The Asgardians, or the Æsir, are the inhabitants of Asgard on which the gods of Norse mythology are based. They are a race of extraterrestrials similar in appearance to humans, possessing a highly advanced form of technology resembling magic, which their civilization is built on. They were ruled by Odin and for millennia had a reputation as peacekeepers within the Nine Realms.
The Asgardians are a brave and a powerful warrior race whose passion for adventure is their religion, and their reputation as one of the mightiest races in the universe has earned them the respect and fear from other races. Their interactions humans over 1,000 years ago had a strong influence on Scandinavian culture, with the Asgardians becoming the template for the region's Norse mythology.
The population of the Asgardians is now considerably lower than it once was, having been mostly wiped out following the aftermath of Ragnarök, the Attack on the Statesman, and the Snap. However, the Snap victims were revived by Hulk with the Infinity Stones in 2023.
- 1 History
- 1.1 War against the Dark Elves
- 1.2 Conquering the Nine Realms
- 1.3 Galactic Exploits
- 1.4 Traveling to Earth
- 1.5 Thor's Banishment
- 1.6 The Bridge Destroyed
- 1.7 Loki's War on Earth
- 1.8 War of the Realms
- 1.9 The Dark Elves Return
- 1.10 A New Rule
- 1.11 Immigration on Earth
- 1.12 Ragnarök
- 1.13 Brink of Extinction
- 1.14 Settling on Earth
- 1.15 Battle of Earth
- 2 Technology
- 3 Characteristic Traits
- 4 Notable Asgardians
- 5 Appearances
- 6 References
- 7 External Links
War against the Dark Elves
Over 5,000 years ago, at the time of the Convergence of the Nine Realms, Malekith, king of the Dark Elves launched a campaign to revert the universe to its primordial state of darkness using an Infinity Stone called the Aether. He was opposed by the Asgardians under the command of their king, Bor.
The Asgardians successfully ended the threat posed by the Dark Elves, claiming the Aether before Malekith could make use of its power. The Asgardians believed the Dark Elves entirely wiped out, never suspecting that Malekith, his lieutenant Algrim, and a command of Dark Elf warriors had escaped the final battle, entering a state of extended hibernation, intending to awaken at the time of the next Convergence and revive their plans for total conquest.
Knowing the Aether was too powerful to destroy, yet fearing the consequences of another tyrant using it, Bor had it well hidden.
Conquering the Nine Realms
Bor was succeeded by his son Odin who, with his daughter and Executioner Hela by his side, led Asgard in a violent conquest, bringing all of the Nine Realms into Asgard's power. Hela's ambitions exceeded the realms of Yggdrasil, however, and she began plotting a wider and bloodier conquest of other worlds.
Odin, realizing at last the dangers posed by his warlike philosophy and, unable to reason with his daughter, banished her to Hel. Odin proceeded to strike all reference to his tyrannical daughter from Asgardian art and record, ensuring she was forgotten by history.
Being an advanced, spacefaring people, the Asgardians interacted with various other races and cultures. Among those known included the Kree, the Centaurians, the Korbinites, the Badoon, and the Nova Empire, as well as Knowhere. Sif herself mentions blue aliens she has met: Interdites, Levians, Pheragots, Kree, Sarks, Centaurians, and Jotuns. Their encounters with other galactic groups helped the Asgardians build a higher reputation for themselves, earning respect from the other races, while also making them enemies of some. As children, Asgardians are taught about the many races, including even learning their languages.
Although they have a history of contact, Asgardians do not have very close ties with cultures from worlds other than the Nine Realms. Even though they are recognized, Asgardians are not seen as one of the prominent members of the integrated space community. Lady Sif mistakenly informed Phil Coulson that Frost Giants were the only blue-skinned alien race to have ever visited Earth when in fact, the Kree had visited Earth well before the time of Odin's reign. Another example is when Thor tells the Avengers that the Chitauri are not of any world ever known, although they reside in a region of space known as Sanctuary. Previously, Thor had spoken to Loki, the then-leader of the Chitauri, who had told him that in his exile he had learned many things, including worlds Thor, and presumably the rest of the Asgardians, do nor know about, including Chitauri space.
