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Quote1 Be warned, I shall uphold my sacred oath to protect this realm as its gatekeeper. If your return threatens the safety of Asgard, my gate will remain shut and you will be left to perish on the cold waste of Jotunheim. Quote2
-- Heimdall src
 

Heimdall is an Asgardian blessed with sensory capabilities far beyond those of other Asgardians, and these senses have been put to use placing Heimdall in the role of gatekeeper to Asgard at his observatory on the Bifrost Bridge.

Thor's Exile

Despite his phenomenal ability however, Heimdall was unable to perceive an intrusion by several Jotuns when they stole into the vaults of Odin. This same intrusion also sparked the ire of Odin's son Thor, who came to Heimdall, with several of his friends, seeking access to Jotunheim. Although Heimdall agreed to let them pass and accepted their request that he keep their movements secret, his loyalty to Odin was stronger and he immediately reported their departure. Odin's reaction was swift and had Heimdall opening the Bifrost twice more in quick succession to allow Odin to retrieve his people.

Later, with Thor banished and Odin fallen into his Odinsleep, Loki placed himself on the throne as regent and demanded Heimdall's loyalty. Although he grudgingly accepted, Heimdall opted to only observe a literal interpretation of his vow to Loki; when he overheard Sif and the Warriors Three plan to use the Bifrost to reach Thor, Heimdall declined to open the gate for them, but left them with the means to open the Bifrost themselves after departing. Enraged when he discovered Heimdall's betrayal, Loki dismissed Heimdall as a subject, thus releasing the protector of the Bifrost from his vow. Heimdall responded with an immediate attack, but Loki simply froze him in a block of ice before the blow could strike.

Heimdall was still frozen when Loki brought several Jotuns through the Bifrost. Locked in his icy prison, he was helpless to prevent Loki leading one of them into the city, but he was soon galvanized by the calls of Thor who was still trapped on Earth. Smashing free, he quickly cut down two Jotuns who had been left to guard, and opened the Bifrost for Thor and his friends. Severely weakened, Heimdall could assist the adventurers no further and had to be carried from his observatory.

He returned following the destruction of the observatory, still guarding the edge of the bridge where it had once stood, and when Thor asked if passage to Earth was lost, he replied, "No. There is always hope." He even answered Thor's question of the fate of Jane Foster and tell him that she "searches for him".[1]

Return of the Dark Elves

The Bifrost was eventually rebuilt and Heimdall reclaimed his role as its guardian. In that capacity he had a heavy workload as the Nine Realms had been plunged into chaos and disorder during the bridge's period of ruin, and Heimdall was kept busy with the frequent transportation of Asgardians and prisoners once it was restored.

He also saw the Convergence coming, and spoke of it to Thor as well as pointing out that Jane Foster was also studying the phenomenon on Earth, though she did not understand what it was. During his talk, Heimdall became puzzled that he could no longer see Foster, and permitted Thor an exit from Asgard to check on her.

The danger that had hidden her from his sight was not immediately clear to Heimdall, but within days he had his first encounter with it. The dark elf Malekith came to claim the Aether, that as a parasite had taken Foster for a host. Heimdall could hear the alien craft that flew close to his observatory, but could not see it. Leaving his sword behind, he ran up a bridge suspension and leaped upon the ship, ramming two long daggers into it. Tearing his way down its hull he damaged it so that it crashed, but then he found himself facing an even mightier warship disgorging a fleet of the assault craft of the type he had just vanquished.

The assault was turned back by the efforts of Thor and the other Asgardians, and afterwards Odin decreed that none could enter or leave Asgard. Heimdall, skeptical of his ability to guard against attackers he could not see, confided his misgivings to Thor who told him he needed to remove Jane Foster from Asgard. Heimdall was duty-bound to refuse the use of the Bifrost, but allowed himself to be complicit in Thor's plan by summoning Odin to his observatory on a matter of urgency. He announced to Odin that treason had been committed, and when asked whose treason, he simply said, "Mine," and surrendered his sword, while buying time for Thor, newly-freed Loki, and Jane to escape to the Dark Elves' ruined realm.[2]

Asgard's Final Stand

Under unspecified circumstances- but likely linked to Odin being replaced by Loki- Heimdall was declared a traitor and forced to go on the run in Asgard for face execution, with his role as gatekeeper being filled by Skurge. After Thor returned to Asgard and exposed Loki's deception, the two travelled to Earth to retrieve Odin, but arrived only in time to witness Odin's death and the subsequent release of Hela, Odin's first-born daughter. With Hela on Asgard and Thor and Loki lost, Hela swiftly tore through many of Asgard's warriors, including the Warriors Three, leaving Heimdall to retrieve his sword from the Bifrost so that Hela could not spread her twisted madness across the Nine Realms. As the last true warrior on Asgard aside from Skurge and Hela, Heimdall dedicated himself to gathering civilians and taking them to a safe place. Eventually, he was able to make contact with Thor in a vision- Thor currently trapped on the planet Sakaar after he was kicked out of the Bifrost while battling Hela- and direct him to a portal that would take Thor and his new allies back to Asgard. When Thor returned, his allies were able to load the remaining Asgard civilians into a spaceship stolen from Sakaar while Heimdall aided them in fighting off the last of Hela's forces. This battle concluded with the evacuation of all remaining Asgardians and the destruction of Asgard itself during a final clash between Hela and Surtur, Heimdall joining Thor and his various allies as they set off towards Earth to make a new home[3].

Powers

  • Durability: Heimdall has a high level of fortitude for an Asgardian and was able to withstand being encased in ice for an extended period before breaking himself free.
  • Heightened Senses: Heimdall is gifted with sensory capabilities far beyond those of other Asgardians. He is able to tune his awareness to see and hear events as they occur in far off realms as if he were standing in the near vicinity of those he observes, (Omni-Senses)
  • Longevity: As an Asgardian, Heimdall ages very slowly and has the potential to live for more than five-thousand years.
  • Strength: Heimdall has the incredible strength common to his race and as a warrior he has developed his physical traits to higher levels than most other Asgardians.


Abilities

Swordsmanship: Heimdall is a skilled swordsman with two-handed swords.

Strength level

Heimdall possesses the strength of an Asgardian male who engages in intensive regular exercise.

Weaknesses

Heimdall is duty-bound to protect Asgard and its ruler, and does so even under circumstances that go against his better judgement, though he can, and will, abuse technical loop-holes in dire circumstances.



Weapons

  • A powerful two-handed blade that both activates and controls the Bifrost Bridge of Asgard.
  • A pair of long daggers that he wears at the back of his belt.
  • When Idris Elba was cast as Heimdall in Thor, it sparked controversy from the white supremacist organization Council of Conservative Citizens, who didn't like that a Norse god was being portrayed by a non-white actor.[4]

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