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John Henry was born somewhere in the United States of America in 1840 or so. His mother was a slave and so was he. When he was born his father, Thor, gave him a junior version of his Mjolnir hammer. It grew as Henry did too. In his twenties he became a free man after the American Civil War ended slavery. He decided to leave his mother and travel, but he had her blessing in his ear. After a while, he met his father, and he ate goat (Otis) stew and drank mead by a fire with him. While trading stories Thor told him of how Thrym stole his hammer and how he got it back by pretending to be his bride. He disappeared after Henry passed out to failing to lift Mjolnir. He left a note for him, but he couldn't read it.
Man Versus Machine
Not long after, John Henry got a job driving steel spikes for the railroad. He was the best worker until a smooth-talking, scar-faced salesman rode into town. He was selling steam-powered drills claiming they were faster and stronger than any steel-driving man. He was going to put Henry and the others out of work. So Henry bet him that he and his hammer could lay more track through a mountain in one day than his machine. If Henry won, the salesman would leave and never come back, but if the salesman won, the railroad would buy his machines. The salesman accepted to this, but Thor told his son that he won't play fair. He gave him his belt and hammer, which his son wielded with ease this time. John Henry won against the salesman but then died. Since he had his hammer in his hand he was taken to Valhalla. He still had the note Thor gave him. A Valkyrie read it to him. It said: This man is my son. Treat him right. If you don't I'll bash your heads in. Since it was signed Thor, John Henry learned who his real dad was.
John Henry wrote a story of his life in the book entitled "A Hero and a Hammer".
John Henry was a large Black man with arms of mahogany, fists like rocks, and shoulders broader than mountains. He wears blue overalls with a strap undon over a white collared shirt.
His hammer's smooth handle was like a log with carving edged up and down the wood.
John Henry is shown to be caring to his friends and intimidating to his enemies.
- Hammer Proficiency: John Henry is skilled with a hammer.
- John Henry is the second character to be mentioned in both a Rick Riordan and Rick Riordan Presents series, the first being Indra. John Henry is the first Magnus Chase character to appear in a Rick Riordan Presents title.