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- "I have sacrificed much to achieve peace. So, too, must a new generation sacrifice to maintain that peace. Responsibility, duty, honor. These are not merely virtues to which we must aspire. They are essential to every soldier and to every King."
Odin Borson was the King of Asgard, protector of the Nine Realms, father of Thor, adoptive father of Loki, and husband of Frigga. During the ancient times, he was worshiped as the god of wisdom by the inhabitants of Earth. Once the greatest warrior in all the Nine Realms, over the centuries he learned how to appreciate peace. When Thor almost provoked a war with the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, Odin stripped him of his powers and exiled him to Earth, leaving Loki to take the throne when Odin fell into the Odinsleep. When Thor returned and saved the Frost Giants from extinction at the hands of Loki, who seemingly lost his life during the conflict, Odin realized that Thor had proven that he would be worthy enough to take the throne of Asgard one day.
Loki was revealed to have survived his fall into the abyes and was captured by Thor after causing the Chitauri Invasion of Earth, causing Odin to sentence him to life in prison. When Odin's wife Frigga was killed at the hands of the Dark Elves' leader Malekith, Odin vowed revenge on them, no matter the cost, putting him at odds with his son. Odin's sadness and age allowed Loki to take the throne away from him, using his illusions to look like Odin and trick the entire kingdom and ruling the lands.
- "When I'm king, I'll hunt the monsters down and slay them all, just as you did, father."
- ―Thor to Odin
Odin was born as the son of Bor, the then King of Asgard. He had several brothers, but they all died during the many wars the Asgardians had to fight to keep the Nine Realms safe. When Bor also died in battle, Odin took the throne of Asgard, continuing with his father's policy, ushering in a period of strife and eventual stability that Odin would later refer to as the "Great Beginning" during his son's coronation years later.
As Allfather, Odin had battled great beasts, invaded foreign realms, destroyed demons and monsters, devastated whole worlds, and laid waste to mighty kingdoms. Eventually, with all his power, he needed a period of time that he could rest and regain his strength. This deep sleep became known as the Odinsleep. For thousands of years Odin successfully led his kingdom, but when he felt that the burden of wearing the crown was too much for him alone, he married Frigga, because she was a strong partner and had a helpful ear. With the birth of their son, Thor, Odin felt that one day he would be able to pass his crown to a worthy successor.
War with the Frost Giants
- "From a realm of cold and darkness came the Frost Giants, threatening to plunge the mortal world into a new ice age. But humanity would not face this threat alone. Our armies drove the Frost Giants back into the heart of their own world."
In 965, King Laufey of Jotunheim invaded Midgard intending to enslave the humans and place the planet into a new Ice Age to replace their own dying world. Odin led his Asgardian army against Laufey and his horde of Frost Giants in the Asgard-Jotunheim War.
During the furious Battle of Tønsberg, Odin lost one of his eyes, but eventually the Asgardians came out victorious over the Frost Giants after Odin defeated Laufey in single combat on top of a temple within Jotunheim. In exchange for his life, Laufey agreed to a peace treaty between Asgard and Jotunheim which would last for a few thousand years. After the battle, Odin's forces took the Casket of Ancient Winters from one of Laufey's temples to ensure that the Frost Giants could never attack any other worlds ever again.
While exploring the depths of the temple, Odin also discovered an infant Frost Giant, Loki, who was the son of Laufey. Loki was left to die by his cruel father because of his small stature for a Frost Giant. Odin and his wife, Frigga, already had a son, Thor, but they adopted Loki as Thor's brother and kept the truth of Loki's birth from both of them, with Odin believing that a Frost Giant living as a prince of Asgard could help bring about a permanent peace.
A King and A Father
Odin raised both Thor and Loki as brothers, attempting to never allow Loki to feel any different from his brother or allow him to know his true Frost Giant nature. He taught them about the responsibilities of being king of Asgard, the history of the Asgard's great wars and other lessons about maintaining the peace if they were ever to take the throne.
Odin answered their questions happily and showed them both great love and care. Loki showed Odin many times that he would be a capable king; however, Odin had long since decided that Thor would be his heir, though he still told Loki he had what it took to become king. As they grew older, Odin gave Thor the mighty hammer Mjølnir to use as his weapon of war while Frigga taught magic to Loki, giving them each their own power to protect of Nine Realms.
