|Thor Meets Captain America|
|by David Brin|
|Published in||The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction|
|Publication date||July 1986|
"Thor Meets Captain America" is a science fiction and alternate history novelette by American writer David Brin. It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 1987and also won a Locus Award in 1987 in the novelette category. The graphic novel The Life Eaters is based on the story. This story was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in their July 1986 issue; it was later reprinted in the anthology Hitler Victorious.
The title is a reference to the Marvel Comics characters Thor and Captain America.
Just as World War II began to turn against them, Nazi Germany is suddenly aided by the Norse pantheon. However, Loki joins the Allies, and they prepare a last-ditch sneak attack against Valhalla called Operation Ragnarok. The story follows Captain Chris Turing, who is part of the team which is going to attack Valhalla and starts out with them traveling to their attack destination in a group of submarines hoping that what remained of the United States Surface Navy would be able to distract the Nazi and Norse pantheon forces. Originally the plan was to include only Chris' team and their commando escorts, but Loki informs them that he will accompany his troops to Gotland as well. Due to Loki's previous actions in aiding the Allies and the way he ended the Holocaust by saving the inmates of the concentration camps, Chris agrees and convinces Major Marlowe to allow it.
While waiting for them to get to their destination, Chris recollects his memory of World War II and how the Nazi Germany was about to be defeated by the allied forces until they received the aid of the Norse pantheon. Loki notices Chris and allows the captain to ask the Norse God three questions. Loki answers the questions asked, and in one answer mentions how he does not think that he is older than Chris and also implies that the Nazi extermination camps were established for reasons other than for "Nazi racial purification", but refuses to answer any further questions to clarify this. The group arrives at Gotland, and during the operation Loki disappears as Æsir forces led by Thor defeats the troops.
The survivors of Operation Ragnarok are taken prisoner after the failed mission and are given to Thor by his father Odin. While in custody, Chris recollects more of his memories of World War II and recalls how as a child he wished that he would have an event like the war that he could partake in like his father did. He ends up discussing the history of World War II with his captured troops, and argues with the group about the suggestion the United States should have simply bombed Germany in order to end the war as soon as possible. He also takes an opportunity to mock one of his human captors about how the Nazis have become mere puppets of the Æsir.
After these conversations, Chris is taken to be interrogated by Thor. Thor tries to get Chris to reveal the whereabouts of Loki, but the captive captain does not tell him and does not know. Chris ends up insulting Thor, insisting that they are aliens, and as a result Thor orders his death before revealing that the Norse pantheon were invited "upon the wings of death itself."
O'Leary later tells Chris that he was told by Loki to give Chris an answer to his final question: necromancy. Chris realizes that the death camps were built not for "racial purification", but for human sacrifices to fuel magic. The captain also realizes that the Norse Gods were created by necromancy due to Loki's admission that he is actually young. After realizing that he has gained superhuman powers from Loki, Chris attacks the guards and dies in an attempt to resist the Norse Gods after managing to destroy Odin's Spear. In doing so, he hopes that his actions will give hope to other heroes who will eventually rise up to overcome the Nazis.
In the author's notes for this story, David Brin records that he was invited by Gregory Benford to write a piece for an alternate history collection, entitled Hitler Victorious, but voiced the opinion that he could not think of a single event which, if altered, would have let the Nazis win the war, and, contrariwise, that they had required a number of lucky breaks to get as far as they did (see also: alien space bats). Benford’s reply was “I bet you could think of some premise that would work, David”. This story was the result.Brin also notes in the afterwards of his story that he wrote this story as a possible explanation for why the Nazis "do so many horrible, pointless things".
In Norse mythology, Asgard is a location associated with gods. It appears in a multitude of Old Norse sagas and mythological texts. Some researchers identify Asgard as one of the Nine Worlds surrounding the tree Yggdrasil. Norse mythology portrays Asgard as a fortified home to the Æsir tribe of gods, located in the sky. Asgard consists of smaller realms that individually do not appear as frequently in mythological poems and prose. Ancient Norse eschatology envisages the total destruction of Asgard during Ragnarök, and its later restoration after the world's renewal. The best-known gods of the Norse pantheon are Aesir or live in Asgard: Odin, Thor, Loki, and Baldr. Asgard is depicted as a celestial city of high towers surrounded by a great wall. Odin's famous hall of Valhalla, where his throne may have been located, is in Asgard.
Fenrir or Fenrisúlfr, also referred to as Hróðvitnir and Vánagandr, or Vanargand, is a wolf in Norse mythology. Fenrir, together with Hel and the World Serpent, is a child of Loki and giantess Angrboða. He is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, Fenrir is the father of the wolves Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson, is a son of Loki and is foretold to kill the god Odin during the events of Ragnarök, but will in turn be killed by Odin's son Víðarr.
In Norse paganism, Freyja is a goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, sex, war, gold, and seiðr. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, is accompanied by the boar Hildisvíni, and possesses a cloak of falcon feathers. By her husband Óðr, she is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Along with her twin brother Freyr, her father Njörðr, and her mother, she is a member of the Vanir. Stemming from Old Norse Freyja, modern forms of the name include Freya, Freyia, and Freja.
