Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Avengers Project: He Who is Worthy

Thor: You think yourself above them?
Loki: Well, yes.
Thor: Then you miss the truth of ruling, brother. A throne would suit you ill.

In anticipation for Thor 2, I am pleased to say that I have now completed my Avengers concept poster of Thor Odinson; a demi-god, with an all-powerful hammer and incredible hair. Thor's story was a surprise for me. I can't say I was ever interested in Norse Mythology and I particularly wasn't drawn to a hulking, viking figure with lightning coming from his hammer, however, when I saw Thor I was pleasantly surprised. Despite the movie's weaknesses, the sophistication and creativity of Thor's story really came through. His character, though one-track minded for most of the film, ended up being sweet, gentlemanly, and honorable. I think there is a lot to glean from his story particularly the theme of his becoming worthy of Thor's Hammer. The hammer represents all the power and authority given to him; it can destroy or create and so a great responsibility lies on Thor as Prince of Asgard. At the beginning of the film he is a completely rash, arrogant, and foolhardy young man whose only thought is to lord his power over his enemies. When Odin takes that away from him, banishes him to earth, Thor is forced into humility. With the help of the quirky, but intelligent Jane Foster and their friend Dr. Selvig, Thor, who is like an immortal, puts on mortality as he learns from these "tiny" humans. He even comes to fall in love with Jane, a human girl, and this becomes a kind of catalyst for his care and protection of human beings. When Loki threatens this, putting everyone he cares about in danger, Thor is brought to a point of decision. What he decides is what we often see in these types of films, the self-sacrifice, the Christ-like moment where the hero gives himself up for others.
What is different about Thor, though, is how the story was told up to that moment. I believe Thor could easily be called The Tale of Two Sons. The film follows the paths of the two young demi-gods, Loki and Thor. Loki takes the path of deception, mischief, self-glorification, revenge, and murder, becoming more and more twisted, more and more consumed with himself and control, but as I pointed out in my post on Loki, his motivation stems from a desire for identity and this becomes a striving to be found "worthy" of Odin's love. He says in the film that all that he has been working for was "To prove to Father that I am a worthy son! When he wakes, I will have saved his life, I will have destroyed that race of monsters, and I will be true heir to the throne!" Let us contrast this then to Thor's story. Odin casts him out, forcing him to take a lowly path, a humiliating path, as he is faced with earth ways and customs. Through this Thor comes to see others outside of himself and his own glory, and when the choice is him or those whom he loves, Thor doesn't hesitate. So Thor, unlike Loki, becomes more and more servant-hearted, more and more contrite and self-sacrificing. It is in this that Thor proves himself a "worthy son", worthy to take up that power and authority, and when he gives himself up to Loki even unto death, his hammer is restored to him. From that moment on, Thor identifies himself with being Earth's protector and servant. In Scriptures, Christ says, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28 This is what Thor's story is about, a god becoming a servant, which makes him worthy of his godhood. I believe and hope this theme will carry over to Thor 2 as what he cherishes and took upon himself to protect is threatened like never before. Also this tale of two sons is not over either!

In this piece, I've incorporated this idea of Thor being a protector and servant. With the movement of his red cloak drawing the eye from the center to around and downward, emphasizes Thor's bowed position. His position is humble, but not passive, as his hammer is encased in lightning, his face fierce and determined. With the title being He Who is Worthy, his position, color, emphasis, and movement, they showcase Thor and his servant-hearted devotion and powerful guardianship. Here is a detail:

I hope you enjoyed this post. Next up, The Cap'n! My series is almost complete!

"Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?"

He makes everything beautiful in its time . . . Ecclesiastes 3:11


  1. Oooh yay! Thor! Gotta love the thunder man! lol. I agree with everything you said, though I always did find Norse Mythology interesting, when I first saw the trailer for Thor, I was like whatever... but it has since grown tremendously on me, especially after Avengers and Thor 2 looks amazing! I love this piece! The way the blue of his eyes pops with the hot blue lightning from his hammer is so perfect! Not to mention my favorite part of Thor's getup, his flowing red cape! The points you bring up about Thor's hammer and being a worthy son are awesome. The whole idea behind Odin, Thor, and Loki's relationship, the two sons, is my favorite aspect of the story. YAY!

    1. Yes! The blue of his eyes! I was noticing while watching Thor that he has amazingly intense blue eyes. Wow. Anyway, I'm glad you love this piece. Thor is pretty popular, I guess! ;) I might be doing a Thor/Loki piece, but it would be separate from this series. We will see...

  2. Great work as always, Danielle. I really love the sizzling and intense blue of the hammer contrasted with the more subdued colors. I'm really enjoying the flowing movement in these character pieces as well and look forward to seeing the rest! I hadn't really thought about Thor's characterization like that and Loki's divergent path, and it actually makes me appreciate the story more!

    1. Thank you, Brittany! Yes, I really wanted the blue to be electrifying and create an intense atmosphere. I'm glad you are enjoying this series and my thoughts on the characters. I wanted these pieces to have deeper meaning instead of them just being pictures of the characters. I just had an idea to do this type of thing for Star Trek characters after I'm done with this! So stay tuned for that! :D