When Christianity first reached Scandinavia and the viking colonies, the people tolerated the cult of the new god just like they tolerated the cult of any other god. However, when it became clear that the Christians had no intention of extending this same tolerance to those who continued to adhere to the worship of the old gods, but instead wanted to eradicate the traditional religion of northern Europe and its accompanying way of life and replace it with a foreign religion, the northern Europeans retaliated. And who better to defend their traditional way of life and worldview from hostile, invading forces than Thor? One of the many areas of life in which this struggle manifested – and one of the easiest to trace by the methods of modern anthropology – was modes of dress. In deliberate contrast to the cross amulets that the Christians wore around their necks, those who continued to follow the old ways started to wear miniature Thor’s hammers around their necks. Archaeological discoveries of these hammer pendants are concentrated in precisely the areas where Christian influence was the most pronounced. Though ultimately doomed, their efforts to preserve their ancestral traditions no doubt benefited from the divine patron whom they could look to as a model.
Read more: Norse Mythology