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For alternate versions of Erik Selvig, see Erik Selvig's Character Hub

"There's nothing more reassuring than realizing that the world is crazier than you are."
―Erik Selvig[src]

Doctor Erik Selvig is a renowned astrophysicist and author who was a Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at Culver University. While working alongside Dr. Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis in 2010, Selvig encountered an Asgardian named Thor, whom he realized was the Norse God of Thunder he had grown up hearing stories of. After the incident, Selvig was recruited to join S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. to help them harness the energy of the Tesseract. When Loki invaded Earth in 2012, Selvig was put under his mind control and was instrumental in activating the Tesseract to create a wormhole above New York City, allowing the Chitauri to attack the city. After being freed from the mind control by Black Widow, he informed her that that the Scepter could deactivate the Tesseract as a failsafe, bringing an end to the Chitauri Invasion.

However, Selvig's mind was affected by the Mind Stone within the Scepter which caused him to become mentally disturbed while also granting him cosmic knowledge such as the Convergence. In 2013, he was arrested for public nudity at Stonehenge, although he was freed by Foster, Lewis and Ian Boothby. Reuniting with Thor, he helped them utilize the Convergence's effects to defeat Malekith and the Dark Elves.

Following his mental recovery, Selvig gained tenure as a professor at the University of London. In 2015, he was visited by Thor, who sought his assistance due to a vision he had of a possible future. Agreeing to help, Selvig guided Thor to the Water of Sight, allowing Thor to reexperience his vision. Following the Ultron Offensive, Selvig relocated to the Avengers Compound in New York to set up the facility. In 2018, Selvig was a victim of Thanos' Snap, although he was resurrected by Bruce Banner five years later. In 2025, he analyzed Foster's blood work and provided medical advice for her during her cancer treatments.

Biography[]

Early Life[]

Astrophysics Scientist[]

"He's delusional. Listen to what he's saying. He's talking about Mjølnir, and Thor and Bifrost! It's the stories I grew up with as a child."
―Erik Selvig to Jane Foster[src]

Erik Selvig was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 13, 1951.[1] Selvig grew up hearing stories about the legends of Asgard such as Thor and Bifrost. In adulthood, he became a professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at Culver University, where Selvig met Bruce Banner, a pioneer in Gamma Radiation who mysteriously disappeared after a supposed encounter involving S.H.I.E.L.D.. He also befriended Dr. Hank Pym, who had dealt with S.H.I.E.L.D. before and warned Selvig to steer clear of them. During his tenure as a university professor, Selvig met Jane Foster, whose father was his colleague, and took her under his wing.[5]

Discovering Thor[]

Experiments with Jane Foster[]

"Jane, we have to take him to the hospital."
"He's fine; look at him."
―Erik Selvig and Jane Foster[src]
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Selvig and his group first encountering Thor

Selvig was traveling with Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis to study thermonuclear astrophysics. While researching in the desert, a sudden mysterious weather event unexpectedly resulted in a powerful vortex before them. As they struggled with the zero-visibility conditions, the van collided with Thor, who stumbled out of the dust. Thor announced himself as an Asgardian god, to the "Mortals", but was injured when Lewis tasered him. They decided to take him to the local hospital shortly after.[5]

Helping Thor[]

Erik and Jane

Selvig and Jane Foster discuss Thor

"For the first time in my life, I... I have no idea... what I'm supposed to do."
"If anyone is ever going to find his way in this world, he has to start by admitting that he doesn't know where the hell he is."
Thor and Erik Selvig[src]

The following day, Jane Foster realized that the newcomer might be able to shed some light on the event; Selvig was more skeptical. So began a lengthy disagreement between the two, with Foster theorizing about the possibility of an Einstein-Rosen Bridge and Selvig insisting that everything Thor had been saying about gods and other worlds were nothing more than delusional talk based on old myths.

