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.
3 responses to “Meet Thor-a! The New Female Thor!”
Marvel’s Thor is a fictional comic book character loosely based off the Thor from mythology. He’s not meant to be representative of the myths, and his stories have nothing to do with the myths (case-in-point, in the lore, anyone can pick up Mjolnir, and it’s actually stolen at one point by a giant). So… I really don’t care what Marvel does to him. Having a woman take up that mantle isn’t even the strangest thing to happen in Marvel, or the Thor comics specifically.
I’m unsure what you mean by female invoking male deities, mostly because “invoking” isn’t really something that’s done in Asatru (at least, not in the way other Pagan religions define the word). Female Asatruar absolutely can (and frequently do) pray to, worship, honor, work with, and become dedicated to male deities. And male Asatruar can (and do) do the same with female deities.
Thank you for your response. I was vainly hoping against hope that the mainstream media could for once achieve a degree of authenticity. However given that it appears that invocation in the sense of letting the deity possess oneself is not the done thing in Asatru, it appears that the whole premise of this Marvel comic story-line is invalidated.
As I said, I was unsure of what you meant by “invoke.” Deity possession DOES happen in Asatru (it’s called horsing). It’s more common now than it was in pre-Christian times, but it is an event. So far, there does not seem to be any limits to who can be horsed by what deity. Anyone can be horsed by any god. (Although, I have spoken to people who say it is easier on the body of the host if it’s a god they’re already emotionally connected to.)
However, all of this is irrelevant. Not only is Marvel not representation of the gods (and they don’t, and never have, claimed to be), possession isn’t how the woman will come to take up the mantle of Thor.