Upon Further Reflection: Thor Was never Fat
First, let me say that I'm stoked about the sequel to God of War. I hold that game up as almost as good as 'The Last of Us'. And I don't actually care about how Santa Monica studios chooses to portray him. In fact, I see some good arguments for distancing him from the Hemsworth Thor we've all come to know and love. But, was the actual Norse God fat? I find it hardly likely.
I've perused several articles all claiming that the above image (who honestly looks like he should have a ham leg in his other hand, and bits of food in his beard) is the 'real Thor'. And all of them fixate on two instances, one of which that actually contradicts their own argument. They even go so far as to misplace text from within the game, spoken by Mimir, to one of these poems, the 'Thrymskvitha'. They even go to the extreme of stating that 'If You're Mad About God Of War Ragnarok's Thor, You Know Nothing About Mythology'. It's actually right there in the title.
Well, back at ya buddy:
These instances are from the Poetic Edda, and the Prose Edda, which comprise most of what we know of Norse Mythos. In the Poetic Edda is a story of how Thor pretends to be Freya, by wearing her dress and a vail in order to regain his hammer, stolen by Thrym. Thrym has offered to return it in exchange for Freya's hand in marriage, something she scoffs at.
In this poem, Thor eats a massive amount, including a whole ox, eight salmon, and dainties, and drinks three tuns (tun: a large cask of beer or wine) of mead. Now that's a lot for any one person. I think we can safely say it would choke any normal human.
Not only does the amount someone eats not necessarily indicate a weight problem (more on that below) let's keep in mind that Thor successfully masqueraded as Freya, the goddess of love, beauty and fertility, to name a few domains. Just take a look at the pictures of her. She is not heavy at all. Yet, we are to believe that fat Thor Lebowski was able to wear her dress (without ripping it, I might add) and go in her place. Well, either the giants are all blind, or he cuts quite the trim figure. (He must have gone for the extra large veil, in order to cover that beard, though)
And in the Lokrur, part of the Prose Edda, Thor drinks a large part of an unnamed ocean.
Now, both of these poems do most definitely depict a massive appetite. But take it from me, appetite has far less to do with being fat then one would think. My girlfriend weights 110 pounds and can easily out eat me. I weight almost 190 and am only 3 inches taller than her. In fact, she forces herself to eat just to stay at that weight whereas I have to be careful about when and what I eat. My roommate weighs 140 pounds, and can out eat me easily. I have a friend who routinely buys king sized candy bars and sodas for break; he's taller than me and weighs 150 pounds. And I work, and work out, more than any of these people. (While I'm not fat, I certainly have some penalty weight.)
And, if that's not enough, take a look at professional eaters; a large portion of them are thin as can be, yet they put away more food than people twice their size. So, no, appetite does not equal fat.
Now, ideally, we'd look at old art and see how that has portrayed him. And yes, I'm ignoring the people who dismiss this by stating that that's just how the artist pictured him; it doesn't count. And there are quite a few pictures of him, and none that depict Father Christmas Thor. Check out this, this, this, and this. In fact, the only of these pictures that even suggests Thor isn't muscled like an Olympic sprinter is this. And that's still a far cry from his portly counterpart shown above.
So no, the myth that this Thor is somehow more accurate is just that: a myth.
But does that really matter? Santa Monica Studios has already made it ultimately clear that they are running their own adaptation of the Norse mythos here. The Norse Gods' pure dickishness has been kicked up to 11. Loki was the son of Frost Giants, not a half breed. And Loki deliberately tricked everyone at a party (where the highlight of entertainment was to throw things at the invulnerable Baldur) by fashioning a spear of mistletoe to be hurled at him.
And there are some good reasons to switch it up a bit. Let's face it, the Hemsworth Thor evokes a certain feeling. He's a good guy paladin, always willing to die for the greater good. (Well, after the 80% of the first movie anyway) Not only does that not fit this portrayal, but this is supposed to be the bad guy. If you stick a Hemsworth Thor in the game as a BBEG players are going to start questioning which side they're on. (And besides, even if we beat him, then we'll have to fight the entire justice league right? Who needs that noise?)
So SMS changed it up.
And its not like we have the right to feel betrayed, or even surprised by this. Hints were dropped. As has been pointed out, Mimir refers to Thor as a 'Fat Dobber', 'Sweaty Bawbag', and Thunder Lummox all through the first game. This besides the PCS, which shows an overweight Thor coming to call on Kratos and Son.
To be clear here, I don't have a problem with fat Thor. I think it's a smart story telling move by the studio. I just hate fat heads making shit up to justify their own position. #GodOfWarRagnarok #CantWait #ThorsNotFat #FatThor