Poor mental health is an experience that everyone has gone through at some point in their life. Even superheroes and gods aren’t immune to feelings of doubt and low self-esteem, with Thor being a prime example. The God of Thunder has battled depression, unworthiness and a loss of identity, highlighting that even the most powerful characters need to find coping mechanisms to restore their sense of self-belief.
Superhero Mentality focuses on positive mental health habits that different characters use as part of their daily routine and Thor’s approach combines a mixture of fitness, socialising and respect for his heritage.
To begin his positive mental health routine, Thor would embrace the Nordic concept of Friluftsliv. Translating to ‘free air life,’ the term means finding a state of bliss within nature. This is different from the Danish term hygge, which focuses on creating a sense of cosiness through social interaction.
Friluftsliv can be as simple as spending time in a forest and feeling connected to that moment. There are no distractions or pressured thoughts. It’s about recentring the mind within a green space.
Thor’s idea of friluftsliv would be to find a secluded Scandinavian wood and set up for an intense workout.
Thor’s connection to his hammer Mjolnir is an integral part of his identity. For a time, it was how he measured himself as a man and judged himself to be worthy of wielding it. But the Thunderer has lost the ability to lift Mjolnir in the past, or it has been destroyed. During these times, Thor’s self-worth has been negatively affected and he’s needed to find a way to reinvent himself.
The God of Thunder no longer measures his self-worth by Mjolnir, though his appreciation for hammers will always remain. A positive exercise for him involves hammer throwing, which not only feeds into his fitness regime, but acts as a reminder that he doesn’t need to rely on a weapon that will return to him.
Regularly throwing hammers gives Thor the opportunity to hone his aim and clear his mind of doubt.
The Vikings loved throwing axes at their enemies, and it stands to reason that their gods would have given them plenty of inspiration. Thor’s version of axe throwing would involve several wooden targets and testing how quickly he could embed an axe into the centre.
As part of the workout, Thor would shift between one-handed and two-handed throws, stimulating different muscles, which include the shoulders, back, arms and his core.
The next stage of Thor’s routine is a full body workout with glima, the art of Nordic folk wrestling. Glima has been around for several centuries and it’s defined by its use of technique over strength.
The most popular form of glima is trouser-grip wrestling, where combatants wear specialised belts that are made for gripping. Each wrestler attempts to trip or throw their opponent while grabbing the belt and get their opponent to touch the ground with an area of the body between the elbow and knee.
Thor would likely wrestle with fellow Avengers like the Hulk, Captain Marvel or Luke Cage to test his strength. He’d be fiercely prideful of the rules of glima, which consists of a code of honour called drengskapur, calling for fairness and a respect for the safety of his training partners.
Of course, there’s always the temptation to become a little competitive….
After his workout, the God of Thunder would be in a celebratory mood and it’d be time to break out the mead. The ambrosia of Valhalla and the nectar of the Norse gods, mead has connotations of knowledge and wisdom. This is thanks to Kvasir, the wisest man in the world, whose lifeforce became the essence of mead.
It’s likely that Thor would recite the story of Kvasir to his fellow Avengers and champion the virtues of mead several times. While he’d bring some Asgardian mead with him, I could also see him enjoying Midgardian mead that has been named after himself.
Thor’s Mead is produced by the Lancashire Mead Company and is known as a metheglin (herbed honey mead). It’s made with blossom honey, water, citra hops and yeast to create a smooth and hoppy brew that brings the lightning.
Thor is the epitome of strength, an inspiring character for people who suffer with mental health issues. That strength can be captured through songs that are reminiscent of the Thunder God, so be sure to check out his edition of The Pop Culture Playlist.
3 thoughts on “Superhero Mentality: Thor”
Great post! I am curious to know what is your opinion about “V for Vendetta” as a concept for superhero?