Traveling to Earth
War against Jotunheim
- "Midgard, also known as the Planet Earth, has long captured the interest of the Asgardians, who have traveled on the Rainbow Bridge to observe this realm. Over the years, those visits have threaded their way into Earth's Norse myths. Many think those stories are nothing but fantasy, but they are in fact true."
- ―Section on Midgard[src]
In 965 AD, the Frost Giants of Jotunheim set about to conquer the Nine Realms, starting with Earth. The Asgardians, now under the rule of Bor's son Odin, arrived in humanity's defense. The Asgardians eventually drove the Frost Giants back to Jotunheim, where Odin personally defeated the Jotun king, Laufey to the point of surrender. After a truce was made, the Asgardians claimed the Casket of Ancient Winters, Jotunheim's greatest weapon, and took it back to Asgard for safekeeping.
While on Jotunheim, Odin found Laufey's abandoned son and decided to raise him as his own alongside his own son, Thor. Odin named the child Loki and planned to eventually use him to unite the two kingdoms and bring about a permanent peace.
In the 12th century, an army of Asgardians known as the Berserker Army came to Midgard. They were mostly or partially made up of Asgardian citizens, not of a fighting profession who had volunteered for the mission. They obtained greatly enhanced strength and a sense of extreme rage by touching the Berserker Staff. After it was over, the troops went back to Asgard except for one, The Warrior Who Stayed, later known as Elliot Randolph, who had fallen in love with Earth and its culture. He broke the Berserker Staff in three pieces and hid them throughout Europe, and kept his identity a secret. In the 1500's, however, he told his story to a French girl whose brother, a priest, wrote down, and the tale of the Berserkers went into legend.
Becoming Norse Legends
Asgardians also began travelling to Earth and formed a strong relationship with the humans. Thor and Loki visited Earth with Odin. The Asgardians taught the Norse people their language and culture and displayed their abilities; this caused the Norse people to believe the Asgardians to be deities, and bestowed upon Thor and Loki the monikers "God of Thunder" and "God of Mischief". This tradition was continued for many years. During one of these visits, Odin brought the Tesseract from his vault and brought it to Tønsberg, Norway, where he left it in the care of devout Asgardian worshipers.
Six centuries later, Thor had proven himself as a worthy prince, defending Asgard in many battles and becoming something of a hero. When Odin decided to finally make Thor king, a jealous Loki decided to postpone the crowning. Opening a secret passageway into Jotunheim, Loki allowed three Frost Giants to enter Asgard where they attempted to steal their Casket from Odin's Trophy Room. Although the attempt failed, Thor's coronation was indeed postponed. Furious with rage, Thor, Loki, Sif, and the Warriors Three travelled to Jotunheim where they began slaughtering as many Frost Giants as they could.
When Odin attempted to calm the situation, Laufey declared that they were once again at war. Returning to Asgard, Odin stripped Thor of his hammer, Mjølnir, and banished him to Earth to learn humility and prove himself worthy of the throne. In his absence, Loki confronted Odin of his true heritage and learned of how he was found. Under enormous stress, Odin fell into the Odinsleep, leaving Loki to take the throne.
Devising a plan, Loki travelled to Earth and told Thor that he is to remain on Earth in exile, stating that Odin had died from the threat of a new war. Loki then went to Jotunheim and struck a deal with Laufey, granting him permission to enter Asgard and kill Odin in his sleep. Meanwhile, Sif and the Warriors Three had travelled to Earth to bring Thor home. Loki had, in turn, sent the Destroyer after them. In a fierce battle in a small town, Thor proved himself worthy and his powers were restored, leading to the Destroyer's defeat. The incident caused the Earth to once again believe in the legends.
