The Asgardians or the Æsir are the inhabitants of Asgard based on the gods of Norse mythology. They are an ancient race of beings once worshipped as deities who are far in advance of humans. They are ruled by Odin and seek to keep the peace between the "nine realms" of the Asgardian cosmos, and are presumably the first alien culture to contact humans.
Though these godlike beings are 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 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, unbeknowst 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 pospone 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 releaving 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 choses 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.
Five thousand years ago, in the age of Bor Burison's rein, father of Odin, the Dark Elves, ancient beings from before the creation of the Universe warred against the other Realms, wishing to return the Universe to eternal darkness. The Asgardians fought them and believe to have won the war in the time of the Convergence. Bor took the Elves' weapon the Aether and had it buried deep, as its power was too great to destroy. Unknown to them, Malekith, Algrim, and a ship full of Elves escaped and went into suspended animation.
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 actions in The Avengers. 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.
Powers and Abilities
The god-like Asgardians are physically and technologically superior to Humans on Earth. These include:
- Super Density: The Asgardians' molecular structure is denser than Humans. This contributes to their super strength and durability.
- Super strength, speed, reflexes, durability, etc.
- 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.
- Master Combatants: The Asgardians are a warrior race and most all Asgardians are trained in fightning tequnices. 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.) Some can regenerate and expand their lifespan by magical means. e.g. When Odin enters the Odinsleep.
- Magics: Many Asgardians posses 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.
- Special Powers: Some Asgardians have unique powers. e.g. Only Thor can lift his hammer, Heimdall has extraordinarily heightened senses.
- Thor Odinson
- Odin Borson
- Bor Burison
- Elliot Randolph