Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Odin, Thor, and Tolkien

We touched on this briefly in class today, but I wanted to follow it up on our blog. What is the relationship between Odin and Tolkien's texts? What about the relationship between Thor and any of Tolkien's Middle-earth texts? Some scholars consider Gandalf related to  Odin; while other scholars say they have little similarity. Some scholars say Thor is too human to be a "god" and, therefore, he is more similar to the heroic humans-- Argorn, Boromir, Isildur, etc-- in Tolkien's texts. What do you think? Are Thor and Odin presented in The Prose Edda as gods? Does Tolkien insert something of their characters into his own?

1 comment:

Elwing said...

I think that Odin and Thor are very different from the "gods" Tolkien uses. I deffinitely see Odin as a god because he is very knowledgeable and wise. Thor, on the other hand, does not seem very godlike apart from his strength. He seemed too hot-headed (like when he kicked that dwarf at Baldr's funeral) and foolish to be a true god.

I don't really see the connection between Odin or Thor and Tolkien. Odin could be compared to Iluvatar, but it could be argued that Iluvatar is a manifestation of God rather than Odin. I also don't see any Thor-like characters in Tolkien's works. None of the "gods" are extremely short-tempered or gullible.