Thor's Delayed Coronation
- "Thor Odinson, my heir, my first born. So long entrusted with the mighty hammer, Mjølnir, forged in the heart of a dying star. Its power has no equal! It’s a weapon to destroy or as a tool to build. It is a fit companion for a king. I have defended Asgard, and the lives of the innocent across my realms in the time of the great beginning. Do you swear to guard the nine realms?"
- ―Odin to Thor
Many years later, Odin decided that it was time for him to retire as King of Asgard and make Thor King in his place. In the Great Hall, Odin prepared to crown Thor as king as he watched his son confidently walked through the cheering crowds showing off with Mjølnir while Frigga stood by Odin's side with Loki, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, all watching Thor's display of confident charm.
Odin ordered the crowd of Asgardians to be silent while he greeted Thor and explained the responsibilities of being king and protector of the Nine Realms, asking Thor if he swore to defend these all people throughout the galaxy. While Odin was speaking, Frost Giants came into Asgard in an attempt to retrieve the Casket of Ancient Winters from Odin's Vault. Sensing the attack, Odin released the Destroyer and it quickly destroyed all of the Frost Giants.
Odin, Thor and Loki travelled to Odin's Vault and found the remains of the Frost Giants and the Einherjar Guards. Thor was angered by the slaughter and demanded that Odin travel to Jotunheim to retaliate for the attack. Odin however insisted that the peace with Laufey was still in effect and the attack was not an act of war but an act of a few Frost Giant rebels doomed to fail and they should continue to act as though their peace treaty with Jotunheim was still in effect.
Seeing Thor's rage and war-hungry ways, Odin choose not to name him King yet, fearing his uncontrollable rage would cause another war with Jotunheim, causing the deaths of thousands across the Nine Realms. Despite Odin's clear orders, Thor remained furious by this attack and with his friends, Lady Sif, the Warriors Three, and Loki, he went to Jotunheim to personally confront King Laufey and the Frost Giants to find answers he sought about the attack.
- "You are unworthy of these realms, you're unworthy of your title, you're unworthy... of the loved ones you have betrayed! I now take from you your power! In the name of my father and his father before, I, Odin Allfather, cast you out!"
- ―Odin to Thor
When Odin was warned of his son's actions by a Einherjar guard, he charged forward to Heimdall and used the Bifrost Bridge to rescue Thor and his friends from Jotunheim riding aboard Sleipnir, his eight-legged steed, after Thor went there seeking answers regarding the intrusion. He soon found them in the middle of a fierce battle with a Jotunheim Beast and the Frost Giants' entire army.
Although Thor cheered at his arrival and suggested that together they destroy the Frost Giants, Odin furiously ordered his son to be silent. Odin tried in vain to rebuild the peace between Asgard and Jotunheim, but Laufey would have none of it, and declared war between their worlds, which Odin had no choice but to accept. Laufey tried to stab Odin in the back but Odin was able to use Gungnir to throw Laufey away and escape with his allies.
Returning to Asgard Odin ordered Lady Sif and the Warriors Three to take Fandral to the healing room to treat the injuries he had sustained during the battle. Furious at what had happened and what had now begun, Odin berated Thor for his arrogance and stupidity in starting a new war with one of his greatest enemies, putting millions of innocent lives in harms way, while Thor claimed that their enemies should fear him and the other Nine Realms were laughing at their inaction. He told Thor he was not unworthy of his title and of his family, only for Thor to yell back that his father was nothing more than an old man and a fool for not taking any action against Laufey.
Seeing no alternative, Odin decided that the only possible chance for peace was the banishment of his own son. As he began insulting and degrading his son, Loki tried to step in but Odin ordered him to be silent. He then stripped Thor of his powers and in the name of his father Bor and Bor's father before him, banished Thor to Earth for his arrogance. He placed an enchantment on Mjølnir that allowed only the worthy to wield it. He then sent Mjølnir to Earth as well.
Telling Loki the Truth
- "You were an innocent child."
"No. You took me for a purpose. What was it? TELL ME!"
"I thought we could unite our kingdoms one day. Bring about an alliance, bring about permanent peace, through you."
- ―Odin and Loki
Loki, witnessing his hand turning blue when he was at Jotunheim, decided to confirm his fears by breaking into Odin's Vault touching the Casket of Ancient Winters. Odin discovered his adopted son who confronted Odin about his true origins, having turned blue upon touching the casket. Odin revealed that he not only stole the Casket, but Laufey's son who was left there to die.
