Based on the Norse God of the same name, Thor is a popular character in the Marvel universe created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby. He possesses the enchanted hammer Mjolnir, which grants him a number of powers he can use to fight against his enemies and those who wish to do the Earth harm. Thor is portrayed by Chris Hemsworth in the films.
Here are some things you might not have known about your favorite golden-haired God of Thunder.
33. In Good Company
Thor made his first appearance in an August 1962 issue of “Journey into Mystery.” That same month, Spider-Man was also introduced to the world.
32. The Mighty Trademark
Within a few years, Thor became so popular that Marvel had the character’s full title trademarked as “The Mighty Thor.” Fortunately, “The Sexually Inadequate Thor” is still up for grabs.
31. How Do You Like ‘Dem Apples?!
According to Norse mythology, Thor and his fellow Gods are granted immortality by eating magic apples that only grow in Asgard. In keeping with the mythology, in the comics, Thor would return to Asgard periodically for some of those sweet apples, proving that apples aren’t all that bad.
30. The Legs on Him!
As a prank, Loki once transformed Thor into a frog. An actual frog. Thor subsequently participated in a rats vs. frogs war in New York’s Central Park. Even when he got his hammer back, he transformed back only half way, to a frog man. Fellow god and humorless friend Volstagg ultimately returned Thor to his fully normal self.
29. Mass Effect
Thor’s iconic weapon, the magic hammer Mjolnir, was said to be forged in the heart of a dying star. This actually makes some scientific sense as a dying star creates an incredibly dense type of matter nicknamed “neutronium,” a single teaspoon of which would weigh billions of tons.
28. You get a Mjolnir! And you get a Mjolnir!
The hammer of Thor can only be wielded by those who are worthy. However, in the comics, there are a long line of those who qualify, including an alien named Beta Ray Bill. During a fight, Bill managed to grab Mjolnir, which deemed him worthy. They were both transported back to Asgard where Odin had the two fight it out to see who got to keep the hammer. Bill won, but being the upstanding guy he is, refused to kill Thor. Odin gave Mjolnir back to Thor and made a new hammer for Bill.
27. Tiny Little Hammer
A sliver of Mjolnir was actually wielded by Throg (formerly known as Puddlegulp), a football player who had been turned into a frog and assisted Thor during his time as an amphibian.
26. Super but not Worthy
Superman was able to temporarily wield the hammer when Odin lifted the enchantment for a brief moment so he could deal a killing blow to the near-omnipotent Krona. The hammer stopped working for him shortly after that because Superman does not have the heart of a warrior.
25. Armed to the Teeth
Fun fact: Superman also got to wield Captain America’s shield at the same time as the hammer. The only thing cooler would be if they also gave him Wolverine’s claws, Spider-man’s web shooters, and then Snapchatted the whole thing.
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24. Baby Jarnbjorn
Before being deemed worthy enough to use Mjolnir, Thor wielded Jarnbjorn, a giant indestructible axe with the power to deflect energy blasts and cut through almost everything, which, unfortunately, included his own arm.
23. Hammer Time
For the film, thirty hammers were made of various weights and materials. The main hammer was made from aluminum, but a “soft” version was also made for stunts. Of the thirty, five versions were used the most, including the “lit hammer,” which emitted light when lightning struck. Presumably not actual lightning.
22. The Follicle of Man
During the events of the Civil War storyline, Tony Stark used some strands of Thor’s hair, which we had… for reasons, to create a clone of Thor named Ragnarok. Ragnarok's only battle deployment ended in tragedy. After Ragnarok killed the anti-registration hero known as Goliath, he was deactivated and dismantled.
21. Up and Atom!
Back in the day, Thor fought a Communist Chinese super villain named Radioactive Man. Upon defeating him, Thor summoned a tornado to send Radioactive Man back to China. The villain warned Thor that sending him to land so fast would force him to reach critical mass and Thor responded with a sassy, “That’s your problem my radioactive friend.” Then Thor nuked China. The end.
20. Up and Atum!
Thor has a half-brother named Atum who every now and then becomes Demogorge, the god-eater who would kill Gods and then consume them and gain their powers. Because when you’re hungry, you’re just not yourself.
19. An Alliance Forged in Darkness
Thor once worked with Hitler, helping the Nazis on their mission to kill Joseph Stalin. Why did Thor become a hitman in the employ of the murderous Nazi regime? Because Hitler asked nicely.
18. Cloud City
For whatever reason, Thor’s home of Asgard got transported into the sky directly over Broxton, Oklahoma. Why Broxton? Probably because nobody would miss it when Asgard inevitably fell and smushed everything underneath it.
