The Asgardians are an extra-dimensional race of beings who were worshiped as gods by the Scandinavian and Germanic tribes of Western Europe. Their origins are shrouded in myth, making it difficult to nail down the truth of all of the stories written about them. According to Norse myths, the giant Ymir traveled the icy wastes of Northern Europe with a giant cow named Audhumbla. The cow began to lick the ice until she uncovered a humanoid entity named Buri, who emerged from the ice. Buri possibly took one of Ymir's children as a wife, producing his son, Bor. Bor also mated with a giantess, producing his family, which included Odin, Vili, and Ve. The three young gods in time slew Ymir and used his remains to create the Earth and the heavens. It is not known how much of this account is accurate and it might be apocryphal.
Odin and his brothers then at some point faced Surtur, in a conflict in which Villi and Ve seem to have died. Odin fathered other Asgardians, but at some point, Asgard and its enemies fell in the first Ragnarok. Out of this emerged Those Who Sit Above in Shadow, beings who fed on the continual reincarnation of the Asgardians and Ragnaroks. Buri, going into seclusion, remained apart from this cycle. It is believed that the Asgardians were first accepted as gods at some point after 18,500 BCE.
The cosmic entity the Unbeing, while impersonating the other cosmic entity Origin, claimed that Origin had directed the Asgardians to seek out Earth. Circa 10,000 BCE, Woden (an alternate name for Odin) and other deities were frequently invoked by human beings, and there existed a culture of the Nordheimr, whose people called themselves the Vanir and Aesir. The Nordheimr also worshiped Ymir and his first daughter, Atali. They continued to do so up to roughly 8,000 BCE when harsh events forced many Nordheimr, such as Niord Worm's Bane to migrate to the Vilayet Sea, which became the Caspian Sea. These migrating Nordheimr became the ancestors of the Aryans.
The First Ragnaroks
The periodic cycle of Ragnaroks continued for thousands of years. The story of one such cycle, as told to Thor by a giant eye claiming to be the severed eye of Odin, was supposed to have happened around 7 BCE to a version of Asgard with a red-haired Thor. Their counterpart of Odin was also known as Wode and was worshiped by the Franks in the area that later became Bavaria. The Franks held sacrificial jousts in which those warriors slain would gain the honor of joining Wode on the Wild Hunt in the sky. This Asgard went down in flames; according to the eye, Asgard's destruction served as part of the phenomenon later called the Star of Bethlehem which attended the birth of the Christian/Muslim prophet Jesus of Nazareth. Vidar, Balder, Hoenir, Vali, Vili, Ve, Modi and Magni (Thor's sons), and a few other gods of this incarnation of Asgard who survived this Ragnarok emerged to find the spear of the prior Odin. Grasping it, they were transformed/merged into a new Odin, who again created a new Asgard. Accounts differ as to whether the new Asgardians actually had childhoods or Odin implanted them with false memories of pasts and childhoods that never happened. At some point before the birth of the current Thor, Odin thwarted the rebellion of Rimthursar. Evidently, memories of the past Asgard remained among men, as a man around 200 CE in Britain invoked Woden and Thor.
Birth of Thor
Odin grew tired of the Ragnarok cycle and decided to end it once and for all. He joined with the Earth-goddess Gaea to produce the latest version of Thor. Thor would have many adventures around 1000 CE, facing Marduk Grylak, Varnae, Dromedan, and Atlantean mummies animated by Loki. Thor adopted the mortal Thialfi for Asgard's court.
The Council of God-Heads
Around 1000 CE, Odin joined with Zeus and Vishnu to oppose the Celestials.Odin thus created the magical armor known as the Destroyer. Odin later had both Valkyrie and Thor live on Earth as mortals in a series of events that he later wiped from their minds, though he would admit to this brainwashing centuries later. During this time, Thor slew the giant Fafnir, who had transformed into a dragon. (A man named James Allison once incorrectly believed that the story of Fafnir slaying the dragon was only a "racial memory" of a conflict that he had had in his past life as Niord Worm's Bane.)
Enemies of Asgard
At some point, the elf Malekith became a foe to the Asgardians and to terrestrial humans. His Casket of Ancient Winters was stolen by a human being later called Eric Willis. This happened centuries ago; Malekith was then extra-dimensionally banished till the modern era.