As he took in this news, Loki demanded to know Odin's reasons for such a deception, Odin revealed that he wanted to gain a permanent peace between Asgard and Jotunheim by having Loki rule the world of the Frost Giants. Loki was disgusted by his own parentage and claimed that Odin could have never loved him the same way he loved Thor and would have never given him the throne. Overwhelmed by Loki's furious accusations, he fell into the Odinsleep.
- "You'll be a wise King."
"There will never be a wiser king than you. Or a better father. I have much to learn. I know that now."
- ―Odin and Thor
While he slumbered, Loki took the throne for himself. Frigga spent much of her time sitting by his bedside, waiting for him to awaken. While living on Earth, Thor proved himself worthy and regained his powers while fighting the Destroyer as Loki carried out his plans to destroy Jotunheim by allowing Laufey to enter into Asgard before killing him before Laufey could stab the sleeping Odin, presenting Loki as seeming the saviour of the King of Asgard.
The two brothers battled as Loki attempted to destroy Jotunheim while Thor tried to stop such a genocide and eventually caused the destruction of the Bifrost Bridge. As they were falling off the bridge, Odin, awoken from his Odinsleep by the dangers his sons were in, grabbed Thor's leg just before he fell into the black hole below. As they hung on the edge of the world, Loki desperately tried to explain to Odin that he did everything for his beloved family.
Odin could not accept Loki's ideals and simply told him no. Loki, devastated by the rejection, let go on Gungnir and allowed himself to fall into the deep and dark abyss created in the wake of the Bifrost Bridge's destruction. While Thor screamed out in mourning agony, Odin watched on helplessly as his adopted son fell to his presumed death. Odin then ensured that Thor was safe while the Frost Giants reacted to their near extermination at Loki's hands.
With the threat of the Frost Giants now at an end, Asgard then had a mighty feast, to celebrate the end of the war and the return of Thor. Odin however did not attend, instead he looked out into the nine realms, mourning his lost son. Thor joined his father and told him that he now understood why he had been banished and knew he still had much to learn. Odin told Thor that he had already made him very proud and he would make a fine leader someday.
War of the Realms
Sending Thor back to Earth
With the Bifrost Bridge destroyed, the Asgardians could not maintain peace in the universe. A group of rag-tag invaders called the Marauders started to attack several of the Nine Realms. At the same time, Frigga discovered that Loki was alive and that he intended to conquer Earth. Odin sent Thor down to Earth to retrieve Loki. He used dark magic to send Thor on Earth, at the cost of his own and Thor's health, since the Bifrost Bridge was destroyed. However, there was an amount of time for Thor to get back to Asgard with Loki. Odin watched Thor's confrontation with Loki through the eyes of Hugin and Munin.
The Trial of Loki
When Thor returned to Asgard with the captured Loki and the Tesseract, Odin decided to speak with the prisoner. Though Loki tried to justify his actions on Earth claiming that it was his birthright to be a King, Odin openly told him that he would spare his life only because of Frigga's love for him. Odin then condemned Loki to an eternal imprisonment inside the Asgardian Dungeons.
End of the War
Approximately a year after Thor helped the mortals in saving Earth from Loki and his army of the Chitauri, the Marauders were still pillaging the peaceful inhabitants of the Nine Realms, and Odin had to send Thor to lead the armies of Asgard against them. During a final battle on Vanaheim, Thor along with Lady Sif and the Warriors Three managed to defeat the Marauders and force them to surrender.
Once Thor had returned from the Battle of Vanaheim, they discussed the newly secured peace across the Nine Realms as Odin thanked his son for everything he had done. Odin then discussed a pressing matter with his son; his infatuation with Jane Foster, recommending that Thor instead seek a romantic relationship with an Asgardian rather than a human, suggesting Lady Sif for Thor's affections as she clearly had strong feelings for him. Knowing that Thor would not listen, Odin suggested that he at least try to enjoy his victory over the Marauders by joining the Fandral and Volstagg for celebrations in an Asgardian bar for drinks with the grateful people of Asgard.
Return of the Dark Elves
Thor eventually brought Jane Foster into Asgard, much to Odin's disapproval. Odin stormed into the room as Eir was conducting tests on a strange illness that had befallen Foster and demanded that she return to Midgard. However when it was discovered that Foster was carrying the Aether within her veins, Odin was mortified and decided to keep her protected within the Asgardian Palace.
