Welcome back fans of (half arsed) super science, this week myself and Ryan have arrived in Sweden, to uncover information regarding the legendary thunder god, Thor...or in actual fact, the legendary thunder god’s hammer!Ryan will continue to ask the questions and I’ll provide the answers.So let’s get started.
WHAT IS IT?
It’s Mjolnir, a mystical war hammer, with a difficult name to pronounce that is linked to a bit of mythology.
OH.WHO DOES IT BELONG TO?
It’s the weapon of choice of Marvel Comics character Thor, God of Thunder who was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #83 in 1962.Although Marvel’s Thor is fictional, he is loosely based on Thor, the hammer wielding god from Norse mythology, who was associated with thunder, lightning, storms, fertility, the protection of mankind and... erm, oak trees.Norse mythology was at its peak during the Viking age and following Christianisation of Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, Norse myths passed into folklore which is why some Norse mythology still exists today.You see he’s the geezer Thursday is named after (‘Thor’s day’) and you thought reading The Comics Code was making you stupid!
YOU MUST BE MYTHTAKEN?
WHAT DID IT DO FOR THOR?
Throughout comics, cartoons and games in the Marvel Comics Universe, Mjolnir (pronounced myol – neer) allowed Thor to manipulate the weather, gain access to different dimensions and absorb and project energy blasts.The force created from whirling Mjolnir also allowed Thor to lift buildings and fly, which came in pretty handy when the need arose.The hammer was made from fictional Marvel metal Uru and although its origin had variations, it was suggested that Mjolnir was forged using the core of a star, which is a bit more dynamic than the usual hammers available Homebase.
WHAT WOULD IT DO FOR ME?
Well Mjolnir had an inscription that said, ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor’, so if you think you’re worthy, then it should do the same for you, but as Mjolnir is fictional it’s not likely to do anything outside of your imagination.But fear not as you can turn that frown upside down because Mjollnir (notice the slight difference in spelling) the hammer said to belong to the Thor of Norse mythology does exist (sort of)!Thor was very important to medieval Scandinavians and as such they wore pendants of Mjollnir that were miniature replicas of Thor’s hammer.The pendants were widely popular and around fifty variations of the pendants have popped up in a number of locations, including Yorkshire, England; Jutland, Denmark and near Fossi in Iceland.Even runestones in Denmark and Southern Sweden bear inscriptions of a hammer and Mjollnir pendants are popular amongst biker groups.
SO IF I HAD A MJOLLNIR PENDANT WOULD IT MAKE ME STRONG LIKE THOR?
Well in a piece of 13th Century prose it was suggested that the hammer would never fail in a strike, would never miss in a throw and would never fly so far that it wouldn’t find its way back...but of course the prose didn’t mention anything about pendant replicas.Instead, wearing a pendant of Mjollnir would show your faith to be Germanic Neopagan, which is a revival of Germanic Paganism, which may or may not be your thing.What is important to remember is that hammers are believed to be the oldest tool for which evidence exists (dating back to 2, 600, 000 BCE) and have been shown to be a symbol for strength.So although owning Thor’s hammer (whatever version of Mjolnir/Mjollnir it is) won’t make you like Thor, there is a degree of strength associated with the image.
And now you know.
SUPER SCIENCE EQUATION: Mjollnir pendant + Ryan = Mjollnir pendant + Ryan.
Hmmm.... sounds like it’s time to head off again then.See you next time!