An unidentified Asgardian at some point mated with a mortal to produce Vali Halfling, later called Agamemnon. The Asgardian Fandral also claimed to have romanced a human woman named Marian, though with no known progeny, living on Earth as Robin Hood or at least being mistaken for him. As such, Fandral may have encountered the time-traveling Avengers on one occasion.
In the 1900s, Thor and Loki journeyed to Earth to the American West, meeting a time-traveling Black Panther. In the 1940s, Loki opposed the Olympian deity Venus and invaded Mount Olympus. Thor aided Venus against Major John Dark, the Creeping Death, and the Sultan of Cassarobia. In the 1960's, Thor again came to Venus' aid.
In later years, the Asgardians would be threatened by more menaces and threats from both within and beyond their own dimension. Seth, the Egyptian god of death and misfortune, eventually invaded Asgard and subjugated the Asgardians out of his animosity toward Odin and Thor, but he was defeated, only to return one more time and used Yggdrasill to strip the Asgardians of their godhood, but Odin had spells in effect that hid them as normal human beings upon Earth until Thor could restore them. Unfortunately, Thor had been trapped in another reality at this time, and the Asgardians were restored by Red Norvell acting in Thor's absence. Although the Asgardians survived, the ordeal left them ill-equipped to battle the Dark Gods, alien entities from another dimension, who laid siege to Asgard and were finally routed by Thor on his return.
End of Ragnarok
Odin eventually sought a way to stall or trick the cycles of Ragnarok, hoping each time that it would be the last. Finally, the destruction of Asgard came , but his last Ragnarok was different from the previous ones in several respects. This time, Odin gave Thor the Odinpower and sacrificed himself for the last time in order to trap Surtur in the afterlife. With his new understanding of the cycle, Thor was able to confront Those Who Sit Above in Shadow and break the pattern, sending them into oblivion. His strength and force of will was enhanced by Odin was merging Thor with the persona of Donald Blake, a human doctor. The humanity and humility learned by Thor gave him the ability to finally end the cycle once and for all.
Blake reappeared on Earth when Thor ended the cycle, and was able to convince Thor to return to Earth from the void of non-existence. The city of Asgard was rebuilt in Oklahoma and most Asgardians were restored to live, including more unsavory Asgardians such as Enchantress and Loki who was resurrected in a female body later revealed to have belonged to Sif. Now free to find their own destiny the Asgardians struggled to find their place on Midgard since Thor generally disliked them leaving Asgard for fear that they might bring harm unto themselves or others due to their inexperience with life on Midgard. Due to being unable to pass the time with battles and hunting as they had done on Asgard restlessness and fights broke out among the ranks of the Asgardians.
Loki, in another of his plots released Bor Burison from his entrapment in a spell (which Loki himself had cast) and altered his perception so that he would see everything around him as demons and monsters. Thor confronted him, not knowing his grandfather and simply believing him to be a confused Asgardian. Bor in turn only saw a demon with traces of his sons powers. Believing Thor to have slain his son Odin, Bor immediately engaged him in battle. The battle was hard fought but after Bor began releasing enough energy to destroy all of Midgard, Thor was forced to kill him. Loki and Balder appeared and Loki informed Balder that Bor had technically been King of Asgard when Thor slew him and that the punishment for killing a king was banishment. Balder was forced to comply and banished Thor, becoming the King of Asgard in his place with Loki as his adviser.
Balder accepted an invitation from Victor Von Doom to move the Asgardians to Latveria at the urging of Loki. Since Latveria greatly resembled Asgard, most Asgardians opted to leave the warm and unfamiliar Oklahoma in favor of Latveria. This was all part of a ruse on the part of Doom and Loki however since Doom planned to vivisect Asgardians in order to find out the secrets of their longevity and great power. After the Asgardians found out about Dooms vile experiments they managed to defeat him and the Asgardians returned to Oklahoma.
