Tag Archives: Freya

Ancient To Modern: Borrowed Gods (3)

Thor

He is the god of thunder, lightning, and strength, etc. Odin and Freya are his parents. His attributes make for some impressive imagery. As examples, consider the following paintings.

Thor's Battle Against the Jotnar (1872) by Marten Eskil Winge
Thor’s Battle Against the Jotnar (1872) by Marten Eskil Winge

Thor and the Midgard Serpent (1905) by Emil Doepler
Thor and the Midgard Serpent (1905) by Emil Doepler

Thor is only one of the Norse gods which Marvel Comics has borrowed. He first landed in August of 1962.

Jim083

As is often the case, the artwork grew more sophisticated over the years. I must confess, however, that I have developed a real appreciation and enjoyment of the artwork of the Silver Age of Comics. It is the style I grew up with.

Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

How can I resist showing this representation by Alex Ross?

thor_alex_ross

The Disney Marvel franchise has produced some interesting refinements for application to the big screen. In so doing, they have produced some truly iconic imagery for their characters, including Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth). Some fans have complained that the movies have changed the way that these characters are drawn and described in the comics. One additional thing that I like about the Thor movies I have seen is how they mix Norse mythology with science fiction.

Picture credit: Disney Marvel
Picture credit: Disney Marvel

One of my favorite visual sequences was of Thor summoning lightning from atop the Chrysler Building in New York during the great battle with alien invaders in the first Avengers movie. That’s all for now. Next time, another week, another god.

Ancient To Modern: Borrowed Gods (2)

Continuing on in our series, let’s take a look at…

Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Freya

Actually, this goddess has a number of appellations and spellings as can be seen in some of my image captions. Also called Frigga in the Marvel Universe, she is the goddess of love, sex, fertility, beauty, war, death, etc. As you can see, their is some redundancy of function between the members of the Norse pantheon. Freya is the wife of Odin and the mother of Thor. Below is a depiction of her flyting with the god Loki. Flyting would have been called “playing the dozens” in the not too distant past of the American inner city. In the 1970s, my friends and I called it “firing” on each other when we were in high school. As this picture suggests, this is a fairly widespread sport throughout history.

Freya and Loki flyte (exchange insults) in this illustration by Lorenz Frolich (1895).
Freya and Loki flyte (exchange insults) in this illustration by Lorenz Frolich (1895).

Here is another representation by John Bauer.

Freja by John Bauer (1882-1918).
Freja by John Bauer (1882-1918).

Moving on to the comics, a prominent expression of modern mythology…

Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

… we finally arrive at the movies of the Disney Marvel Franchise, where Freya is played by Renee Russo.

Freya (Renee Russo) from Thor (2011), directed by Kenneth Branaugh
Freya (Renee Russo) from Thor (2011), directed by Kenneth Branaugh

From Thor: The Dark World (2013), directed by Alan Taylor.
From Thor: The Dark World (2013), directed by Alan Taylor.

(to be continued)

Ancient To Modern: Borrowed Gods (1)

Characters from Thor, directed by Kenneth Branaugh (left to right: Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins)
Characters from Thor, directed by Kenneth Branaugh (left to right: Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins)

Disney Marvel's Thor: The Dark World Heimdall (Idris Elba) Ph: Film Frame © 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.
Disney Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World
Heimdall (Idris Elba)
Ph: Film Frame
© 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Freya (Renee Russo) from Thor (2011), directed by Kenneth Branaugh
Freya (Renee Russo) from Thor (2011), directed by Kenneth Branaugh

Odin, Freya, Thor, Loki, and Heimdall were borrowed from the Norse pantheon and re-imagined by Marvel Comics. These characters were also used effectively in a number of movies by the Disney Marvel franchise. Keeping in mind that this series is all about eye candy through various media, let us begin with…

Odin

He was highly regarded as the god of royalty, death, healing, poetry, and battle, etc. He is the husband of the goddess Freya and the father of Thor. He has many representations in art, both ancient and modern.

A medieval depiction of Odin (Late Middle Ages), Royal Library, Copenhagen
A medieval depiction of Odin (Late Middle Ages), Royal Library, Copenhagen

Godan (Odin) and Frea as illustrated by Emile Doepler (1905)
Godan (Odin) and Frea as illustrated by Emile Doepler (1905)

 

Relief of Odin on a modern coin.
Relief of Odin on a modern coin.

As I have already mentioned, he has been re-imagined as a character by Marvel Comics.

MarveComics
MarveComics

Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

And, of course, there are his appearances (played by the formidable Sir Anthony Hopkins)  in the Thor series of movies by the Disney Marvel franchise.

Image credit: Disney Marvel (actor: Anthony Hopkins)
Image credit: Disney Marvel (actor: Anthony Hopkins)

(to be continued)