Back on Asgard, when Laufey attempted to make the killing strike against Odin, Loki betrayed and murdered him. Thor soon returned to Asgard and confronted Loki who revealed his plan to destroy Jotunheim using the Bifrost to prove himself worthy to Odin.
The Bridge Destroyed
During the brothers' Duel at the Rainbow Bridge, Thor was forced to destroy the Rainbow Bridge and save Jotunheim. Odin awoke from his sleep but declined Loki's pleas for acceptance. Loki then allowed himself to fall into the abyss of space. The Asgardians celebrated Thor's return and heroics but they were faced with a bigger problem. With the Bifrost gone, Asgard would not be able to protect the Nine Realms.
Sensing Asgard's absence, a ragtag team of invaders known as the Marauders set about robbing and killing throughout the realms. Meanwhile, Asgard discovered that Loki was still alive and had made a deal with the alien tyrant, Thanos. Loki had travelled to Earth to steal back the Tesseract and in return would be given command of the Chitauri army in order to rule the planet. Using dark energy, Odin was able to send Thor to Earth to bring Loki and the Tesseract home.
Loki's War on Earth
Using the Tesseract, Loki traveled to Earth and set about causing tumult in order to proclaim himself Earth's king. Using mind control, Loki had several humans build him a device that could harness the Tesseract's power and open a portal to allow the Chitauri to invade Earth.
Coming into conflict with S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers, and Thor, Loki, and his army were met with the battle as they laid waste to New York City. The Chitauri were eventually defeated, the portal closed, and Thor used the Tesseract to return Loki to Asgard for punishment.
War of the Realms
Returning to Asgard, Heimdall used the Tesseract to restore the Bifrost. Loki, meanwhile, was imprisoned for his actions on Asgard, Jotunheim, and Earth while Thor was sent to lead the Asgardian troops against the Marauders who were still wreaking havoc all around the Nine Realms and beyond to planets such Harokin, Nix, Korbin, and Ria.
After a two year war, all of the Marauders were eventually rounded up and imprisoned on Asgard, the Realms were again at peace and owed their peace to Asgard. Odin, proud of the man his son had become, decided it was finally time to make Thor king, something he had now become wary of after years of battle.
The Dark Elves Return
Five thousand years after their race was slaughtered, the Dark Elves awoke from their sleep, the time of the Convergence coming once again. Meanwhile, on Earth, Jane Foster came across portals left by the Convergence and was warped to the area where the Aether was hidden. Unleashing the Aether, Foster became its unwilling host. Travelling to Earth, Thor located his friend, to whom he formed a romantic attachment during his exile on Earth two years prior, and took her to Asgard for protection.
Meanwhile, Malekith devised a plan, disguising his lieutenant Algrim as a Marauder and had him imprisoned on Asgard. While inside the dungeons, Algrim unleashed the power of the Kursed, transforming himself into an indestructible beast. Releasing the Marauders from their cells, Algrim destroyed Asgard's defenses, allowing the Dark Elves to invade Asgard. In the frenzy, several prisoners escaped from their cells, including Lorelei, who made her way down to Midgard.
Battle commenced between the two sides, Asgardians and Dark Elves falling in number. Unable to locate the Aether's host, Malekith had Algrim murdered Queen Frigga before escaping on their ship. Asgard mourned Frigga and their many dead. Odin, erratic from the loss of his wife, had the Bifrost shut down and grounded all Asgardians for Malekith's return attack.
Thor, wanting to seek revenge, freed Loki from his cell and, with the help of Sif and the Warriors Three, escaped from Asgard with Foster. Using a dimensional rift that Loki discovered many years ago, they teleported to the Dark Elves' home planet, Svartalfheim. They eventually located Malekith, who took the Aether from Foster's body, despite Thor and Loki's best efforts to destroy it. With Loki sacrificing himself to kill Algrim, Thor and Foster were stranded on Svartalfheim while Malekith travelled to Earth to unleash the Aether at the Convergence's climax.
