For other uses, see Ragnarok (disambiguation)

"Asgard up in flames, falling to ruins. And you, Surtur, are at the center of all of them."
"Then you have seen Ragnarök, the fall of Asgard."
Thor and Surtur[src]

Ragnarök was a doomsday event in Asgardian lore that prophesied the destruction of Asgard and the extinction of its people. The prophecy finally came to fruition in 2017, when Odin's death released his vengeful former heir, Hela.

Thor, realizing that Ragnarök was necessary to end Hela's existence, deliberately had Surtur unleashed to cause Ragnarök so that Hela can be destroyed. While Asgard was destroyed in the event, its people managed to survive and were left as wandering nomads. When the survivors fled Asgard on the Statesman, they came under attack by Thanos, who killed half of them. The surviving Asgardians were brought to Earth and settled in New Asgard in Norway.

Background

A Fateful Prophecy

"The universe moves forever towards Ragnarök. This is its nature."
Odin[src]

An ancient Asgardian prophecy foretold of a cataclysmic event known as Ragnarök that would bring about the destruction of Asgard.

Seeking to subvert the prophecy, Odin battled the Fire Demon Surtur, who was prophesied to initiate Ragnarök, consuming Asgard in fire. Odin successfully incapacited Surtur, banishing him to Muspelheim and taking the Eternal Flame, the source of Surtur's power, back to Asgard, where Odin sealed it in a vault beneath the palace.[1]

Despite Odin's efforts, the people of Asgard believed that Ragnarök was inevitable, as made evident during a speech delivered by Odin's son Thor towards the end of the War of the Nine Realms.[2]

A Prodigal Daughter

"We were unstoppable. I was his weapon in the conquest that built Asgard's empire. One by one, the Realms became ours. But then, simply because my ambition outgrew his, he banished me, caged me, locked me away like an animal."
Hela[src]

Long before the birth of his son Thor, Odin had a daughter named Hela, who, as his Chief Executioner and commander of the Einherjar, fought alongside him in a bloody conquest, bringing all Nine Realms into Asgard's power and creating an empire.

Odin eventually realized his daughter's ambitions were a threat to lasting peace and, unable to reason with her, banished her to Hel.

Odin went to great lengths to wipe Hela from Asgardian art and record, ensuring she was forgotten by history. Meanwhile, a resentful Hela bade her time for the day she would break free and exact vengeance against her father for his betrayal.[1]

Ragnarök

Journey to Muspelheim

Thor fights Surtur in Muspelheim

"Ragnarök has already begun. You cannot stop it. I am Asgard's doom, and so are you. All will suffer, all will burn."
"That's intense. To be honest, seeing you grow really big and set fire to a planet would be quite the spectacle."
Surtur and Thor[src]

Troubled by a series of recurring dreams in which he saw the Fire Demon Surtur lay waste to Asgard, Thor journeyed to Muspelheim to avert this threat. He ended up captured and put in chains by Surtur, who explained that Thor had foreseen Ragnarök and that nothing, even Thor himself, could prevent this doomsday event from happening. Thor disagreed and broke out of his chains. After defeating a horde of Surtur's minions, Thor killed Surtur and seized his crown before escaping from Muspelheim. Once back in Asgard, the Crown of Surtur was stored in Odin's Vault.[1]

Release of Hela

Hela catches and destroys Mjølnir

"So he's gone. That's a shame, I would've liked to have seen that."
Hela[src]

Having been told by Surtur that Odin was not on Asgard, Thor figured out that Loki, who he thought to be dead following the Second Battle of Svartalfheim, had usurped Asgard's throne and was disguised as their father. Once the trickery was revealed, Thor and Loki went to Earth to find Odin, only to figure out that he had been missing. After they located him with Doctor Strange's help, Odin told his sons that he was dying and that his death would enable Hela to break free.

After Odin vanished into Valhalla, Hela indeed appeared and easily destroyed Mjølnir. Panicked, Loki ordered Skurge to bring them back to Asgard, but Hela followed them and during the transport, she cast out her brothers who fell to the distant planet of Sakaar. Arriving at the Bifrost Bridge, Hela killed Volstagg and Fandral and recruited Skurge as her right-hand man.[1]

New Queen of Asgard

Hogun and the Einherjar stand against Hela

"It's come to my attention that you don't know who I am. I am Hela, Odin's firstborn, commander of the legions of Asgard, the rightful heir to the throne and the Goddess of Death! My father is dead. As are the princes. You're welcome."
Hela[src]

Hela made her way to the Royal Palace of Valaskjalf, where she was confronted by a company of Einherjar led by Hogun. Hela easily overpowered them and killed them one by one despite some of their soldiers getting a good blow on Hela before entering the Palace and revealing Asgard's true history. Needing an army to resume her conquests, she went down to Odin's Vault and reclaimed the Eternal Flame, using its power to revive her Berserkers and her wolf Fenris.

