Thursday, 18 August 2016


Thor is a public figure, seen on cinema screens. Some readers thought that Neil Gaiman's The Sandman mocked the Marvel Comics Thor whereas instead it accurately presented the Eddic Thor. So let us trace Thor's appearances in Poul Anderson's works.

(i) "Redbeard went to the foot of the poop and shook his hammer."
-The Golden Slave (New York, 1980), 125.

"'They call me Tjorr the Sarmatian...'" (p. 128)

(ii) "His threats and foul words became too much for Thor. The storm god smote him, and a crushed skull was the wage that he got."
-War Of The Gods (New York, 1999), p. 13.

(iii) "From the north, a man in a chariot drawn by two goats. He stood burly, red-bearded, clad in helmet and ringmail, iron gloves and an iron belt. Driving with his left hand, he gripped a short-handled hammer in his right. The cloak blew behind him on mighty gales. The rumble of his car wheels went down and down the sky. He laughed, swung the hammer and threw it. Where it struck, fire blasted and the air roared; it returned to him."
-Operation Chaos (New York, 1995), p. 276.

(iv) "'Fellow name of Thor. He has a red beard, and he drives in a wagon pulled by goats...Thor has a hammer too, which he throws at trolls. I don't think those blobby characters will stand a chance.'
"I started to open my mouth. This didn't look semantically right to me."
-World Without Stars (New York, 1966), p. 14.

The man, Tjorr, becomes the storm god, Thor. Even when semantically wrong, he lives in a story.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I can see why Anderson liked Thor better than Odin. The former was far less tricky, treacherous, and ambiguous than the latter. And, of course, Eodan, the hero of THE GOLDEN SLAVE, became the origin and inspiration of Odin.