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Author Topic: Marvel's Thor  (Read 5369 times)
Eyesinthedark
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« Topic Start: April 23, 2011, 10:10:19 pm »

Yesterday, I watched the new Marvel movie Thor, and it got me thinking about a few things.

Firstly, the movie is obviously very different from the original myths. Personally (aside from having to suppress the twitches of my inner mythology nerd), I found the movie to be very enjoyable regardless, which made me wonder - how do other people here feel about the appropriation of our deities into the comic series/film, even regardless of quality? Is there an element of "blasphemy" about it, or can it be taken as all in good fun?

Secondly, thinking about the idea of using the deities as characters made me wonder if this could be considered something like a "new myth"?
As far as I can see, even the myths retold in the Eddas were still made up by somebody at some point in the past for the purposes of entertainment, so is the only difference in the old myths and this new fiction the spirit in which it was created, without belief?
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Mata
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« Reply #1: May 04, 2011, 07:32:02 pm »

Yesterday, I watched the new Marvel movie Thor, and it got me thinking about a few things.

Firstly, the movie is obviously very different from the original myths. Personally (aside from having to suppress the twitches of my inner mythology nerd), I found the movie to be very enjoyable regardless, which made me wonder - how do other people here feel about the appropriation of our deities into the comic series/film, even regardless of quality? Is there an element of "blasphemy" about it, or can it be taken as all in good fun?

Secondly, thinking about the idea of using the deities as characters made me wonder if this could be considered something like a "new myth"?
As far as I can see, even the myths retold in the Eddas were still made up by somebody at some point in the past for the purposes of entertainment, so is the only difference in the old myths and this new fiction the spirit in which it was created, without belief?
Honestly, I am not a huge fan of comicbook writers raiding mythologies for half-assed story-lines. But I don't really see it as "blasphemous", just "distasteful" to me. Mostly because anything that contradicts primary sources makes me squirm even if it's just for entertainment value.

As long as it remains a comicbook (and now film) I don't see a problem with it. But I doubt I'd enjoy it, for the reasons I mentioned above.

And as for it being considered a "new myth" I do not see how it could become one. Due to the nature of myth being directly reflective of sacred truths, even if they are just stories, they are stories that happen to speak of something more than a tale for entertainment. In my opinion at least. Personally I think a more "modern" mythos would be more plausible and appealing if it was wrote by Heathens, and Thor isn't depicted as looking like he crawled back from a college Halloween party.  Tongue
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hlewagastir
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« Reply #2: May 05, 2011, 02:41:52 am »

Yesterday, I watched the new Marvel movie Thor, and it got me thinking about a few things.

Firstly, the movie is obviously very different from the original myths. Personally (aside from having to suppress the twitches of my inner mythology nerd), I found the movie to be very enjoyable regardless, which made me wonder - how do other people here feel about the appropriation of our deities into the comic series/film, even regardless of quality? Is there an element of "blasphemy" about it, or can it be taken as all in good fun?

Secondly, thinking about the idea of using the deities as characters made me wonder if this could be considered something like a "new myth"?
As far as I can see, even the myths retold in the Eddas were still made up by somebody at some point in the past for the purposes of entertainment, so is the only difference in the old myths and this new fiction the spirit in which it was created, without belief?

Looking foreward to see the movie. The perversion of Nordic Myths in Thor is benign compared to some of the other new age stuff out there...

The problem about this "new myth" is that I do not fancy having hollywood as my "new religion"/"cultural basis for my myths".
Since I try to reconstruct an old religion (which already contain the myths it needs IMO) there is no point in taking in a new myth which is completely separated in worldview from the old myths... It´s hard enough to filter away the Christianity of Snorri - I don´t wanna deal with the new age sewage of hollywoodism too.
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« Reply #3: May 05, 2011, 03:33:43 am »

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of comicbook writers raiding mythologies for half-assed story-lines. But I don't really see it as "blasphemous", just "distasteful" to me. Mostly because anything that contradicts primary sources makes me squirm even if it's just for entertainment value.

As long as it remains a comicbook (and now film) I don't see a problem with it. But I doubt I'd enjoy it, for the reasons I mentioned above.

