Why Thor Chose Goats to Pull Chariot?

Posted by Ms Elly on

Why Thor Chose Goats to Pull Chariot?

Thor Odinson was one of the most important gods in Norse mythology. He was the son of Odin and Jord the giantess of earth. Unlike Thor of the modern version who could fly by swinging the Mjolnir hammer. The original version of Thor in Norse mythology, on the other hand, did not fly like that. Instead, Thor originally had a pair of goats to pull his chariot to cross the sky, 

Initially, I found it ridiculous to see a muscular man with a pair of goats crossing the sky. But when I dwell deep into Norse mythology, I found this detail interesting and meaningful instead. 

Thor's goats actually presented the connection between Thor and humanity as well as Thor's natural strength. 

Why Thor chose goats to become the ones who pulled his chariot in Norse mythology?

If you are new to Norse mythology, Thor's goats were named Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. We don't know how Thor picked the pair. What we have from Norse mythology is that Thor owned this pair of goats. That's it. 

Back to the major topic of this blog post, Thor's goats presented Thor's connection with people in Midgard. 

In recorded history, goats have always been constant companions to people all around the world. Goats first became domesticated about 11,000 years ago. Goats could provide many types of necessities like fur, milk, meat, bones, skull, etc. A goat meant abundance as well as presented its closeness with humanity.

Goats in Norse mythology presented abundance and the physical strength

Goats in Norse mythology presented protection, physical strength, abundance, and blessings. 

Thor often brought people in Midgard with blessings and fortune as well. In Norse mythology, Thor defended those who believed and worshipped him. He often turned up in formal ceremonies like birthdays, funerals, weddings, etc. to offer his blessings. Compare with gods like Odin or Freyr, Thor had better bond humanity. He communicated with Midgardsmen or even had dinner and slept in a house of Midgardsmen as well. 

If the horse Sleipnir of Odin the Allfather presented the leadership and the pioneering force in battle, goats of Thor presented the commonness shared by Thor and humanity. Sometimes I feel like a pair of goats was what made Thor become "humanized" and friendly among Midgardsmen. 

Moreover, a pair of goats presented the physical might of Thor as well. Scandinavian goats often give us the feeling of more muscle and strength than goats from other parts of the world. And maybe because of this, Thor's goats became the symbol of Thor who was considered among the mightiest gods in Norse mythology. 

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