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Things Marvel Got Wrong About Thor And Norse Mythology

Thor was around long before Marvel added him
to their roster of superheroes. They’ve done a good job of translating Norse
mythology to the page and screen, but there have been a few big changes. From Sif’s hair to Hela’s parents, here
are the things Marvel changed about Thor’s mythology. The most obvious difference between Marvel’s
Thor and the original figure, at least from a visual standpoint, is his hair color. The Odinson who hangs out with the Avengers
is famously blond, to the point of being nicknamed “Goldilocks” by a few of his teammates when
they’re feeling brave enough to throw shade at a guy who obliterates fire giants with
his magic hammer. The original version, however, is usually
depicted with a slightly different hairstyle. “By Odin’s beard you shall not cut my hair
lest you feel the wrath of the mighty Thor!” In the book Vikings: A History of the Northmen,
W.B. Bartlett cites legends that refer to Thor as being “red-haired, red-bearded, red-eyed,”
as shown in much of the artwork that was around long before Jack Kirby designed Marvel’s Thor
for the comics page. In fact, Kirby did stories about two other
versions of Thor before he co-created the Marvel character, with a red-haired look much
more in line with the legends. It’s worth noting that this has been addressed
in the comics, although the explanation might not be as satisfying as you want: Thor just
says the legends got it wrong. As for the real-world reason why, that’s never
been explained, but we have a pretty good guess. The early Thor stories were essentially Marvel’s
take on Superman, which is reflected in his blue-and-yellow costume with the long red
cape. If he had red hair, it would’ve blended in
with the cape, confusing the look and making it a lot less striking than the contrast of
the yellow hair. Marvel’s depiction of Sif also has the distinction
of having a different hair color than her mythological counterpart. In the comics and films, Sif has always had
black hair, but in mythology, her hair is golden as in, literally made of gold. One of the most famous Norse myths is the
story of how Loki cut off Sif’s hair, because, you know, he’s the god of mischief. To make up for it, he replaced Sif’s hair
with a new set of beautifully cascading locks that were magically crafted by dwarves. There’s never been an official reason for
Marvel’s choice, but it’s easy to assume that the change was made to make Sif more of a
visual contrast with Thor on the comics page. There was, however, a suitably mythological
in-continuity reason, in that Marvel’s dwarves crafted her hair from the darkness of the
night rather than gold. The differences don’t stop there, though. Sif in the comics is a fierce warrior, a shield-maiden
of Asgard, as deadly in combat as Thor himself. With all due respect to the original Sif,
that’s not quite her classic portrayal. The original myths depict her as more of an
Earth goddess, and in fact, many scholars suggest that Sif and Thor’s marriage is symbolic
of rain falling on crops. That marriage is something else that’s absent
from the comics. Marvel’s Thor and Sif have a more on-again,
off-again relationship on the page, depending on how the current creative team feels about
Jane Foster. “Sorry to hear that Jane dumped you.” “She didn’t dump me. I dumped her. It was a mutual dumping.” Jane herself is also a pretty big departure
from the myths of old. Unlike Greek mythology, there aren’t a lot
of dalliances between gods and humans in the Norse stories. In the comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe,
some of the most long standing and crucial elements of the stories are the mystical enchantments
on Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. “Whosoever holds this hammer, should he be
worthy to possess the power of Thor.” The hammer can only be lifted by the worthy,
whether it’s the Odinson or not. It’s a big deal, to the point that Marvel’s
Thor isn’t just the god of thunder, he declared himself the god of the unworthy, a symbol
for everyone who strives to be better than they are. It’s such an intrinsic part of Thor’s story
that if you’re not familiar with the mythology, it might surprise you to find out that it’s
entirely a creation of the comics, and was added to the story so that Thor could have
a secret identity. The myths have no such enchantment, and the
idea that it would be added in order to teach him humility doesn’t really ring true, either. For all his quickness to anger, Thor’s giant-smiting
generally had Odin’s stamp of approval. It is true that, mythologically speaking,
Thor was the only one who could lift Mjolnir, but that wasn’t because of an enchantment. It was because Mjolnir was just, you know,
really heavy. So heavy, in fact, that Thor had two other
special pieces of equipment. The Jarngreipr and the Megingjord iron gloves
and a belt of strength, respectively allowed him to use the hammer. Those actually do exist in the comics, but
they’re more of an in-case-of-Ragnarok contingency than everyday wear. The Megingjord even has another enchantment,
in that it doubles Thor’s strength but leaves him severely weakened afterward, to explain
why he doesn’t wear it all the time. Marvel Comics added an “a” at the end of their
Goddess of Death’s name, presumably to make it easier to distinguish Hel, the goddess,
from Hel, the realm in which she lives. Of course, it also may have been an attempt
to get around the censorship of the Comics Code, which might’ve had a problem with that
particular name. If that was the case, they made the right
choice. It would be a lot less intimidating for Thor
to be fighting an immortal foe named Heck. “It’s come to my attention that you don’t
know who I am.” There are bigger differences, though. For one thing, she’s not Odin’s daughter. According to the Eddas, her father is Loki. She’s also depicted with a far more horrifying
appearance than the one we saw in the MCU. As the goddess of the dead, she’s described
in the Prose Edda as being “half blue-black and half flesh-color” which is sometimes interpreted
as half of her body being alive and half being either a rotting corpse or a skeleton. On top of that, for some reason, the original
myths never once mention her big pointy hat. Either way, it’s a pretty far cry from Goth
Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok. In the comics, Thor was taught humility by
being incarnated on Earth as Dr. Don Blake, but that wasn’t the first time that the God
of Thunder found himself reborn as a human. In what seems like an effort to tie their
character into every piece of Norse-related mythology, Marvel once published a story with
another mortal identity. Hundreds of years before Thor joined the Avengers,
he walked the earth as Siegfried, the dragon-slaying hero best known from Richard Wagner’s operatic
Ring cycle. Siegfried was also called Sigurd, a name Thor
later used in a short-lived secret identity that was literally just wearing glasses. Siegfried is also a completely different mythological
figure. In fact, he doesn’t even have a hammer. His weapons of choice are a giant sword called
Balmung and an invisibility cloak, making him more of the Norse mythological equivalent
of Harry Potter than someone you’d mistake for Thor. That same story revealed that the heroine
Valkyrie wasn’t just named Brunhilde, she was the Brunhilde from Siegfried’s legend,
having also been sent to Earth for some reason. The weirdest part? Thor was also incarnated as SIegmund, Siegfried’s
father. That means that for a short time, Thor was
actually his own dad. Odin has some very strange ideas about how
to teach his kids a lesson. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
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38 thoughts on “Things Marvel Got Wrong About Thor And Norse Mythology