And as for it being considered a "new myth" I do not see how it could become one. Due to the nature of myth being directly reflective of sacred truths, even if they are just stories, they are stories that happen to speak of something more than a tale for entertainment. In my opinion at least. Personally I think a more "modern" mythos would be more plausible and appealing if it was wrote by Heathens, and Thor isn't depicted as looking like he crawled back from a college Halloween party.  Tongue

So you've never actually read a Thor comic? The early issues are certainly...a product of their time (to put it one way), but anyone who picks them up and reads them can see that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had a genuine love of the Norse myths. In their fun-loving, superhero way of thinking, they simply asked, "Who, in all the realms, could be strong enough to defend we earthlings from the aliens and evil dictators? Why, the mighty Thor, of course!" And the series has continued to attract writers with the same affection for the denizens of Asgard - Odin, Baldr, and Loki are just as integral to the series as any monster of the week, and they are all superbly in-character. Even Thor's reasons for guarding earth are very in line with the myths - as his mother was the Earth itself, he considers Midgard his "home" as well. And as it's gone on, the very nature of the premise - being a comic about divine heroes - has led modern writers for the series to explore a lot of spiritual questions and ideas. I mean genuinely thought-provoking stuff. (I can provide examples for the curious/skeptical. Wink )

Also, I would think that the aspect of Dr. Donald Blake - a lame man, who is a healer and not a fighter, who is outwardly "weak" but has the strength of spirit to wield Mjollnir itself - would be interesting on a spiritual level to many Heathens. It's something that really speaks to me as a modern pagan, who is just a normal person trying emulate the gods in everyday life.

When it comes right down to it, it's just a series about the ancient gods in a modern setting, just like any Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett novel. One needn't assume that the stories are shallow just because they're told in a comic book. (Plus, so many myths are about big strong guys defeating impressive foes - not much different from a comic book, if you ask me!)
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« Reply #4: May 31, 2011, 06:48:09 am »

Yesterday, I watched the new Marvel movie Thor, and it got me thinking about a few things.

When I was young I saw the Original "Clash of the Titans."   A good, if cheesy, flick.  It helped get me interested in Greek mythology.  (Later, of course, I found out just how much they had massacred Greek myth in that film). 

The Thor movie didn't completely suck, as you say.  And perhaps it will inspire some young, potential Heathens to read the Eddas to get closer to the actual myths. 

But as far as "new myths,"  I much prefer the old.   
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hlewagastir
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« Reply #5: May 31, 2011, 08:55:55 am »

Firstly, the movie is obviously very different from the original myths.

I disagree somewhat after seeing the movie (and talking to Fyrfos from AL)... It´s right that a lot of the details and scenery is different, however, the basic plot actually fit some of the old Thor myths:

1) Problems in Asgard

2) Thor loses his power and goes to Midgard or Utgard (IOW, he leaves Asgard to retrieve what he has lost).

3) Thor is rediculed and tested.

4) Thor retrieves his power and beat the crap out of the baddies.

5) Peace and order are restored once again (this is often emphazised in the end of the myths - as it is in the film).

I find it likely that the manuscript writer have read, analysed and used this basic chronological plot from the old myths.
Of cause, I haven´t read the comics either.
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« Reply #6: May 31, 2011, 05:50:44 pm »

I also enjoyed the movie. I loved loved loved the infused comedy throughout, something that the myths include as well. Thor's experiences of the clash of Midgard and Asgard were genius! And lines like "Do not confuse my appetite with apathy!" made me chuckle. Possibly my favorite part, however, was Bifrost. Bad. Ass. Cheesy
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« Reply #7: May 31, 2011, 07:00:57 pm »


One must also remember one thing about comic books. They are considered seperate universes. There is our real world universe, the marvel universe, the DC universe, Kevin Smith actually has his own comic book universe as well. Some of these universes actually end up having multiple parallel universes, and also some DC/Marvel crossovers, but that was also through dimensional travel between the universes, they never once recognized eachother as the same world.

