The Hammer of the Æsir God of War: Thor
The meaning of Mjollnir
The Mjöllnir or Mjǫllnir (not Mjolnir), is the War-Hammer as designed for and wielded by the Æsir God of Thunder and war, Thor.
The legendary Mjollnir, forged in the ancient kiln of Sindri and Brokkr deep in the rock caverns of Svartalfheim.
Our Germanic spiritual symbol of the Mjǫllnir finds its power as a symbol of faith in the Æsir. The use of the Mjǫllnir became extremely prominent throughout the Viking Age (at the beginning of the current age) as a symbol of true faith to our Gods and Goddesses just as it is used today: as a signifier of those who hold true the spirit of their Germanic and Nordic ancestors.
Mjǫllnir pendants, carvings and references are regarded as representations of the divine weapon of Thor.
Prior to Asatru being displaced as our national faiths (something we will correct and reverse), the Mjǫllnir in that pure, racially and spiritually-homogenous era, before Christianity exerted its influence, was used as a consecratory instrument. Bronze Age depictions demonstrate that our Mjǫllnir symbol was used as a consecratory instrument in Asatru rituals both private and societal. It was used as a blessing for hand-fasting and later within other aspects of life. As Christianity violated our lands the Mjǫllnir shifted into becoming primarily a symbol of defiance and opposition through war to the foreign invasive ideology and those defiled and foreign people promoting Christianity.
In this regard the modern usage of the Mjollnir as a symbol of kin-identification is paralleled. Most modern Ásatrúar wear a Mjǫllnir pendant as a symbol of faith personally but also to help other Asatruar identify them as of the same faith. The Mjǫllnir in this regard is a deep and universally significant racial-spiritual icon to us.
The Mjollnir’s original pre-conflict usage was far more specific as a consecratory icon (although itself not consecrated by any man other than the smith who made it) for personal and official; rites, rituals and consecrations.
The pure Old Norse etymology and origins of the name of Mjǫllnir comes from the Old Norse Mjǫll meaning ‘white’ or shining or ‘new snow’ colour. This pure interpretation renders the meaning of Mjollnir: “the shining weapon”. Old Norse exerted influence on surrounding languages and thus even in Russian Mjǫllnir has meaning through their word ‘Molnija’ which means “lightning”. It is clear that this variation of the original refers to the wielder of Mjǫllnir Thor and his effect of wielding it, not the Mjollnir itself. The purest interpretation is always the best.
The records of Mjǫllnir are old and well attested. From the beginning of the Nordic and wider Germanic Bronze age the symbol of Mjǫllnir can be found in carvings, engravings, amulets and small ornamental replicas of varying form and proportions.
The archaeologically evidenced main variations of the Mjollnir :
Läby, Uppsala, Sweden
Altuna runestone, Uppsala, Sweden
Ödeshög, Östergötland, Sweden
Moheda, Småland, Sweden
Staffanstorp, Skåne, Sweden
Sandby, Skåne, Sweden
Pålstorp, Raus, Skåne, Sweden
Gärsnäs, Skåne, Sweden
Fitjar, Hordaland, Norway
It is attested that whilst being forged by Brokkr and Sindri, Loki interferred in the manufacturing process whilst shape-shifting in the form of a fly to irritate Sindri/Eitri (Skáldskaparmá,l 33) and thus distract the continuous airflow from the manually operated bellows of the kiln, resulting in the shortened handle as seen in the Skåne Mjǫllnir.
Mjǫllnir unlike conventional war-hammers was told to have been forged entirely of metal from handle to the ends and point of the hammer. Saxo Grammaticus, the Danish historian however said that the shape of Mjǫllnir was due to having its handle broken-off partially in battle. However the original source seems more accurate that it was due to sabotage by Loki during the manufacturing process on behalf of his favouring of the Sons of Ivaldi who were in competition with Brokkr and Sindri to produce the most incredible gifts for the Gods and Goddesses.
This subsequent shorter shape resulted in the prominence of the use of Mjǫllnir more as a projectile weapon. It is attested that Mjǫllnir could be thrown by Thor and that it would always return (Skáldskaparmál 33) as well as produce thunder and lightning when thrown or wielded by Thor.
In the lore Mjǫllnir is used by Thor when fighting throughout the lore, against Skrymir (Gylfaginning 33), Hrungir (Skáldskaparmál 17), Hymir (Hymiskviða 36) and Thymr (Þrymskviða 30). Mjǫllnir’s record as a well worn and used weapon is established.
Mjǫllnir is considered among the sub-race of the Jotunns as a renowned and awed weapon of immense power-potential. The sheer ferocity of which was attested to have cleaved craters in the side of mountains and have slain many giants and even was used to restore life to one of Thor’s goats. Once Mjǫllnir was stolen and returned via Thor’s disguised efforts as detailed in the Þrymskviða.
Upon the final battle of Ragnarok Mjǫllnir will be used by Thor to defeat the Midgard Serpent Jörmungandr before he takes 9 final steps and Ragnarok is won upon great sacrifice.
In our contemporary struggle the Mjollnir is a symbol of our defiance and our willingness to sacrifice to defeat the world serpent of our era so that our people may live forever after us, as do the remnants of the Æsir after Ragnarok is won by the sacrifice of many of the Æsir and Vanir and of the Einherjar. Other Germanic symbols are also used in this way.
1. Rayner, D, Own Knowledge on Asatru, past & modern. (Pictures infront of the studio-soundboards are mine)
2. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Archaeological record of Mjöllnir, 2017, retrieved 2019, Pictures.
3.Simek, R. Dictionary of Northern Mythology, Cambridge, 2000 (1984 original German), pp.219
4.Orchard, A. Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell: London, 1997, pp.114