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Selvig goes drinking with Thor

However, Selvig later befriended Thor, after agreeing to Foster's theory. Selvig was able to secure Thor's release from a temporary S.H.I.E.L.D. compound by claiming that he was Donald Blake after Thor had broken into the compound to retrieve Mjølnir. After being saved from the compound, he was later found drinking heavily with Thor at a town bar, causing Thor to claim that Selvig had "made his ancestors proud". Selvig even smashed his mug and loudly demanded another drink, earning laughter from Thor, who joined in the chanting. Selvig was later taken to Jane's camper to sleep off the alcohol. Though he didn't believe Thor was the Norse God of Thunder, they now had a good friendship.[5]

The Destroyer Attacks[]

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Selvig, Jane Foster, and Darcy Lewis watch as Thor tries to make amends with Loki

"It's a beautiful theory, Jane. You won't be able to convince the scientific community of any of it. Not without hard evidence."
―Erik Selvig to Jane Foster[src]

However, the Destroyer was sent to Earth to kill Thor. Thor had Selvig and the others get people away. Selvig ran into Isabela's Diner and hurried people out the door. As the threat moved closer, Thor told them to run. The Destroyer shot an energy beam at a building which sprayed glass onto Selvig and the others. Selvig held his chest as he ran out of the way. He witnessed as Thor walked up to the Destroyer and gave himself up for the others. The Destroyer back handed Thor, which left him flying across the street. This feat deemed Thor worthy of Mjølnir again which sent the hammer to Thor. Selvig saw it coming and ran to get Jane Foster out of the way before it hit her. Thor then defeated the Destroyer with Mjølnir.

Before Thor returned to Asgard, he made a deal with Phil Coulson that S.H.I.E.L.D. would return the stolen properties of Jane Foster. S.H.I.E.L.D. delivered those items and with it, Jane Foster started searching for Thor with the help of Selvig and Darcy Lewis.[5]

Meeting Director Nick Fury[]

FurySelvig-Thor

Selvig meets Nick Fury

"I've been hearing about the New Mexico situation. Your work has impressed a lot of people who are much smarter than I am."
"I had a lot to work with. The Foster theory, a gateway to another dimension... it's unprecedented. Isn't it?"
Nick Fury and Erik Selvig[src]

Later on, Selvig was ordered to the presence of Nick Fury after Thor returned to Asgard. Fury opened a storage case, presenting the Tesseract. When Selvig asked what it was, Fury replied that it represented a significant source of power, if only they could find a way to tap it. Selvig accepted the challenge of investigating the object, since his recent encounter with Thor and his studies into thermonuclear astrophysics. Loki, controlling Selvig, stared with intense interest at the Tesseract, since he had been controlling Selvig throughout the whole conversation.[6]

Chitauri Invasion[]

Loki's Arrival[]

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Selvig with Nick Fury

"The Tesseract is misbehaving."
"Is that supposed to be funny?"
"No, it's not funny at all. The Tesseract is not only active; she's behaving."
―Erik Selvig and Nick Fury[src]

While researching into the Tesseract for S.H.I.E.L.D. and building the Tesseract Accelerator at the main facility of Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., Selvig found an unusual energy signature coming from the power source. Selvig immediately alerted S.H.I.E.L.D., and all nonessential personnel were evacuated as the cube started to send of dangerous amounts of energy. When Nick Fury arrived in response to the alarms, Hawkeye suggested that, since the Tesseract is a multi-dimensional object, perhaps it was being manipulated from the other side of one of those dimensions, like a door.

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Selvig witnesses Loki's arrival on Earth

Shortly thereafter, the Tesseract Accelerator opened a portal and Loki appeared. He attacked and killed many of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents present and destroying much of Selvig's equipment. When Loki introduced himself and his plans to Fury, Selvig noted that Loki was the brother of Thor, much to the Asgardian's annoyance. Using his Scepter, Loki took control of Clint Barton and Selvig, immediately bending their will to serving his purposes before ordering Barton to shoot Fury and Selvig to pick up the Tesseract. Selvig and Barton helped Loki escape from the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, taking the Tesseract with them as the entire facility imploded.[7]

Controlled by Loki[]

