"Thor is the foremost of them, he that is called Thor of the Æsir, or Öku-Thor; he is strongest of all the gods and men... Thor has two he-goats, that are called Tooth-Gnasher and Tooth-Gritter, and a chariot wherein he drives, and the he-goats draw the chariot; therefore is he called Öku-Thor."
– Gylfaginning, Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur Translation
I first touched on the concept of the great thunderer as a force of nature when working on my latest in the series of Norse Mythology books, the Voluspa. In verse 26 I used the following things as inspiration:
- In Germany an Oak Tree is called Donar's Oak (Donar is Thor)
- In parts of Europe a common house leek was grown into thatched roofs to protect against lightning. In the North this plant was called Thor's Beard.
- Thor's goats propel him through the sky
- At the base of Thor's hammer is an oath ring. In many Germanic cultures Thor was the keeper of oaths.
It's the first time I was able to create an image of Thor that spoke deeply to me. I've been wanting to do a full color fantasy oil painting of Thor for a long time, and the drawing for the Voluspa led me to paint "Elemental Thor."
In the painting I show Thor as a force of nature. He is the thunder, the tornado, and the storm. His goats propel him through the sky and his red beard blazes through the heavens, as he brings his lightning hammer to bear against the foes of Asguard.
Sam Flegal is the creative mind behind Fateful Signs. He has been a freelance Illustrator since 2009. He likes to work in oil paint and with brush and ink, focusing on exaggerated expressions and detail. Sam lives in Nashville, Tenn., with his lovely wife and daughter. He makes art almost everyday and is a very lucky man.