Thor is a deity in the Norse pantheon. He is the strongest of the Norse gods, and one of the most popular. He is second only in importance to Odin.
- 1 Description
- 2 Abilities
- 3 Portfolio
- 4 Worship
- 5 Cultural significance
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Artifacts
- 8 Realm
- 9 History
- 10 Publication history
- 11 Creative origins
- 12 Reception and influence
- 13 References
Description[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Thor is an exceptionally musclebound man with red hair and beard. His eyes are said to be filled with lightning. He stands seven feet tall, and often wears a suit of black and yellow chain mail.
Personality and alignment[edit | edit source]
Thor is loud and boisterous, and has an enormous appetite for food and drink. He is strong, straightforward, and physical. He is not overly intelligent, and always seeks revenge for slights against his honor. These attributes make Thor well-loved among the common folk, in contrast to the crafty, more subtle Odin. Thor in turn has a special love of the human race.
Thor is stubborn, and has overcome many obstacles through sheer strength of will. He can be quick-tempered and even reckless. He is popular among the Norse gods as well as among humans.
Thor is chaotic good in alignment.
Titles and aliases[edit | edit source]
Abilities[edit | edit source]
As a deity, Thor is immortal and immune to various weaknesses including disease, stunning, poison, magical imprisonment, and planar banishment.
Thor's greatest strength is his physical power in combat. His hammer blows can instantly annihilate opponents it hits. Those strong enough to survive may be stunned, and the wounds will continue to bleed until healed. Giants are particularly injured by his attacks, and he is particularly skilled at fighting giants, dragons, goblins, aberrations and undead. He always goes first in battle, fights with superhuman speed, can never be surprised, and is unbeatable at wrestling. He can enter a berserk rage for up to 18 hours per day without being winded afterward.
Thor is particularly skilled at throwing, and often throws his hammer Mjolnir. Even without Mjolnir, he is skilled at throwing hammers great distances.
He can control the weather. He can surround himself with a storm of lightning that extends 180 feet and blocks all thrown projectiles. He can conjure or dismiss storms or other inclement weather.
Thor has a rarely-used ability to assume the form of a falcon or dragon. Enemies are weakened by his incredible presence, and allies are empowered by fighting with Thor. He can control lightning, and lightning spells used near Thor will rebound against their casters.
He can see and sense at a distance of 18 miles from himself or any of his holy sites, artifacts, worshipers, or places where his name or one of his titles were spoken.
Portfolio[edit | edit source]
Thor is a god of storms, thunder, and war. He has power over the domains of chaos, good, protection, strength, war, and weather.
He automatically senses all storms, combat of any kind, and any Aesir god's cry for assistance in battle. He can sense such things up to nineteen weeks into the future.
Worship[edit | edit source]
Dogma[edit | edit source]
Thor's followers believe that the measure of a man is in how he faces challenges. They believe in self-reliance and individual effort, and admire those who overcome adversity. However, they are also slow to join in group efforts or support a party, since defeating an enemy without help is considered a worthy act.
Thor's priests teach that a storm's destruction is necessary to destroy weak structures, clear debris, and reveal new resources. Violence and destruction are inherently necessary concepts in the world.
Physical strength is of great value and utmost importance. Combat is the ultimate challenge, and the cult of Thor teaches that communities must train and always be ready for battle. They often stage contests with temples of Sif, Thor's wife, over the relative virtue of brute strength versus technique.
Thunder, lightning, storms and other weather-related events are often considered to be omens sent by Thor. His followers believe these events to show that Thor is slaying the enemies of Asgard.
Worshipers[edit | edit source]
Thor is an immensely popular deity. While the people of Midgard also worship the Norse pantheon as a collective group, Thor in particular is followed by both warriors and the common folk, including barbarians, fighters, paladins, rangers, farmers, and commoners. He is popular among dwarves and half-orcs.
He is also invoked by those who grow certain weather-sensitive crops such as those which require the right amount of rain, and by merchants who hope for calm weather at sea.
Followers of Thor tend to be less cautious, and considerably less peaceful, but more courageous as a result.
Notable worshipers[edit | edit source]
Clergy[edit | edit source]
In some realms, priests of Thor, Odin, Frey and Freya are known as godar (singular godi). Most priests of Thor are attached to the chieftain or leader of a community, although some travel between communities, or live in groups at special shrines or sacred locations.
