Read on only if you don't mind reading spoilers for the film.
|Appeared in|| Thor|
Thor: The Dark World
Avengers: Age of Ultron
- "I still don't think you're the god of thunder. But you ought to be!"
- ―Erik Selvig[src]
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.
- "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 tazered 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.
Erik helped Jane in trying to bring back Thor to Earth. He told her that he had started to have some headaches.
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 force of the portal immediately after.
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.
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.
- "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.
To be added
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.
- Jane Foster - Friend and colleague.
- Darcy Lewis - Friend and colleague.
- Thor - Friend.
- Nick Fury - Employer.
- Bruce Banner - Friend and colleague.
- Henry Pym - Friend and colleague.
- Phil Coulson- Acquaintance.
- Loki - Former Master turned enemy.
- Natasha Romanoff- Ally.
- Clint Barton- Ally.
- Tony Stark - Ally.
- Steve Rogers - Ally.
- Ian Boothby - Ally.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (4 films)
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (1 TV series)
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.