Finding a portal that led back to the same London warehouse from where Foster and Thor departed Earth, Thor battled Malekith, and, with the help of Foster, Erik Selvig, Darcy Lewis, and Ian Boothby, killed him, reclaiming the Aether and saving the Nine Realms once again.
A New Rule
Returning back to Asgard, Thor declined the throne and told Odin he wished to stay on and protect Earth. Unknown to Thor, Loki, having survived his apparent death on Svartalfheim, travelled back to Asgard in disguise and had somehow usurped the throne, masquerading as Odin himself. Deciding that it was too risky to keep the Tesseract and the Aether both on Asgard, Sif and Volstagg delivered the Aether to the safekeeping of Taneleer Tivan, the Collector. Unknown to the Asgardians, Tivan somehow wished to use the Aether, along with the other Infinity Stones, for his own ends.
Immigration on Earth
On Earth, S.H.I.E.L.D. had grown warier of supernatural threats after Loki invaded. In their efforts to retain global peace and deter possible threats, the agency came to realize that various Asgardians had made Earth their home. Two significant cases were Elliot Randolph and the sorceress Lorelei. The former aided S.H.I.E.L.D. in stopping a Norse hate group from using the Berserker Staff, an Asgardian weapon, for sinister purposes, and the latter became an enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D., who teamed up with Sif to stop her.
Meanwhile, Asgardians continued their role as protectors of the worlds within the Nine Realms. When Heimdall saw a Kree on Earth, Sif was sent to investigate. Ultimately, she brought him back to Asgard with her before he left for Hala.
Thor teamed up with the Avengers once again to track down the Chitauri scepter in HYDRA's possession and to defeat Ultron, an A.I. created from the Scepter's alien supercomputer who had gone genocidal. After experiencing visions from the Scarlet Witch which foretold disaster on Asgard, Thor with Erik Selvig journeyed to the Water of Sights and obtained information about the Infinity Stones. Thor then traveled back to Asgard.
Elliot Randolph again teamed up with S.H.I.E.L.D. to figure out how to use and later destroy an ancient Kree portal, the Monolith. Fearful of being dragged back through a portal back to Asgard or anywhere else, Randolph agreed to help S.H.I.E.L.D. understand how the portal worked with his vast knowledge from tracking down rumors of portals on Earth in exchange that the portal then is destroyed.
Thor returned to Asgard after two years of searching for the Infinity Stones. He discovered that Loki was still alive and disguising himself as Odin to rule Asgard. The two traveled to Earth and with the help of Doctor Strange, they found a dying Odin in Norway. Before his death, Odin told his sons that their sister, Hela would be free and would try to rule Asgard by force. With Odin's death, Hela appeared before them and stated herself as their queen and destroyed Mjølnir. The three were transported via the Bifrost Bridge by Skurge, but Hela threw the two out of it and they landed on the planet of Sakaar.
Hela quickly challenged the Einherjar to a fight and she managed to kill the soldiers and the Warriors Three. She appointed Skurge as her executioner and ruled the Asgardians in fear. However, Heimdall led the civilians of Asgard to a safe place where they could hide from Hela. Meanwhile, Thor reunited with Hulk on Sakaar and together with Valkyrie, they escaped the planet and headed to Asgard while Loki joined the Sakaaran Rebellion and travel to Asgard as well.
Thor challenged Hela to a fight while the rest of the Revengers and Asgardians fought her army of Berserkers. Hela revealed to be too powerful, so when Loki joined the fight and helped to evacuate the Asgardians from Asgard on a Sakaaran ship, Thor told Loki to merge the Crown of Surtur with the Eternal Flame so Surtur would cause the Ragnarök in order to kill Hela. The plan succeeded, but the Asgardians were left with no home planet as a result. Thor, their new king, set course for Earth for refuge.
