Over the last twelve years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken the mainstream public by storm, and with that storm has come the surprising rise in the popularity of the God of Thunder, Thor. What many don’t realize, however, is that some of his G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) sidekicks have yet to surface in live action form.
Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder are Thor’s loyal, mystical goats that pull his chariot through battle. Like most things from Asgard, these are no ordinary goats. Both goats possess superhuman strength, strong enough to even damage Mjolnir, cast lightning from their hooves, and are able to be reborn if eaten as long as none of their bones are broken. They also have the abilities of flight and super speed, as well as being able to travel between the Ten Realms; a power that is definitely useful for someone like Thor who is constantly bouncing around.
Of the two goats, Toothgnasher has lived the more exciting life. After an alternate Mjolnir from a different dimension caused Thor’s friend Volstagg to become a psychotic murderer, Thor left Toothgnasher behind to guard it. Unfortunately, Volstagg steals back the hammer leading to Toothgnasher’s unfortunate demise. While trying to prevent the theft, he is decapitated by the Mangog, an alien beast fueled by hatred. Luckily, Loki uses the Norn Stones to bring back Toothgnasher following the War of the Realms.
Just as Thor is based on real life Norse mythology, so too are his trusty steeds. In the mythology they go by the names Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, which each roughly translate to their Marvel equivalent; with Tanngrisnir translating to teeth-barer or snarler, and Tanngnjóstr translating to teeth grinder. In the Prose Edda, a work of Norse literature from the 13th century, there are stories featuring Thor cooking the goats in order to feed himself as well as a family that he stays with. The goats are able to be resurrected after the meal, however the child of the family Thor stays with breaks one of the goats bones to suck out its marrow, and the goat is reborn with a lame leg. The powers of their Marvel interpretations seem to derive directly from these tales and are a testament to the creative ways Marvel has used a mythological figure in their own universe.
With the future of the Thor films already looking bright, is it possible that we will see these sidekicks in future movies? With the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder exploring the story of Lady Thor, it does seem that Marvel isn’t afraid to dive into the deeper Thor comic lore when it comes to its latest films, and with the success of small side characters like Korg and the public’s fascination with cute heroes like baby Groot, it may not be too long before we see Thor being pulled through the cosmos by Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder on the big screen.
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