The General Synod of the Church of England may have thought it was clever by changing the gender qualifications associated with Bishops, but Marvel Comics is attempting one better: by changing the gender of an actual god!
Yes! “Thor” is going to become a woman. Marvel plan to justify this by saying that “Thor” is not a name but rather the title of the person who has “the power of Thor” – which is, according to the comic book company, dependent on who is wielding the famed hammer Mjölnir at any given time, rather than who is the descendant of Odin the Allfather.
My immediate reaction to this was that it is likely to rile the Asatru community something chronic, as Marvel have failed to consider that Thor is not just a fictional character, nor a deity in a long-dead religion, but a deity in a contemporary living religion. Indeed, I have seen anecdotal evidence that many current followers of Asatru were first attracted to that particular brand of Heathenry by first reading about in the original Marvel series.
But then I started to wonder: can a female Asatruar- e.g. a Gythia (Priestess) – actually invoke a male deity such as Thor in real life? And if so, would it be normal Asatru practice to do so? I am not Asatru myself, and data on this particular question is not straightforward to find in a quick Google search, but I would hazard a guess that the answers to these two questions would be:
- No – because there are enough Goddesses with qualities similar enough so that one would not normally need to invoke a deity not coinciding with one’s gender.
In any event, it seems quite clear that Marvel’s idea of imposing political correctness on Germanic Heathenry is alien to actual practice, in form if not in intention as well. I would be interested in actual Asatruars’ view on the subject.
For more details see:
Marvel changing Thor to female | In Entertainment.