The influence of European Mythology is very reflective on modern American culture. Of course this isn’t too strange as many Caucasian Americans are of European descent. The influences of Greek mythology can be seen in the Architecture of the landscape and in many other various everyday items, and symbols that echo of Greek Architecture especially for Columns and posts. Besides Greek Culture there is also fascination and admiration for the Arthurian concepts of old Britain, when regarding British culture many Americans have followed the archetypes of Shakespeare and of course have made hundreds of adaptations of Shakespeare’s work through the use of many mediums.
But besides Greek and British culture, Americans have a strong fascination with Norse Mythology; this is to be expected because of the many descendants of Scandinavian and Germanic countries. What sets Norse Culture apart from Greek Mythology is their representation of the gods as somewhat honorable and much more moral than their Greek counterparts. There was also the fact that the Norse gods were killable and not immortal therefore these allowed them to become heroes and make sacrifice possible. Norse Mythology’s most popular representative in modern pop culture is the powerful Thunder god Thor.
Thor reached a new level of popularity when he was transformed as a Marvel comics superhero in 1962. Thor was created by 3 people, the then Editor of Marvel Comics, the legendary Stan Lee, comic book scripter Larry Lieber and lastly another great legend in comic book history, Jack Kirby. Thor’s representation in the Marvel comics universe was a mixture of mythology and science fiction, as the Norse gods or Asgardians were represented as a near un killable race of Cosmic beings who influenced the culture of the Norsemen of Scandinavia. Thor then became a member of Marvel comics’ first Superhero ensemble team the Avengers.
In 2011, Thor reached a new level of popularity when he had his first feature film Thor. Thor was portrayed by relatively unpopular newcomer Chris Hemsworth. Chris Hemsworth was relatively popular in his home country of Australia because of his experience in many tv shows, he was relatively unknown in Hollywood except for his role as Captain Kirk’s father George Kirk, in the 2009 Reboot of the popular film series Star Trek.
The Thor movie was directed by British director Kenneth Branagh and had an ensemble cast with Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Rene Russo as Freya and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. The film also had Idris Elba playing the Bifrost guardian Heimdall and Star Wars prequel veteran Natalie Portman as love interest Jane Foster.
The film’s plot was that of redemption as it depicted Thor as a proud and overconfident Norse god who reignites a war with Asgard’s greatest enemies the Frost Giants. Thor is then banished to Earth by Odin where he learns humility after meeting Astrophysicist Jane Foster. Thor tries to return to Asgard only to find out that his brother Loki has betrayed him after finding out about his Frost giant heritage. The film ends with Thor losing his brother to the depths of cosmic space and him being returned to Asgard.