The collective myths of the Scandinavians (Sweden,
Denmark, Norway, and
Iceland). The main sources for Norse mythology,
Indo-European in origin, are the Icelandic Eddas. The shaping of Norse mythology itself took place in Germanic Europe, including
those elements of the myths which were current in Scandinavia in the millennium before that.
Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is a son of Odin and Jord, and one of the most powerful gods. He is married to Sif, a fertility goddess. His mistress is the giantess Jarnsaxa ("iron cutlass"),
and their sons are Magni and Modi and his daughter is Thrud. Thor is helped by Thialfi, his servant
and the messenger of the gods.
Thor was usually portrayed as a large, powerful man with
a red beard and eyes of lightning. Despite his ferocious appearance, he was very popular as the protector of both gods and
humans against the forces of evil. He even surpassed his father Odin in popularity because, contrary to Odin, he did not require
human sacrifices. In his temple at Uppsala he was shown standing
with Odin at his right side. This temple was replaced by a Christian church in 1080.
The Norse believed that during a thunderstorm, Thor rode through the
heavens on his chariot pulled by the goats Tanngrisni ("gap-tooth") and Tanngnost ("tooth grinder"). Lightning flashed whenever
he threw his hammer Mjollnir. Thor wears the belt Megingjard which doubles his already considerable strength. His hall is
Bilskirnir, which is located in the region Thrudheim ("place of might"). His greatest enemy is Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent. At the day of Ragnarok, Thor will kill this serpent but will die from its poison.
His sons will inherit his hammer after his death.
Donar is his Teutonic equivalent, while the Romans see in him their god Jupiter. Thursday is named after him.