Brink of Extinction
The Asgardian refugee ship was intercepted by Thanos and the Black Order, where the ship was boarded. A massive fight ensued, during which half of the surviving Asgardians were slain. Thor, Hulk, Heimdall and Loki survived the fight. Heimdall would be killed by Thanos after using the last of his energy to teleport Hulk to Earth via the Bifrost. Loki would quickly follow after attempting to assassinate Thanos by feigning allegiance to him once more. After successfully integrating the Space Stone into the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos used the Power Stone to detonate the ship before teleporting away with the Black Order.
Settling on Earth
The remaining Asgardians, along with Korg and Miek, ended up reestablishing civilization in Tønsberg, Norway on Earth, naming the town New Asgard. Deprived of their riches, the Asgardians lived a simple, rural life. The remaining Asgardians were led by Thor, but due to his hermetic lifestyle of drinking and video gaming, they do not see their king unless he would require more alcohol. In 2023, New Asgard was visited by Hulk and Rocket Raccoon, who succeeded in bringing Thor back to the Avengers.
After Hulk had snapped his fingers with the electronic Nano Gauntlet to reverse the Snap, all the creatures snapped away by Thanos returned. Shortly afterwards, Valkyrie led an army of Einherjar alongside Korg and Miek to fight in an all-out battle against Thanos' army via Masters of the Mystic Arts' portal. Joined by the Avengers, Wakandans, Ravagers, Masters of the Mystic Arts and other individuals, they fought against Thanos and his army. Tony Stark ultimately ended the battle by snapping away all of Thanos' allies and Thanos himself, winning the war.
Asgardians are an advanced warrior race with access to technology beyond human comprehension. Some Asgardian devices are deceptively primitive-looking with esoteric, ancient-sounding names. Asgardians are a martial people, and Asgard's armies have kept peace in the Nine Realms for many millennia. They possess energy weaponry, along with aircraft similar to Viking longboats that are armed with cannons and missiles. The royal palace is protected by an energy shield, and travel between the Nine Realms is made possible by the Bifrost, a bridge between worlds. Asgardians also have advanced password systems to open doors that can even be engraved in stone. Some devices are fused with advanced technology and magic, as in the case of the Destroyer.
Asgardian warriors make use of regular melee weapons, such as swords, spears, and shields. These weapons, however, are made of advanced technology. They appear mundane when stationary, but when moving quickly (i.e. sword slashing in battle) the blade glows with a bluish-white aura of energy which greatly increases the weapon's power (very often while the individual handles the weapon, a strange vibration is audible, indicating that the blade can turn blue at any time), leaving handheld weapons obsolete: be they lightning, bullets or arrows. Similarly, certain Asgardian weapons can sometimes create fiery blue or orange sparks when they strike; conversely, Asgardian armor generates similar sparks when struck. Asgardian shields are capable of deflecting laser blasts; when a blast hits the shield, it ripples with the same energy, deflecting the blast. This same energy is present in other Asgardian technology. It is fired by cannons and generated as the shield used to protect the palace.
One of the most important pieces of technology the Asgardians possess is the Rainbow Bridge, capable of harnessing and generating a Bifrost Bridge. Himinbjorg, from which Heimdall commands the Bifrost and watches over the Nine Realms and space, lies just outside of Asgard connected by the Rainbow Bridge. The Bifrost allows the Asgardians to travel to other planets without the need of spaceships, as other cultures do.
While Asgardians and humans look the same in appearance, they are very different, possessing a range of superhuman abilities. The most primary of their abilities is a variable degree of superhuman strength. The average Asgardian possesses strength sufficient to battle any being within the Nine Realms. More developed warriors like Heimdall, the Warriors Three, Frigga, Sif, and the Valkyrie possess slightly superior strength, enabling them to overpower low-level Asgardian warriors (or, in Frigga's case, battle a Dark Elf to a remarkable degree). Elliot Randolph, due to his days as a Berserker, may still possess a level of strength that could put him in that same category. Members of Asgard's royal family, including Bor, Odin, Hela, and Thor, seem to be the strongest Asgardians. A certain amount of strength may be conferred to whoever is currently the crowned ruler of Asgard, as Hela was overpowered by her father Odin, with Thor even saying that his father was stronger than him.
