As applications for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation have been identified, the demand for better optics has also increased. Thorium and thorium oxide thin films (19 to 61 nm thick) were RF-sputtered and characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM), spectroscopic ellipsometry, low-angle x-ray diffraction (LAXRD), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) in order to assess their capability as EUV reflectors. Their reflectance and absorption at different energies were also measured and analyzed at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley. The reflectance of oxidized thorium is reported between 2 and 32 nm at 5, 10, and 15 degrees from grazing. The imaginary component of the complex index of refraction, B, is also reported between 12.5 and 18 nm. Thin films of thorium were found to reflect better between 6.5 and 9.4 nm at 5 degrees from grazing than all other known materials, including iridium, gold, nickel, uranium dioxide, and uranium nitride. The measured reflectance does not coincide with reflectance curves calculated from the Center for X-Ray Optics (CXRO) atomic scattering factor data. We observe large energy shifts of up to 20 eV, suggesting the need for better film characterization and possibly an update of the tabulated optical constants.