Priests of Thor wear armor to be ever-ready for battle. They have a straightforward manner, and are popular among the common folk. Duties of the priests include patrolling the land to protect the people against threats, and responding to danger to protect their communities.
Rarely, Thor will send his avatar, a representation of himself, to help his priests when they are in dire need and call for divine intervention.
Rituals[edit | edit source]
In a rare rune cult ritual, followers of Thor bury a cleric beneath the earth for nine nights.
Holy sites[edit | edit source]
Thor's temples are built throughout the land, but are especially common in mountainous regions. Humans and dwarves often share these temples, even those of separate communities. There is always a smithy either in the temple, or nearby.
Visitors to Thor's temples are heartily welcomed. Followers of Thor are quick to challenge visitors to physical contest, whether a wrestling match, a race, or a drinking contest. Visitors are also treated to hot food, mead, and ale.
It is common to pray at these temples so that Thor might be gentle when he sends thunderstorms to Midgard.
Holy symbol[edit | edit source]
Thor's holy symbol is the hammer.
Favored weapon[edit | edit source]
Cultural significance[edit | edit source]
A considerable number of people, places, weapons and other things are named in honor of Thor. They include the axe named Thor's Kiss, the young warrior Thorunn Otkelsdottir, the hill Thor's Anvil in Vestland, and the spell fist of Thor.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Family[edit | edit source]
Thor is married to the golden-haired goddess of battle, Sif. With Sif he has a son, Uller, god of archery and winter. With the giantess Jarnsaxa, Thor has two other sons, Modi and Magni, gods of courage and strength respectively.
Enemies[edit | edit source]
Thor enjoys fighting giants. The mere utterance of his name can cause giants to flee. His fights against giants have led many giants to swear vengeance against him, including the giant Hargnar, whose brothers he slew.
Allies and minions[edit | edit source]
Thor's quick-thinking companions have often helped him out of a jam.
Thor has strong ties to the Aesir, and will fight alongside Odin and the gods at the final battle of Ragnarok. He is popular among the Norse gods, and is often called to assist when a problem arises which can be solved by Thor's useful combination of strength and stubbornness.
Thor's chariot is drawn by two legendary goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngjost. He can slaughter and eat these goats in the evening, and they will return to life in the morning. They are capable of pulling his chariot at great speed across land, or even through the sky.
Thor has invested divine power in two human proxies: the fighter Thialfi, who can run faster than any mortal; and the thief Roskva, who can summon lightning. They were captured by Thor as children to punish their parents for harming his legendary goats.
Artifacts[edit | edit source]
Thor's most famous weapon, and one of the most famous in the multiverse, is the warhammer Mjolnir. It weighs approximately two tons. Its powers include to always return when thrown, and to deafen those it strikes well. Thor possesses the unique ability to throw Mjolnir at any target he can see, regardless of distance, which for Thor is up to 18 miles.
He possess the magical belt Megingjarder which doubles his strength, and a pair of gauntlets which allow him to hold Mjolnir without injury. Anyone who holds Mjolnir without these gauntlets suffers severe harm, if they can even lift its weight.
He also possesses a magic chariot which he can fold up and put in his pocket.
Realm[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
Birth[edit | edit source]
The Antalian tribes of the Known World tell a different story; that Thor was a mortal warrior-chieftain of their people in ancient times, known as Donar. Donar fought many epic battles against evil wizards before eventually ascending to immortality, sponsored by Odin, who they call Wotan.Hollow World Campaign Set, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook (1990), p.116-117
Various adventures[edit | edit source]
Publication history[edit | edit source]
Original D&D[edit | edit source]
Thor first appears in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.26-27.
Basic D&D[edit | edit source]
Thor is mentioned in the Hollow World Campaign Set, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook (1990), p.116-117.
AD&D 1st edition[edit | edit source]
AD&D 2nd edition[edit | edit source]
Thor is mentioned briefly in the World Builder's Guidebook (1996), p.84,87, the Planescape Campaign Setting (1994), Hellbound: The Blood War, The Dark of the War (1996), p.71, and The Legend of Spelljammer (1991), p.5.
