Erik Selvig
Erik Selvig The Avengers.jpg
Alias(es) Professor Selvig
Dr. Selvig
Appeared in Thor
The Avengers
Thor: The Dark World
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Status Alive
Actor Stellan Skarsgård
"I still don't think you're the god of thunder. But you ought to be!"
―Erik Selvig[src]

Dr. Erik Selvig is an astrophysicist and mentor of Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis. Dr. Selvig is a Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at Culver University. His notes on thermonuclear astrophysics are key to understanding the Tesseract.


Early Life

"Just listen to him, Jane, he's going on about Thor and Bifrost, those were stories I heard when I was a child."
―Erik Selvig [src]

When Erik Selvig was a child, he heard stories about Thor, the Bifrost, and Loki. Erik Selvig previously worked with Bruce Banner before the Gamma accident. He also has connections with Hank Pym.


"I have a lot to work with, the Foster theory, a gateway to another dimension, it's unprecedented, isn't it?"
―Erik Selvig[src]

Erik Selvig was travelling in a van with his colleague Jane Foster, and their assistant Darcy, when the mysterious weather event subject of Foster's research unexpectedly resulted in a powerful vortex before them. As they struggled with the zero-visibility conditions, the van collided with a man who had stumbled out of the dust into their path. The man, who only announced himself as Thor, was injured again when Lewis tasered him, prompting them to take him to hospital.

The following day, Darcy made a surprise discovery when she noticed the figure of a man in one of the photographic images captured from the atmospheric event. While Jane realized that the newcomer might be able to shed some light on the event, Erik was more skeptical. So began a lengthy disagreement between the two, with Jane theorizing about the possibility of an Einstein-Rosen Bridge and Erik insisting that everything Thor had been saying about gods and other worlds was nothing more than delusional talk based on old myths.

Erik Selvig later befriended Thor, first securing his release from a temporary S.H.I.E.L.D. compound, and then drinking heavily with him at a town bar, prompting Thor to claim that Erik had "made his ancestors proud". They parted company after Thor's true nature had been fully revealed and Erik was finally able to see for himself the being behind the myth.

Sometime later, Erik Selvig was summoned to the presence of Nick Fury. Fury opened a storage case, revealing a glowing cube. 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. Erik accepted the challenge of investigating the object, while the apparition of Loki (who had been controlling him throughout the encounter) looked on with keen interest.

Thor: The Dark World Prelude #1

Erik helped Jane in trying to bring back Thor to Earth. He told her that he had started to have some headaches.

Fury's Big Week

One year later, Selvig was still under Loki's influence. He states that he remembers Clint Barton from New Mexico, after he was assigned to guard the Tesseract at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S..

The Avengers

While studying the Tesseract at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., Selvig finds an unusual energy peak coming from it. He immediately alerts S.H.I.E.L.D., and Nick Fury and Maria Hill and on the place at once. While Selvig is explaining to them the situation, his bodyguard, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Barton, suggests that, since the Cube is a multi-dimensional object, it could be manipulated from the other side: in that very moment, Loki Laufeyson appears thanks to the Cube energy, kills the majority of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents present, wounds Fury and takes control of Selvig's and Barton's minds. Selvig flees along with Loki after giving him the Cube.

Once he arrives in one of Loki's secret lairs, Selvig starts working on the Cube to transform it into a key to another world.

When Loki's plan is about to be fulfilled, Selvig brings the Tesseract to the top of Stark Tower, and uses it to open a portal to the Chitauri's world. When the aliens start to spawn on Earth, Selvig is reached by the Avengers, who try to stop him and fail. Selvig reveals to them that the force field surrounding the Cube is unbreakable, and that nothing can be undone. He is knocked out by the shockwave created when Tony Stark attempts to blast through the force field with his repulsors.

When he wakes up, Selvig finds himself alone with the Black Widow, who's trying to close the portal. Back to himself, Erik reveals to her that some part of his consciousness was still awake during Loki's mind-control, and that he inserted a flaw in the god's plan: the force field around the Tesseract can be undone with Loki's scepter. Following Selvig's advice, the Widow uses the scepter to close the portal, after Iron Man sends a nuclear missile to destroy the aliens' Mother Ship, thereby annihilating their collective consciousness.

Later, when Loki is given to Thor Odinson, who will take him back on Asgard to be put on trial for his crimes, Erik greets his friend, and gives him the Tesseract to be taken back to Asgard.

Thor: The Dark World Prelude #2

After Thor had left Earth, Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis returned to New York and met Erik in hospital. He wanted Jane to leave, because he was worried for her safety because Loki knew about her. Then he remembered that the battle was already over. He told Jane that Thor wanted to tell her something, but he couldn't remember what it was. When Jane asked Erik where Thor is, Erik told her he was outside the window.

Thor: The Dark World

"We're running out of time."
―Erik Selvig[src]

Dr. Erik Selvig is a fellow astrophysicist and mentor to Jane Foster and was with her when Thor arrived on Earth. Selvig’s mind was possessed by Loki, who forced him to aid in his invasion of Earth. Loki’s mind control was lifted after Thor and the Avengers defeated him, but Selvig’s mental state has deteriorated due to Loki’s influence. Selvig now finds himself at the center of cosmic events once again as two worlds collide.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Dr. Selvig was leaving a class when Thor came to him seeking help. Thor and Erik traveled to a cave that gave Thor a vision of the Infinity Stones. He is later seen working in the Avengers facility.

Captain Marvel Prelude

To be added

Avengers: Endgame

Erik Selvig was a victim of the Decimation and was registered as one of the missing people identified by the remaining Avengers.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

A documentary called Nova: Einstein Rosen Bridges with Erik Selvig appears as in-flight entertainment on Peter Parker's flight to Venice.

Character traits

Erik Selvig is a brilliant scientist, deeply honest and a loyal friend. He's not as much idealistic as his young colleague, Jane, 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 Jane, 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. Jane tries 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 regards Thor as being delusional.



Behind the scenes

  • Originally, his name was going to be Andrew Ford, but for unknown reasons was changed to Erik Selvig.
  • 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"


  • When talking about S.H.I.E.L.D., Selvig tells Jane Foster he once had a friend specialist in Gamma radiation who disappeared after meeting the organization, clearly making a reference to Bruce Banner.
  • When talking about S.H.I.E.L.D., Selvig also tells Jane Foster he would email a colleague who has had dealings with S.H.I.E.L.D. and who might be able to help. The name of this person has not been revealed, but it's possible they helped Photoshop Thor's picture onto Donald Blake's profile. This colleague is Henry Pym.



The Avengers

Thor: The Dark World

Avengers: Endgame

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.