Viking Ring: Thor's Hammer Ring, Mjolnir
Throughout the Viking pagan mythology, there is a perpetual conflict between the gods and their nemesis, the giants. Among the gods, the mighty Thor was commissioned with the task of defending both the realms of gods and that of humans as the “chief giant-basher”. In these stories, Thor had a knack for smashing in the skulls of giants with Mjolnir, his magic hammer.
In one of the legends, one of the giants steals the magic hammer, Mjolnir, and demands to marry Freyja, a beautiful goddess as the price for returning the hammer. Cleverly, Thor disguises himself as Freyja and travels to Giantland to present himself as the bride. This is a bold move, especially considering the society at the time shunned ideas such as crossdressing. The giants are duped by the ploy and as soon as the hammer is given back as agreed upon, Thor grabs it and smashes the giant’s skull in in one swing.
During the Viking era, Thor’s popularity is easily seen, for instance, there are numerous pagan temples specifically dedicated to him. There are also a huge number of miniature Mjolnirs (Thor hammers), and hammer pendants that have been excavated in the area, not to mention the pervelence of the name Thor in both male and female personal names, for example ‘Thorstein’ for men and ‘Thorunn.’