Basic Guide To Thor’s Goats in Norse Mythology

Thor Odinson was one of the most important gods in Norse mythology. He was the son of Odin and Jord the giantess of earth. Unlike Thor of the modern version who could fly by swinging the Mjolnir hammer. The original version of Thor in Norse mythology, on the other hand, did not fly like that. Instead, Thor originally had a pair of goats to pull his chariot to cross the sky. Here is the basic guide to Thor’s Goats in Norse mythology.

Thor brought them back to life

The Prose Edda relates that when Thor cooks the goats, their flesh provides sustenance for the god, and, after Thor resurrects them with his hammer, Mjölnir, they are brought back to life the next day. According to the same source, Thor once stayed a night at the home of peasant farmers and shared with them his goat meal, yet one of their children, Þjálfi, broke one of the bones to suck out the marrow, resulting in the lameness of one of the goats upon resurrection. As a result, Thor maintains Þjálfi and his sister Röskva as his servants.

Basic Guide To Thor's Goats in Norse Mythology
Basic Guide To Thor’s Goats in Norse Mythology

A stanza from Prose Edda described Thor’s goats’ ride to Jotunheim:

Then home the goats to the hall were driven, 
They wrenched at the halters,
swift were they to run;
The mountains burst,
earth burned with fire,
And Odin's son sought Jotunheim

Why Thor chose goats

Thor often brought people in Midgard with blessings and fortune as well. In Norse mythology, Thor defended those who believed and worshipped him. He often turned up in formal ceremonies like birthdays, funerals, weddings, etc. to offer his blessings. Compare with gods like Odin or Freyr, Thor had better bond humanity. He communicated with Midgardsmen or even had dinner and slept in a house of Midgardsmen as well. 

Image of Thor Viking God of Thunder and Lightning
Thor and goat-pulled chariot

If the horse Sleipnir of Odin the Allfather presented the leadership and the pioneering force in battle, goats of Thor presented the commonness shared by Thor and humanity. Sometimes I feel like a pair of goats was what made Thor become “humanized” and friendly among Midgardsmen. Basic Guide to Thor’s Goats.

Moreover, a pair of goats presented the physical might of Thor as well. Scandinavian goats often give us the feeling of more muscle and strength than goats from other parts of the world. And maybe because of this, Thor’s goats became the symbol of Thor who was considered among the mightiest gods in Norse mythology. 

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