Did you know that DC comics Metropolis / Gotham City is actually modeled after New York City Daytime / Nighttime.
which is also interesting that its only a few hours drive from Smallville, Kansas. When the center of Kansas to either coast is actually about 24 hours... and yes Metropolis/Gotham are on the water. Theres a lot of things that really dont make sense. but its not our world, its theirs.

what about an analysis of Wonder Woman? ya know they're supposed to be starting a TV show soon of her, Queen of the Amazons, with the power of the Gods bestowed to her by Athena.
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« Reply #8: June 01, 2011, 01:14:04 am »



In regards to the use of Thor in comics, what would you have writers' do then? They use Hercules, Zeus, and a vast number of gods from different pantheons in Marvel. The intent is to use them in such a fashion that it will push stories while hopefully staying true to the core of the different gods, demigods, etc. used.  No idea how the show was supposed to be done, but Wonder Woman's powers were given to her by six different Greek Gods/Goddesses, with a big boost from Zeus later on.  I admit I am a comic nerd.


I find it likely that the manuscript writer have read, analyzed and used this basic chronological plot from the old myths.
Of cause, I haven´t read the comics either.

The screenwriters may have taken the time to do this, but the majority of the story is based on the early adventures of Thor as written by Stan "The Man" Lee.  A man who admitted that before writing Thor, had actually read very little about gods and goddesses, and their mythology. I have read a quote from him where he states that readers sent him letters doing exactly as some of us are now, criticizing his interpretation of Thor, but this was only because HIS stories piqued their curiosity to delve into the myths further. Since Stan wrote Thor, more writers have borrowed from the myths and stories.  In the end the movie does have parallels to the old myths, but it is based more upon Stan's interpretation of trying to make a god seem even human, and less like an omnipotent buffoon, i.e. Superman.
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« Reply #9: June 01, 2011, 03:07:29 am »



I really enjoyed watching the movie. While I was aware that some facts were "slightly" distorted (and I wanted to throw popcorn at the screen about 5 times because it bugged me^^), I think it's really a good piece of entertainment. After all, I'm aware that the Thor portrayed on the big screen hasn't really much to do with the Thor I pray to - the first one to me is basically just a comic book hero who has been given the name of our God.

Actually, I think the film might be quite helpful to get people to know more about heathenry. I wear a Thor's Hammer necklace, so people tend to come up to me and ask what I thought of the film. This gives me a great opportunity to tell them what heathens believe and what our Gods are really like in the lore. I don't think I would have had some discussions without the movie being on in cinemas.

As to old vs. new lore, I do prefer the old tales.
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« Reply #10: June 01, 2011, 07:10:24 am »

what about an analysis of Wonder Woman? ya know they're supposed to be starting a TV show soon of her, Queen of the Amazons, with the power of the Gods bestowed to her by Athena.

Well, since Athena was the patron of Heroes in Greek religion, I guess it makes sense ...

If it turns out to be something like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then I might watch it. 
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« Reply #11: June 01, 2011, 12:46:53 pm »


what about an analysis of Wonder Woman? ya know they're supposed to be starting a TV show soon of her, Queen of the Amazons, with the power of the Gods bestowed to her by Athena.

That abomination of a show has been canceled. It sounded seriously awful awful awful.
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« Reply #12: June 04, 2011, 02:43:00 am »

I really enjoyed watching the movie. While I was aware that some facts were "slightly" distorted (and I wanted to throw popcorn at the screen about 5 times because it bugged me^^), I think it's really a good piece of entertainment. After all, I'm aware that the Thor portrayed on the big screen hasn't really much to do with the Thor I pray to - the first one to me is basically just a comic book hero who has been given the name of our God.

Actually, I think the film might be quite helpful to get people to know more about heathenry. I wear a Thor's Hammer necklace, so people tend to come up to me and ask what I thought of the film. This gives me a great opportunity to tell them what heathens believe and what our Gods are really like in the lore. I don't think I would have had some discussions without the movie being on in cinemas.

As to old vs. new lore, I do prefer the old tales.

I agree - I wanted to throw things too. At one point, I leaned over and whispered, "Lies!" to my friend and she started laughing. As one of the few people who takes my religion seriously, she knew that was coming.

I've been asked about my hammer too, although in my case, they don't recognize it until I explain what it is. Then they make the assumption that it has something to do with the movie. I suppose it would be better if I were a more patient person and actually wanted to talk about it instead of just getting annoyed. I should probably work on that, actually. But then again, I'm not entirely sure anyone really wants to hear it. I get the feeling they're just making conversation and don't really care about knowing what the gods are really like.