Odin showed Thor and Foster the Book of Yggdrasil and explained the history of the Dark Elves, a race of creatures that was believed to be extinct for thousands of years ever since Odin's father King Bor defeated them during the First Battle of Svartalfheim. However Odin knew that as the Aether had finally been found, the army of the Dark Elves, led by Malekith the Accursed would return seeking to finally reclaim their most powerful weapon once again.
- "After all I have survived, my Queen still worries."
"It's because I worry that you survive."
- ―Odin and Frigga
When the Dark Elves attacked against Asgard by sending in their Dark Elf Harrows to attack Asgard's defences, Odin led a troop to put down the rebellion in the Asgardian Dungeons led by Kurse. Along the way he came across Frigga and Jane Foster; he assured Frigga that there was nothing to fear and smiled as she showed her fear for his safety. Odin said that even after he had survived so many previous battles, his wife still worries for him; she reminded him that it was due to her worrying that he had survived for so long.
When Odin, Lady Sif and their squad of Einherjar soldiers returned to the upper chambers, they discovered that the army of Dark Elves had successfully invaded the palace and killed dozens of the Asgardian soldiers and destroyed Odin's own throne with a Black Hole Grenade. Once Odin had dispatched one fleeing Dark Elf with a single powerful blast from Gungnir, Odin realized that the Dark Elves would likely attack Frigga to get to Foster and steal the Aether.
Odin quickly went to their aid but was too late, and discovered that his beloved wife Frigga had been murdered by Malekith and Kurse while protecting Foster with her magic. Although also Thor arrived, he was unable to kill the Dark Elf leader, instead severely burning his face with a powerful blast from Mjølnir. Upon discovering her body, Odin fell to his knees and cradled his beloved wife, devastated by the loss of the woman he truly loved so dearly while Thor looked on.
Odin arranged for a ceremonial funeral for Frigga and the soldiers who died in the attack. Odin wore an all black armour and oversaw the ceremony where his wife's body was placed into a ship and transformed into stars in the universe. Odin remained silent during the ceremony, silently mourning his beloved wife. Every resident of Asgard, including Heimdall and Lady Sif, showed their respect for their queen and the soldiers who had protected them.
Desiring to destroy the Dark Elves once and for all, Odin met with Fandral and Volstagg to disguise military plans only to learn that they were almost completely defenceless against this threat. Interrupting the meeting, Thor tried to convince his father to allow him leave Asgard with Jane Foster and draw Malekith away, but Odin declined, stating that he was powerful enough to defeat Malekith himself, and insisted they simply wait. Odin said he was willing to sacrifice every soldier needed to avenge Frigga and defeat Malekith.
Thor defied his orders and enlisted Heimdall, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three in helping him, Foster and Loki escape Asgard with the intention of using the Aether to draw Malekith into the open and destroy him and his weapon. Heimdall then sent for Odin and confessed his disobedience. A slightly surprised Odin simply ordered his guards to stop Thor, who was escaping on a Dark Elf Harrow, by any means, but they were too late and quickly lost him.
With Thor now gone with Foster and Loki, Odin sent an Einherjar Guard to Svartalfheim to check on the battle against Malekith. When the guard returned, he approached Odin with news that they had discovered Loki's body. The guard, however, was actually Loki himself in disguise. Some time later, the throne of Asgard was usurped by Loki who had disguised himself as the All-father, allowing himself to rule Asgard as he had desired and send Thor to Earth.
The appearance of Odin was used by Loki to rule the Asgardians. Sif traveled to Earth twice, thinking that Odin gave her the order when it was truly Loki; once to apprehend Lorelei, and again to investigate the presence of a Kree on Earth.
- "All this because Loki desires a throne."
"It’s my birthright!"
"Your birthright was to die, as a child! Cast out onto a frozen rock. If I had not taken you in you would not be here now to hate me."
- ―Odin and Loki
Odin is a patient, just, and wise king. He strives to maintain the peace between the Nine Realms and is thoughtful of the lives of the innocent. Despite his enemies warring against him, he is compassionate enough to not seek the obliteration of the innocents of the opposing force. He even adopted Loki, the abandoned son of his old foe, and raised and loved him as his own son. Nevertheless, Odin is firm in his rule and does not hesitate to mete justice on those who threaten the peace; even if it is his own sons.
