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Quote1 Be warned, I shall uphold my sacred oath to protect this realm as its gatekeeper. If your return threatens the safety of Asgard, my gate will remain shut and you will be left to perish on the cold waste of Jotunheim. Quote2
-- Heimdall src
 

Heimdall is an Asgardian blessed with sensory capabilities far beyond those of other Asgardians, and these senses have been put to use placing Heimdall in the role of gatekeeper to Asgard at his observatory on the Bifrost Bridge.

Thor's Exile

Despite his phenomenal ability however, Heimdall was unable to perceive an intrusion by several Jotuns when they stole into the vaults of Odin. This same intrusion also sparked the ire of Odin's son Thor, who came to Heimdall, with several of his friends, seeking access to Jotunheim. Although Heimdall agreed to let them pass and accepted their request that he keep their movements secret, his loyalty to Odin was stronger and he immediately reported their departure. Odin's reaction was swift and had Heimdall opening the Bifrost twice more in quick succession to allow Odin to retrieve his people.

Later, with Thor banished and Odin fallen into his Odinsleep, Loki placed himself on the throne as regent and demanded Heimdall's loyalty. Although he grudgingly accepted, Heimdall opted to only observe a literal interpretation of his vow to Loki; when he overheard Sif and the Warriors Three plan to use the Bifrost to reach Thor, Heimdall declined to open the gate for them, but left them with the means to open the Bifrost themselves after departing. Enraged when he discovered Heimdall's betrayal, Loki dismissed Heimdall as a subject, thus releasing the protector of the Bifrost from his vow. Heimdall responded with an immediate attack, but Loki simply froze him in a block of ice before the blow could strike.

Heimdall was still frozen when Loki brought several Jotuns through the Bifrost. Locked in his icy prison, he was helpless to prevent Loki leading one of them into the city, but he was soon galvanized by the calls of Thor who was still trapped on Earth. Smashing free, he quickly cut down two Jotuns who had been left to guard, and opened the Bifrost for Thor and his friends. Severely weakened, Heimdall could assist the adventurers no further and had to be carried from his observatory.

He returned following the destruction of the observatory, still guarding the edge of the bridge where it had once stood, and when Thor asked if passage to Earth was lost, he replied, "No. There is always hope." He even answered Thor's question of the fate of Jane Foster and tell him that she "searches for him".[1]

Return of the Dark Elves

Heimdall (Earth-199999) from Thor The Dark World Poster 0001

The Bifrost was eventually rebuilt and Heimdall reclaimed his role as its guardian. In that capacity he had a heavy workload as the Nine Realms had been plunged into chaos and disorder during the bridge's period of ruin, and Heimdall was kept busy with the frequent transportation of Asgardians and prisoners once it was restored.

He also saw the Convergence coming, and spoke of it to Thor as well as pointing out that Jane Foster was also studying the phenomenon on Earth, though she did not understand what it was. During his talk, Heimdall became puzzled that he could no longer see Foster, and permitted Thor an exit from Asgard to check on her.

The danger that had hidden her from his sight was not immediately clear to Heimdall, but within days he had his first encounter with it. The dark elf Malekith came to claim the Aether, that as a parasite had taken Foster for a host. Heimdall could hear the alien craft that flew close to his observatory, but could not see it. Leaving his sword behind, he ran up a bridge suspension and leaped upon the ship, ramming two long daggers into it. Tearing his way down its hull he damaged it so that it crashed, but then he found himself facing an even mightier warship disgorging a fleet of the assault craft of the type he had just vanquished.

The assault was turned back by the efforts of Thor and the other Asgardians, and afterwards Odin decreed that none could enter or leave Asgard. Heimdall, skeptical of his ability to guard against attackers he could not see, confided his misgivings to Thor who told him he needed to remove Jane Foster from Asgard. Heimdall was duty-bound to refuse the use of the Bifrost, but allowed himself to be complicit in Thor's plan by summoning Odin to his observatory on a matter of urgency. He announced to Odin that treason had been committed, and when asked whose treason, he simply said, "Mine," and surrendered his sword, while buying time for Thor, newly-freed Loki, and Jane to escape to the Dark Elves' ruined realm.[2]

Asgard's Final Stand

Heimdall (Earth-199999) from Thor Ragnarok 002

Under unspecified circumstances- but likely linked to Odin being replaced by Loki- Heimdall was declared a traitor and forced to go on the run in Asgard for face execution, with his role as gatekeeper being filled by Skurge. After Thor returned to Asgard and exposed Loki's deception, the two travelled to Earth to retrieve Odin, but arrived only in time to witness Odin's death and the subsequent release of Hela, Odin's first-born daughter. With Hela on Asgard and Thor and Loki lost, Hela swiftly tore through many of Asgard's warriors, including the Warriors Three, leaving Heimdall to retrieve his sword from the Bifrost so that Hela could not spread her twisted madness across the Nine Realms. As the last true warrior on Asgard aside from Skurge and Hela, Heimdall dedicated himself to gathering civilians and taking them to a safe place. Eventually, he was able to make contact with Thor in a vision- Thor currently trapped on the planet Sakaar after he was kicked out of the Bifrost while battling Hela- and direct him to a portal that would take Thor and his new allies back to Asgard. When Thor returned, his allies were able to load the remaining Asgard civilians into a spaceship stolen from Sakaar while Heimdall aided them in fighting off the last of Hela's forces. This battle concluded with the evacuation of all remaining Asgardians and the destruction of Asgard itself during a final clash between Hela and Surtur, Heimdall joining Thor and his various allies as they set off towards Earth to make a new home. However, there ship is intercepted by a much large vessel.[3].

