Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thor and Mjolnir*

I am a huge fan of DC Comics characters and as a small boy I thought after the first Superman movie we'd see something like what we're only seeing today. It's taken a long time for the Batman, Spiderman, X-men franchises to emerge. What about the Flash, and Green Lantern, Wonderwoman, Shazam, Thor etc etc. I still don't understand why the majority of movies aren't based on comic books (eg action with superheroes). Wasn't Spiderman 2 the most successful movie of all time? Doesn't that say something?
Instead we've had pretend comic characters like James Bond (super spy), recently XXX and Jason Bourne (super spies), and on TV, Knight Rider (super car) and Airwolf (super helicopter).

It's an old trick when introducing the genre that you save the best for last. In other words, you introduce the alien or the new character in the last 3rd of the movie.

Problem is in this film (Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer) you hardly ever see the Silver Surfer. The character himself is amazing, but unfortunately most of the time in this movie is spent preparing for a wedding. Yawn.... I've give this movie a 6, but if you're a tweeny, you might think it's worth a slightly more fantastic score.

*From In Norse mythology, Mjolnir (also spelled Mjölnir, Mjöllnir, Mjollner, Mjølnir, Mjølner, or Mjölner) (IPA pronunciation: [mjolnər]) is the hammer of Thor, the god of thunder, lightning, wind, and rain.

"Mjolnir" simply means "mealer" referring to its pulverizing effect. It is related to words such as the Icelandic verbs mölva (to crush) and mala (to grind), but similar words, all stemming from the Proto-Indo-European root melə can be found in almost all European languages, e.g. the Slavic melvo (grain to be ground) and molotu (hammer), the Dutch meel (meal), the Russian Молот (molot - hammer), the Greek μύλος (mylos - mill) and the Latin malleus (hammer) as well as the Latin mola (mill).

The English meal, mill and maul are direct relatives, while mallet and molar arrived via Latin. It has been suggested that although the name reflects Mjolnir's awesome powers it might also allude to Thor's agricultural nature, as he was primarily worshipped by farmers. An alternative theory suggests that Mjolnir might be related to the Russian word молния (molniya) and the Welsh word mellt (both words being translated as "lightning"). This second theory parallels with the idea that Thor, being a god of thunder, therefore might have used lightning as his weapon.[1]

Mjolnir is the most fearsome weapon in the arsenal of the Norse pantheon and is used to slay any challengers to Æsir supremacy. While referred to as a club, an axe, and a hammer, Mjolnir was thought to be capable of toppling giants and entire mountains with a single blow.[2] Legend surrounding the war hammer’s origins vary: some relate that "The Black Elves" (that live under the ground where the roots of Yggdrasil begin to form, in Svartalfheimr; svartalf being a dwarf or "black elf"), Sindri and Brokk made it at the behest of the calculating Loki; other tales contend that it descended to earth as a meteorite. Consequently, many Norse pagans believed that lightning strikes were a manifestation of Mjolnir on earth.

Mjolnir is often represented with a bent handle (see the myth below). The rune Tiwaz, usually thought to be a symbol of the god Tyr, is thought by some to represent Thor's hammer. Mjolnir may also mean fertility, the phallus that impregnates the earth.

Sometimes Thor's Hammer is like a "boomerang". Usually, it is used as normal war hammer. There may be a connection between Thor's throwing hammer and the francisca throwing axes of the Franks.

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