Thor: Protecting Earth From Evil Aliens Since … Forever?
The heroes of ancient times often make a comeback in our modern times.
Take Hercules as an example: his adventures were adapted to any medium you can imagine, time after time, or Beowulf, whose adventures with the monster’s mother have been adapted to screens big and small repeatedly in the last few years.
But none of the previous “ancient” comebacks were as spectacular as the one pulled off by the most popular Norse god of all times, protector of Earth, symbol of male strength and fertility, and lord of thunder… Thor!
Who is (was) Thor?
The Norse never claimed for our realm to be the only one inhabited. They believed in the existence of other realms beyond our own world, Midgard (which translates to, ahem, Middle Earth). Asgard was the home of the Norse gods (Aesir), Jotunheim was the realm of the giants, Svartalfheim and Alfheim were inhabited by elves, and Nidavellir was the home of the dwarves. And Thor, one of the Aesir, son of Odin, was the protector of Earth, the god of Thunder – but he was almost forgotten, just like the other ancient gods. But he made a comeback centuries later.
Thor made his big comeback in the early 1960s, on the pages of a comic book signed by Stan Lee. In it, he is no longer a god, but a super-powered alien, coming from a different dimension. He was very popular in the US, and in other countries, too, but for a global fame he had to make his way to the big screen.
God or pop culture icon?
Thor’s influence on popular culture reaches beyond movies and printed media, and into the world of video games, casual or otherwise. Perhaps the most unusual rendition of the god slash superhero is Thunderstruck, a video slot machine launched at the All Slots Casino long before his movie debut.
Thunderstruck is a more accurate rendition of Thor than any movie ever released. In it, the Norse giant wears his iconic winged helmet, which you hardly ever see in the movies. Besides, he is joined by his two faithful rams, mentioned quite often by the lore (they, too, were left out of the movies). The game’s sequel, Thunderstruck II, was added to the All Slots’ game library a few years after the release of the first Thor movie, but it didn’t redo the character. The game, quite popular among All Slots players, has kept its visuals inspired by the myths. Players have the chance to meet Odin, Loki, as well as a beautiful valkyrie, but no human astrophysicists, and no agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Which doesn’t make the game any less than amazing.
Prepare for the end of the world
Thor will return to the big screen next year, in his third standalone movie called Ragnarök. And you can expect it to be both epic, and apocalyptic (the title means “the doom of the gods”). And I really hope it will have more rams than the previous two.