"In swelling rage | then rose up Thor, -
Seldom he sits | when he such things hears, -
And the oaths were broken, | the words and bonds,
The mighty pledges | between them made." - Völuspá Line #26 from the Poetic Edda
A hammer no mortal can lift. A flame-haired fiery storm god. A comic book alien-hero-god who defends humanity. The swastika. Even the name "Thursday" ("Thor's Day"). Despite the virtual disappearance of the indigenous Norse religion and mythology several centuries ago, modern society still regularly encounters the storm god Thor, who continues to be brought back to life in the form of literature and was recently the protagonist in a big-budget Hollywood movie. What is it about this god, out of the hundreds (if not thousands) of deities that were consigned to the dustbin of history by the world's major religions, that so captures people's imaginations today?
A better understanding of Thor's appeal can be found in just about every aspect of the history and evolution of the figure over the centuries, including the origins of the god, the evocative imagery used to describe him, and even the parallels between Thor and similar gods and heroes. All of this has been buffeted by literature, such as the stories about Thor found in the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, and the connection societies have had with Thor for hundreds of years, even up until today.
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