While he is a good king who cares about the peace of the realms, he was willing to sacrifice as many Asgardians as necessary if Malekith had attacked again, showing to be just as ruthless as Malekith at the time, as Thor noted, due to the intense grief, rage, and need for revenge coursing through him after Frigga's death.
Powers and Abilities
Odin possesses all of the various superhuman attributes common among the Asgardians. Odin possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, durability, and is extremely long-lived. However, as the King of Asgard, these attributes are significantly superior to those possessed by the other members of his race.
- Asgardian Physiology: As an Asgardian, Odin has superhuman abilities.
- Superhuman Strength: Like all Asgardians, Odin is superhumanly strong and possesses greater physical strength than the average Asgardian male. When he was younger, he was able to battle multiple Frost Giants on his own and lift one with his spear. He was also able to catch and hold both of his sons Thor and Loki as they were sent flying, in his advanced age.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his body's resistance, Odin can be injured like any other Asgardian. However, his metabolism enables him to rapidly regenerate damaged bodily tissue with greater speed and efficiency than a human being is capable of. He isn't able to grow back missing organs though, as he lost his right eye during the Asgard-Jotunheim War and it has not been healed back since.
- Longevity: Like all Asgardians, Odin ages at a rate that is much slower than that of a human being. Even though he is thousands of years old, he still in very good health, greatly belying his appearance.
- Odinforce: Odin is capable of manipulating vast amounts of energy for a number of purposes. With this immense power, Odin is capable of feats such as projecting force blasts through Gungnir that enabled him to destroy hordes of Frost Giants and Dark Elves. Odin is highly skilled in the use of his powers during combat situations, and was able to casually take down and kill Frost Giants with ease during the war. Odin is also capable of placing multiple permanent enchantments on items, as he did for Mjølnir when he exiled Thor to Earth. He had to tap into some form of dark energy to send Thor to Earth when the Bifrost was still destroyed, although, at the cost of his own and Thor's health.
As King of Asgard and recognized in mythology as the God of Wisdom, Odin possesses vast knowledge of ancient and arcane wisdom, considered to be his most powerful weapon.
- Leadership: Odin is the all-powerful ruler of Asgard and the guardian of the Nine Realms. As such, he is wise and honorable. He is dedicated to using his power for keeping the peace between the Nine Realms. He believes in being responsible (in terms of being careful and responsible for your actions), duty (in terms of the protection of and keeping the peace between the Nine Realms) and honor (always being a man of his word). However, when angered or upset, he can be very stern to the point of ruthlessness when necessary. As Frigga stated, "everything he does, he does with a purpose." He loves Thor but when Thor went to Jotunheim and nearly started a war in the process, he exiled Thor to Earth, to teach him what it means to a good warrior and a hero.
- Master Combatant: Odin is a master hand-to-hand combatant and close-quarters combatant. During multiple battles against Frost Giants, he casually killed multiple of the race with relative ease.
- Master Tactician: His thousands of years of experience resulted in him becoming a master tactician. He has led the Armies of Asgard into battle for countless years in wars over all the Nine Realms.
- Gungnir: A powerful magical spear used by the rulers of Asgard and serves as a symbol of power.
- Warriors Three
- Einherjar - Subordinates
- Jane Foster
- Hugin and Munin - Familiars
- Sleipnir - Steed
- In the comics, Odin sacrificed his right eye in order to obtain the knowledge to stop Ragnarök from occurring.
Behind the Scenes
- Odin was portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in Thor. Hopkins reprised his role in Thor: The Dark World. Tom Kane voiced Odin in the video game Thor: God of Thunder, as did Scott Rayow in Thor: The Dark World - The Official Game.
- With the whereabouts of Odin at the end of Thor: The Dark World unconfirmed, Anthony Hopkins expressed disinterest to return to the franchise while both he and Alan Taylor confirmed he was dead as a twist for the end. Kevin Feige however said "like all of our plans at Marvel Studios, we know where we would like to go if given the opportunity. We have very good ideas whether the All-Father is with us or not", giving the possibility of his return.
- Mel Gibson was offered the part of Odin, but turned it down.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Thor: The Allfather's Fear
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Thor
- ↑ Thor: The Dark World Prelude, Volume 1
- ↑ The Avengers
- ↑ Thor: The Dark World Prelude, Volume 2
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Thor: The Dark World
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.15: Yes Men
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.12: Who You Really Are
- ↑ Mel Gibson: ‘Some guy let me tattoo him. I drew squiggles’
|King of Asgard|