Asgardians also possess superhuman speed (as demonstrated by Thor, who was able to tackle a rampaging Hulk before he could strike Black Widow), agility (again demonstrated by Thor ducking the wing of a S.H.I.E.L.D. jet fighter that had been hurled at him), reflexes, and coordination.
Most significantly, Asgardians possesses remarkable durability and regenerative ability. Like their strength, however, Asgardian durability varies from person to person. While the average Asgardian can survive against the most powerful of opponents, they can still be killed. Trained warriors like Heimdall, the Warriors Three, and Sif have more developed durability, enabling them to hold their own against powerful opponents like the Destroyer. The royal family, again, has the highest level of durability.
Even though they can survive tremendous amounts of superhuman physical punishment more than a normal human being, Asgardians can still be injured. It is at this point that their regenerative abilities take effect. These abilities enable them to heal much faster than humans. Still, there is a "healing room" on Asgard that serves to expedite the treatment of grievous injuries among Asgard's general population. Odin appears to be one of the few Asgardians above such precautions, instead entering the Odinsleep, a prolonged period of suspended animation in which he regenerates his strength. Thor, as Odin's son, also possesses regenerative ability higher than the average Asgardian's. Alcohol must be stronger or ingested in higher quantities to affect an Asgardian as it would a human. Thor drank thousand-year-old alcohol to feel the effect, while Elliot Randolph became drunk by consuming an incredibly large amount.
Asgardians' regenerative abilities enable them to have longer lifespans. While humans generally perceive them as immortal, Odin has pointed out they are not. Loki noted that, even though they are not truly immortal, Asgardians live much longer, "give or take 5,000 years". For example, Bor's father Odin is long dead by the Second Dark Elf Conflict, likely having lived his 5,000 years sometime after the first conflict. Asgardians age as humans do for the first 20-or-so of their lives. Upon reaching early adulthood, they begin to age much more slowly.
Asgardians possess different internal anatomy from humans, with their bones, tissue, and skin several of times denser. While they do have red blood like humans, human doctors are unfamiliar with their anatomy and lack the necessary knowledge to help a wounded Asgardian. While Earthly materials can wound them if wielded by an individual with superhuman strength or sufficiently advanced technology, the average human's strength and technology are not nearly sufficient to wound them.
Asgardians with potent magical ability have been shown to be able to dissolve into energy either upon the point of death, as with Odin and Hela, or after an elaborate funerary ritual, as with Frigga. Other Asgardians simply leave corpses behind; Hela's undead warriors were viable for resurrection even after millennia of internment.
The Asgardians are a warrior race and they often (as youngsters) yearn for battle. They are trained in the use of various weapons and hand-to-hand combat; Queen Frigga was able to go toe-to-toe with Malekith, besting him at sword fighting. Similarly, many of the Asgardian civilians armed themselves to help fight against Hela's undead army. As children they are also taught about the races of the Nine Realms and beyond, even learning other races' languages.
The Asgardians have a writing system similar to Earth's Nordic runes. It is possible that Asgardians imparted their own knowledge of written language to the ancient Scandinavians with whom they interacted.
|Appearances for Asgardians|
In chronological order:
- Thor: The Dark World
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.15: Yes Men
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.12: Who You Really Are
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.07: The Writing on the Wall
- The Avengers
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.08: The Well
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Thor: The Dark World Prelude
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.02: Purpose in the Machine
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.11: All the Comforts of Home
- Doctor Strange Mid-credits Scene
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Russo Brothers Q&A with Collider
- Avengers: Endgame
- The Art of Thor: The Dark World