17. Air Mjolnir
Thor doesn’t actually have the power to fly. When Thor “flies”, all he’s doing is throwing his hammer with super strength and then holding onto it until he reaches his destination.
16. Swiss Army Hammer
In fact, most of Thor’s powers (controlling the weather, the God Blast) originate from the hammer. Depending on the needs of the writers, new powers are often added to the hammer’s repertoire, including teleportation and vampire slaying.
15. The Hammer of the Dead
One of the hammer’s lesser known functions was raising the dead. No word on whether or not the hammer could also turn water into wine.
14. No Wardrobe is Complete
In addition to the hammer, Thor also had a magical belt, aptly named The Belt of Strength, which doubled his already impressive strength and also kept his pants from falling around his ankles.
13. Careless Whispers
During a battle against Nick Fury, the spymaster whispered something into Thor’s ear that caused the God to suddenly be deemed unworthy. Thor subsequently dropped his hammer and plummeted to the surface of the moon. It is unknown what it was that Fury said, but if Samuel L. Jackson was involved, it probably included the word “motherf***er.”
12. Victhoria’s Secret
Thor was replaced by a female version of Thor that, after a year and a half, was revealed to be Jane Foster, Thor’s human girlfriend (played by Natalie Portman in the films). Eventually, she was also judged as unworthy by Odin, because even Mjolnir can’t break through the glass ceiling.
11. Brotherly Love
Thor wasn’t the only one to become a woman, as Loki also did so, stealing the body of Lady Sif (the love of Thor’s life) to trick Thor into resurrecting him. Loki remained in the body for years which led to some rather disturbing homoerotic fan fiction.
10. I Like Thor Before It was Cool
For decades, Thor masqueraded as a down-to-earth hipster who wrote books about the dangers of the military-industrial complex and the problems of America. He had a hippie following who poured beer on Captain America, who they saw as the physical representation of everything Thor was criticizing. It wasn’t until later that he was revealed to be a God.
9. We’ll Call it a Draw
After a misunderstanding led to the UN threatening war against Asgard, Iron Man and Thor did battle, with Tony Stark wearing his Thorbuster Armor powered by an Asgardian crystal. Iron Man gave Thor a sound beating, but Thor tore the armor from him and Iron Man was forced to flee.
8. Got Your Goat
Thor has two pet goats, Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, who are able to fly and pull the God of Thunder along in a chariot. Cool.
7. Sibling Rivalry
The final choice for who to cast as Thor came down to, Chris and Liam, the brothers Hemsworth. Chris was eventually chosen and Liam went on to co-star in The Hunger Games where he did not get to eat any golden apples.
6. Role Reversal
With a blonde wig and a little time in the gym, Tom Hiddleston could have played the role of Thor, as he auditioned for the part. However, Marvel saw him as a much better fit as Loki, and he ended up stealing the show as the Trickster God. In fact, he was so popular, that he was written into the Thor sequel, which originally did not include him.
Sam Raimi almost directed a Thor movie back in 1990, but 20th Century Fox execs couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to watch a movie about a Norse god and opted to make Spider-Man instead. Marvel finally pulled the trigger and made bank.
4. The Clothes Make the Man
When Anthony Hopkins and Chris Hemsworth saw each other in full armors for the first time, Hopkins said, “God, there’s no acting required here, is there?”
3. Thor Charity
Tom Hiddleston & Chris Hemsworth visited a children's hospital in costume, and the kids obviously loved it.
2. He’s Kinda Good
Director Kenneth Branagh asked Hopkins to improvise his reaction to Thor’s yelling at him in the banishment scene. When they filmed the scene, Hopkin’s acting choices left many in the cast and crew sobbing. Both Hemsworth and Hiddleston said they had to struggle to keep their composure during that scene.
1. The Guardian of Asgard
Many fans revolted when Idris Elba was cast as the all-seeing sentry of Asgard in Thor because they were outraged that a Norse god was being played by a black actor. While some of these complaints came from purists who resist any alteration to their much-loved childhood comics, the majority seemed outright racist.
Idris Elba, who absolutely kicked ass in the films, took the role because he loved the script and wanted to work with Kenneth Branagh. He shot back with this: "Hang about, Thor's mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That's OK, but the color of my skin is wrong?”
He also added that, “If you know anything about the Nords, they don't look like me but there you go. I think that's a sign of the times for the future. I think we will see multi-level casting. I think we will see that, and I think that's good."
Well said, Idris. Well said.