Thor is a notable name in the film industry and has appeared multiple times in the Marvel Comics. But The Thunder god is more than a character in movies- Thor is recognized in Norse mythology as a powerful god, and his hammer became a symbolic piece of Scandinavian history. The hammer has been around for ages and has been commonly used as a pendant since the Bronze Age.
Mjolnir, the Hammer of Thor, is one of the most popular objects, and it is mentioned several times in Norse mythology of Scandinavia. The name Mjolnir is commonly assumed to mean lightning in relation to the God of Thunder, Thor. However, the root meaning of the word is loosely connected to “crush” or “grind.”
A famous line in Northern mythology states, “When Thor throws the hammer, it never misses!”
Here, we’ll dive into the definitions of original myths that spread by the Norse people over the centuries and their modern counterparts made by storytellers based on comics, shows, and movies.
About Thor and His Hammer
Thor's hammer is one of the most famous symbols in paganism and Norse mythology.
Thor is the god of thunder in Northern mythology, and according to lore, he is the son of Odin, the chief Norse god, and the goddess Jo” rd. Since Thor is the god of thunder, he is often associated with natural destruction, war, honor, protection, fertility, and rebirth. Legends show Thor as a giant, masculine man with a beard and red hair who often travels in a chariot with two goats, Tannagnjostr and Tannagrisnir.
Thor was assigned a task to guard Asgard, the stronghold of Aesir. Forces of chaos and the giants often tried to take over Asgard and kill the Aesir, but Thor worked relentlessly to prevent the giants.
For this purpose, Thor used a hammer as his primary weapon. The Mjolnir means lightning as it produced heavy sounds due to the hammer crashing foes. While Thor’s hammer had a destructive power, it had more use. The hammer also played a crucial role in hallowing and consecration rituals.
It was used in formal ceremonies such as marriages, birth, and funerals. In the ancient Icelandic historian lores, Thor killed and ate his goats at one time, which he then brought back to life by hallowing their bones with his hammer. The Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus wrote that giant hammers were stored in one of Thor’s temples in Sweden. People would come and hold
rituals in the temple and beat a drum using his hammer to wade off evil spirits and protect the community.
Of all the uses of Thor’s hammer, its use in marriages was the most pronounced. In the tale of Thor as a Transvestite, giants stole Thor’s hammer, and he had to dress as a bridesmaid to retrieve it. He knew it would be presented during the marriage, so he disguised as a bride to be married to one of the giants. When the hammer was brought, Thor immediately seized it, smashed the giant’s heads, and escaped. As you can see, Thor had a sweet spot for his hammer, and nothing would separate him from it.
The story of how Thor’s hammer was made is clearly told in the tale of The Creation of Thor’s Hammer. One day, Loki decided to cut off the golden hair of Thor’s wife as part of his problematic behavior. Thor was raged, and about to kill Loki when the latter told him he would go to the land of dwarfs and get him the most beautiful hair for Sif, his wife. Thor agreed to his offer and gave him a chance to bargain.
While in the smithies of dwarves, Loki obtained plenty of stuff by challenging several dwarves to prove who was the best smith. He came back with several treasures, among which was Thor’s hammer. The hammer had a short handle as it was built from the perspective of a dwarf who was making it. When Thor saw the hammer, he immediately fell;l in love with it, and it was enough to make him forgive Loki.
Thor’s Hammer As A Symbol In Norse Mythology
In the Viking Age, folks who believed in Thor wore hammer amulets on their necklaces to display their faith. On the other hand, Christ believers wore a cross pendant to signify their faith in Christ. These amulets became common during the Viking age, and there is little evidence showing otherwise. Thor’s hammer in jewelry was mainly a symbol of their faith and belief during the Viking Age.
It is no surprise if those who had the hammer amulet believed it would give them the same powers as depicted in Norse mythology- consecration, protection, and blessings. Plus, the discovery of a mold with both the Christian cross and hammer symbols was used to make jewelry.
These amulets show a coexistence of Christianity and paganism during the Viking Age. Since both religions had somewhat similar practices and beliefs, the two religions coexisted without hatred or war.
Types Of Thor’s Hammer Pendants
Evidence of the Thors hammer pendant has been around since the Bronze Age, with lots of other discoveries onward. These pendants signify a rich culture in Scandinavian art and jewelry.
Medieval Hammer Pendants
The Viking Age was the epitome of Thor’s popularity, and the warriors wore his hammer pendants as a way of devoting to Thor as the sole deity. Some believe that nordaic people used the hammer in response to Christian Europeans who wore cross pendants to show devotion and act of rebellion against other religious acts. Thors hammer varied in many ways and according to several locations. For example, Norwegian and Swedish pendants had the shape of the letter T or an arrow, while in Iceland, the pendant was the shape of a cross.
Modern Hammer Pendants
Modern variations of the Thors hammer pendant are a popular symbol of Scandinavian culture. Today, it is as popular as Northern mythology as it is often used in jewelry as a fashion statement. Some believers of Norse wear the pendant top as a symbol to show their aspiration of Thor’s noble qualities among Norse gods. Here are standard hammer pendant designs:
Resin hammer pendants with excellent designs on the front
Metal hammer pendants
Unique one-of-a-kind art pieces
Silver pendants complemented with Nordic etchings
Historical replicas of museum art pieces
Can The Hammer Of Thor Be Destroyed?
According to lore in Norse mythology, the hammer is virtually indestructible but not completely. There are several situations where Thor got shocked by the extent of damage or destruction of the Mjolnir. We see in comics multiple times when Thor’s famous weapon faces bullets, anti-matter forces, beams, etc., from foes, ancient goddesses, and gods, and clashes against other uru weapons.
The Viking hammer necklace slowly became popular as a fashion statement over the past few years. In 2021, the meaning of Thor’s hammer became one of the most searched terms of the year after the release of several shows depicting Viking life and age. Metal mjölnir pendants have a tribal vibe and can be worn with any attire.