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You Forgot Vanaheim

by on April 5, 2021

So, here’s the thing. I’m a big superhero movie nerd, but I’m also a political-science major and a lawyer. This combination means I tend to overanalyze this movies probably more than I should. (For instance, I like to think a lot about real-world implications of what would happen, like who’s going to pay the insurance on the cars the good guys use to swat the bad guys with, and such.

All that, to say this. I have a query about the MCU, specifically part of Thor’s arc. I sometimes run over novel plots in my mind before I go to sleep, and of late I’ve been running over this and it bothers me, to quote Columbo. My problem is this: what happens to the Nine Realms after the events of Avengers: Endgame?

Let’s walk through this. (Side note: I’m going to assume everyone reading from this point forward has seen the Marvel movies up through Endgame, so this is your one and only SPOILER WARNING. Anyway: we learn in the first Thor movie that the Bifrost allows access to the Nine Realms (Midgard, Jotunheim, etc.). During that movie the Bifrost is destroyed, preventing Thor or any of the other Asgardians from accessing the other realms. The second movie introduces us to Vanaheim, home of Thor’s comrade Hogun, in an opening battle scene in which Thor anticlimactically destroys a rock monster. More to the point, we learn that the Bifrost has been repaired and Thor and his Asgardian friends have spent some time using it to bring peace to the Nine Realms. This indicates that Asgard serves as a sort of inter-realm peacekeeping force. Ergo, as rightful king of Asgard, Thor would be responsible for that force and thus, indirectly, responsible for the protection of the Nine Realms.

So then we get to Thor: Ragnarok. This is one of my favorites, but it is a problem. In this movie, among other things, Thor gets back to Asgard after an absence and remarks that the Nine Realms are in chaos because Odin has been replaced by (surprise!) Loki. This emphasizes that when Asgard is absent, bad things happen to the Nine Realms. As if to drive home the point, after Asgard is destroyed in order to stop Thor’s evil sister Hela, in the next movie, Infinity War, Thanos wipes out the Dwarves on Nidavellir, and leaves only Eitri, a fact Eitri points out to Thor with the poignant lament, “Asgard was supposed to protect us!”

So, events progress from there, the Avengers defeat Thanos in the Battle of Earth, the surviving Asgardians settle in their town in Norway, and Thor appoints Valkyrie as their leader. He then…goes off with the Guardians of the Galaxy on what, for all we know, is a random joyride.

This, for me, is a problem. Let’s remember where we are at this point. Asgard is destroyed. So is the Bifrost, for that matter; Heimdall could wield it, but he’s dead. Thor could wield it with Stormbreaker, but he’s off with the Guardians and seemingly in no mood to do realm-protecting. Maybe someone else could wield Stormbreaker, you ask? Nope: I checked that most reliable of sources, the Internet (specifically the Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki) and evidently Thor took Stormbreaker with him. Also, he did make Valkyrie leader of New Asgard on Earth, but he didn’t say a word to her about the Nine Realms or the Bifrost, or anything along that line. All he said was that he had no path.

Which is all very well. But here’s the thing. And it’s not Valkyrie’s fault; she’s taking care of the New Asgardians, as she’s been doing apparently throughout the Blip. But who’s looking after the Nine Realms? I’m going to assume the Snap and the Blip affected them too, so if you figure they were in trouble after the destruction of the Bifrost in the first Thor movie, and Odin’s trip to Earth in Thor: Ragnarok, what kind of shape would they be in after Endgame? Vanaheim doesn’t have Hogun anymore, and there’s no more Asgard. They all need help. And where’s Thor? Joyriding with Peter Quill and friends on the Benatar.

I mean no disrespect to Quill and Co. But someone, Thor particularly since he’s the one with the Bifrost-wielding super-axe, needs to think about Vanaheim and the guys that don’t have Bifrost-wielding super-axes.

Anyhow. Maybe they’ll address this in the next Thor movie.

Thank you for indulging in my superhero movie thoughts; while you’re here, check out my newly released novel, The Angel and the Apocalypse, available now on Amazon!”

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