Erik-Selvig-Mind-Control-Avengers

Selvig under Loki's mind control

"This is wonderful. The Tesseract has shown me so much. It's more than knowledge; it's truth."
―Erik Selvig to Loki[src]

In a secret location away from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s control, Selvig worked to stabilize the Tesseract, constructing a framework based on information supplied through the cube itself. He spoke to Loki about the Tesseract's incredible power to give him knowledge beyond what he could have comprehended. Based on what he learned, Selvig sent Hawkeye to go acquire iridium to help stabilize the Tesseract when it created a portal to another world.[7]

Battle of New York[]

Erik-Selvig-Iron-Man-Stark-Tower

Selvig is confronted by Iron Man

"Loki's Scepter, the energy... the Tesseract can't fight. You can't protect against yourself."
"It's not your fault, doctor. You didn't know what you were doing."
"Well, actually I think I did. I built in a safety to cut the power source."
―Erik Selvig and Black Widow[src]

Selvig then took the Tesseract Accelerator to the highest point of the Stark Tower, and used it to open a portal to the waiting Chitauri invasion army. When the Chitauri attacked Earth under Loki's command, Selvig was confronted by Iron Man, who attempted to stop the portal from opening. Selvig revealed to him that the force field surrounding the Tesseract was unbreakable, and that nothing could be done to close off the portal. However, Selvig was knocked unconscious when Iron Man tried to close the portal and blasted the force field.

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Selvig comes to his senses

When he woke up, Selvig found himself alone with the Black Widow, who was attempting to close the portal. With Loki's mind-control gone, Selvig told her that some part of his consciousness was still awake during Loki's mind-control, and that he inserted a flaw in the Asgardian's plan: the force field around the Tesseract could be undone with the Scepter. After following Selvig's advice, the Black Widow used the scepter to close the portal, after Iron Man sent the nuclear missile that the World Security Council sent to destroy the invasion into it to destroy the Chitauri Command Center. The missile hit the Command Center disconnecting the link between it and the Chitauri, killing them.

Erik-Selvig-Banner-Stark-Tesseract

Selvig helps with the removal of the Tesseract

Later, when the now captured Loki was given to Thor, who took him back to Asgard to be put on trial for his many crimes against the galaxy, Selvig greeted his friend, and gave him the Tesseract to be taken back to Asgard since Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. decided it was too great a force for humans to mess with. Just before he left Thor touched Selvig's shoulder as a sign of respect and friendship. Selvig then departed home.[7] Jane Foster later met him after the battle and asked where Thor was, only for Foster to quickly realize he had left again.[8]

The Convergence[]

Mental Breakdown[]

Erik-Selvig-Mental-Breakdown-Nude

Selvig at Stonehenge

"Astrophysicist Dr. Erik Selvig, notable for his involvement in the alien invasion in New York streaked nude across Stonehenge."
News Reporter[src]

A year after the battle of New York, Selvig, although free of Loki's mind control, was still affected by having been under Loki's control for so long. In London, Selvig was arrested at Stonehenge after stripping nude and harassing the bystanders with his lab equipment, claiming he was trying to save them.

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Selvig explains his theories

Having been arrested and transferred to a mental institution, Selvig continued to explain his theories about the Convergence to his fellow inmates, whether they wished to hear it or not. He was eventually rescued by Darcy Lewis and Ian Boothby. After witnessing the Convergence's effect on a murmuration of starlings, Selvig took comfort in knowing that the world "is crazier than you are" and promptly threw his pills away.[9]

Battle of Greenwich[]

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Selvig watches as the Convergence unfolds

"Malekith is going to fire the Aether at a spot where all the nine worlds are connected."
"Amplifying the weapon's impact. With each additional world, power will increase exponentially. The effect would be universal."
Jane Foster and Erik Selvig[src]

Back at their apartment Selvig was greeted by Thor and Jane Foster who had traveled back from Asgard. Selvig quickly asked Thor if Loki was coming and found great relief after Thor informed him that Loki was dead but hid it for Thor's sake. As the group came up with a plan to stop Malekith from unleashing a powerful weapon known as the Aether on the Nine Realms Erik quickly realized that all the coordinates past civilizations had made relating to the Convergence lead to Greenwich.

