Mjölnir. Its the name of Thor’s hammer. Thor’s hammer is a symbol of his strength and identity.
Yep, I saw the movie last night. What I love about mythology is that it is humanity’s primary form of seeking meaning through narrative. Every culture throughout history has had some sort of mythology…a “meta-narrative” if you will… that attempts to tie everything together. Because of this, you can expect within mythology to see that heart of what humans long for…namely to conquer mortality, to celebrate beauty and heroism, to honor the highest virtues such as courage, selflessness, and wisdom.
Thor is a classic story. A prince about to be king is exiled to earth and stripped of his powers by his father Odin because of his bull-headed bloodthirsty craving. Thor is selfish, brash, and quick to rush into battle. When the Frost Giants try to steal an artifact from Asgard, Thor’s homeland, he retaliates and invades their homeworld. His actions launch Asgard into unnecessary war. As a punishment, Odin exiles Thor out of the sky realm and down to Earth, followed by his hammer Mjölnir which possesses the very power of Odin. Only when Thor is worthy can he once again reclaim the power from the hammer that he once so recklessly wielded.
I think that the reason I liked the movie so much, besides Natalie Portman, is that is a modern parable of the journey of manhood. Our world is filled with exiled warriors, unfinished men meant to fight courageously, to lead boldly, and to serve selflessly…men created to reign as kings, but haven not yet proven themselves worthy of the royalty that is rightfully theirs. Out there somewhere buried in the sand is a Mjölnir of sorts… a holy calling that they were meant to reclaim but are not yet ready for it.
The reality is that our world is at war, and not just over boundaries. This is a spiritual battleground in which the casualties are people’s souls. There is also a Kingdom over which we fight, and everywhere we look the enemy is attempting to storm its boundaries, to win over the hearts and minds of people. The crisis need of our day and age is not for new ideas, novel methods, or a redesigned image, but for men to be men… that men would let go of their pride, arrogance, insecurity, and shame, to reclaim the glory for which they were created, to wield Mjölnir once again and to march fearlessly forward and stand against unknown evils and uncertain times.
Mjölnir is the symbol of a man’s strength. For Thor it was a hammer that carried the power of his father Odin. For King Arthur it was Excalibur. For Samson it was…uh…his hair. For Billy Madison it was his father’s corporation…the thing that he was meant to inherit but is not yet worthy. Its the one thing that deep inside of you everything in you is saying “I have to do this or I have not lived.”
Mjölnir is out there. Maybe for you its a dream, a job, a decision, or a commitment. Its the risk you’ve been unwilling to take. Its the jump for which failure seems too devastating. Its the phone call that you’ve been putting off for way too long. There is no time left for insecurity! The kingdom is suffering violence and its King is calling upon his warriors to return and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.
Kings are forged in times like these. So MAN UP, and call down the thunder…