Siege of Asgard
During the Siege, it was revealed that this was all just a part of Loki's plans however. He manipulated Norman Osborn (Earth-616) - head of HAMMER and leader of the Avengers - to invade Asgard. Norman rallied his forces and attacked Asgard. Normans forces were surprisingly successful due to the fact that the Asgardians were weaker on Midgard than they had been on Asgard. The Asgardians were helped by various heroes of Earth who tried to stop Osborn and his Dark Avengers. However what neither Loki nor the anyone else had counted on was the Sentry. After Osborn was captured by the Avengers he ordered the Sentry to destroy Asgard which he did. Seeing that his trickery had gone too far Loki prayed to Odin for help and used to Norn stones to empower all who fought on Asgards side. He was ripped into pieces by the Sentry however who had lost all control and sanity and turned into his dark side, the Void. The heroes were eventually able to defeat the Void however and Thor dropped his body into the sun.
With Asgard destroyed the Asgardians went about rebuilding it and as a reward for the help they had received from the heroes of Earth, the Asgardians vowed to always be there when Midgard needed them and Thor vowed that he would once again fight alongside the Avengers if called upon.
Loki would attempt to manipulate the Hulk in this reality much like he did on Earth-616. However, in this reality Bruce Banner would retain his intelligence whenever he became the Hulk and would see through Loki's ruse, thus the Avengers would never form in this reality.
In this reality, the Avengers would form due to the machinations of Loki and Thor would be among their members. However, in this reality, the group could not agree on how to deal with their former teammate the Hulk forcing the group to disband. Thor would return to Asgard to focus his energies to fighting threats to his homeland.
Jane Foster would be the one to find Thor's hammer in Norway, becoming the costumed hero known as Thordis. When Loki would free himself from the tree in which he was trapped in, he would go to Earth and be shocked to find a female Thor. Thordis would defeat him and send him back to Asgard where he would tell a shocked Odin of the developments on Earth. Odin would call Thordis to Asgard and confront her with the truth about Donald Blake. Odin would banish Thordis from Asgard and she would go about on many adventures on her own. When Odin would go into the Odinsleep, he would charge Sif to keep Asgard safe. Loki would transport her to Earth and have her meet with Donald Blake, and sure enough they would fall in love and start a relationship. Loki would attack Sif on Earth and injure her until Thordis would arrive to stop the fight. After Sif would undergo surgery, Thordis and Sif would detect the coming of Ragnarok and travel to Asgard with Donald Blake to battle Mangog. With the help of Odin they would prevent Ragnarok and defeat Mangog. In the aftermath, Odin would tell Jane to return Mjolnir to him and he would turn it over to Blake restoring him to his true form of Thor. In thanks for her help, Odin would transform Jane into a god herself. Odin would propose to Jane and the two would be wed and rule over Asgard while Thor and Sif would return to Earth and defend it.
On Earth-804, history would diverge from Earth-616 during the event of the Kree-Skrull War. In this reality, a world where Rick Jones would be killed early on, thereby prolonging the war, Thor and Iron Man would be charged with preventing the Skrull forces from reaching Earth. During the battle, Iron Man would be severely injured forcing Thor to bring Iron Man to Asgard and there he would petition Odin to get Asgard involved in the conflict. Odin would agree and Thor would lead a war party including Sif, Balder, and the Warriors Three among others. They would hold off the Skrull forces in space until the end of the conflict.
Some citizens of Earth-928 worship Asgardian gods. For example, Punisher 2099 was raised as a Thorite and was a member of the Church of Thor. In the Fall of Hammer storyline, Alchemax created the floating city of Valhalla, which contained the false Norse gods known as the Aesir, including Heimdall, Baldur, Thor, and Loki.
Thor and the Asgardians are a race of advanced beings who the Vikings worshiped as gods. When Thor was a baby, the Asgardians went down to Earth with their king Odin to defend the human race from the Frost Giants. When they won the war they returned to Asgard, where they kept watch over the nine realms, but because they are far from them they use a portal called the Bifrost guarded by a gate-keeper named Heimdall. They are long-lived but not immortal, and they are strong and powerful warriors.
Thor and the warriors of Asgard defended the nine realms for thousands of years but because of Thor's love for Jane Foster and his loyalty to his friends of Earth he found years later during his banishment, Thor defends Earth as a member of the Avengers.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength All Asgardians are superhumanly strong with the average Asgardian god able to lift (press) about 30 tons under optimal conditions and the average Asgardian goddess able to lift (press) about 25 tons under optimal conditions.
