Far to the North and for centuries after the Romans invaded and Christianity fought for a foothold, Thor, god of Thunder remained beloved to the northern peoples. In fact, the hammer he wielded Mjollnir was worn as a symbol of defiance to the Christian cross.
Thor, Son of Odin
Although Thor was not the ruling deity of Asgard, the realm of the Norse gods and the seat of power, he was the first son of Odin All Father, the King of the Gods. Like Zeus, Odin married his sister goddess Freya. Their son Thor seemed to have become the most beloved of the gods, worshipped throughout the northern reaches. Thor was a patron to farmers, he controlled the thunder and the lightning, and thus the weather and he could have great effect on the lives of the peasants who worked the land, the warriors who fought for it and even the sailors who took to their boats.
Despite his fearsome appearance, many of the myths associated with Thor are humorous. For example, once his hammer was stolen by Loki and given to the giants. The giants demanded Thor's sister as a bride in return for the hammer. Knowing they must have Mjollnir returned, Thor dressed as his sister and was presented to the giant for his bride. So pleased, the giant gave his new 'bride' the hammer to return to her brother. Thor then took the hammer and struck down the giants.
Despite the emasculation of the tale, it demonstrated that Thor was not afraid to take on any challenge, even that of appearing as a woman to defend his family.
Mjollnir is as important to the mythology of Thor as the god, himself. The dwarves forged Mjollnir for the god. If he threw the hammer, it would return to him every time. The hammer could call down lightning, destroy most objects and even restore life to the dead. Thor's hammer became intrinsically tied with creation myths and fertility, giving rise to the custom of placing a hammer in the lap of a bride on her wedding.
Thor married his sister goddess Sif, with whom he had two children. Many stories detail Thor's children with other women, but unlike the Greeks, the Norse accepted the god's many children and they lived in Asgard with their father, learning from him as he did Odin.
Ragnarok, the end of the world was said to come when Thor and his most bitter enemy Jormungand (the world serpent) fight to the death. Until then, Thor's tales contemplate his tracking of the great beast and fighting to protect the world from it's devouring jaws