Saturday, January 11, 2014

Thor: The Viking God of Thunder by Graeme Davis

Thor: The Viking God of Thunder


Title: Thor: The Viking God of Thunder
Author: Graeme Davis
Series: N/A
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: September 17 2013
Source:  Netgalley

Goodreads Summary: In the stories of the ancient Vikings, Thor is a warrior without equal, who wields his mighty hammer in battles against trolls, giants, and dragons. He is the god of storms and thunder, who rides to war in a chariot pulled by goats, and who is fated to fall in battle with the Midgard Serpent during Ragnarok, the end of all things. This book collects the greatest myths and legends of the thunder god, while also explaining their historical context and their place in the greater Norse mythology. It also covers the history of Thor as a legendary figure, how he was viewed by different cultures from the Romans to the Nazis, and how he endures today as a popular heroic figure.

My Thoughts
        I love Norse Mythology, and vikings and things like that. This book was a great compilation of the many myths surrounding the thunder god Thor. It was very complete, and the pictures were great. Each myth had its own picture, and most of the pictures were by different artists, including my favorite, Arthur Rackham. 
        One of my favorite Norse myths is about how Thor got his hammer. It all started when Loki, god of tricks, decided to chop off Sif's golden hair. Thor was outraged at what Loki had done and so to redeem himself, Loki had master dwarf craftsmen create new hair for Sif out of gold. Loki was very impressed with the final product, and realized he could cause more mischief by messing with the dwarves. He approached two dwarf brothers and bet that they could not make anything as wonderful as Sif's new hair. Loki wagered his head. To further hinder their progress Loki turned into a fly and repeatedly bit the dwarves. The results were a magical golden boar, a gold dripper, and Thor's hammer. The other gods pronounced these gifts better than Sif's hair. The dwarves came to Loki to recieve his end of the bet, but thwarted them when he stated that they could not have his head without harming his neck, which had not been part of the wager. As a compromise the dwarves sewed Loki's mouth shut. 
          I think I like this story because it shows that the gods do not control everything, and it is a beginning. Yes, Sif had beautiful hair before, but her hair of legend is that which is real gold growing out of her head. I also like how Thor got his hammer because of Loki's foolishness. Yes, Loki is the cause Ragnarok, and destroys the world, but he is also why Thor is able to defeat the enemies of Midgaard. I also like the fact that the dwarves didn't just leave Loki alone after he stumped them. I think getting his mouth sewn shut is a perfect punishment for the god of mischief.

          Norse gods
                  Odin: Leader of the gods and a powerful and cunning magician.
                           Frigga: Odin's wife, gifted with the power of prophecy.
                   Loki: King of tricksters, he is also the father of Hel, the Migaard serpent, the great wolf Fenrir, and the mother of Odin's eight legged horse.
                   Balder: The most beautiful of the gods, and Frigga and Odin's son.
                   Frey: Brother to Freya, he is a fertility Deity.
                   Freya: Sister to Frey, she is a fertility Deity.
                   Tyr: The god of victory.
                   Sif: Wife of Thor, she had beautiful golden hair. 
                   Heimdall: Watchman of Asgaard, he stands on the rainbow bridge and blows his horn if there are any problems.


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