With the third installment of Marvel's Thor Ragnarok soon to be released I thought I'd talk about one of my favourite characters Heimdall the guardian on Asgard.
A daughter of Heimdall is mentioned to be a newcomer at Hotel Valhalla along with Magnus Chase.
The Hammer of Thor
Heimdall hears Magnus, Samirah al-Abbas, Alex Fierro, Halfborn Gunderson, and Amir Fadlan argue, so he makes the Bifrost Bridge appear. His voice is described as squeaky and un-divine. He takes a selfie with everyone except Alex. He looks into the Nine Worlds and sees giants passing over the borders of Midgard and hears about them talking about Thrym's wedding. Sam vows that she won't marry Thrym. He then shows them a sign at Utgard Lanes, telling Magnus that Utgard-Loki has information after which he drops them back into Midgard.
Heimdall appears again with Thor and Vidar at Loki's Cave after Loki is freed. He goes around and takes selfies at every angle. When Magnus asks him if he can see Randolph Chase, Heimdall replies that sometimes he shouldn't look as far as he's able to look. Vidar mentioned that Heimdall took pictures and didn't help to tunnel through the hardened rock. He leaves the party at Valhalla early to go back to the Bifrost Bridge.
The Ship of the Dead
Heimdall was present at Vigridr when the crew of the Big Banana handed Loki over to the gods.
9 from the Nine Worlds
Just Another Decapitated Head
Heimdall watches Thor’s goats while the god jogs around the Nine Worlds. He dresses the goats in pajamas and tries to take a video until Odin tells him to stop and keep watch for Jotunn attacks.
Who is Heimdall?
The meaning of the name Heimdall in Old Norse is unclear, but it may be “he who illuminates the world”. This may be a reference to Heimdall as shining in some way, as he is often described as the “brightest” or “whitest” of the Aesir gods.
Heimdal in Marvel
He is also variously known as Rigr, Hallinskidi, Hullntanni, which means “one with the golden teeth”, and Vindler or Vindhler, which means “protector against the wind of the sea”.
Heimdall was yet another son of Odin, though he is said to have had nine mothers. When Heimdall brags about this, he does not say who is mothers are. But it has been suggested that they were the nine daughters of the sea giant Aegir, also known as the Nine Urdines or the Nine Waves.
Symbols and Symbolism of Heimdall
As a god with a very straight-forward mission and character, Heimdall didn’t really symbolize a great many things like most other deities. He wasn’t associated with natural elements nor did he represent any particular moral values.
Still, as Asgard’s faithful watch and guardian, his name was often invoked in war and he was the patron god of scouts and patrols. As the originator of Norse societal order and the potential father of all mankind, Heimdall was universally worshipped and beloved by most Norse societies.
Heimdall’s symbols include his Gjallarhorn, the rainbow bridge and the golden horse.
Heimdall is a strong and loyal warrior, with a high sense of honor. Although being extremely powerful, even for an Asgardian, he loyally serves Odin, having swore an oath of faith to his king. However, his true loyalty lies with the throne of Asgard, rather than Odin personally, as such when during Loki's reign, he did not personally let Sif and the Warriors Three pass onto Earth, but he secretly gave them his blessing. Then after Loki found out, he announced Heimdall as a traitor and no longer a citizen of Asgard. As a result, Heimdall attacked Loki, no longer bound to serve him. He was loyal enough to confess his disobedience (although he called it treachery) to Odin and surrendered.
Heimdall in Context
For the Norse people, hunting horns were an essential part of their way of life. These horns, literally hollowed out and carved from the horns of an animal such as a reindeer, provided communication between members of a hunting party so they could work together to capture prey. Like Heimdall, the Norse people often named their most important pieces of equipment, including weapons and other tools of the hunt.
The story of HeimdalPs visit to the three couples reflects the social classes of the Norse people at the time. According to the story, the establishment of the social classes by a god indicates that those who are born into a particular class belong in that class, and it is appropriate for warriors and nobles to be superior to and live off the labor of the lower classes. In Norse society, there was little movement between social classes, with riches often handed down from one family member to the next. However, not all slaves were born as such: many were taken as war prisoners, and others fell into slavery because they owed debts. It was not uncommon for serfs to earn or buy their freedom after a period of servitude.
The Unclear Details About Heimdallr
There are some sources describing the connection between Heimdall and a ram, but the connection is quite unclear due to the scarce sources available. Additionally, Hljod the Giantess (Old Norse Hljóð) is somehow connected to Odin’s lost eye, and it might also be connected to Heimdall's missing ear. Hljod was sent under the Yggdrasil, and the connections are still unclear due to the incomplete translations.
