It’s no secret that the MCU takes pretty heavy inspiration from different mythologies. Greek, Roman, Norse and even Egyptian. Just to name a few. In this article I’m going to cover the differences between the Norse mythology stories and the MCU interpretation.
ODIN Norse Mythology vs MCU
Starting off with the all father Odin – The God of Wisdom, War, Poetry & the Dead. In the MCU he is heavily underpowered. He’s shown as a simpler man who acts distant and in all honesty doesn’t really do much.
However, in Norse mythology its a different story entirely. He is the chief God and rules over the afterlife in Valhalla. There are many gimmicks of the Norse Odin that we have never seen in the MCU. For example, his famous and trusted magical spear named Gungnir, his symbolic 8 legged horse Sleipnir (also Loki’s child) or his faithful talking ravens, Hugin & Munin.
His MCU family tree is very simple. He has his wife Frigg and his three children Hela, Thor & Loki. Whereas in Norse mythology Odin’s family is much more complex.
His first partner Frigg was mother to three of his 6 children, Hermod (messenger of the gods), Hod (the blind son) & Baldr (The god of light purity and summer).
His second partner was named Jörd and she was personification of Earth. She birthed Odin 3 children. Tyr (God of war), Meili (God of travel) and the most famous, Thor (The God of Thunder). Possibly the most surprising difference is that neither Hela or Loki were ever Odin’s children in the real mythology. Loki was his blood brother and Hela was actually Loki’s daughter.
THOR Norse Mythology vs MCU
Moving on to the main man, Thor. The blonde God of thunder was neither blonde or just the God of thunder.
In Norse mythology Thor is famously pictured with long ginger hair and a long ginger beard. He is the God of thunder but also a few other things. He is also the God of weather, tides, oak tree and wood. He’s also associated with farming and the harvest. In the MCU none of these things are ever mentioned.
In the MCU he has a short relationship with Jane Foster who was never a Norse character or even inspired by one. Instead Thor was actually married to Lady Sif who he only fights along side in Thor & Thor: The Dark World. Lady Sif and Jane Foster are both confirmed to show up again in Thor: Love & Thunder so maybe we could see some kind of love triangle in the future.
In the Norse stories Thor has 3 children. One to Lady Sif and two to Jarnsaxa (a frost giant) by the names of Thrud, Magni & Modi.
One final noticeable difference is in Thor’s equipment. We all know and love his famous and symbolic hammer, Mjolnir. But in the myths Thor had 3 equally famous pieces of equipment he carried everywhere. He had Mjolnir, Jarngreipr (a pair of gloves essential to wield Mjolnir) & Megingjord (a strength increasing belt).
LOKI Norse Mythology vs MCU
Finally, the character with the most drastic change of story, the God of Mischief and Shapeshifting, Loki.
As previously stated Loki was Odin’s blood brother in the mythology and not his adopted son that the MCU has portrayed. Loki in the MCU has his parents and 2 siblings and that’s it. No children and no partners (unless you count Sylvie). However in the Norse tales, Loki has by far the craziest family tree you will ever hear of.
His first partner was a frost giantess named Angerboda, with whom he had 3 very different and powerful children.
The first of which was Fenrir, a giant wolf prophesised to one day devour the sun and the moon. That’s right, that wolf you saw in Thor: Ragnarok was never just Hela’s pet but more accurately Loki’s actual child who was conceived in a shapeshifted wolf form.
Loki’s second child is Jormungandr – the World Serpent. Taking its size from his giant mother and destructive attitude from his father this snake could wrap round the whole planet. Also, Loki gave birth to him through his own mouth.
Last but not least, his third child was Hel or as the MCU know her, Hela. In the movies, Hela is seen as Loki’s older sister. However, the Goddess of death was in fact his daughter.
Loki had 2 other more normal kids never mentioned or seen in the MCU with a normal wife, and one other child who he gave birth to himself. He transformed into a 6 legged horse, mating with another horse to then give birth to Odin’s 8 legged steed Sleipnir.
Finally while Loki is un-killable in the MCU and seems to somehow survive everything, his story in the mythology ended when himself and Heimdall found themselves in a battle that took both their lives.
It’s clear that the MCU and the real Norse mythology have a lot of differences, but hopefully in the future we get to see some of these crazier and more accurate influences from the original myths.