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Thor Odin’s son: Did We Degrade The Ancient God of Thunder?

07 - liveforfilms.com_1

We all know that gods rise and fall. It is their fate: as less people worship them, believe in them and pray to them, their power diminishes, and they become a memory. Or maybe not even that – just think of how many people still remember the Minoan bull god, or Marduk, the supreme deity of the Assyrians. But some of them revive, at least in the popular culture, with fans instead of believers, and comic books instead of their holy scriptures. Like Thor Odinson, the Norse god of thunder, who is slowly becoming a pop culture icon.

Who was Thor?

Thunder was always one of the scariest natural phenomenons encountered by man. No wonder it was deified. Most religions have some type of deity associated with it: Hindus have Indra, Greeks had Zeus, the Chinese have Feng Lung, and the list could go on forever. But the Norse god of thunder is the best known today, being featured in a hugely popular movie series – the Avengers.

The Norse associated Thor not just with thunder, but also with storms and lightning, oat trees (as a symbol of strength), fertility and healing. He was the protector of mankind, son of the almighty Odin, the Norse king of the gods.

Who is Thor today?

Thor’s memory lives on in the legends told by many Germanic people. His name was the basis of words like thunder (Thunar was an Old English thunder god), Thursday and Donnerstag (Donner is the name of thunder – and the thunder god – in German). And he keeps returning in many forms in games, comic books and video games, disguised as an alien superhero here to protect the Earth.

Surprising as it may sound, slot machines are among the most faithful recreations of his original image. Thunderstruck 2, a video slot available at Euro Palace, has reached back for inspiration to the ancient Norse myths. The game’s visuals are inspired by the artwork left behind by the Vikings, and the symbols on the reels depict more gods and symbols of the times. This popular Euro Palace game features more symbols related to him: valkyries, Asgard and the Bifröst (the rainbow path leading to the gods’ dwelling place), as well as gods like Loki and Odin. It is one of the most popular game at the Euro Palace, thanks in part to its topic (increasingly popular today) and its promise for big wins.

Thor, once worshiped by an entire group of peoples, is the fourth most popular Avengers character today. He, who was second only to Baldr in popularity, is now a supporting character to a modern god, created by scientists to fight a war.

Isn’t this degrading for a once all-powerful deity?


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