The Asgardians or the Æsir are the inhabitants of Asgard on which the the gods of Norse mythology are based. They are an ancient race of beings once worshipped as deities who are far in advance of humans. They are ruled by Odin Borson and seek to keep the peace between the Nine Realms of the cosmos, and are presumably the first alien culture to contact humans.
Though these god-like beings are generally peaceful, they are a brave and powerful warrior race whose passion for adventure is their religion. Like the Vikings of Earth, they believe that the only way to gain access into Valhalla (heaven) is to die in glorious battle. Their civilization was built up by, and essentially depends on, magic and sorcery.
In 965 AD, the Asgardians fought the Frost Giants on Earth in the realm of Midgard and prevented their invasion over the Nine Realms. Odin (king even then) lost his eye fighting Laufey but managed to defeat him. The Casket of Ancient Winters were taken from the Frost Giants and, unbeknownst to anyone, a small child of Laufey left to die, later known as Loki, was also taken back to Asgard.
In the present day, Thor is ready to be crowned king since his father Odin must enter the Odinsleep. Betrayed by his brother Loki, Frost Giants sneak into the palace and postpone Thor's coronation. After Thor and his companions break a treaty with the Frost Giants, Odin banishes Thor to Midgard and falls into the Odinsleep, leaving Loki as regent. Loki, having learned of his Frost Giant heritage, readily takes power and forbids Thor's return. The Warriors Three and Lady Sif betray Loki's command to banish Thor and depart to Midgard to bring him back. Loki immobilizes Heimdall after relieving him from his duties as Gatekeeper and sends the Destroyer down to Earth after Thor. After a battle in Puente Antiguo, New Mexico in which Thor regains his power and defeats the Destroyer, Thor calls to Heimdall to return them to Asgard. Heimdall breaks free from his ice encasement, defeats the two Frost Giant sentries and opens the Bifrost to return them home. Laufey, who is about to kill Odin in his sleep, is double-crossed by Loki who stays loyal to his adoptive father and slays Laufey. Thor confronts Loki and prevents him from destroying Jotunheim , home of the Frost Giants, by destroying the Bifrost. Odin, now revived, saves Thor and Loki from falling into the abyss. However, seeing his father not proud, Loki chooses to let go. The return of Odin and Thor is celebrated and Loki's death grieved. The Bifrost starts to regenerate and Heimdall returns to his post at the end of the Rainbow Bridge.
- "We are not gods!"
- ―Odin to Loki[src]
After the events in Thor and the destruction of the Bifrost Bridge, battles broke out amongst the Realms. When the Bifrost regenerated, Thor and warriors of Asgard were transported to the various Realms to establish peace. Loki was brought to Asgard from Midgard and punished for his attempted domination of Midgard. Through Frigga's intervention Loki was merely imprisoned for life in the dungeon. After the last battle on Vanaheim, Hogun's home world, was won, Thor traveled back to Earth to visit Jane. Noticing Jane wields supernatural power, Thor transports Jane back to Asgard to be studied by Asgardian physicians, who are unable to identify the ailment. Odin notices the strange power and recognizing it as the Aether, he warns Thor and Jane about the prophecy that the Dark Elves will return. The Elves, reanimated by the return of the Aether, invade Asgard to obtain the Aether but are barely held off by Asgardian forces. Malekith engages in a brief fight with Queen Frigga who tricks him as to the whereabouts of the Aether. Frigga is killed by Algrim after refusing to reveal the position of the Aether. The remaining Dark Elves escape and Odin decides to fight defensively and raises defenses on Asgard as the Dark Elves cannot be seen, even by Heimdall. Thor devises a plan with his friends to save Jane and defeat the Elves, but it means defying the Allfather and releasing Loki. After Thor, Jane, and Loki manage to hi-jack an Elf ship and escape Asgard with their friends covering their escape, they travel to Svartalfheim, the deserted home of the Dark Elves. After a staged deception by Loki, Malekith extracts the Aether from Jane. Loki reveals his trick and Thor atempts to destroy the Aether, but it proves impossible to destroy. His plan fails and Malekith obtains the Aether and Loki and Algrim are killed. Thor grieves at his brother's death and hides out in a cave with Jane. They discover a portal to Midgard which signals the arrival of the Convergence. Thor and Jane find their way back to Earth and reunite with friends. Erik Selvig, who has been studying the Convergence since released of Loki's mind control from The Avengers, calculates the center of the Convergence will be in Greenwich, England, the center of the centeral Realm of Yggdrasil. Malekith also arrives, planning to destroy the Universe at its center. A battle ensues between Thor and Malekith in which they are transported through unstable portals to other Realms, including Midgard, Asgard, Svartalfheim, and Jotunheim. With help from devices made from Selvig to detect, now used to create, portals, Thor manages to transport Malekith and his ship back to Svartalfheim where he is crushed. The Aether is restored back into a small stone column and later taken to the Collector, since two Infinity Gems should not be in proximity (the Tesseract, another Infinity Gem, is already in the Vault on Asgard). Loki, who has survived and usurped the Throne of Asgard, in disguise as Odin talks with Thor about making him king. Thor refuses and chooses to stay on Earth.