SelvigDarkWorld

Selvig battles Malekith

The next day, Malekith and his army of Dark Elves arrived and began attacking Greenwich. While Thor fought them off, Selvig and Jane Foster got in a position to use devices made to detect gravitational anomalies, although Selvig did question whether or not the devices would work to create anomalies as they had been designed only to detect them. Once Darcy Lewis and Ian Boothby had placed the sensors in the correct locations, Selvig and Foster used the device to teleport some of the soldiers away to different realms across the galaxy. As the battle continued, Selvig and Foster were forced to run from a small army of Dark Elves until Foster was able to teleport them away.

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Selvig saves Thor's life from Malekith's ship

After a long battle between him and Thor, Malekith arrived at the center of the Convergence and prepared to unleash the Aether on the Nine Realms as Selvig, Foster, and Thor watched from a distance. Selvig claimed that they could not get close to using the devices; Thor could, however, so he grabbed the devices and threw them at Malekith, teleporting his body away as Thor collapsed from exhaustion. Malekith's ship began to fall. As Foster attempted to move Thor out of harm's way, Selvig teleported the ship to Malekith's location causing it to fall on and kill him.[9]

Thor's Return[]

Erik-Selvig-Jane-Fosters-Apartment

Selvig awaits Thor's return

"Did he say anything before he left?"
"Yeah, he had to figure some stuff out with his father. He kind of committed treason... on our way out."
―Erik Selvig and Jane Foster[src]

Days after the defeat of Malekith, Selvig, Jane Foster, Darcy Lewis and Ian Boothby sat in Foster's apartment eating breakfast, Foster reassured them that Thor would return after he got done talking to his father, noting that he had committed treason when he had left.[9] Selvig later witnessed Thor's eventual return where he rekindled his relationship with Foster, this time with the intent of remaining on Earth with his friends.[10]

Helping Thor[]

Trip to the Water of Sights[]

ErikSelvig-AAoU-Car

Thor requests Selvig's help

"This may be dangerous."
"I would be disappointed if it wasn't."
Thor and Erik Selvig[src]

As Selvig was leaving a college lecture he had given, Thor was waiting for him outside dressed in a hoodie to disguise his identity. Thor informed Selvig that he needed his help, but it was dangerous, to which Selvig replied that he would be disappointed if it was not and agreed to help as they both got into his car.

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Selvig and Thor in the Water of Sight

Thor then took Selvig to the secret location of the Water of Sight where Thor could continue the vision he started having when Scarlet Witch messed with his mind. Thor entered the water and the spirits inside took over his body, and gave him a more detailed vision where he saw the potential of the six Infinity Stones, one of which was housed in Loki's Scepter. Selvig watched from a distance as Thor was nearly killed by the water, losing control of his body and firing lightning. Thor survived the experience and used what he had learned to battle and destroy Ultron.[11]

Assisting the Avengers[]

ErikSelvig-New-Avengers-Facility-AAoU

Selvig at the Avengers Compound

Selvig was recruited by the Avengers due to his continued work alongside the team and his vast knowledge of Asgard and science. Selvig was relocated to the Avengers Compound in Upstate New York to work as one of its key consultants with his own team of scientists working under his supervision and leadership as they began their work to assist the Avengers in keeping the world safe from threats.[11] However, Selvig would often work with his pants off. He eventually left and went elsewhere.[12]

New Life[]

Death and Resurrection[]

In 2018, Selvig was a victim of the Snap. Five years later, as a result of the Blip, Selvig was restored to life.[13] In 2024, Selvig was featured in a documentary titled Nova: Einstein Rosen Bridges with Dr. Erik Selvig.[14]

Consoling Foster[]

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Selvig speaks with Jane Foster about her cancer

"Jane, I’m really sorry."
―Erik Selvig to Jane Foster[src]

Around this time, Selvig became aware of Jane Foster's stage IV cancer diagnosis. He worked with her to research potential treatments, but these efforts ended up fruitless. Losing hope, he told Foster he was sorry.[15]

Personality[]

"Erik is a good man."
Thor to Phil Coulson[src]

Erik Selvig is a brilliant scientist, deeply honest and a loyal friend. He's not as much idealistic as Jane Foster and immediately surrenders when S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives and takes away their research, but he surely believes in the necessity of his work. He's very protective towards Foster and considers her some sort of a daughter.