Loki is a god in Norse mythology. According to some sources, Loki is the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. Loki is married to Sigyn and they have two sons, Narfi and Nari or Váli. By the jötunn Angrboða, Loki is the father of Hel, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. In the form of a mare, Loki was impregnated by the stallion Svaðilfari and gave birth to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir.
In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of events, including a great battle, foretelling the death of a number of great figures, natural disasters and the submersion of the world in water. After these events, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in Norse mythology and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory in the history of Germanic studies.
In Norse mythology, Víðarr is a god among the Æsir associated with vengeance. Víðarr is described as the son of Odin and the jötunn Gríðr and is foretold to avenge his father's death by killing the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarök, a conflict he is described as surviving. Víðarr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and is interpreted as depicted with Fenrir on the Gosforth Cross. A number of theories surround the figure, including theories around potential ritual silence and a Proto-Indo-European basis.
The Æsir are the gods of the principal pantheon in Norse religion. They include Odin, Frigg, Höðr, Thor, and Baldr. The second Norse pantheon is the Vanir. In Norse mythology, the two pantheons wage war against each other, resulting in a unified pantheon. Unlike the Old English word god, Æsir was never converted over to Christian use.
Thor, the god of Norse mythology, has appeared as a character in various comics over the years, appearing in series from a range of publishers.
Thor is a prominent god in Germanic paganism. In Norse mythology, he is a hammer-wielding god associated with lightning, thunder, storms, sacred groves and trees, strength, the protection of mankind, hallowing, and fertility. Besides Old Norse Þórr, the deity occurs in Old English as Þunor, in Old Frisian as Thuner, in Old Saxon as Thunar, and in Old High German as Donar, all ultimately stemming from the Proto-Germanic theonym *Þun(a)raz, meaning 'Thunder'.
Germanic mythology consists of the body of myths native to the Germanic peoples, including Norse mythology, Anglo-Saxon mythology, and Continental Germanic mythology. It was a key element of Germanic paganism.
Valhalla is a Danish comic series, which offers a comedic view of the gods of Norse mythology. Originally commissioned for and published by Interpresse, it has been published by Carlsen Comics since 1978. In 1986, Valhalla was adapted into an animated feature film the studio A Film. On October 10, 2019, a more serious and dark live action adaptation was released.
Odin Borson, the All-Father is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. First mentioned in Journey into Mystery #85, the character first appears in Journey into Mystery #86, and was adapted from the Odin of Norse mythology by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The character is depicted as the father of Thor and former king of Asgard.
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Thor is a fictional superhero based on the Marvel Universe version of Thor. Thor was the Asgardian God of Thunder based on the deity of the same name of Norse mythology and a founding member of the Ultimates.
The Norse mythology, preserved in such ancient Icelandic texts as the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, and other lays and sagas, was little known outside Scandinavia until the 19th century. With the widespread publication of Norse myths and legends at this time, references to the Norse gods and heroes spread into European literary culture, especially in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain. In the later 20th century, references to Norse mythology became common in science fiction and fantasy literature, role-playing games, and eventually other cultural products such as Japanese animation. Storytelling was an important aspect of Norse mythology and centuries later, with the rediscovery of the myth, Norse mythology once again relies on the impacts of storytelling to spread its agenda.
Valkyrie Profile is a role-playing video game developed by tri-Ace and published by Enix for the PlayStation. It was released on December 22, 1999 in Japan and on August 29, 2000 in North America. Inspired by Norse mythology, Valkyrie Profile follows the titular valkyrie, Lenneth, as she travels through Midgard, collecting the souls of slain heroes to serve either as einherjar or her personal companions for Ragnarok - the battle to decide the fate of all creation - and trains them by fighting monsters and performing additional quests. As she journeys, she learns more about her original human life, removed from her memory upon becoming a Valkyrie.
Hela is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is based on the goddess Hel from Norse mythology, and was first adapted by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Journey into Mystery #102. Hela is the Asgardian Goddess of Death who serves as the ruler of Hel and Niflheim. The character is usually depicted as an adversary of the superhero Thor.
Odin is a widely revered god in Germanic mythology. Norse mythology, the source of most surviving information about him, associates him with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victory, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and depicts him as the husband of the goddess Frigg. In wider Germanic mythology and paganism, the god was known in Old English as Wōden, in Old Saxon as Uuôden, in Old Dutch as Wuodan, in Old Frisian as Wêda, and in Old High German as Wuotan, all ultimately stemming from the Proto-Germanic theonym *Wōđanaz, meaning 'lord of frenzy', or 'leader of the possessed'.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is a trilogy of fantasy novels written by American author Rick Riordan with the subject of Norse mythology and published by Disney-Hyperion. It is based on Norse mythology and is set in the same universe as the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles and The Kane Chronicles series. The first book, The Sword of Summer, was released on October 6, 2015. The second book, The Hammer of Thor, was released on October 4, 2016. The Ship of the Dead, the third book, was released on October 3, 2017.
The Sybil's Visions is the 15th and final volume in the Valhalla comic series. The volume is a retelling of the myth of Ragnarök and is, as the original title suggests, primarily based on the Völuspa. Like the other later volumes in the series, it was extensively researched. The result of this research is described in the afterword and in detail in writer Henning Kure's book I begyndelsen var skriget: Vikingetidens myter om skabelsen.