Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ERMAHGERDS! Thor's a Chick!!!

In a move which is bound to result in a lot of nerdrage, Marvel Comics has an upcoming title in which Thor is a female-type goddess. Reading the articles about this change, and the subsequent kerfuffle, I am having flashbacks to one of my favorite posts.

To reiterate a point I made in that post, the adherents of the Norse Eddas weren't as prudish as the butthurt fanboys that are complaining about Thor's makeover as a woman. In the hilarious Lay of Thrym, Thor poses as the goddess Freyja in order to retrieve his hammer, Mjöllnir, from the Jotun Thrym:


Heimdall, the fairest of the gods, like all the Vanir could see into the future. "Let us dress Thor in bridal linen," he said, "and let him wear the necklace of the Brisings. Tie housewife's keys about his waist, and pin bridal jewels upon his breast. Let him wear women's clothes, with a dainty hood on his head."

The Thunderer, mightiest of gods, replied, "The gods will call me womanish if I put on bridal linen."

Then Loki, son of Laufey, said, "Thor, be still! With such foolish words the giants will soon be living here in Asgard if you do not get your hammer from them."

So they dressed Thor in bridal linen, tied the necklace of Brisings around his neck and housewife's keys about his waist. They pinned bridal jewels upon his breast, and dressed him in women's clothes, with a dainty hood on his head.

Then Loki, son of Laufey, said, "I will accompany you as your maid-servant. Together we shall go to Jotunheim."



Hilarity ensues, as Loki has to explain away Thor's ravenous appetite and fiery red eyes... but the dénouement of the tale is quite bloody, as Thor reverts to type and kicks some ass.

At any rate, the decision to make the comic book character Thor is an interesting one, and one in keeping with the original Norse Eddas. At any rate, Marvel's Loki has been sexually ambiguous for a while, which is completely compatible with his traditional portrayal.

Poor butthurt comics fanboys, this Edda fanboy is laughing at your discomfiture.

7 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

"THIS SHALL NOT STAND!", the nerdragers thundered.
~

syrbal/Labrys said...

It always amuses my roughly Nordic spirituality-minded son when the comic fanboys get the vapours. Both of us laugh when female dress is invoked as the last fainting couch.

Several of our favorite male deities/heros spent considerable time in drag....not only Thor, but my favorite Indo-Aryan, Arjuna the hero-archer, for one.

fish said...

You might like this...

Jules said...

I wonder if gods in drag is one of those collective subconscious thingmagigs. You have Achilles disguised as a girl and now this.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

Bwahahahahah!

Emma said...

I am very excited by this news! I was previously not a super-fan of Thor, but I shall become one forthwith.

Butthurt fanboys are the best kind of fanboys, because they are forced to admit, via long digital rationalizations made of dried tears and the gossamer filaments of their own shattered dreams, that the real reason they hate brown/queer/female heroes is that they cannot make use of them as playable characters in their masturbatory, branded fantasies. But they expect us to see ourselves as straight white men, no matter what. Because they are infantile racists & homophobes & misogynists who retreat into the world of fiction because they are inept at being basically decent to other human beings. Not that I’m bitter. (Comics fanboys are the worst.) (Not worse than libertarians, though.) (Picture is related.)

If a person wanted to read an interesting modern criticism/interpretation of the Eddas et al., what book would you recommend? This person especially like ebooks, but is not incredibly picky.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

"THIS SHALL NOT STAND!", the nerdragers thundered.

This shall not stand to pee!

Several of our favorite male deities/heros spent considerable time in drag....not only Thor, but my favorite Indo-Aryan, Arjuna the hero-archer, for one.

Oh, yeah, Arjuna spent an entire year as a woman. I love William Buck's "retellings" of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. I didn't know much about his life until finding the linked site- pity he died at the age of 37.

You might like this...

That's hilarious... and welcome back to the internet, prodigal fish!

I wonder if gods in drag is one of those collective subconscious thingmagigs. You have Achilles disguised as a girl and now this.

A lot of trickster gods switch gender pretty often. I think people were much more comfortable with fluid gender identities and liminal states of being before the dualistic, monotheistic patriarchy took over.

Butthurt fanboys are the best kind of fanboys, because they are forced to admit, via long digital rationalizations made of dried tears and the gossamer filaments of their own shattered dreams, that the real reason they hate brown/queer/female heroes is that they cannot make use of them as playable characters in their masturbatory, branded fantasies.

Now that is a sentence! Beautifully, and humorously put, Emma!

If a person wanted to read an interesting modern criticism/interpretation of the Eddas et al., what book would you recommend? This person especially like ebooks, but is not incredibly picky.

I honestly don't know. I think the key is to find a good, unexpurgated translation of them. For instance, in the original tale of the marriage of Skaði, Loki makes the giantess laugh by tying a goat to a certain part of his anatomy... the D'Aulaires, as much as I revere them, left that detail out.

I'm one of those nerds who studied Old Norse in college- just one course, though. I'm not a big comic book fan, with one notable exception.