Top 10 Things Marvel's Thor Gets Wrong About Norse Mythology
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Top 10 Things Marvel's Thor Gets Wrong About Norse Mythology

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jordy McKen
If Marvel went by the book, Thor and his crew would be unrecognizable to MCU fans. For this list, we'll be looking at some of the areas in which Marvel differed from Norse Mythology when it comes to Thor and Asgard. Our countdown includes Non-Sister Hela, Thor's Real Mother, No Relation Loki, and more!
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Top 10 Things Marvel's Thor Gets Wrong about Norse Mythology


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Marvel's Thor Gets Wrong about Norse Mythology.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the areas in which Marvel differed from Norse Mythology when it comes to Thor and Asgard.

If you could meet any Asgardian in real-life, who would you pick? Let us know below!

#10: More Than Thunder

If you ever read or watched a Marvel product about Thor, you know he’s all about that thunder and lightning. It’s pretty much the main power he brings to the table, considering he’s billed as “the god of thunder.” But Marvel has ignored the other aspects that traditional Thor specializes in. For starters, he’s a god of the sky. On top of riding it with a goat-driven chariot, he can also cause rain. This also brings us to Thor being a god of agriculture and fertility. He blesses the lands to make sure crops can grow for humans. It’s believed that's why he’s married to Sif, as their specialties combine well, but more on that later. Finally, Thor is also linked to strength and war.

#9: Ginger God

In Marvel, no matter the length of hair or style, one thing's for certain, Thor is a blonde. Well, except in “Thor: Ragnarok,” when his hair became brunette after getting it trimmed, for some reason. Anyway, in Norse lore, Thor is a ginger. He traditionally has long hair and a bushy beard colored red. Now, you might be wondering why Marvel changed this. Maybe it's something to do with them creating too many red-headed characters in the early days and wanting a change. Looking at you Mary Jane, Jean Grey, Black Widow, and Daredevil. While Thor is mentioned as having golden hair in some iterations, more often than not, he has– to quote Tim Minchin – “a tinge of the ginge.”

#8: Non-Sister Hela

2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok” made a big deal of Hela’s heritage when she smashed up a mural that amazingly had the truth right underneath. She’s stated to be Odin’s firstborn child and rode alongside her father as they battled and pillaged. But in traditional Norse, she’s the daughter of Loki, and she’s not even called Hela but Hel, with one l. Her mother is Angrboða, the mother of monsters. In most descriptions, half of Hel’s face resembles a corpse, making her extra spooky and perfect for ruling the underworld. Fun fact, in 2017, parents in Iceland wanted to name their child Hel. Only for the country’s naming committee to ban the name as it could cause “significant distress” as the kid grows up.

#7: Famous Characters' Origins

Considering Marvel’s massive output of stories, they’ve had to invent characters for Thor’s tale. And some may surprise you. First off, for the hero side, we have the Warriors Three with Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg. Thor’s legendary friends and fighters are based on actors Errol Flynn, Charles Bronson, and Shakespeare’s John Falstaff, respectively, and not Norse mythology. Their newish introduction might be why they were slain pretty easily by Hela. As for baddies, there’s Malekith the Accursed, who’s probably the most famous Thor villain. There’s also Amora, better known as the Enchantress, Skurge, and Kurse. Even the Destroyer Armor was a Marvel creation. And, of course, Gorr the God Butcher isn’t involved in Norse Mythology.

#6: Sif Love

Marvel films and comics have regularly pushed Thor and Jane Foster together as a romantic couple. But, even though the MCU regularly forgets she exists, Norse Thor is married to Sif. And she’s a bit different. For starters, Sif isn’t a warrior like she is in Marvel. Instead, she has less violent specialties such as fertility and family. But one of the biggest things she traditionally has is long golden hair that’s said to represent wheat, hence the connection to agriculture with Thor. Loki, for a whacky joke and to annoy Thor, cuts her hair off. Thor forces Loki to go to the dwarves to make a headpiece to replace Sif’s hair. This also leads to another treat we’ll mention later.

#5: Busy Thor

When it comes to god mythology from all around the world, they tend to get around a lot. Just look at Greece’s Zeus. So, Norse Thor is no exception as he has several children. For starters, there's his daughter Þrúðr that he had with Sif. Her name is Old Norse for “Strength.” Thor also fathered Móði and Magni, with their mothers being unknown, but some texts believe it to be Thor’s other lover, Járnsaxa, a supernatural being called a jötunn. Their names stand for "Wrath" and "Mighty," respectively. The thunder god is also stepfather to the archery god, Ullr, whose mother is Sif and bio-dad is unknown. Some texts also state Sif and Thor had another daughter called Lora.

#4: Thor's Real Mother

In the MCU Thor’s mom is Frigga. She pretty much raised and guided him until her untimely end. The situation is different in Norse mythology. Frigg, as she’s known in those texts, is Odin’s wife. Thor’s biological mother, however, is Jörð, a goddess and giantess who's the personification of Earth. Yeah, Thor’s half-god, half-giant. Marvel had something similar for a long time. Thor’s bio-mom was Gaea, an elder god closely related to Earth. But then they changed things up recently, and it got weird. Now, it turns out the Phoenix Force is Thor’s mother. Inhabiting Firehair, she and Odin worked together when they formed a team, got it on, and Thor was produced, allegedly.

#3: Many Siblings

Since we mentioned Odin and his love of…knocking boots, Norse Thor has a much different sibling lineup than in the comics. Definitely his offspring is Váli, whose mother is the giantess Rindr, Baldr with Frigg, and Víðarr, whose bio-mom is the jötunn, Gríðr. Then, we have the offspring that are sometimes described as Odin’s kids, but other times could be interpreted as a close ally or friend. For those, we have Höðr, Heimdall, Týr, Bragi, Nepr, Hildólfr, Meili, Sigi, Skjöldr, Hermóðr, Ítreksjóð, and Sæmingr. Yep, Odin was really, really busy. Altogether, if we include the maybe-kids, Odin had 16 sons. Yikes. We can see why Odin is called the All-Father since he’s the daddy of most of Asgard.

#2: No Relation Loki

Over in Marvel, wee-Frost Giant baby Loki was found by Odin and became his adopted son and brother to Thor. But in Norse, Loki is Odin’s blood-brother. So, while the other gods didn’t like Loki, he was given leeway due earning Odin’s respect. Loki's parentage is pretty much the same in Marvel and Norse, just reversed. In Norse, Laufey is his mother, and Fárbauti is his father. Loki also had plenty of offspring. With Sigyn, they had Narfi and Nari or Váli, depending on the translation. With Angrboða, beyond Hel, there's the world serpent Jörmungandr and the wolf Fenrir. Then, when Loki transformed into a mare, the trickster got knocked up by the stallion Svaðilfari and birthed the eight-legged horse Sleipnir, who became Odin’s steed.

#1: Worthy for Mjölnir

Mjölnir has an intricate, magical history in Marvel involving cosmic storms, gods, and whatnot. For Norse, not so much. When Loki went to get the dwarves to make a headdress for Sif, he tricked them to create more items to calm the gods' anger. This is where Thor got his iconic hammer. Rather than needing to be “worthy,” anyone can pick up this Mjölnir. On top of the hammer, Norse Thor also had other goodies in his arsenal. Firstly, there are the iron gloves, Járngreipr, which are either used to handle the hammer's power or to make up for Mjölnir’s short-handle defect, depending on the text. Then there’s the belt, Megingjörð. It doubles Thor’s already huge strength. Pretty nifty.
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