In the 12th century, an Asgardian army called the Berserkers came to Midgard. They drew their power from the Berseker Staff , that when touched gave the wielder incredible rage that is converted to supernatural strength and durability. When they were recalled to Asgard, one warrior stayed behind with the Berserker Staff. Now a pacifist, the Warrior Who Stayed split the Staff in three pieces and hid them throughout Europe.
Coulson's group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are assigned to "clean up" Greenwich after the events in Thor: The Dark World, as to not let alien technology get in the hands of humans who may misuse it. Skye is amazed at the concept of god-like aliens and asks if any other pantheons from different mythologies exists. The group is sent to investigate the finding and stealing of an Asgardian artifact hidden in a tree in a Norwegian forest by a Norse paganist group. The people who touch the item become enraged and temporarily posess supernatural strength. They believe themselves to be gods and rampage through Oslo, Norway, injurying civilians and destroying property. Coulson consults with Dr. Elliot Randolph, a professor of Norse mythology in Seville, Spain. Randolph identifies the item as the Berserker Staff, and tells Coulson the story of the Berserker Army. After following some cryptic lines to find the other pieces, the Norse paganists beat them to them piece hidden in Seville and Randolph is suspiciously seen on site and taken into custody and interrogated. After resisting, Randolph is revealed as the Warrior Who Stayed and tells them of his Asgardian origins. When recruiting soldiers for the Berserker Army, he signed up because he was tried of being a stone mason for thousands of years and wanted to explore the Realms. He leads them to the third piece in Ireland but are again beaten by the Norse paganists and Randolph is fatally wounded. Ward and May touch the Staff to obtain powers and hold off the attackers. Fitz-Simmons and Coulson try to revive Randolph, although Simmons is unfamiliar with Asgardian anatomy. Coulson holds Randolph's heart together long enough for it to repair itself and he lives. The Norse paganists are defeated and the Berserker Staff is taken by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Randolph relocates to the Pacific Northwest, particullarly Portland. Coulson promises to introduce Randolph to Thor, if he's in the neighborhood.
During the Asgard Prison riot, Lorelei escapes from the Asgardian dungeons and travels to Midgard. She enchants several men and plans to take over the Realm. Coulson and his team plan to stop her, and they intercept Lady Sif coming out of the Bifrost. Sif has orders from Odin to take Lorelei back alive. They team up to stop Lorelei but she takes over Ward. Coulson asks Sif is she has met any blue aliens, and Sif mentions she has encountered Interdites, Levians, Pheragots, Kree, Sarks, and Centaurians. She explains that only Frost Giants have ever visted Earth. Ward takes Lorelei to Vegas where they stay at a "palace" (hotel) and they eventually retake the Bus. Sif is ejected from her room but holds on to the rim of the plane. Fitz repairs the broken mouthpiece take restains Lorelei and they attempt again to catch her. After a fight on the Bus, Sif subdues Lorelei and Ward is broken of Lorelei's spell. Sif and Lorelei return to Asgard.
Powers and Abilities
The god-like Asgardians are physically and technologically superior to Humans on Earth, which lead them to be worshipped on Earth hundreds of years ago by humans in Scandinavia, which are known as Norse myths. These include:
- Super Density: The Asgardians' molecular structure is denser than Humans. This contributes to their super strength and durability. The materials of Asgard are denser then those of Earth, as is mentioned with Asgardian metals, used to make many items for the use of Asgardians such as their swords and armor. The denser, stronger materials of Asgard are the reason why Asgardians themselves are denser.
