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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

For Tina: Pantsless Thor

Thor (1829) by H. E. FreundUnfortunately, there are not a lot of truly awesome pantsless Thor images floating around. Most of them are semi-strange or creepy, if you ask me, not to mention that his pantslessness does make it a little bit awkward for the whole belt of strength required to make the best use of Mjolnir. But! For Tina, I have found a couple striking images to share.

Now, I'm not an art historian, but most of the pantslessness seems to have come about in the late interpretations of Thor-- for example, this statue of Thor leaning on his hammer, which wikicommons tells me is from 1829 -- and it seems to me that this is an effort to makeover these Norse gods in the image of the Roman and Greek sculpture from the ancient world. I'm not entirely sure they accomplish it successfully, though. This one in particular makes me kind of feel like Thor has weird possessed and/or dead eyes (although I bet it looks mighty fine from the back).

Thor Destroys the Giant ThrymSpeaking of the belt of strength and no-pants combination (maybe taking up Theseus' fashion forward sword-belt only style?) there's this illustration of Thor, not only pantsless, but also beating up on giants while he's at it (you all remember Thrym from last week, I'm sure!). This one is from 1906, I guess. I'm trying to decide if he's throwing off his wedding gown, or if that is some kind of cloak that is attached nowhere to his body. Also, why did this artist feel compelled to give Thor his belt, but not his gloves?

Johann Heinrich Füssli 011I expect the world will never know the answer to that question.  I'm sure most of you will not lose any sleep over it, either. (Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about the gloves and the belt. I mean, I know it's traditional from the mythology, but it kind of takes away from the awesomeness of his strength if he needs a belt to double it and gloves for extra grip in order to wield Mjolnir. That is probably a topic for another post.)

This artist, thankfully, chose not to bother with the belt. Probably because he realized it made Thor look kind of silly in his beautiful oil painting. Whatever the reason, I am grateful to Mr. Fussli for not including it. Jormungand seems a little bit on the petite side though-- I mean, he IS supposed to be so large that he circles the entirety of midgard. This guy seems like he could maybe circle that boat that Thor is trying to fish out of, but that's about it.


Thor and Jörmungandr by FrølichFinally, let me present my favorite pantsless Thor image so far -- Thor vs Jormungand at Ragnarok! He's a little bit on the small size for Jormungand too, but I like the clean and simple lines of the illustration. Thor looks a little bit Zeusish, but again, I think that's a Classical Influence rearing it's head.

I don't know. I guess my problem with most of these images of Thor is this: Thor is the everyman's god, the common man's god. None of these images really bring that out. It is Thor the unstoppable force instead of Thor the guy you can go have a cup of mead with on Saturday night. Except for maybe the soulless crazy eyes Thor statue. He looks like he wouldn't mind going out for a drink... provided you let him borrow your pants first.

EDIT: I lied. THIS is my new favorite Pantsless Thor picture!
Thor's Journey to Geirrodsgard

4 comments:

  1. There are no words for your awesomeness. "It is Thor the unstoppable force instead of Thor the guy you can go have a cup of mead with on Saturday night." Best. Line. Ever. And...I don't know, I still think the black and white sketch is still my favorite. Something about those monstrous thighs in an accentuating lunge :D

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  2. Ahahahaha. That is fair enough! The black and white illustration is nice, I definitely agree, but I like that you can't see Thor's face in the last one-- it lets me picture Friend!Thor instead of BeatYouDown!Thor.

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  3. Good grief. I don't visit for a few weeks, and I come back to ...! Forgive me if I don't explore this further via the web. I'm still reeling from the Google search after your Leda and the swan post. :)

    Face or no, I'm not sure about Thor prancing in the creek.

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  4. Oh dear, VR! I DID warn you not to google image search that one! Thor is relatively tame-- in fact, it's REALLY hard to google image search him without getting Marvel Comics editions. Wiki Commons is really the only way to find Norse Mythology Thor with any kind of ease.

    I have an AWESOME image of Heracles in Marble lined up for Friday. I'm afraid I'm on an art kick.

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