Hela intended to lead her soldiers across the Nine Realms and beyond, but quickly discovered a hindrance in her plan: Heimdall, the previous Gatekeeper, had stolen Hofund, keeping her from leaving Asgard. Hela ordered her men to chase the rebels and to find the sword. Meanwhile, Heimdall managed to hide dozens of Asgardians in an abandoned stronghold in the mountains of Asgard.

An Asgardian agreed to disclose the location of the sword so that Hela would not massacre them one by one, prompting the Goddess of Death to leave the Palace with Skurge. However, once they arrived, the place was empty as Heimdall led the Asgardians to the Bifrost Bridge so that they could flee Asgard.[1]

Thor's Return

Thor and Hela fight in the Royal Palace of Valaskjalf

"I would love for someone else to rule. But it can't be you. You're just the worst."
"Okay, get up. You're in my seat."
Thor and Hela[src]

Meanwhile, Thor eventually made it out of Sakaar, founding the Revengers in the process. With their help, Thor made it to the Royal Palace of Valaskjalf, where he reclaimed Gungnir and knocked the ground of the throne room with it, attracting Hela's attention. Hela returned to the Palace and the two siblings entered in a violent duel, during which Thor lost an eye. In the end, Thor eventually mastered the full extent of his powers and used it to throw Hela out of the Palace.[1]

Battle of the Rainbow Bridge

The Sakaaran Rebellion fights on the Rainbow Bridge

"No one's going anywhere. I'll get that sword, even if I have to kill every single one of them to do it."
Hela to Thor[src]

While Thor and Hela were fighting in the Royal Palace of Valaskjalf, a battle erupted on the Rainbow Bridge as the fleeing Asgardians led by Heimdall were trapped between Fenris on one side and the Berserkers led by Skurge on the other side. As the Asgardians were being attacked, reinforcements came to them: Loki led the Sakaaran Rebellion while Hulk fought against Fenris. Valkyrie also joined the battle and defeated many Berserkers. While the battle raged on the Bridge, the Asgardians boarded the Statesman brought by the Sakaaran Rebellion in order to escape to safety.

Thor ultimately released his full power, enabling him to join the battle and help his allies defeat the remaining Berserkers. Skurge eventually turned on Hela and killed many Berserkers as well before being slain by Hela. The Statesman ultimately took off the Bifrost Bridge. However, Hela was still alive and seemed invincible to the Revengers.[1]

A Prophecy Fulfilled

Surtur destroys Asgard with his Twilight Sword

"Tremble before me, Asgard. I am your reckoning!"
Surtur[src]

As Hela was approaching, Thor figured out that he had been mistaken all along: he was not supposed to prevent Ragnarök, but instead had to cause it as it was the only thing which could stop Hela. While he and Valkyrie fought the Goddess of Death, Loki went to Odin's Vault and put the Crown of Surtur in the Eternal Flame, reviving the Fire Demon with his full might. Surtur began laying waste on all Asgard, and although Hela tried to stop him, she was ultimately destroyed by the gigantic Twilight Sword. Meanwhile, the Revengers boarded the Statesman and watched as the planet was entirely destroyed, fulfilling the prophecy of Ragnarök.[1]

Aftermath

The Statesman meets the Sanctuary II

"Kind of a step down from a golden palace and magic hammers and whatnot. "
"Hey, have a little compassion, pal. First they've lost Asgard, then half the people. They're probably just happy to have a home."
Rocket Raccoon and Hulk[src]
This section requires expansion

The loss of Asgard turned the Asgardians into a wandering people. Having been rescued thanks to the Sakaaran Rebellion and its Statesman, the Asgardians, led by Thor, went in search of a new place to settle, and Thor decided to take them to Earth to build a new Asgard.[1] However, on their way they met the infamous and gigantic spaceship known as the Sanctuary II, owned by none other than the dreadful Thanos.[3]

Thanos and the Black Order boarded and attacked the Statesman in order to extract the Space Stone from the Tesseract, which Loki took from the vault prior to Asgard's destruction. Half of the Asgardians who survived Ragnarök, died in the massacre along with Heimdall and Loki,[4] while the remaining others escaped, aided by Valkyrie.[5]

Trivia

  • In the comics, Ragnarök was not a singular event, but an eternally recurring cycle of death that saw the cyclical destruction and subsequent revitalization of Asgard a countless number of times. The latest Ragnarök event was caused by a major battle between Asgard's people and an army of soldiers led by Loki utilizing copies of Mjølnir. The resulting battle obliterated Asgard, and the survivors settled on Earth in Broxton, Oklahoma.

External Links

References

Wars and Conflicts in Asgardian History

First Dark Elf Conflict (2988 B.C.) • Subjugation of the Nine RealmsAsgard-Jotunheim War (965 A.D.) • Battle of HarokinBattle of Puente Antiguo (2010) • Duel at the Rainbow Bridge (2010) • War of the Nine Realms (2011 - 2013) • Chitauri Invasion (2012) • Second Dark Elf Conflict (2013) • Ragnarök (2017) • Battle of Earth (2023)
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