Thor’s belt Megingjörð (Megingjord), is one of Thor’s three crucial possessions. The magic belt doubled Thor’s strength.
The Norse god Thor (Old Norse name þórr) is often associated with his hammer, Mjölnir. But Thor’s hammer was only one of the three possessions that he carried into battle. Thor also had iron gloves called Jarngreipr. His third possession was a magic belt called Megingjord, which means “power belt” in the Old Norse language.
Thor’s belt was an important part of his arsenal. According to the Gylfaginning in Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, Thor’s belt doubled his already fierce strength. The mighty Thor was considered the strongest of men and gods.
Thor was almost unstoppable with the leather belt of strength around his waist.
Why is Thor’s belt important?
Thor’s belt was one of his three prized possessions. While Thor was incredibly strong without the power belt, Megingjord doubled Thor’s strength. Thor’s belt also improved the strength and accuracy of Thor’s hammer.
The iron gloves–sometimes called gauntlets–also worked together with Thor’s belt and Thor’s hammer. When Thor battled trolls, giants, and other mythical creatures, having all three of his magical possessions increased his capabilities.
How did Thor get his belt?
While there is a detailed account of Loki’s betrayal leading to Thor’s hammer’s creation, Thor’s belt’s origins aren’t as well known.
The belt simply exists without explanation in the Prose Edda and other accounts. The most common theory is that the giantess Grid lent mighty Thor her belt and gloves for battle against the giants.
Since Thor already had his hammer when the giantess Grid lent Thor her belt and gloves, it’s clear that Thor’s hammer was created before the appearance of the belt and gloves. Thor’s hammer was given to Thor by Loki. After cutting Thor’s wife’s hair, Sif, Thor, and Odin were angry with Loki. So Loki brought gifts from the dwarves to the Asgardians.
Like many of the Norse myths, how much time passed between the making of Thor’s hammer and the lending of the power belt by Grid is impossible to say. The only sure thing is the power belt’s influence on Thor’s hammer. By increasing Thor’s strength, the magic belt made the hammer more powerful in mighty Thor’s hands.
Did Thor’s belt influence the clothes of Viking warriors?
Viking warriors were heavily influenced by Norse mythology, and Thor’s belt is no exception.
Scandinavian oral traditions focused heavily on the material possessions of the Norse gods. Vikings wore leather belts outside their clothes, not to hold their trousers up but to hold weapons and other tools. Like Thor, Vikings wore their belt every time they wielded their weapons.
In addition to leather belts used to hold weapons, some of the wealthiest Vikings had belt buckles with Thor’s hammer engraved in the metal.
They also used Nordic runes on their weapons and belt buckles in their engravings. Viking belt buckles were a symbol of power and status.