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.

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.[1] He stands seven feet tall, and often wears a suit of black and yellow chain mail.[2]

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.[1][3][4]

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.[4]

Thor has a dislike of illusion spells, as they have been used against the Aesir in the past by giants, among them the frost giant Utgard-Loki.[5][6]

Thor is chaotic good in alignment.

Titles and aliases[edit | edit source]

Thor is called the God of Thunder, and the Guardian of Asgard.[1] Some call him the Thunderer,[2] or the Thunder God.[4] He is called Thor the Mightiest, by the Valkyries.[7]

The sea-dwelling omm-wa worship Thor, who they know under the name Dugong.[8]

The primitive Neathar tribes and others know him as Donar, and depict him in the simple animal skins of their people.[9] The Antalian tribes and Icevale elves also follow him under this name.[10]

Under the name Tuatis, he is followed by the Robrenn.[11]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

As a deity, Thor is immortal and immune to various weaknesses including disease, stunning, poison, magical imprisonment, and planar banishment.[1]

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.[1]

Thor is particularly skilled at throwing, and often throws his hammer Mjolnir. Even without Mjolnir, he is skilled at throwing hammers great distances.[12]

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.[1]

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.[13] He can control lightning, and lightning spells used near Thor will rebound against their casters.[2]

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.[1]

He can create any kind of magic item related to combat or weather control. He can cast various spells, including antimagic field, chaos hammer, spiritual weapon, stoneskin, and storm of vengeance.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

Thunder, lightning, storms and other weather-related events are often considered to be omens sent by Thor.[3] 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.[1]

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.[3]

Worship of Thor is mandatory in the kingdom of Ostland, a nation which believes it is blessed by Odin and Thor.[14]

Followers of Thor tend to be less cautious, and considerably less peaceful, but more courageous as a result.[15]

Thor will often alert his worshipers to the presence of evil or danger.[2] He may reward a faithful follower with a beneficial spell effect accompanied by a boom of thunder.[16]

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.[17][14]

Thor's clerics are widely accepted in human lands[2]. Half-orcs, shunned in some human lands, often find acceptance by becoming clerics of Thor.[1]

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.

Thor's priests are expected to be brave, friendly and honest, and never back down from a fair challenge. Some have the ability to pray for rain.[3] They often study the art of skaldic poetry.[18]

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.[3]

Rituals[edit | edit source]

In a rare rune cult ritual, followers of Thor bury a cleric beneath the earth for nine nights.[19]

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.[1]

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.[1]

It is common to pray at these temples so that Thor might be gentle when he sends thunderstorms to Midgard.

A shrine to Thor is located in Vastargard, in the Northlands.[20]

Holy symbol[edit | edit source]

Thor's holy symbol is the hammer.[1]

Favored weapon[edit | edit source]

Thor's clerics favor the warhammer. Thor's own weapon, Mjolnir, is truly legendary.

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,[21] the young warrior Thorunn Otkelsdottir,[22] the hill Thor's Anvil in Vestland,[23] and the spell fist of Thor.[24]

In the dwarven language, "thor" or "tor" means strong, enduring, or hard.[25]

In heraldry, an acorn represents Thor.[26]

In esoteric mysticism, Thor is represented by the planet Jupiter.[27]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Family[edit | edit source]

Thor is the son of Odin, leader of the Norse gods; and the giantess Jord.

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.[1]

By his father Odin, he is half-brother to Balder, Hod, Tyr, Bragi, Heimdall, Vidar, and Vali.

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Thor is destined to fight the world-serpent Jormungandr at Ragnarok.[1]

Thor enjoys fighting giants. The mere utterance of his name can cause giants to flee.[2] His fights against giants have led many giants to swear vengeance against him, including the giant Hargnar, whose brothers he slew.[28]

The disciples of Thrym are dedicated to undermining Thor and Loki, owing to an ancient grudge.[29]

Thor holds a grudge against the warrior Starkad's family, and cursed him while Odin countered each with a blessing.[30]

Allies and minions[edit | edit source]

Thor's quick-thinking companions have often helped him out of a jam.[4]

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.[4]

Thor has worked with Loki in the past, though the two are fated to be on opposite sides at Ragnarok.[4] He is surprisingly friendly with the giant Hymir.[31]

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.[1] They are capable of pulling his chariot at great speed across land, or even through the sky.[13]

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.[4]

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.[1]

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.[1][13][2]

He also possesses a magic chariot which he can fold up and put in his pocket.[1]

Realm[edit | edit source]

Thor rules from his hall Bilskirnir, a palace crafted from oak and iron, located in Thrudvangar in Asgard. He is accompanied there by the rowdiest warriors of Asgard.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Thor was born the son of the god Odin and the giantess Jord.

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]

On more than one occasion, Loki angered Thor by giving him fleas.[32]

Thor has led sallies into the Blood War, simply to fight.[32]

Thor, Loki and Thor's servant Thialfi once faced a series of contests in which Thor was tricked into trying to lift Jormungandr and drink the entire ocean.[33]

Thor is said to have shattered the Chains of Deceit, originally forged by the Modrigswerg dwarves Brokk and Sindri for Loki.[23]

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]

Thor appears in Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.106-108 and Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980).

A passing reference is made in the Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.168-169 regarding the Hammer of Thunderbolts, which Thor could throw twice as far.

AD&D 2nd edition[edit | edit source]

Thor is detailed in Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.176 and the Planescape sourcebook On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.148. He is mentioned in the HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourcebook (1991).

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]

The Norse pantheon does not appear in D&D 4th edition. Thor is given passing mention in Manual of the Planes (4e) (2008) as a hypothetical replacement for Kord in the Dawn War pantheon.

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.

In For Better or Norse: II, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.26, Carl Sargent argues that Thor is completely unlovable, and that the common folk are more likely to follow the agriculture deity Frey.

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]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.192-194.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.107.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.176.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.148.
  5. Aesirhamar, Dragon #90 (Oct 1984), p.56.
  6. For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.22.
  7. Valkyrie, Dragon #109 (May 1986), p.73.
  8. Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1996), p.82.
  9. Hollow World Campaign Set, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook (1990), p.91.
  10. Hollow World Campaign Set, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook (1990), p.116-117.
  11. Voyage of the Princess Ark Part 24: The lords of the forest, Dragon #177 (Jan 1992), p.48.
  12. Dungeon Masters Guide (1e) (1979), p.169.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.26-27.
  14. 14.0 14.1 GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.25.
  15. GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.10.
  16. Dungeon Master's Guide (5e) (2014), p.23.
  17. GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.6.
  18. GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.16.
  19. GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.28.
  20. GAZ7 The Northern Reaches (1988), p.52.
  21. Encyclopedia Magica Volume One (1994), p.120.
  22. GAZ7 The Northern Reaches (1988), p.48.
  23. 23.0 23.1 GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.24.
  24. GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Player's Book (1988), p.25-26.
  25. GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome (1988), p.29.
  26. All in the Family, Dragon #154 (Feb 1990), p.24.
  27. The Seven Magical Planets, Dragon #38 (Jun 1980), p.26-29.
  28. Aesirhamar, Dragon #90 (Oct 1984), p.44.
  29. Frostburn (2004), p.56.
  30. Giants in the Earth, Dragon #41 (Sep 1980), p.19.
  31. Master Rules (BECMI), Dungeon Masters' Book (1985), p.59.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Hellbound: The Blood War, The Dark of the War (1996), p.71.
  33. Deities and Demigods (3e), Web enhancement (2002), p.11.
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