The term hljóð has a great variety of translations, and some of them refer to hearing or ears. It’s unknown if Heimdall sacrificed one of his ears for gaining some ultimate reward like the All-father Odin sacrificed his eye. These are just speculations since there’s no firm evidence to substantiate these claims.
He is known to have great powers of the senses. Heimdall can hear grass grow and even the wool grow on sheep. He can also see more than 100 leagues and needs less sleep than a bird. These powers make him the perfect watchman for Asgard.
Heimdall’s most important duty, besides being Watchman of the Bifrost, is warning. He owns the Gjallarhon, the Resounding Horn, and will blow it when the giants attack the giants are the enemies of the gods of Asgard. Legend has it that Ragnarok will begin when they attack Asgard and Heimdall blows his horn. Loki will lead the giants to Asgard, while Heimdall will try to stop Loki and they will end up slaying each other.
Many believed that Heimdall sometimes liked to escape his duties of watchman and would go on adventures using the name Rig, which meant king. A very famous story of one of these adventures is how he found and returned Freya’s treasure, the Brisingamen (an amber necklace) after doing battle with Loki who was in the shape of a seal. Loki had stolen the Brisingamen and hid himself amongst seals to avoid detection. But Heimdall, who had been sitting quietly disguised as a seal for hours, watched. He then immediately got down from his rock and punched Loki in the face and retrieved the necklace for Freya.
9 Superheroes from Norse and Greek Mythology
There are creatures of all sorts in the Marvel Universe. Apart from human on the earth, there are various alien races and even paranormal creatures similar to venom symbionts in this universe. Certainly, there are also many powerful deities in the Marvel Universe. Some of them are gods from mythologies, such as the most familiar superhero Thor, who is the god associated with thunder, agriculture and war in Norse Mythology. Do you know any other Marvel characters who are deities from mythologies? First of all, let’s take a look below.
Thor is a superhero in the Marvel comics who first appeared in the book Journey into Mystery. As the son of Odin and Jord, Thor Odinson was born in a Norwegian cave. He was later brought back to Asgard, raised together with Loki, the son of jötunn Laufey, and finally entitled to use the powerful hammer, Mjölnir. He is also the guardian and heir of Asgard.
Due to his increasing arrogance, Odin exiled he to the earth so that he could learn humility in human world. He lived in the human world as Dr. Donald Blake without the memory of Thor.
Afterwards, he fell into a mountain creek on a trip to Norway. There he happened to find a wooden cane which became the Mjölnir after hitting the ground. From then on, Thor restored his status and power, and became a superhero protecting the earth. Thor’s enemy Loki, the natural son of jötunns and adopted son of Odin, also appeared soon after and began to oppose Thor. Loki once tried to play off Hulk again Thor, but only leading to the solidarity between Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Wasp and Ant-Man, as well as the founding of a superhero group – The Avengers.
Odin Borrson is a character in Marvel comics who first appeared in the book Journey into Mystery. His prototype is the same-name lord god in Norse mythology. He is the natural father of Thor and adoptive father of Loki. Gungnir is his main weapon and symbol of power (although as a former avenger he used the Mjölnir one million years ago). He has a family feud with the jötnar.
Odin was portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in the 2011 film Thor, 2013 film Thor: The Dark World and 2017 film Thor: Ragnarok. The flashback in the third film indicates that Odin locked Hela away when she turned dangerous. After that, Thor and Loki found Odin in Norway where Odin revealed his imminent death, and Hela would be set free as a result.
In N orse mythology, Loki is the god associated with trick and lie, and also the foster-brother of lord god Odin. As one of the most important deities in the Norse mythology , Loki played a key role in the Ragnarok. In Marvel Universe, instead of Odin‘s foster-brother, Loki is adopted son of Odin and foster-brother of Thor. Similar to the Loki in Norse mythology, the Loki in Marvel Universe is also an excellent shape-shifter and magician who appears in many shapes. In the film Thor: Ragnarok , Thor mentioned that Loki once appeared as a snake to deceive him.
The Loki in Norse mythology is the god associated with fire and trick. His natural parents were both jötnar, while he was adopted by lord god Odin and raised together with Thor after the war between Asgardian deities and jötnar. He had been salivating over the throne of lord god, therefore he turned an enemy of Thor and his avenger friends.
Heimdall is the god of light and dawn, and a quite mysterious deity in Norse mythology. He has an alias Rig, while he is the god of guardian and doorkeeper in Norse mythology, and one of the twelve deities in Asgard. As brother of Sif, Heimdall is the gardian of Asgard who can see and hear everything.
