Thor's Fight with the Giants, by M.E. Winge 1872

Thor’s Fight with the Giants, by M.E. Winge 1872

Thor as a Woman?

There are many fascinating stories in the ancient Norse mythology. The one we would like to look at today is the one that has been embraced by the LGBT movement. It is the story about the powerful God of Thunder. Or, as you might know him, Thor. You are free to picture the Thor from the movies, as the mythical Thor is also a strong guy with a hammer. The only thing you would need to add is a beard.

Why does the LGBT movement take such an interest in Thor? Because Thor, at some point, dressed as a woman. Now, we could explain that as the Vikings also rejecting gender-stereotypes. We could believe that the Vikings were in reality very progressive when it comes to transvestites, or even transgenders. However, would that make sense? Let’s have a look at the actual myth and find out what happened there.

The Beginning of the Myth

The story starts with Thor waking up in his bed, reaching besides him, and realizing his hammer is gone. Thor’s hammer, known as Mjolnir, means the world to him. The realm of the Gods, Asgard, is guarded by Thor. At least, he would protect it if he had his hammer. Without Thor’s protection, the giants can attack and Thor would be unable to defend the other Gods. The sound of Thor smashing down his enemies is what creates the thunder, and thus what makes him the God of Thunder.

You can see, Thor is very annoyed by his hammer being missing. Without it, he is not much of anything. The first thing he does, is ask Loki if he knows where the hammer is. Loki is known for his trickery, but tells Thor that he doesn’t know where his hammer is. As an exception, Loki is actually speaking the truth for once.

Moreover, Loki is willing to help Thor find his hammer. He turns himself into a falcon and flies to the world of the giants. There, he soon discovers the king of the giants that has stolen the hammer. The giant, Thrym, says he will give the hammer back to Thor, on the condition the Freya will marry him. Now, Freya is the goddess known for her beauty and a symbol of fertility. The Gods were not so cruel as to give her to the nasty giant, so they came up with a plan…

Thor Puts on a Dress

Although Freya was pleased that she wasn’t traded off to a giant against her will, it meant the Gods needed to come up with a different plan. How could they fool the giant Thrym? Well, apparently giants were not considered to be very smart. Thus, the Gods approached Thor and told him their plan. Thor was to put on a dress and pretend to be Freya. Loki would escort him, the ”bride”, to the wedding.

Thor was not excited about this plan, it was dishonorable and unmanly. Not only had he lost his hammer, the symbol of his manliness, but now he also had to pretend to be a woman? Insulted and disgusted by the plan, our eloquent Thor grumbled and moaned. Yet, since he couldn’t come up with a better plan, it was either dress as a woman for a day, or lose his manliness forever. Moreover, without his hammer he could not protect the realm. Eternal mockery was still better than getting defeated by giants and losing Asgard. Additionally that would mean all the Gods would be killed, so preventing that might be the smart move.

And so it came to be, Thor dressed as a bride for his wedding to a giant. Thor, with his impressive appetite, ate whole oxen and drank by the barrel. When the giant inquired about the bride’s appetite, Loki ensured him it was only because the bride was so in love she had lost her appetite over the previous days. Only now, in the presence of her loved one, was she able to eat again. The reality was that Thor was simply really bad at controlling his impulses, even for a single afternoon. I guess his entire self-restraint was already at its limits from wearing the dress.

The Hammer Returns

Just before the ceremony takes place, the giant Thrym places Mjolnir on the bride’s lap as part of the ceremony. As soon as Thor receives the hammer, he starts to smile. A sort of evil grin, while looking the giant in the eyes. Thor places his hand on the handle of the hammer. He lifts his veil so that Thrym can see his face, at that moment Thrym realizes it is not Freya in front of him. Thor lifts the hammer above his head and then…

Thor smashes the giant’s head in. Right, the first thing he does after receiving the hammer is kill the giant. Nonetheless, Thor doesn’t stop there. Keep in mind that the giants are the enemies of the Gods.

So what does Thor do now that he is reunited with his hammer? Well, Thor being such a macho with an easily offended ego does not enjoy the little prank they played on him. He will take his revenge for daring to steal his hammer. And so, he decides to kill every giant at the wedding. Nothing that is more enjoyable to the ancient Vikings than turning a wedding into a little giant-genocide! After travelling back to Asgard, Thor goes back to wearing his regular clothes and carries on as normal. The humiliation of wearing the dress is off-set by a whole lot of bloodshed.

What did we Learn?

Well, first of all, Thor really loves his hammer. Loki will help the other Gods out from time to time, instead of tricking them. Thor did not dress as a woman because he felt like a woman, but because he had no other choice than to accept. And why is that? Because the hammer was the symbol of his power, his virility. And, despite it being shameful, it was better than letting the giants kill all the inhabitants of Asgard.

We also learned that nobody minds killing completely innocent giants that are there only to attend their king’s wedding feast. With such Gods to look up to, it is hardly a surprise how the Viking raids were considered to be so brutal. The Vikings did not like to turn the other cheek. They preferred vengeance and overzealous carnage.