- Superhuman Speed All Asgardians have the potential of being able to run and move at speeds much greater than the finest human athlete. Only Hermod and a few others can supersede the majority of the Asgardian gods.
- Superhuman Stamina The musculature of the Asgardian gods produce considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the muscles of human beings. An average Asgardian god can exert themselves at peak capacity for about 24 hours before fatigue impairs them. Odin, Thor and Tyr are physically stronger than most of the Asgardian gods.
- Superhumanly Dense Tissue The skin, muscle, and bone tissues of the Asgardian gods are about 3 times as dense as the same tissue of a human body, contributing, to their superhuman strength and weight.
- Superhuman Durability The bodies of the Asgardian gods are considerably more resistant to physical injury than the bodies of human beings. Asgardian gods are capable of withstanding conventional injury including great impact forces, exposure to temperature and pressure extremes and falls from great heights without sustaining physical injury.
- Regenerative Healing Factor Despite their natural durability, it is possible for any of the Asgardian gods to sustain injury. However, if injured, their highly advanced metabolism enables them to recover with superhuman speed and efficiency. As with most of their other powers, the speed and extent of these powers varies from one Asgardian god to another.
- Immortality The Asgardian gods are extremely long-lived, but they are not immortal like the Olympian gods: they age at a more slower rate, but they are not immune to the effects of aging. Their bodies are also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infection.
- Energy Manipulation The Asgardian gods have some potential to manipulate mystical or cosmic energies for some purpose. These powers are mostly limited to changing their appearance or shape and teleporting across great distances. However, a small minority of the Asgardian gods are capable of manipulating vast amounts of energy for a variety of purposes including teleportation, shape-shifting, matter manipulation, augmentation of their physical capabilities, erecting powerful force fields, firing powerful blasts of energy for destructive purposes and granting superhuman attributes to objects and beings.
The Asgardian gods possess specific skills associated with their personalities or area of expertise. For example, as the Asgardian god of thunder, Thor has complete control and mastery of the weather whereas Amora is highly skilled in all forms of physical and sexual pleasure. Most of the Asgardian gods have had some degree of training in armed and unarmed combat through private tutors or through the other gods.
- Riding/Horsemanship Many of the Asgardians are proficient horseback riders trained in riding conventional horses and winged horses in addition to other enchanted animals.
- Combat Proficiency The Asgardians are exceptional warriors in both armed and unarmed combat including swordsmanship and archery.
- Weapon Proficiency The Asgardians are known to carry swords, battle axes and war hammers among other weapons.
- Allspeak: Thanks to the Allspeak, Asgardians can communicate and be understood by or races.
Average Strength level
The Asgardians are not highly advanced in technology, and unlike many of the Olympians or other pantheons, very few relatively wield magic; even Ares has been shown using it for various effects. The Asgardians were doomed to die and be reborn in the eternal cycle of Ragnarok, until Thor ended it, their lives bound to the Norns, Yggdrasil, Hela and Those Who Sit Above in Shadow. Even on Midgard without Ragnarok, it has been shown that "the touch of mortality upon" the Asgardians are greater than in Asgard, and, like Odin, their natural powers are weakened.
Type of Government: Monarchy
Level of Technology: Magic
Cultural Traits: The Asgardians were worshiped as gods by the people of Scandinavia and Germania, occupying parts of Britain, Gaul and North American outposts.
- See also: Category:Asgardians
- The worship of the Asgardians by human beings began at some point after 18,500 BCE. The first vampire, Varnae, immune to post-Thurian era gods, once stated that he saw the Asgardians emergence: "I watched and snickered as your savage ancestors gnawed their civilization from the bones of the old gods."  Who these old gods were is unknown, although Crom might be one of them.
- Contrary to belief, the Vikings did not wear horned helmets. However, this may be a characteristic particular to the Asgardian gods.
- Discuss Asgardians on the forums
- Appearances of Asgardians
- Media Asgardians was Mentioned in
- Race Gallery: Asgardians
- Images of Asgardians
Links and References
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #1
- Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #1
- Asgardian Gods at the Guide to the Mythological Universe