlo Guthrie reading a Thor comic book.


  2. Oh Man, I know Thor very well, fought him for over 40 years. Managing over 250 communications towers in the U.S. was part of my job. We finally got a handle on Him the last 20 years or so but until we discovered better lightning protections, Thor was a mean S.O.B. Sorry about the strikes at your home, takes a long time to recover from that.

  3. summertime75 says:

    I like the look of the bike, a little like an Indian? I’ll still stick to my Honda

  4. hjonasson says:

    I like that you can turn this scary/frustrating event into REVENGE FROM THOR! I’m totally in agreement. Maybe he was sending you some super powers. Or maybe you offended him by not taking proper care of your hammer.

    However, I hope you are able to repair and replace everything and I’m glad the house didn’t burn and everyone is ok!

  5. OHMYGOSH! and UGH! on your lightening strike! That’s scary! 😦 😦
    Hope everything gets restored/fixed!

    Gotta’ love Thor!
    Well, I’ve always loved Thor! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  6. Jules says:

    In some of those ancient times (I think) a woman’s reputation or beauty preceded her – so the ‘groom’ may not have actually known what she looked like. But then… if Thor was found out too quickly we wouldn’t have a story and he wouldn’t have gotten his hammer back 🙂

    • Hahahaah — and we can’t have that ! 😀

      • Jules says:

        You know I think (though I’m not confirming it…) that the veil a woman wears at her wedding…(some do anyway) may have come from a time when marriages were arranged and the groom didn’t see the bridge until the actual ceremony. Both the diamond engagement ring and white gowns are relatively new wedding traditions.

        Oh there you go a post about weddings and veils… hmmm maybe not up your alley. But some gowns… are just over the top sexy! 😉

        Come to think of it wasn’t it one of the groomsman’s (or best man’s) job to make sure the groom had an escape route?… 😀

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