  1. Can you please make videos about these?

    Miraculous Ladybug & Chat Noir
    Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba
    My Hero Academia
    The Seven Deadly Sins
    Netflix's Dark

  2. They didn't get anything wrong for one, they have their own complete mythos for all the the IRL religions. Also, MCU is the normies bastardization of the comics, with a totally different canin for those subjects as well. Maybe research beforehand.

  3. Hey.

    Its a different entity.
    Sure it got inspiration but inspiration dosent mean you have to completely have Norse Mythology in there. Its just fiction! 😛

  4. They didn't get it "wrong". It was never supposed to be a carbon copy. Your next video should be "10 things Grunge gets wrong with their titles"

  5. Marvel transferred all of the Norse myths to another planet, therefore your theory does not work. Thor and his history have nothing to do with Earth

  6. Brunhilde:"It ain't over until the fat lady sings." So, shouldn't Brunhilde be a little, how to politely put this, a little fond of donut shops?

  7. Yeah can't wait till Marvel makes Super Jesus and Mighty Muhammad fight the Hulk. Because I guess it's no longer offensive to take someone's native religion and turn it into a stupid comic book character. In Scandinavia thousands of my people were murdered by Christians and there was a concerted effort to wipe out any traces our Gods. But when my native religion gets called mythology then it's becomes perfectly ok to mock it and manipulate it any way you want. My religion's book, the Havamal is no more "mythical" than the bible or the Koran and it speaks to me in ways the other religion's books do not. I find it deeply offensive to turn the entities I find wisdom and comfort in, into cartoon characters. The fact is, after all the wholesale murder and systematic destruction of my culture. My Gods are still speaking to the world through the very names of the week and in common words used throughout the world even today. My native religion is no less valid than native American, or Hinduism or Christian or Muslim. But when you're the minority of something it's easy for people to mock and marginalize you because you can't stand up to them. While I refuse to murder people because they insult my culture and beliefs.There was a time when my ancestors would have taken the insults every bit as serious as the majority religions of today do and the people that perpetrate this mockery would have faced horrendous painful deaths as a lesson to others that our Gods and culture are very real and very important to us. Unfortunately or fortunately these comic books and movies have sparked interest in people around the world and they have taken the time to research the actual history and beliefs of Asatru and it has made a major comeback for those people that find it suits them better than other spiritual beliefs. In Iceland we have a proper temple, and governments around the world recognize including the U.S. military that Asatru is a real religion and it's followers should not be mocked or abused and labeled racist etc. because we are a minority religion. So what Marvel got Wrong about Thor and Norse "mythology" is that it is wrong to take a people's culture and belief system and twist it and use it to make money or provide entertainment to children and idiots that are ignorant of its deeper meaning and importance.

  8. Hel is half woman half monster. Those died in malevolence would face her cruel monster side only, the others as woman with feelings.

  9. I I knew all of this….I love Loki so I looked into Loki and I still love Loki…I knew all of this…..they got alot wrong…oh my…

  10. hel is not lokis only child so is the giant wolf fenrir,the earth circling giant serpent, and odins eight legged horse slepnir.

  11. Coz the only thing that matters is the producer/director's take on something (like Hollywood had stayed true to the source).

  12. They also mispronounced every single Norse word or other Scandinavian word too. No excuses on this. Scandinavian languages have easier pronunciation rules than French.

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