I bid thee and all of Midgard a Happy Thorsday! On this holy day, we give thanks to the Asgardian gods above by celebrating the family of Thor. Tis an interesting group of relatives that the god of thunder has and we shall know them all by name when this article is done. Let us begin.
Buri: Before there was Thor and even before Odin there was the first of the gods, Buri. He is Odin’s grandfather and came into being when he was licked out of the ice which was Ymir’s body by Auðumbla, a Norse mythological primeval cow. Alas there isn’t much information about Thor’s great-great grandfather.
Buri fathered two sons: Mimir and Bor.
Mimir: Is the uncle of Odin and was also a former adversary. After being beheaded during war, Mimir’s head-which was still alive-was brought before Odin. He transformed the head into a fiery being. In this state, Mimir had the power of prophecy and is virtually omniscient with precognitive abilities. He was made advisor to his nephew. He dwells in the Well of Wisdom located in Hildstaff in Asgard and to learn how to stall Ragnarok, Odin sacrificed his right eye to Mimir. Later on, Thor also comes to him and gives up both his eyes in order to learn how to end the ragnorok cycle. During the destruction of Asgard, Mimir is slain by his great-nephew. Mimir first appears in the comics in Thor #240 in October 1975.
Bor: The father of Odin, he makes his first appearance in Journey Into Mystery #97 in October 1963. Once a ruler of Asgard, he was turned into snow by a powerful sorcerer (later revealed to be Loki) during a war with the frost giants. Many, many years later, the trickster revived Borr in New York City only for him to attack Thor. Unfortunately this family spat didn’t end peaceful as Thor kills his grandfather without knowing who he was and as a result and to Loki’s glee, Thor is banished from Asgard.
Bor be like “Have at thee motherfucker!”
Borr marries Bestla and they bring into the world three-er four sons: Vili, Ve, Odin and Cul.
Vili and Ve: Brothers of Odin, these two sacrificed themselves early on in order to allow Odin to survive. Before their demise, the brothers three had an adventure. They defeated and slew the frost giant Ymir one of their ancestors. They then visited Múspellsheimr and fought Surtur but this was to be their last battle as they were overwhelmed and Vili and Ve held the line till the very end to allow Odin to escape. Vili also has a son, Hoder who is Thor’s cousin.
Odin: First mentioned in Journey into Mystery #85 (Oct. 1962), the all-father made his first appearance in Journey into Mystery #86 (Nov. 1962). Due to his brothers scarfice, Odin received the “Odinforce.” He is the ruler and protector of Asgard and finds Thor’s preoccupation with Midgard an annoyance and they’ve butted heads over the years. Despite this, Thor and Odin have a good relationship which is something that Odin didn’t have with his father Bor. In fact, the reason Odin adopted Loki was so that Bor’s spirit would stop haunting him. Bor was angry that his son had replaced him. However this was all part of Bor’s plane to bring about the downfall of his own son. Don’t you love family? Odin has died three times while defending Asgard. Currently he remains in Asgard keeping watch over his dead brother Cul’s corpse.
Cul: Also known as the Serpent, this is one of the black sheep in Thor’s family (you know who the other is). Little is known about his origins due to Odin keeping his brother a secret from the Asgardians. But here is what we do know.
Cul is the oldest of Bor’s children. He started his journey into becoming the god of fear after leaving a message written in blood for a giant whom he had spared. “Gods do not live in the sky. We live on the Earth. And you do so at our pleasure.” as a result the giant was scared shitless and the fear instilled in him would spread. After the death of Bor, Cul made a promise to his brothers which he did not keep. He ruled the nine realms including what was then called Aesheim aka Midgard, with an iron fist of fear.
It was Odin who saved the day and defeated Cul but he could not kill him. Instead he sealed him away deep beneath the ocean. Centuries later, Cul would be awaken and free by the Red Skull’s daughter Sin which would start the events of “Fear Itself”. Cul would finally be defeated once and for all by the hands of his nephew Thor.
With his brothers dead and the oldest sealed away in a watery grave, Odin reigned over Asgard. With his three wives Jord, Grid, and Frigga, he fathered four sons and adopted another: Thor, Vidar, Tyr, Hermod, Balder, and Loki.
Grid: There’s no information given about her except that she’s a Storm giant and the mother of Thor’s half-brother Vidar.
Jord: Known as Gaea, she is Thor’s biological mother and the goddess of Earth. Odin wanted a son who would be strong not only in Asgard but also on Earth. Odin keeps this a secret from Thor and its only revealed when Gaea pleads for Thor’s life.
Frigga: the goddess of marriage, she’s the stepmother of Thor and Vidar and the adopted mother of Loki. Her biological children are Tyr, Hermod, and Balder whom she once used her powers on in order to make him almost completely invulnerable (except to mistletoe) to prevent Raganorok from happening.Most Asgardians view Frigga as a mother figure.
Tyr: the older brother of Thor and the god of war, he is famous throughout Asgard because he was the only god who was brave enough to place his hand in the mouth of the wolf-god Fenris during the wolf’s binding. As a result, Tyr lost his left hand since Fenris bit it off. It’s now covered by metal cup. His love for battle as at times put him in opposition to his father and he’s even had a few skirmishes with Thor in the past.
Aww, Light and War teaming up!
Balder: How the hell is it that the god of light is also the catalyst that will trigger Ragnarök and end Asgard? That’s so messed up. He’s the son of Odin and Frigga, and of course Odin kept Balder’s true identity from him. Of course he did. Hell, why don’t we just call Odin the all-father of secrets? When Thor is exiled due to Loki’s interference, Balder assumes the throne.
Hermod: Making his first appearance in Thor #274-275 (August–September 1978), this mysterious god is Odin’s messenger due to his great speed. He can run at speeds which exceed other Asgardian gods and he’s resistant to all terrestrial poisons, diseases, and some magic. His greatest feat was when he traveled to Hel and spoke to the goddess Hela in order to learn how revive his brother Balder whom had been shot with an arrow by their cousin Hoder due to Loki’s mischief.
Vidar: the god of strength, he’s the son of Odin and the Storm giant Grid. Vidar is 10 feet tall and weilds a six-foot staff. Because he’s half-giant, Vidar wasn’t accepted by other Asgardians and lived outside the city walls as a farmer. When his wife Solveig was murdered by three giants, Odin dispatched Thor and their cousin Hoder to help find the murderers. Later on armed with Thor’s power, Vidar fought against a group of Storm and Frost giants. During Ragnarok, Vidar was killed and when Thor found him, Thor had his brother’s farms set ablaze to serve as his funeral pyre.
Loki: the god of mischief/evil. He’s the other black sheep of the family. He’s done so much bad stuff. Recently however he died and came back as a kid only to die again after he attempts to not be the old Loki. He’s back in a younger body and he’s making his way in the world but his he going to be his old self or something new?
Who’s the baddest god of all?
And that my friends is the house of Asgard. Sure I could also mention Hoder, Thor’s blind cousin the god of winter who accidentally hits Balder and nearly causes Ragnarok. I could also mention Hela the goddess of the dead, Loki’s former daughter (read Journey Into Mystery) who’s obsessed with getting Thor’s soul, and newcomer Angela who’s Thor and Loki’s sister, but I think you get the point.
Welcome to the House of Odin Angela.
Happy Thorsday, I’ll see you next time. For Asgard!