The Battle of Greenwich was the final battle of the Second Dark Elf Conflict. Taking place on Earth at the Old Royal Naval College in the Greenwich borough of London, the engagement was fought by Thor and his human allies against the Dark Elves, led by Malekith.
In 2988 B.C., the Convergence took place, linking all of the Nine Realms together. The Dark Elf sorcerer Malekith attempted to use the Convergence as a way of unleashing the Aether, a destructive Infinity Stone, upon the realms and destroy them all entirely; Malekith believed that once the realms were destroyed, he could recreate them in his own image. However, an Asgardian army led by Bor confronted the Dark Elves on their homeworld, Svartalfheim, and the ensuing battle all but destroyed the Dark Elves. However, Malekith and a small group of Dark Elves managed to survive and hid in stasis, while the Aether was found and hidden by Bor.
In 2013, the Convergence occurred once again, and Jane Foster unintentionally discovered the Aether's hiding place after being warped to its location by one of the portals created by the event. Thor took her to Asgard for treatment, but the Dark Elves, having been alerted to the Aether's awakening, attacked the realm, resulting in the death of Frigga. Intending to avenge his mother, Thor formulated a plan where he and Foster traveled to Svartalfheim with aid from Thor's war criminal brother, Loki. Malekith and his minions followed them there, where Malekith took the Aether from her. While Loki was presumably killed by Malekith's cohort, Kurse, Thor and Foster returned to Earth via another portal, where they met with Foster's friends and co-workers, Darcy Lewis, Erik Selvig, and Ian Boothby. Together, the five realized that Malekith intended to repeat his actions from millennia before, and, using a map left by early Human civilizations pinpointing the peak of the Convergence, confronted him in Greenwich.
By the time the two groups arrived at Greenwich, the Convergence was already nearing its peak. Enormous portals to each of the Nine Realms had opened above the district, slowly coming into alignment. Thor and Malekith engaged in a fierce duel, with Malekith, now empowered by the Aether, on par with Thor. The fight sent them through various portals, transporting them to worlds like Svartalfheim and Jotunheim. On the latter world, the two combatants unintentionally provoked a Jotunheim Beast, which chased them back to Greenwich.
While Thor was dealing with Malekith, Jane Foster, Erik Selvig, Darcy Lewis, and Ian Boothby used devices created by Selvig to deal with Malekith's minions. The devices manipulated the gravitational anomalies created by the Convergence, allowing them to be used as teleportation devices. The devices scattered the Dark Elf soldiers, and they were all eventually killed by either the humans, Thor, or the rampaging Jotunheim Beast. During the battle, the Royal Air Force intervened, scrambling two Eurofighter Typhoons to fire on the Ark. However, the jets were drawn in by the portals, transporting them to Vanaheim.
Thor and Malekith were soon separated by another portal, sending Thor to a subway and Malekith back to Greenwich. Now left unchallenged, Malekith proceeded to unleash the Aether, sending it pouring through the portals. Fortunately, Thor arrived just in time and, using Selvig's devices, severed both of Malekith's arms. Angered, but not hindered, Malekith sneered that the Aether couldn't be destroyed; Thor retorted that Malekith could be, using Mjølnir against him.
Once Thor smashed the last device into Malekith's chest, Foster was able to transport him back to Svartalfheim, halting his attack. However, Malekith's damaged ship started to collapse, and nearly crushed both Thor and Foster until Selvig used the last of his devices to transport it to Svartalfheim, where it crushed and killed Malekith, effectively ending the Dark Elf threat once and for all.
- "In ancient times, people believed the heavens were filled with gods and monsters and magical worlds. Then, as time passed, those beliefs faded into myth and folklore. But now we know the stories are true. Other worlds, with names like Asgard, do exist. And beings once revered as gods, like Thor, have returned, leaving us with more questions, and... an enormous mess to clean up."
- ―Jemma Simmons
Thor briefly returned to Asgard to inform Odin of his victory and of Loki's sacrifice on Svartalfheim. Thor then admitted that he was not ready to become king of Asgard just yet, and returned to Earth to live out the rest of his days with Jane Foster. Unknown to Thor, Odin was actually Loki in disguise, having faked his death on Svartalfheim in order to usurp the throne.
As the damage was being cleaned up, he pieces of Dark Elf technology left behind after the battle were collected by S.H.I.E.L.D. to prevent it from falling into human hands;however some of the Dark Elves technology was retrieved by Phineas Mason.
Not wishing to keep the Aether in Odin's Vault with the Tesseract, Volstagg and Sif went to the Collector's museum on Knowhere to give it to him. Tivan carried the Aether in his collection before it was retrieved by Thanos.
Eventually, Matthew Ellis commissioned the creation of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, as the previous organization tasked with public protection against extraterrestrial threats ended up causing damage to London and threatened the United States as a whole.
In chronological order:
- Thor: The Dark World
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Thor: Ragnarok (indirectly mentioned)
- Avengers: Endgame (picture)