And there's also the fact that my friend is now wearing a hammer because it is apparently cool. She started wearing it after she first saw the end clip from Iron Man 2 (and yelled at a bunch of people for pronouncing "Mjollnir" wrong) and has been wearing it ever since just because she was excited for the Thor movie. So if people ask her about her hammer (and she wears hers more visibly than mine) she's just going to talk about how much she liked the movie. I really hope that no one else takes up wearing a Mjollnir because they think it's cool. Mostly because I don't want to be lumped into the category of people who love the movie. My friends are also now of the opinion that Thor is really hot... the actual god, not just the actor. And one friend saying she wants to worship Thor. Which wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't an atheist just doing it for fun and in hopes of doing a hot god...

Yeah, I've really ran into more bad than good with this movie. I seriously do not even want to mention Thor or Loki to anyone anymore. Not that I talk about them that often, but I really don't want to be out in public, mention one of their names and have someone try to start talking to me about the movie. But I'm guessing (and hoping) it'll all die down soon enough. And I can mention Thor's name around my friends without them drooling. And my roommate will hopefully stop talking about how bad she feels for Loki whenever she looks at my statue of him. The worst part about that is that she's always trying to get me to agree with her and saying that his portrayal wasn't that bad and that it was a good thing they didn't just make him evil. Sadly, as much as I hate the "Loki is pure evil" stuff, I think I would have preferred that to... misguided crybaby, desperate-for-love Loki. Or whatever you call that. I don't even know.

But besides all that, it wasn't that bad of a movie. Just got to separate the actual gods from the characters who borrowed their names and some of the relationships. Although I really couldn't get past the Laufey as a dude thing. Or hippie Odin.
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« Reply #13: June 04, 2011, 05:34:06 am »

And there's also the fact that my friend is now wearing a hammer because it is apparently cool. She started wearing it after she first saw the end clip from Iron Man 2 (and yelled at a bunch of people for pronouncing "Mjollnir" wrong) and has been wearing it ever since just because she was excited for the Thor movie. So if people ask her about her hammer (and she wears hers more visibly than mine) she's just going to talk about how much she liked the movie. I really hope that no one else takes up wearing a Mjollnir because they think it's cool. Mostly because I don't want to be lumped into the category of people who love the movie. My friends are also now of the opinion that Thor is really hot... the actual god, not just the actor. And one friend saying she wants to worship Thor. Which wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't an atheist just doing it for fun and in hopes of doing a hot god...

That really would bug me... I get the same with pentagrams, though. A very good friend of mine is Wiccan, but she usually doesn't let it show as much (she's run into some bad arguments because of her religion). But quite often I keep meeting (and teaching) teenage girls who wear pentagrams because they think it's cool and rebellious... I guess I was lucky in that I only discussed Thor (God and movie) with friends who knew that I was "into the pagan stuff".
And I didn't find the actor that hot, to be honest  Wink
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« Reply #14: June 04, 2011, 09:51:48 am »

That really would bug me... I get the same with pentagrams, though. A very good friend of mine is Wiccan, but she usually doesn't let it show as much (she's run into some bad arguments because of her religion). But quite often I keep meeting (and teaching) teenage girls who wear pentagrams because they think it's cool and rebellious... I guess I was lucky in that I only discussed Thor (God and movie) with friends who knew that I was "into the pagan stuff".
And I didn't find the actor that hot, to be honest  Wink

I thought he was pretty attractive, myself. Just not to the extent that I'm drooling all over the place.

My friend knows what the hammer signifies, and despite being a Christian, she has no problems wearing it. I told her exactly what I think about her wearing it, but she doesn't care. It's just that "cool." I mean, I'm glad she thinks it's cool and all, but do you really have to wear one because of the movie? I've seen other people at concerts wearing them because they're "cool" as well. It's like the 20-30-something year old male version of the rebellious teenage girls with their pentagrams. I'm sure some of them are actually Heathens or something, but some of the people I've talked to aren't. It's just the cool thing to wear.

I've discussed it with my friends as well, but they don't exactly take my religion seriously. They just think I really like the myths. Sure, one was actually interested in the actual myths but that's about it. She still thought it would be cool to worship Thor. But for the most part, they don't care that much. They just want to talk about the movie. And the actor not wearing a shirt. I really need more lesbian and/or straight male friends. Or asexuals.
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