"Your lovely mortal is being guarded by a legion of our Einherjar who will see you coming from miles away."
Fandral to Thor[src]

The Einherjar are a group of elite Asgardian warriors that serve as the army of Asgard, and the warrior-class of Asgardian society. Einherjar warriors are personally trained by the ruler of Asgard and are tasked with protecting Asgard and quelling conflicts within the Nine Realms.

History

Origins

The Einherjar have been the standing army of Asgard at least since the time of Bor, Asgard's second king.[1] As the kingdom of Asgard grew in influence, it became the peacekeeper of the Nine Realms, with the Einherjar expected to police conflicts not only in their own realm, but in the others as well, preventing any one realm from threatening another's natural order.[2][1]

First Dark Elf Conflict

Bor and the Einherjar

Over 5,000 years ago, during a cosmic event known as the Convergence, the Dark Elves, led by Malekith, attempted to use an ancient weapon known as the Aether to revert the universe to its original state of darkness. They were opposed by the Einjerjar army, under Bor's command.

The two sides engaged in a prolonged conflict with the Einherjar fighting the armies of the Dark Elves, including their empowered "Kursed" warriors. The Asgardian army eventually stopped Malekith, using the Bifrost to take the Aether from Malekith before he could make use of its destructive power. The victory was a hard one, however, with a majority of the Einherjar force perishing when Malekith dropped the Dark Elf airship fleet down onto the battlefield, crushing swaths of both armies.[1]

Over time, Asgard rebuilt the Einherjar, who served in many more conflicts in other realms over the millennia as leadership passed from Bor to his son, Odin.[2]

Asgard-Jotunheim War

Asgard-Jotunheim War

"Humanity would not face this threat alone. Our armies drove the Frost Giants back into the heart of their own world."
Odin[src]

In 965 A.D. an army of Frost Giants from the realm Jotunheim invaded Tønsberg, Norway, in an attempt to subjugate Midgard (Earth) and plunge it into a new ice age using the Casket of Ancient Winters. However, they were opposed by Odin and an amassed army of Einherjar warriors, who, after a pitched war, drove the Frost Giants back into the heart of Jotunheim and took the Casket, forcing the Frost Giants into a peace agreement.[2]

Recent History

War of the Nine Realms

"Embrace and celebrate what you've won. Join your warriors. Eat and drink, revel in their celebration."
Odin to Thor[src]

After several schemes set forth by Loki that resulted in the destruction of the Rainbow Bridge, the realm of Asgard was isolated from the rest of the Nine Realms. Without Asgard and the Einherjar to maintain peace within the Nine Realms, the balance of power began to shift and many conflicts began to arise between various realms. Taking advantage of this conflict, a group known as the Marauders arose, attacking and looting various settlements in each realm, one by one.[3][1]

Later, after Thor traveled to Midgard to stop Loki and bring him back to Asgard, Thor also returned with the Tesseract, which Heimdall was able to use to restore the Bifrost. With the Bifrost repaired, Odin dispersed the armies of the Einherjar to the different realms in order to restore peace to the Nine Realms. The Einherjar subsequently fought alongside Sif, the Warriors Three, and Thor to quell the conflicts in various realms, most notably engaging in a prolonged conflict with the Marauders in the realm of Vanaheim.[3][1]

Second Dark Elf Conflict

"If and when he comes, his men will fall by ten thousand Asgardian blades."
"And how of our men shall fall on theirs?"
"As many as are needed! We will fight! 'Til the last Asgardian breath. 'Til the last drop of Asgardian blood."
Odin and Thor[src]

When Algrim led a prison break from the Asgardian Dungeons, the Einherjar responded and were assisted by Fandral and Volstagg in battling the escapees who would not comply with Thor's order to surrender.

After Frigga's funeral, Thor led the Aether-carrying Jane Foster away from Asgard to Svartalfheim in order to protect his home from Malekith's destructive search. This was in defiance of Odin's isolation decree. Odin had Tyr lead the Einherjar in a search for Foster and the Einherjar fought Volstagg, Sif, and Fandral who were protecting her until Thor and Loki could affect her escape.

Loki in disguise of Einherjar Guard

An Einherjar Guard was sent to check the outcome of the Second Battle of Svartalfheim, but Loki murdered him in surprise, impersonate the guard and returned to Asgard to inform Odin that Loki had been killed.[1]

Ragnarök

Hela walking over the Einherjar she slaughtered

"Oh, I've missed this. Still, it's a shame; good soldiers dying for nothing."
Hela[src]

In 2017, when Hela returned to Asgard after her imprisonment, the Einherjar gathered in an attempt to stop her, including hundreds of warriors and multiple airships, all led by Hogun of the Warriors Three. However, despite heroic efforts, including landing numerous blows on Hela and even giving her what would have been a lethal wound on anyone else, the Einherjar were slaughtered. However, some Einherjar escaped and left with Thor on the Statesman.[4]

Settling on Earth

In 2018, after arriving at Earth in Norway, the Einherjar removed all their available equipment and stored it in Tønsberg while repopulating it as New Asgard. However, some of the Einherjar fell victim to the Snap. The surviving Einherjar eventually forsook their previous occupation and followed the simple lifestyle of their fellow surviving Asgardians.

Battle of Earth

The Einherjar join the battle

In 2023, as a result of the Blip, the Einherjar who fell victim were restored to life. Shortly after, the newly assembled Einherjar were transported to the destroyed New Avengers Facility by the Masters of the Mystic Arts to participate in the Battle of Earth. The Einherjar fought against an alternate Thanos and his army alongside the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Masters of the Mystic Arts, Wakandans, and the Ravagers.[5]

Theft of the Reality Stone

The Einherjar chase after Rocket Raccoon

"Thor! I got it!"
"Get that rabbit!"
Rocket Raccoon and Einherjar Guard[src]

In an alternate 2013, after Rocket Raccoon snuck into Jane Foster's room on Asgard and extracted the Aether from her, a group of Einherjar soldiers were summoned immediately to capture the intruder. Rocket fled from the scene, so the Einherjar chased after him, but he was able to evade them and rendezvous with Thor.[5]

Equipment

Einherjar soldiers are prestigious warriors whose uniforms consist of ornate protective armor, including a chest plate with a high neck guard or collar, shoulder guards, gauntlets, boots, and a distinctive, ornate helmet. Their armor is also complemented by a fabric cape.

The Einherjar carry a variety of weapons. Most commonly, they use spears, some of which are double-tipped, for fighting enemies and keeping them at a distance, and a short sword for close-range combat. Additionally, the Einherjar carry ornate, gold-colored shields to provide protection against enemy attacks. These shields provide a small amount of protection against energy-based weapons.

Appearances

Appearances for Einherjar
In chronological order:

Trivia

  • In Norse mythology, the Einherjar are warriors that have died in battle and are brought to Valhalla by Valkyries to prepare for the events of Ragnarök.

References

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