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John Henry is a Norse demigod son of Thor and an African American folk hero. He was born as a mortal and became an einherji in 1871 C.E.


Early Life

Thor, his father

John Henry was born somewhere in the United States of America in 1840 or so in a slave state. 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.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Hotel Valhalla Guide to the Norse Worlds

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 undone over a white collared shirt.


John Henry is shown to be caring to his friends and intimidating to his enemies.


  • Hammer Proficiency: John Henry is skilled with a hammer.


  • Mjolnir Jr.: His hammer's smooth handle was like a log with carving edged up and down the wood.


  • John Henry is the second character to be mentioned in both a Rick Riordan and Rick Riordan Presents series, the first being Indra.
  • It is possible that this John Henry and the god John Henry are the same person.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
Core Series: The Sword of Summer | The Hammer of Thor | The Ship of the Dead
Main Characters: Magnus Chase | Alex Fierro | Blitzen | Halfborn Gunderson | Hearthstone | Loki | Mallory Keen | Samirah al-Abbas | Sumarbrander | Thomas Jefferson Jr.
Secondary Characters: Randolph Chase | Gunilla | Natalie Chase | Amir Fadlan | Alderman
Minor Characters: Annabeth Chase | Frederick Chase | Helgi | Hunding | Vala | Junior | Lars Alhstrom | Stanley | Inge | Percy Jackson | Stan | Alviss | Miles | Wildflower | Sunspot | John Henry
Norse Gods: Freya | Thor | Balder | Ullr | Frey | Odin | Heimdall | Vidar | Sif | Frigg | Tyr
Minor Gods: Skírnir | Mimir | Ran | Hod | Hel | Sigyn | Aegir | Nine Billow Maidens | Njord | Kvasir | Holler | Forseti | Glum | Lofn | Sól | Idunn
Jotnar: Surt | Gerd | Norns | Utgard-Loki | Harald | Ymir | Geirrod | Gjalp | Greip | Thrym | Thrynga | Tiny | Little Billy | Hrungnir | Red | Tattoo | Gunlod | Suttung | Baugi | Skadi | Hrym | Eggther | Norns
Monsters: Jormungand | Ratatosk | Vedrfolnir | Nidhogg | Fenris Wolf | Lindworm | Wight | Brunnmigi | Siersgrunnr | Garm
Magical Creatures: Dwarf | Elf | Sleipnir | Stanley | Marvin | Otis | Hulder | Nøkks | Vatnavaettir | Nisser | Troll | Raven | Hugin and Munin
Related Content: Rick Riordan | Hotel Valhalla Guide to the Norse Worlds | 9 from the Nine Worlds | Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (Films)