Thor, chariots, and helmets

Yesterday evening I started on the sketch of Thor and trying to figure out other things for my sculpt, like the not unimportant chariot. Have to make a sketch of that one too…

One of the biggest problems I have is that there are no real references as to the chariots Norsemen used and plenty of discussions if the Norse people used them or not. There is the Celtic chariot, with a single axle, the Egyptian and Roman, also with a single axle, and then I come across the “Oseberg cart” with a double axle. I know this is a cart and not a chariot but Googling images for “Viking/Norse Chariots” gives me all sort of confusing information, showing single and double axle chariots.

Thor is shown in both single and double axle chariots, while Freya is only shown in her cat-drawn single axle chariot.

So I have to make a choice here and this is what it’s going to be… the double axle chariot based on this picture that I like:

459px-Thor_by_Johannes_Gehrts

This is a drawing of Thor, made in 1901 by the German painter Johannes Gehrts and, unlike some paintings/drawings, Thor has a beard. I have mentioned it before, I’m going to stick to the Norse visualization of Thor, being red-haired, red-bearded, fiery eyed, and barrel-chested. He is, after all, the most valiant Warrior of the Norse Pantheon and an idealized image of the Viking fighter.

And he is not wearing any helmet of some sort, another reason for choosing this picture to work off. Looking for information on the Norse and their Pantheon, you will find lots of discussions. One of those discussion is if the Vikings wore helmets or not. We all know that Vikings are often shown with helmets with horns but apparently that is wrong. If the average Viking warrior wore a helmet, it would have been a non-descript conical form helmet without any adorations (I won’t go into the “wings” decoration because they have been used). Planting horns on a helmet would give your enemy the chance to grab onto those…something you wouldn’t want.

Now, to plant a non-descript conical form helmet on Thor would look silly, in my humble opinion, and very un-God like wouldn’t you think?

Off to the drawingboard for the chariot and next time I will post my sketches.

Hope you’ll have a great day!