Thor received negative reaction before it’s release due to casting a black man in the role of one of the Norse gods. While I believe that some of the objection was due to prejudice, I also understood why some people might disagree with the decision to cast someone who doesn’t depict the traditional appearance of Heimdall. Then I remembered that they were having a blonde dude play Thor - and having Loki be the son of Odin - and I remembered that the movie wasn’t attempting to be accurate to Norse mythology, so worrying about matching the myths wasn’t really worth arguing about.
Apparently, another controversy has come up that I hadn’t heard about until today. Some neopagans who worship the Æsir (the Norse pantheon) disliked the movie’s portrayal of the gods. Like any community, the neopagan community had a variety of opinions: some objected to the movie, some saw it as harmless and others enjoyed it. I can understand why some neopagans might be upset, but I don’t think the movie was done in a way that was meant to be offensive.
It’s no different from the many movies and books who take “creative liberties” with religions. They can come across as offensive to believers, but many are not intended to be offensive. (If you want an intentionally offensive portrayal of religion, check out the Preacher series.) In the case of Thor, they weren’t attempting to adapt Norse mythology, but to adapt an adaptation of Norse mythology (the Thor comics). Naturally, this means that they’re going to take liberties with the source material.
I think that neopagans should try to look on the bright side: even if this isn’t 100% accurate to their beliefs, it gives more people an opportunity to learn about and become interested in the Norse gods.
As a huge fan of Norse mythology, I’m thrilled that more people are being exposed to it. And even with the liberties taken with the source material, I think it still manages to capture some of the original spirit of the myths.