Thor is the subject if the short story Thor Goes Fishing, Dragon #168 (Apr 1991), p.59-62.
D&D 3rd edition[edit | edit source]
Thor is detailed in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.192-194, and in that book's web enhancement. With a Strength score of 92, and 102 when raging, Thor is the strongest deity in that sourcebook by a considerable margin: Kord, god of strength in the D&D pantheon, has only 55 Strength. However, without the belt which doubles his Strength, Thor would have only 46 Strength.
He is mentioned in Frostburn (2004), p.56-57,124.
D&D 4th edition[edit | edit source]
D&D 5th edition[edit | edit source]
Thor is one of twenty Norse gods listed in the Player's Handbook (5e) (2014).
Creative origins[edit | edit source]
Thor is a major figure in Norse myth.
Thor is highly honorable, and outraged by deceit and broken oaths. In Voluspa, Thor is the only god angry when the Aesir attempt deceit, seemingly regarding their attempt to scam the giant who builds Asgard's wall. Later in that poem, Thor is called the Protect of Midgard, and prophecied to slay the serpent Jormungandr in a berserk rage, only to himself die from its poison. Without Thor's protection, humanity is doomed.
In Vafthruthnismal, a giant prophecies that Modi and Magni will inherit Mjolnir when Thor is killed. Grimnismal names Thor's realm Thrudheim. His hall, Bilskirnir, has 640 rooms, and is the largest of rooved houses.
In Harbarthsljoth, Odin disguises as a ferryman and gets into a taunting and boasting match with Thor, during which Thor describes his many exploits. Thor travels barefoot, and offers to share his lunch with the ferryman. Thor calls himself Meili's brother. The ferryman claims that Odin receives the warriors who fall in battle, while Thor receives their servants. Thor names his own servant Thjalfi, who accompanies him on adventures.
In Hymiskvitha, Thor and Tyr go to fetch a giant cauldron from Tyr's father, the giant Hymir. Only Thor is strong enough to lift it, and his feet break through the floorboards as he does. Thor also attempts to fish for Jormungandr, but it escapes.
In Lokasenna, when Loki insults all the gods, Loki only leaves when Thor threatens to beat him, as Thor is the only god he trusts to mean what he says and carry out his threats. in Thrymskvitha, Thor is forced to dress as a woman to get Mjolnir back from the giant Thrym.
In his translation of the Prose Edda, Norse specialist Jackson Crawford argues that Thor is by far the most popular of the Norse gods due to his status as a hero of the common man.
Reception and influence[edit | edit source]
The Dungeon Master's Guide (5e) (2014), p.11 notes that Thor embodies an important aspect of Norse culture.
Thor appears in the Marvel Comics continuity, in which Thor is a superhero from dimension of Asgard. He visited Earth in the 9th century, where his exploits led him to be worshipped by the Vikings.
References[edit | edit source]
- Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.192-194.
- Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.107.
- Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.176.
- On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.148.
- Aesirhamar, Dragon #90 (Oct 1984), p.56.
- For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.22.
- Valkyrie, Dragon #109 (May 1986), p.73.
- Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1996), p.82.
- Hollow World Campaign Set, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook (1990), p.91.
- Hollow World Campaign Set, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook (1990), p.116-117.
- Voyage of the Princess Ark Part 24: The lords of the forest, Dragon #177 (Jan 1992), p.48.
- Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.169.
- Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.26-27.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.25.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.10.
- Dungeon Master's Guide (5e) (2014), p.23.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.6.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.16.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.28.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches (1988), p.52.
- Encyclopedia Magica Volume One (1994), p.120.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches (1988), p.48.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.24.
- GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.25-26.
- GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome (1988), p.29.
- All in the Family, Dragon #154 (Feb 1990), p.24.
- The Seven Magical Planets, Dragon #38 (Jun 1980), p.26-29.
- Aesirhamar, Dragon #90 (Oct 1984), p.44.
- Frostburn (2004), p.56.
- Giants in the Earth, Dragon #41 (Sep 1980), p.19.
- Master Rules (BECMI), Dungeon Masters' Book (1985), p.59.
- Hellbound: The Blood War, The Dark of the War (1996), p.71.
- Deities and Demigods (3e), Web enhancement (2002), p.11.