Saturday, September 24, 2011


I just had to write about Thor, son of Odin. He is like my favorite Norse God, only like ever...
I mean, look at the man, he's drop dead gorgeous...

I might come off as a bit shallow, and quite a bit girly at the moment, but I assure you, I'm really not, at least not shallow! The fact that Kenneth Branagh directed this brilliant film based on the Marvel Comic is merely a coincidence, and a crown to top a lifelong fascination.

I cannot pinpoint exactly when it started, and having said that I actually just remembered, funny thing jugging your memory like this, it all comes back! 
Anyway, my mother was the conductor of a choir back when I was a little girl, and this choir was about to go on tour to Iceland. My mother had, at the time, just had my brother, so she was in no condition to go flying off to Iceland. But in her place, my father went along as the temp conductor, don't worry, he knows the craft as well. The choir is not really important, I'm sure they had an absolutely brilliant trip as Iceland is an exciting country, but what ended up being significant for me was a few comic books he brought home.   

It was the Valhalla series, drawn by Danish Peter Madsen. And I was lost, even though I couldn't understand a single word, as the copies my father brought home were in Icelandic, but I could easily understand the story. Later on we bought all the comics in the language I could understand, and they remained a favorite throughout my childhood and my teens. 
Then, a good few years later, me and my family went to Italy. Italy? Where is she going with this, you wonder? Hang in there, I have a plan... I finished my books rather early in the trip, and I must have complained, because suddenly I found myself with the first issues of X-men. My brother took pity on his sister and introduced me to an entirely different comic book universe, and was I ever lost...again... I completely fell in love with X-men, their fabulous battles, their noble courage, their characteristic characters... 
I obviously knew about Superman and Batman at the time, but this ended up being my meeting with the battle between Marvel and DC, and I knew which one I preferred from that day on... Ask me when I'm on the movies to watch the new Batman with Christian Bale or the coming Man of Steel with Russell Crowe as Jor-El, I might have forgotten all about my preference to Marvel... But the general idea is Marvel rocks, come on, they gave us



Captain America

And... Thor!

Any reason, I wonder, why I chose to show you a comic book picture of Thor and not the lovely Chris Hemsworth??? 

Ah, there he was... and the brilliant Tom Hiddleston as Loki! 
This is only a neat way of drawing attention to my favorite comic of all times, The Ultimate Avengers. I hope you all go buy a copy, as they are both entertaining and very well both drawn and written. What I know is that when I read these stories, I was lost again... As I'm sure you can imagine, I'm the sort of person to get involved in various stuff with mind and soul, and I look for inspiration everywhere, the result is usually I get inspiration and a great sensation of overwhelming emotions. And according to my brother I'm what is called a fan-girl, and strangely enough I'm OK with that. 

I do tell stories, the long kind, in novel-form, and as a writer I need to get my inspiration from somewhere. I have a highly developed allergy for social realistic dramas from the seventies, so you can probably picture that my stories are of the imaginative kind. I use to say that a story is not a great one if it has no dragon...and the dragon could be a metaphor, but there has to be a certain amount of imagination involved. So finding my inspiration in superheroes and fantasy-adventures (I'm obviously working my way up to daring a piece on LOTR...a lot of literature on the subject already, but alongside Mr. Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien is my personal muse...) is the only way to fly. I think one has to be open to receiving inspiration where and whenever, and one has to accept that it will present itself in different wrappings. I was, in the start, quite baffled to learn about the comic-book-loving-side of myself, but now I couldn't imagine my imagination without it. I've even a draft to an X-men story, but my heroes tend to be extremely powerful, I have yet to learn that the anti-hero is preferred. So, maybe I'll lend the storyline to my brother, the real fanboy, and let him have a go...

Getting a bit sidetracked here, I was talking about Thor.

I never familiarized myself with the Comic Thor, only the Thor in Ultimate Avengers. 

So I hadn't very high expectations to the film. But I knew Kenneth Branagh from various films, and I knew I liked him both as an actor and a director, so I knew that the film at least would be entertaining. Little did I know that it would be of the mind blowing kind. 

I even knew Chris Hemsworth from Star Trek, remember being bummed out that he died five minutes into the film, but he left enough of an impression for me to remember him. When I left the movie theatre having seen Thor, I knew he would be right up there with Hugh and Russell, and strangely enough they're all from the land down under... Is there a pattern here??? My favorite American actor is Nathan Fillion and he's from Canada, it turned out! A quick correction of self! I couldn't imagine a world without Robert Downey Jr., Nick Cage, or Johnny Depp! But now I sidetracked again!

The movie Thor has a very simple story. SPOILER ALLERT!!!! WIth a simple story presenting a theme that has been dealt with in numerous films, books and plays, you have to stay very focused to get it right. I believe Kenneth Branagh did just that. He present the story of the self-involved and overly proud heir to the throne. His only wish is to prove himself in battle like his father did before him. He sets out with a foolish boy's dream to win at a man's battle, engaging the Frost Giants in fight. As a result his father, Odin All-father banishes him because of his disobedience and strips him of his enormous powers at the same time. He does, however, give that little beacon of light and hope as he says, and here I will paraphrase, as I can't remember word for word: He who's worthy will possess the power of Thor.

Here you see Hannibal Lecter as Odin...
Thor crashes to earth, and is on the way to a better version of himself. But only after having close encounters with a couple of cars, trashing an ER, eating all the eggs at a local diner, and then obviously falling in love with the young scientist, Jane Foster, played by Queen Amidala (or Natalie Portman, if you want to be technical...). 

At one point he attempts to retrieve his hammer, but it's stuck and he can't lift it. A sad and probably turning moment in the selfishness of Thor. 

                Meanwhile in Valhalla his brother, Loki, is doing what he can to "befriend" the Frost Giants and getting Odin off the throne. He learns that he in fact is the son of Laufe, the leader of the Frost Giants, and not the son of Odin (this is, however, a slight rewriting from the Marvel-guys, as Loke is the son of Odin and a Jotun. But the mythological accuracy you can check on google;)). And if he had an evil agenda before, he certainly does now! He visits earth, after Thor unsuccessfully apprehended the hammer, and tells him that Odin is dead, and that the burden of the throne has fallen on him. Further he tells Thor that the conditions for peace with the Frost Giants depend on the continued exile of Thundery Thor. And, as the trusty man he is, he believes the lies of Loki, and accepts his fate. 

                Now, what Loki didn't expect was the disobedience of Thor's friends, and of Heimdal the Gate keeper. His friends travel to earth to bring home the true heir to the throne. And when Loki finds out the treason he sends the Destroyer for Thor. 

                This is where Thor regains his power, as he finally act like a leader of men, and not like a boy running around playing a man. He dies doing so, and then Odin (currently not so dead, but in the Odin Sleep, a suspended state where he regains his power) send Mjolnir to wake Thor from the dead. He regains his powers, his hammer, his belief in himself, and he sets off to first kill the Destroyer and then fight his brother. 
                They fight, and in the end Thor has to destroy Bivrost, the rainbow-bridge, thus rendering Asgard without a link to the other realms of the World Tree, Ygdrasil...But hey, they are Gods, and The Avenger movie is just around the corner, so I'm guessing they are returning to a movie theatre near you! I know that I'm going, that's for sure! And I hope they use the storyline from The Ultimate Avengers, as it's simply awesome. 

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