Infinity War

The ship belonged to Thanos, and his Black Order, who proceeded to slaughter half the Asgardians present on the ship, before demanding they give him the Tesseract. After telling Thanos it had been destroyed alongside Asgard, Thanos grabbed Thor by the head and threatened to kill his brother with the power-stone. After a brief confrontation, in which the mad Titan easily overpowered the Hulk and beat him unconscious, Heimdall used the Bifrost to transport Hulk back to Earth before being killed by Thanos himself, using Corvus Glaive's Glaive.[4]

Powers

Asgardian Physiology: As an Asgardian, Heimdall has superhuman abilities.

  • Superhuman Strength: Like all Asgardians, Heimdall is superhumanly strong and possesses greater physical strength than the average Asgardian male. He was able to break out from being frozen by Loki with the Casket of Ancient Winters, to lift a Frost Giant with his sword, to destroy a Dark Elf Harrow using only his sword, and to defeat several Berserkers with his sword. However, Heimdall was still no match for Fenris, with the former showing visible signs of fear when cornered by the massive beast on the Rainbow Bridge.
  • Superhuman Durability: Heimdall's body is much denser and much more resistant to physical harm than the body of a human being. He was capable of being frozen by Loki and showing no signs of injuries afterward.
    • Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his superhuman durability, Heimdall can be injured. However, his physiology allows him to heal at an accelerated rate.
  • Superhuman Speed: Heimdall can move at extreme speeds, with him thus managing to chase a flying Dark Elf Harrow, and quickly destroy it.
  • Superhuman Stamina: His musculature produces considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of humans.
  • Heightened Senses: Heimdall possesses tremendous sensory capabilities far beyond that of any Asgardians, which made Odin appoint him the Gatekeeper to Asgard. His sight itself extends to all of the Nine Realms, and his hearing is so sharp and precise that he heard the Warriors Three and Lady Sif conspiring against Loki from his post. Heimdall is able to hear other Asgardians calling him from other world and realms, such as Midgard, Jotunheim, Vanaheim, or Sakaar. When he uses his incredible perception, his eyes turn bright orange. Indeed, Heimdall himself claimed to see 10 trillion souls from Asgard.[5] Despite his phenomenal ability, however, his senses have been deceived to a degree by Loki and the Dark Elves, as he was unable to see into Svartalfheim.
    • Dark Magic: Heimdall possesses dark magic which allows him to channel an esoteric energy to summon the Bifrost and transport others across the universe, which he used to teleport Hulk to Earth when confronted by Thanos and the Black Order in order to have him warn Earth due to the Rainbow Bridge being destroyed.
    • Transdimensional Communication: When Heimdall was called upon by Thor from Sakaar, he was able to allow Thor to temporarily see his own surroundings on Asgard, and to thus communicate with him as if they were in the same place. When doing so, Thor's eyes turned orange like Heimdall's.
  • Longevity: Like all Asgardians, Heimdall ages at a rate that is much slower than that of a human being. Even though he is over one thousand years old, he still looks like a young man by Earth standards

Abilities

  • Master Combatant: Heimdall is a very capable combatant, having received training in swordsmanship. While normally using his sword to open the Bifrost Bridge, when using it in combat, Heimdall is powerful enough to defeat two Frost Giants when in a weakened state, an entire Dark Elf Harrow with relative ease when at his prime, as well as a horde of Berserkers.
  • Swordsmanship: Heimdall is a skilled swordsman with two-handed swords.Heimdall is also a superior swordsman, capable of taking down multiple Frost Giants and Berserkers.

Strength level

Heimdall possesses the strength of an Asgardian male who engages in intensive regular exercise.

Weaknesses

Heimdall is duty-bound to protect Asgard and its ruler, and does so even under circumstances that go against his better judgement, though he can, and will, abuse technical loop-holes in dire circumstances.


Equipment

  • Gjallerhorn: Heimdall used a horn used to rally the army of Asgard. When the Frost Giants invaded Asgard, Thor managed to defeat the Jotuns and release the Gjallerhorn. He then gave a sharp blast of the horn to call Asgard's warriors to arms. The Frost Giants used this tactic again when Mangog opened portals allowing them and the Fire Demons to attack Asgard. Heimdall alerted Thor, who once again defeated them and rallied Asgard's forces.
  • Armor
    • First Set: Heimdall’s original armor was a gold metal chest plate that extended into shoulder guards over simple brown clothing. He also had a golden horned helmet. He wore black pants and gold boots and arm-bracers.
    • Second Set: Heimdall’s second armor was far more ornate with an illustration of Yggdrasil on his chest plate. His sleeves are gold and brown leather. He wore a gold and brown skirt over brown pants and detailed golden boots. Heimdall still wears a helmet that is the same shape as the first one but with patterns etched onto it.
    • Third Set: Heimdall's third armor was a more clothing accessory compared to his previous armor, having brown pants and red sleeveless shirt while wearing a brown leather cape.

Weapons

  • Hofund: Heimdall mainly uses his sword for opening the Bifrost Bridge, but the sword is also powerful enough to pierce the skin of a Frost Giant and the hull of a Dark Elven ship.
  • A pair of long daggers that he wears at the back of his belt.
  • When Idris Elba was cast as Heimdall for the film Thor, it sparked controversy from the white supremacist organization Council of Conservative Citizens, who didn't like that a Norse god was being portrayed by a non-white actor.[7]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Thor (film)
  2. Thor: The Dark World
  3. Thor: Ragnarok
  4. Avengers: Infinity War
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TTDW
  6. Lussier, Germain (March 16 2018). Peter Dinklage Is Definitely in Avengers: Infinity War, But Who's He Playing?. io9. Retrieved on March 16 2018.
  7. Khouri, Andy (2010-12-16). Racists Totally Freak Out Over Idris Elba Playing Norse God in ‘Thor’. Comics Alliance.



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