Marvel Vs. Myth
Entertainment

Marvel Vs. Myth

Similarities and differences in "Thor"

1739
Comic Vine

I'm a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As in, I'm at every movie on opening day, oft times in costume. I rewatch the older movies before a new one comes out. I binge watch through their shows as soon as they hit Netflix (ohmydearsweetgoodness, Daredevil!!).

I'm also a huge mythology nerd, particularly Norse mythology. Because of this, I was quite interested (and at times amused) to see the differences and similarities between Marvel's Thor and his mythological counterpart. Here are a few of the ones which particularly struck me:

Thor

Thor himself is pretty similar in both Marvel and Norse mythology. He's hot tempered, at times arrogant, but a generally good guy who wants to protect his home. The biggest differences? In the myths, Thor is a redhead...and he's not the brightest lightning bolt in the sky. Marvel's Thor is considerably more intelligent than his mythical origin, probably much to the Avengers' relief.

Mjolnir

Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor – or Mew-mew, if it's easier for you to pronounce. In both the myths and the movies it allows Thor to command the lightning and the storm. However, the mythical version doesn't let Thor fly if he twirls it super fast. It's also so heavy that no one can lift it on their own strength – no matter how worthy they might be. Thor himself needs a magical set of bracers and a belt, which multiply his strength and allow him to wield Mjolnir. That thing is heavy!

Loki

The biggest difference between the movies and the myths lies in the character of Loki. In both he is a trickster. There's a line in Thor of which I am particularly fond, in which one of Thor's friends refers to Loki's silver tongue, for which he is often credited in the myths.

However...Loki is not the brother of Thor.

In Norse mythology, Loki isn't technically related to anyone on the pantheon. He eventually swears a blood oath with Odin, king of the gods, effectively becoming a blood brother of the deity. He has no relation with Thor, and the two are in fact often at one another's throats. In contrast, the Marvel movies have Thor and Loki as brothers, and Loki is the adopted son of Odin. It's the biggest variation from its source material that Marvel takes, and it never fails to make me snicker.

Heimdall

Let me begin by saying that I am a huge fan of Idris Elba. I think that he is a phenomenal actor (and I SO want him to play James Bond!). That having been said, I find it quite amusing that they picked him to play Heimdall. In the myths, the Watcher is described as being white. Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a knot and shouts "Racist!", allow me to clarify. When I say white, I mean white. Whiter than marshmallows, whiter than pearls. There is no actor white enough to play a mythologically accurate Heimdall without serious special effects. I mean, in the myths Heimdall has teeth made of solid gold. They shine when he smiles. I kid you not. Marvel's take on Heimdall is missing the golden smile, but replaces it with gleaming, gold eyes.

Despite this difference, Marvel's Heimdall is brilliantly portrayed as a watcher and a defender of Asgard. Well played, Marvel.

Sif

Ah, Sif. She's a fantastic, kick-butt warrior and friend to Thor in the movies. In the myths...not so much.

Mythological Sif is the wife of Thor. She's the goddess of grain and the harvest, and she's a pretty passive figure – definitely not a fighter. One of my favorite myths actually involves Loki shaving her head, and Thor then forcing him to replace it with a wig woven of pure gold. Even though she's central to the story, Sif sits on the sidelines through most of it as the men bicker.

I much prefer Marvel's take on the character.

Sleipnir

Most people probably aren't familiar with this name. It should tell you just how big of a mythology nerd I am – I know the name of Odin's horse.

Yup.

Sleipnir is seen only briefly in the first Thor movie, but I squee'd with glee when he arrived on-screen. This is because, in the myths, Sleipnir is an 8-legged horse. Marvel payed attention to this, and the horse Odin is riding when he shows up to save Thor's group from the frost giants has 8 legs. No attention is drawn to the fact (I didn't notice until my second watch-through), but oh my goodness, I love this attention to detail.

Of course, Sleipnir's parentage is likely (hopefully) different in the Marvel universe than it is in the Norse myths, where his mother was Loki, shapeshifted into a mare to try and get out of some trouble. Seriously. Don't ask.

Huginn and Muninn

I'll continue to geek out over random animals from Norse mythology by telling you about the ravens. In the Norse myths Odin has two birds who fly all over the world every day. They are his eyes, collecting information for the king of the gods and bringing it back to him.

In the first Avengers, in the scene where Thor has just abducted Loki from the S.H.I.E.L.D. ship, the two stand on a rock face and talk. As the camera pans back two ravens fly in front of it, cawing.

Once again, Marvel made my day.

Odin

King of the gods, and father of Thor (and, in Marvel's universe, Loki). Odin is pretty similar in both his Marvel and his mythological personas. The biggest difference I spotted was his eye injury. Sir Anthony Hopkins rocks the golden eyepatch, and a flashback in the first Thor shows that he lost the eye in a fight with the frost giants. In contrast, in the myths Odin sacrifices his own eye to gain magical knowledge. Either way - yarrr, matey. Eyepatches be not just for pirates!


There's a lot more similarities and differences. The Bifrost really is a rainbow bridge in the myths. While I don't recall ever reading about a Bilgesnipe, which Thor describes to Coulson in the first Avengers, there could be a mythological equivalent. Most interestingly to me is the title of the upcoming Thor movie: Ragnarok. In the myths Ragnarok translates to "doom of the gods". It is an event which has long been foretold, and which ends with most of the deities dead. Given that, I am very curious to see what Marvel does with the movie.

If you're interested in Norse mythology, I highly recommend looking into it further! The stories are gorgeous, and it makes watching the Marvel movies a lot more enjoyable (at least to me). I've got a series of posts about it on my blog; there's also a book called "Gods and Heroes from Viking Mythology" which serves as a great introduction.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands Every Beauty-Lover Should Know About In 2020

They're not changing the game — they're making a new one.

Skin is something most beauty-lovers obsess over from our early teens, whether our aim is to be glowier, softer, dewier, or poreless, most of us are consistently tracking a new skincare goal. No matter how many products we try, we'll likely forage on with the goal of IRL Photoshopped skin, no matter how many dollars go to them.

The black-founded skincare brands below are the brainchildren of extreme dedication and resilience within the privileged world of beauty. Born out of resilient entrepreneurs overcoming circumstance in a world that does not favor business people of color, these brands have loyal cult followings, and with good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

A huge part of being in a relationship is communication and, well, part of communication is listening. So, why not have a little fun with your partner and see just how well they know you?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Ways You Can Safely Attend A Protest In The Middle Of A Pandemic

Wear a mask, but speak up.

It seems like coronavirus (COVID-19) has been around forever now. Life before masks and with public sporting events is a distant memory, hoping to make a comeback sometime this year. We've all had to make some sort of life changes to abide by this pandemic's rules. But that doesn't mean everything has stopped. On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking a cry for justice and racial equality across the nation.

For the last week, protests have taken place in major cities like New York City, LA, DC, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Dallas, and Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis. Many of the cities experiencing protests have begun phased reopening, while others (specifically New York City and LA) have yet to begin phase one of post-coronavirus reopening.

As COVID-19 is hardly in our rearview mirror, there are extra precautions protestors can take as they advocate for justice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments