Thor’s Goats

Engraving of the Norse thunder god, Thor, and his goat-drawn chariot,
Tanngnjóstr and Tanngrisnir pull Thor’s chariot through the sky.

Goats appear often in world mythology. The Norse thunder god, Thor, is said to ride in a chariot drawn by two magickal goats, Tanngnjóstr (Gap Tooth) and Tanngrisnir (Tooth Grinder). The rolling of the wheels of his chariot creates thunder that rolls across the sky. Thor occasionally kills and eats Tanngnjóstr and Tanngrisnir, but by placing their bones and skin together, they return to life the following day. Once, however, the goats weren’t restored intact. According to Padraic Colum’s book, The Children of Odin, this is how it happened.

“As they traveled on in the brass chariot drawn by his two goats, Thor told Loki of the adventure on which he was bent. He would go into Jötunheim, even into Utgard, the Giants’ City, and he would try his strength against the Giants. He was not afraid of aught that might happen, for he carried Miölnir, his hammer, with him. Continue reading “Thor’s Goats”