He stands on the Bifröst bridge in observation of any possible attack. Also, as the guardian of Asgard, he defends the gate of this realm from any intruders, and is one of the most trusted servants of Odin. In the 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron, Heimdall was portrayed by Idris Alba. But he did not appear in any scenes but only in Thor’s illusion. In the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War, Heimdall was still portrayed by Idris Alba.
In the beginning of the film, Heimdall activated the Bifröst bridge to send Hulk back to earth with his last strength. Soon after he was killed by Thanos with Corvus Glaive’s spear.
Hela is the queen of a realm of the same name. She is the youngest child of Loki, and sister of Fenrir and Jörmungandr. In Marvel Universe, Hela is no longer Loki’s daughter, but the first child of Odin and Thor’s elder sister. Fenrir, who is Hela’s elder brother in Norse mythology, becomes her ride. Despite being Thor’s elder sister, Hela is one of Thor’s enemies. And Hela is very powerful, even Thor cannot defeat her.
Surtur is a supervillain in Marvel comics based on the fire giant Surtr from Norse mythology. Surtur is a key character during the Ragnarök, and the ruler of Muspelheim who possesses the giant sword Twilight. He once had a war with Odin, but Odin succeeded in preventing Surtur’s invasion after his brothers Vili and Vé sacrificed their lives. Surtur restored the cracked Mjöllnir after dealing with Sól with the condition of opening the road to Vanaheimr.
In the 2017 film Thor: Ragnarok, Surtur had Thor imprisoned in his lair in Muspelheim, and revealed that Odin was not on Asgard where he planned to unite his crown with the Eternal Flame to cause Ragnarök. Thor managed to defeat Surtur and captured his crown. After escaping from Surtur’s lair, he put Surtur’s crown in the vault in Asgard. Afterwards, during the battle between Hela and Asgard, Thor had an illusion of reviving Surtur by putting his crown in the Eternal Flame, because this was the only way to defeat Hela.
After Surtur was reborn, he caused Ragnarök by destroying Asgard, and thus defeated Hela. During this disaster, Thor and the surviving Asgardians fled to earth in spaceships.
Ares is the god of war in Greek mythology, one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Marvel comics, there is also an Ares based on the Ares in Greek mythology. This Ares is also an avenger, however, it is not the Avengers, but the Dark Avengers. As a god, Ares is nearly immortal and also a top fighter in close combat. He is a powerful god, it is neck and neck between him and Thor.
Heracles is the greatest hero and the god of strength in Greek mythology. As indicated by his status, Heracles is of both extraordinary bravery and exceptional strength. Similar to Hulk of the Avengers, Heracles has super strength and greatly developed muscles, which enable him to jump or step over a very long distance. The difference between him and Hulk is, Hulk is usually invloved in close combat, while Heracles prefers to use his club althrough he is also good at hand-to-hand fighting. Heracles is an intimate friend of Thor.
Khonsu is the Ancient Egyptian god of the moon, light and night. His name means “traveller”, but he also has the titles of “Embracer”, “Pathfinder”, and “Defender”. Khonsu also exists in Marvel Universe with the name Khonshu. The readers of Marvel comics might know a little bit about the superhero Moon Knight. Marc Spector was a mercenary gravely injuried by his client during the mission. Before he took his last breath, the statue beside him turned into the Egyptian moon-god Khonsu and brought him back to life. Since then Marc had been the proxy of Khonsu and the superhero Moon Knight.
What we discuss above are the deities derived from mythologies in Marvel Universe. Among them, the Asgardian gods are deities in Norse mythology, for example, Odin is the lord god and heimdall is the guardian god. Do you have some more to share with us?
Heimdall is also known as Gullintani (“gold tooth”), and his horse is called Gulltopp, “the horse with the golden mane”. These are names you would expect for a sun god or god of the heavens. His home, Himinbjörg by the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge, or possibly in the Milky Way in the heavens, was a peaceful spot where he enjoyed sitting and drinking a fine mead.
In one saga, Heimdall is the god who tells Thor how to get his hammer back after the giant Thrym steals it.
When Ragnarök, the end of the world as predicted by a seeress, came and the Bifrost broke, Heimdall blew his horn Gjallarhorn to awaken the Aesir gods. During the final battle, Heimdall fought the evil and treacherous Loki and they both died.
Heimdall can be found in the myths, but there are no preserved sources to suggest that he was worshipped by any cult that might have named a place after him, for example.
One interpretation of Heimdall’s name is “The one who shines over the world”