I remember back when the Harry Potter books and movies first became insanely popular a lot of people said they sparked public interest in modern magic/witchcraft. Some conservative Christians complained about Harry Potter leading impressionable children away from God, yadda yadda, while the pagans complained about the influx of naive insta-witches in the community. While I can't say that I personally know anyone who discovered paganism or witchcraft because of Harry Potter, I do know some who did because of fantasy novels, myself included.

About a year ago I saw the movie Thor because I am a fan of Norse mythology and read runes. I was pleasantly surprised by the film, and though Marvel canon differs in several major ways from the original myths I felt they got more right then they did wrong. While waiting for The Avengers to come out (so I could squee in fangirl joy over Thor and Loki some more) I caught up on the other Marvel movies and read some of the comics, so by the time it was out I was frothing at the mouth with the other nerds.

Obviously The Avengers have been a huge international hit, though it isn't quite the phenomenon Harry Potter was at it's height. Still, I can't help but wonder. I fell in love with The Avengers because of my interest in mythology as a pagan, but has anyone discovered Heathenism because of The Avengers?

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Of course I have.  But, alas, we've argued this before and it would be pointless to do so again.  

"Hexabelia, I certainly do not hold it against you or anyone for worshippiing Thor or any of the Aesir, not that it would matter if I did, lol."

But of course, you, do. 

"My comments are simply my perspective based on my experience which I understand differs from others."

Oh come on.  Take responsibility for your words and actions. 

"Perhaps one day I'll be able to connect the dots between what the surviving lore says about Thor and, what in my view, are sanitized (Neo) Heathen perceptions of him."

But that would require you to actually read the lore and with some sort of Norse cultural mindset instead of the contempt you hold toward all of Asatru. 

"It's hard for me to understand how anyone could worship Thor or any of the Aesir."

And that would be why you don't. 

"So, no, I don't think anyone has discovered "Heathenism" by reading comic books or seeing The Avengers. That's just silly, imo."

No, but it's kinda telling that even 3 steps removed that the lore still manages to inspire. 

Fascinating, I hadn't come across that myth before, but then I've only been studying Norse mythology in recent years. Do you know where it originates?

I always wonder how much of the original myths and gods were lost, since most of the knowledge was passed down orally and what little that survived is from after Christianity gained a foothold in Scandinavia. How much is from Christian influence? Or did the Norse and Judeo-Christian myths already have archetypal parallels? Was Thor's cross dressing a Christian attempt to belittle him or a viking drinking story?

"I get that. It is also obvious that you have done your homework and found ways to rationalize and sanitize Thor that are meaningful to you."

The Oak of Battle, Warder of Midgard, Friend of Man.  What of that requires one to "rationalize and sanitize"?  Are you really going to stoop to spitting on Gods?


"Although dwarves gifted him with his hammer he thinks nothing of murdering them. Life is cheap to Thor-that of others anyway, especially the Jotuns, his own ancestors and source of his powers- he even murders the one who built Asgard. In short, Thor is a mass murderer. Skalds post long lists of his victims."

Which if you actually looked to the context of the time is quite appropriate.  There is in inngard and the outgard.  The 9 worlds had to be protected with blood.   

"That there s a kenning for Thor as Deeper Thinker I seriously doubt. Deep Brooder, maybe. I'm willing to be convinced of it with evidence. However, even if there is one instance of it, it's an outlayer and not a chief characteristic of Thor."

There is a whole saga of Thor talking a troll to death.  But as long as you are keeping an open mind...  Oh, never mind.

"Again, Thor is not a god I worship. IMO, he is unworthy of my worship. However, I am entertained by the rationalizations of those who do worship him and wear little symbols of his murder weapon around their necks."

Oh, the insults of the small-minded.  Thor's hammer blesses marriages, his power ripens the grain and provides gentile rain.  Clearly, you have far to go to be worthy to worship Thor...

Personally I see Thor as the guy the average Viking wanted to be: a beer drinking, hammer swinging, badass who took one to many hits to the head. He certainly wasn't the smartest guy, but he was strong, fearless, honest, and loyal, all traits that were highly valued in that culture. From what I've read oaths were often sworn in Thor's name since he was known for never breaking his oaths, unlike Odin. Now I don't want to be a drunken giant smasher myself, but I do wear a Thor's hammer as a protective amulet.

For more about Thor and a single person's connection with him:

http://ravencast.podbean.com/2009/03/06/episode-31-thor-a-discussio...

Capt. America [as he jumps out of the plane after Thor/Iron man/Loki]: "There is only one god mam, and he doesn't dress like that."

I always thought he was an obnoxious, arrogant idiot.

Rather ironic that this would be posted.  I have been interested in learning more about the Norse religion. I named a cat, I used to have, Loki.  He was chaotic. Everywhere he went, he broke something or tore up something...but anyway, I have always loved movies involving the vikings. I guess the new Avengers movie just sparked my interest in it again.

A book I recommend:  "Gods of the Ancient Northmen" by Georges Dumezil

Thank you.

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