Who Could Defeat Thor in Norse Mythology?

The popularity Thor has gained in the last few years is unbelievable. Thanks to the successful adaptations, God Thor from Norse mythology becomes more famous. He possesses a great appearance with the Mjolnir hammer in his hand. Thor is always willing to protect his beloved and fight back any negative force. The modern presentation of Thor has captured the spirit of Thor from Norse mythology, to be honest. But what was Thor in Norse mythology like? And was there anyone who could defeat Thor in Norse mythology?

God Thor in Norse mythology

In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin the chief god of Asgard. To put it simple, Thor was kind of a prince in Asgard and he also had many siblings. His mother was a jotun (jotun or giant was the sworn enemy to gods in the myth). Maybe because of this mixed blood (giant and god), Thor became super powerful. He was the strongest god in Asgard until the birth of his son, Magni who later became even stronger than Thor.

Image of Thor god of lightning and thunder
Thor was the son of Odin the Allfather and the giantess of Earth

The most ultimate weapon of Thor was the Mjolnir hammer. Hardly did Thor go out without his hammer. Thor used his hammer to defend both gods and humanity against anything trying to harm them. Mjolnir hammer of Thor was the real jotun killer. The sworn enemy of Thor was Jormungand the Midgard Serpent who was the son of Loki. But the pair just encountered each other twice in the myth. The first time was when Thor went on fishing and the second was in Ragnarok. Though Jormungand’s venom deprived Thor of his life, that happened after Thor had killed Jormungand.

Powerful as Thor might be, there was one famous time that Thor was defeated in a competition. More interestingly, the one who could defeat Thor was an old woman.

The Woman Who Could Defeat Thor

The story began when Thor, Loki, and one servant of them traveled to the land of the giant. They finally came across the castle that was known as the Utgard. Despite the locked doors, Thor and his companions managed to get through the gate through very large space. Once in, they discovered many giants were feasting, eating, and drinking. In the main position was the Utgard-Loki who quickly realized the appearance of the new guests.

Image of Thor and his companions in Utgard castle who could defeat Thor in Norse mythology
Thor, Loki, and the servant arrived at the gate of Utgard castle

When Utgard-Loki was trying to teasing the gods for their small shape, Loki claimed that no one in the hall could eat food faster than him. Then came the contest between the gods and the giants.

Utgard-Loki sent a giant whose name was Logi meaning “Fire” to compete with Loki in the eating contest. The game went on quite easy at first. But when Loki was eating the last chunk of meat, Logi had finished eating the meat, the bones, and even the trough. Loki obviously lost the game.

The second competition was between the servant of Thor and the giant whose name was Hugi “Thought”. When the servant was about to reach the finishing line, Hugi the giant was far ahead of him. Three laps of the game, three times Hugi finished much faster than the servant.

Thor then challenged anyone in the room to compete with him in the drinking contest. Utgard-Loki then brought out the horn that was fully fetched with water. He said whoever could finish the horn within three gulps was the best drinker. Thor didn’t hesitate a second and drank the horn. The first time he drank then the second time but the water in the horn barely lowered. So did the last time when he just realized that he lost the game as much of water still remained.

Utgard-Loki gave him another opportunity to lift the cat on the floor. But Thor once again lost his game for failing to lift the cat.

This was too much to bear for a mighty god like Thor. In his rage, Thor challenged anyone in the room to wrestle with him. Then Utgard-Loki appointed an old woman whose name was Elli “Age” to join the competition. This contest must have hurt the ego of Thor for he completely lost the game in the wrestling act of an old woman. Elli then became the only woman in Norse mythology who could defeat Thor.

Image of the woman who could defeat Thor in Norse mythology
The depiction of Elli which means “Age”. Elli was the only woman who could defeat Thor in Norse mythology

The next morning, gods woke up and was about to leave when Utgard-Loki showed them out of the castle and spoke to them.

He complemented Loki for he had done very well in the eating contest. Because the opponent of his in the contest was none other than the fire. And whoever could win the fire once it decided to swallow something? Utgard-Loki said the servant did a pretty good job. That he couldn’t win the running contest because his opponent was the thought. And whoever could overrun the thought?

Thor and Elli competed wrestling. This made Elli become the only woman who could defeat Thor the Mighty God in Norse mythology

Regarding Thor, Utgard-Loki confessed that Thor was as mighty as what the Nine Worlds were talking about him. Thor indeed drank half of the ocean water through the drinking horn. The cat that Thor lifted was actually Jormungand the serpent encircling Midgard. And finally, the woman that defeated Thor was the embodiment of old age. Once old age knocked the door, no one could ever escape the fate. Old age never left out anyone even the gods. In Norse mythology, gods once experienced the old age and ugliness when the guardian of the youth fruits was kidnapped.

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