Selvig, being of Scandinavian descent, said that he grew up listening to the legends of Thor and Asgard as a child. When Thor's human incarnation appears and claims to be Thor, Selvig immediately assumes the man is insane. Foster tried to convince Selvig to imagine the scientific possibility of the Norse gods existing and their magic having some distant scientific formula behind it, but he still regarded Thor as being delusional.

Abilities[]

"Selvig has figured out how to stabilize the quantum tunneling effect."
"Well, if he could do that, he could achieve heavy ion fusion at any reactor on the planet."
Tony Stark and Bruce Banner[src]
  • Genius-Level Intellect: Selvig is considered one of the greatest astrophysicists in the world. He was even at S.H.I.E.L.D. for a short time and was great friends with Hank Pym, another genius. He teamed up with fellow astrophysicists, Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis to research multiple space anomalies. He is also well-versed in norse mythology as he was able to recognize the name Thor, Loki, and Asgard.
  • Master Scientist:
    SelvigTesseract

    Selvig working with the Tesseract

    Selvig is a world-renowned astrophysicist, specialized in the field of Theoretical Astrophysics. He gained a position as Professor at Culver University, and once he discovered the existence of the other worlds, he became one of the world's most important experts in wormholes and cosmic energy. For his work, S.H.I.E.L.D. requested his services as a consultant in the study of the Tesseract, leading Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.. He was also able to understand the true nature of the phenomenon known as the Convergence before the world witnessed its most notable effects, and gained a position as a university professor in England before becoming one of the major scientists working for the Avengers at their new facility.

Equipment[]

Other Equipment[]

  • Myths and Ledgends from Around the World: Selvig read the book after he met Thor, as the encounter reminded him of the mythology he heard as a child.
  • Tesseract: Selvig was part of a S.H.I.E.L.D. team that studied the Tesseract. Later Selvig was instrumental in siphoning its power to create a portal so the Chitauri could invade; however, he was being mind-controlled by Loki at the time and he managed to partially sabotage the project.
  • Iridium: When he was under the mind control of Loki, Selvig used stolen iridium as a stablizing agent so the Tesseract could open a portal.
  • Gravimetric Spike: Selvig invented gravimetric spikes during his study of the Convergence, and used them to help Thor defeat Malekith.

Vehicles[]

  • Campervan: Selvig was brought to Jane Foster's campervan after a night of drinking with Thor so that he could sleep off the alcohol.

Facilities[]

Relationships[]

Allies[]

Enemies[]

Appearances[]

Appearances for Erik Selvig

Trivia[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Originally, his name was going to be Andrew Ford, but was changed.
  • Stellan Skarsgård stated that he was not initially familiar with Thor. As to why he took the part, Skarsgård remarked, "I chose Thor because of director Kenneth Branagh. The script was nice and we got to rehearse and talk to the writers and do some collaborating in the process to make it fit us. So I had a very happy time on it. What I always try to do is immediately do something I just haven't done so I get variation in my life. I've made about 90 films and if I did the same thing over and over again I would be bored by now. I try to pick different films, I go and do those big ones and having done that I can usually afford to go and do some really small obscure films and experiment a little".
  • Erik Selvig wasn't originally supposed to appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Stellan Skarsgård received a call because "they'd written a couple of scenes, and I [Skarsgård] went and did them", though Skarsgård himself was unaware if the scenes would appear in the final cut of the film.[17]
  • J.E. Johnson and Charlie Brewer were stunt doubles for Stellan Skarsgård in the role of Erik Selvig.
  • Bob Kaye was a stand-in for Stellan Skarsgård in the role of Erik Selvig.

References[]

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External Links[]

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