Thor: Why Marvel’s version isn’t the real Norse god, a brief history of the comic book character, and speculations on the film

Now I’m not saying that the Thor movie is going to be bad, but I am saying it could be (like any other film not yet released).  What’s important to know, is that Thor is never sent to Earth as a human version of himself for being arrogant towards his father (Odin).  Thor is sent to Earth as a medical student (having no idea that he is a god) named Donald Blake for being arrogant.  Big difference right?  I know, I know, not that huge, but still a point that very drastically changes Thor’s character.  It’s important to know the actual roots of the character Thor, and that is he is a Norse god. He is not blonde, and he has a beard (which are ginger by the way).  The characterization of him being punished for arrogance by his father Odin rings true, as does his constant issues with Loki, as does the hammer Mjolnir playing a pivotal role as his weapon of choice.  A long story short, Real Norse god> Marvel comics Thor > movie Thor.  Now that we have all of that settled let’s dive into each Thor, and try to understand each one as a separate entity from one another in creative space so that we may enjoy one or all of them.

Actual Thor facial hair and facial expressions.

(*Disclaimer* I am going to do my best to not butcher the authentic interpretation and understanding of the real Thor, so if I’m wrong, or skewed in my explaining please do your best to correct me without killing me.  Thank you.)  So, the real Thor never gets sent to earth as a human and has a killer beard and is not blonde.  In fact, what Thor is is more than the god of thunder.  He’s also the god of lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, destruction, fertility, healing, and the protection of mankind.  I guess that the comic Thor plays on the protection of mankind thing, but that’s kind of a stretch.

Very blonde and no beard, this must be the Marvel comics Thor!

Marvel comics Thor starts off in the comics not knowing he’s a god.  He starts as a medical student, and doesn’t even figure out that he’s Thor, god of thunder, until he’s a practicing Doctor on holiday in Norway of all places.  So, on top of being in a country that has a history with Norse gods and Norse mythology, Donald Blake aka Thor is chased into a cave by Aliens (really?), stumbling upon his very own hammer the mighty Mjolnir (seriously?), which transforms him into his godly self (now that’s just ridiculous).  Okay fine, sometimes the comics origins are a little crazy, but it was created by Stan Lee in the 60’s.  I’m sure he was in his right mind thinking up the origin of Thor (well maybe not…).  Either way, it was created the way it was created and that is that.  You cannot really change what’s been published so just work with it.  Thor (as well as other Marvel/DC characters) have been greatly improved over the years and sometimes even revamped.  Thor’s origin has never been reconstructed (hmm, perhaps a future for me in writing it), and he is constantly being banished and reinstated into Asgard.  He also is constantly in charge and fighting the same foes over and over like a formula (kind of boring really).  The point is, Thor is just trying to do what he can to save his people (the Asgardians), as well as the human race and defeat all those who would threaten these things.  He’s a pretty righteous dude who always speaks very affluently with an bit of old English in his speech.

Pretty sweet photo of Thor, if I do say so myself.

Now onto movie Thor.  First things first, I cannot be sure if Donald Blake at all plays a role, but from what I can tell he does not.  Banished to Earth by either his father Odin or Loki (not quite sure which one yet) as a human, he does not forget who he is.  It is clear that he must find his hammer Mjolnir to rekindle his godliness and save American (and the planet by proxy?) from the creations of Loki and/or Loki himself.  From what I can see from trailers and such, they are playing the comedy angle a bit too much for the actual history of Thor.  He is a serious character and never is really joking effectively unless it’s super cheesy or old school (in the sense that he is really old and doesn’t really understand the humor of the kids like Tony Stark of today).  It also appears as if we are going to move back and forth from Earth to Asgard seeing most of Thor’s action sequences at Asgard defending it from enemies, leaving his wandering scenes on Earth trying to get back to being Thor.  I’m not sure if both Captain America and Iron Man will be in the film (probably at the end), but I expect at least one of them (probably Iron Man) to show up.  From a film continuity standpoint, Iron Man movies have been made, Thor and Captain America are raring to go this year, paving the way for sequels and/or an Avengers movie.  There really isn’t much else I can do but speculate, so I apologize if I offend people with my ramblings on.

Well, that’s Thor people.  Got a problem with what I wrote?  Be sure to comment and correct the mistakes I have made.  Have anything to add that is important relevant information to Thor god, comic book character, or film character?  Please, feel free to do so.  I am all ears (er, eyes I guess if you write me).

Your Humble Servant,

Tucker Paul Stempler

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