- Super strength, speed, reflexes, durability, etc: Asgardians are very strong, far in excess of humans. They can hurl humans about like dolls, or kick full size Bus's across a parking lot. They can run faster then peak human athletes, and can catch arrows in mid flight, making their reaction time more then 5x faster then a humans. Low and medium calibur bullets bounce off of them, seeming to effect them no more then an airsoft BB.
- Accelerated Healing: Even though Asgardians are resistant to injury, if they do get hurt they heal remarkablily quickly. Elliot Randolph survived a fatal blow with very limited medical attention, and Thor healed from Loki stabbing him in the gut with a knife quite quickly.
- Master Combatants: The Asgardians are a warrior race and most all Asgardians are trained in fighting techniques. Even Queen Frigga bests Malekith at sword fighting.
- Longevity: Asgardians have an extremely long life span and can endure for thousands of years. (In the Thor: The Dark World , Loki says 5,000 years give or take, assumed to be Earth years. It is unknown exactly how long the average Asgardian lives naturally, some may live longer due to many factors, and many die long before becoming old through battle. To put 5,000 years in perspective 5,000 Earth years ago was the early to medium part of the bronze age, and the Egyption old kingdom had reached its zenith, and the estimated population of Earth was only 30,000,000.) Some can regenerate and extend their lifespan by magical means. e.g. When Odin enters the Odinsleep.
- Magics: Many Asgardians possess and use magical abilities or objects. e.g. Thor's hammer Mjolnir, Odin's manipulation of the Odinforce, Frigga's (and Loki's) ability to create and manipulate illusions. Magic is the basis of Asgardian technology.
- Special Powers: Some Asgardians have unique powers. e.g. Only Thor and Odin can lift Mjolnir and Heimdall has extraordinarily heightened senses.
The Asgardians are among the most advanced societies in the multiverse. To many races, their science and technology is beyond comprehension, often thought of as supernatural. Asgardian science and technology are based around magic, a type of energy manipulation.
- Directed energy weapons:
- Melee weapons: The Asgardians possess swords, daggers, knives, arrow heads, spears and axes forged in highly advanced magical smithies from metals denser and stronger then the metals commonly found on Earth, such as Thor's hammer which is made of Uru. They have been shown to glow with some sort of energy along the edge that would logically increases their already potent ability to cut through targets.
- Armor and shields: Asgardian armor and shields are made out of Asgardian metal, the armor comes in both plate mail and scale mail form, well the shields are usually round but come in other shapes. It is very dense and strong, and has been shown repelling various projectiles of humans and alien races, and energy discharges from several sources. It has been overwhelmed by very sharp strong projectiles fired at high veolocities, Jotun ice abilities, Dark Elf rifles and damaged by extended battle. Loki can make his armor seem to disappear so as to appear less threatening and the hammer Mjolnir can create Asgardian armor out of energy.
- Force fields: The Asgardians make use of force field technology to contain prisoners and protect key areas of Asgard.
- Anti gravity:
- Wormhole manipulation: The Bifrost Bridge, the means by which the Asgardians travel among the Nine Realms and beyond, is a machine capable of creating wormholes.
- Flying vessels: Asgardian soldiers also pilot small fyling vessels which resemble traditional Viking boats. It is unclear whether their ability to fly is magical or merely technological.
- Automotons: The Asgardians have some knowledge of artificial intelligence; the Destroyer, once guardian of Odin's vaults, was an empty suit of armour which would accept and carry out commands.
Asgardians resemble humans of Caucasian and African descent while their sister race, the Vanir, resemble humans of Asian descent. Their body tissues are three times as dense as that of humans which contributes to their superhuman strength and durability. They heal remarkably quickly and can even recover from fatal blows. They live for an average of five thousand years due to their healing abilities. Their blood is red, like humans. While able to withstand human strength blows and even human-made projectiles, they can be wounded with Earthly weapons, given enough strength by the user or force of the projectile.
The Asgardians share Norse cultural and religious values with the Vikings of Earth. Like the Vikings, their foundations are built upon honouring one's ancestors and those who are killed in battle. The Asgardians believe that one has to die in battle to gain admittance into Valhalla, which loosely translates to "hall of valour". Like the Vikings, a traditional funeral involves sending the dead out to sea on a ship as archers burn it with flaming arrows. Asgard has a monarchist government where the bloodline of Buri are the "Allfather". Many famous Asgardians were worshipped as gods by Scandinavian cultures.
- Thor Odinson
- Odin Borson
- Bor Burison
- Elliot Randolph