''Thor, Shut Out From Valhalla''
Illustration by Sidney H Sime
This glorious illustration from Sidney H Sime was published in the 1920 Christmas Edition of The London Illustrated News.
It shows the moment where Thor, the God of Thunder finds himself unable to cross the bridge Bifröst - unlike the
Valkyries - lest he set it aflame.
The introduction to the Norse legend and Sime's illustration provided in The London Illustrated News provides a lovely
overview (particularly in the context of the Christmas season), thus:
Christmas customs embody many elements of Norse mythology, including the use of mistletoe.
In Myths of the Norsemen from the Eddas and Sagas, by H A Guerber, we read:
"One month of every year, the Yule month, or Thor's month, was considered
sacred to Frey as well as Thor, and began on the longest night of the year,
which bore the name of Mother Night. This month was a time of feasting and
rejoicing, for it heralded the return of the sun. The festival was called Yule
(wheel) because the sun was supposed to resemble a wheel rapidly revolving
across the sky ... The first Christian missionaries, perceiving the extreme
popularity of this feast, thought it best to encourage drinking to the health of
the Lord and his twelve apostles when they began to convert the Northern
heathens ... Another Yuletide custom was the burning of a huge log. King Olaf
transferred most of its observances to Christmas Day, thereby doing much to
reconcile the ignorant people to their change of religion ... As he was God of
Thunder, Thor alone was never allowed to pass over the wonderful bridge
Bifröst, lest he should set it aflame by the heat of his presence".
In the lower part of Mr Sime's fine drawing, Thor is seen brooding over this grievance, while
above the nine Valkyries, Odin's battle-maidens, are riding across the bride to Valhalla.
Single Greeting Card (with matching Envelope)
Detail (for reference)
Reproduction on 8x12" sheet
Reproduction on 12x18" sheet
When presented on Greeting Cards, these images are prepared as tipped-on plates - in hommage to the hand-crafted
approach typical of prestige illustrated publications produced in the early decades of the 20th Century.
Hand-finishing is used to replicate the visual appearance of a tipped-on plate and the images are presented on
White card stock with an accompanying envelope. We have left the cards blank so that you may write your own
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