Event Synopsis

Background

Following the return of the Dark Elf Malekith from imprisonment, he ignited a civil war in his homeworld of Svartalfheim and emerged crowned as king. Malekith additionally began assembling a league of allies from across the Ten Realms,[2] eventually forming the Dark Council which included among its ranks Dario Agger, King Laufey and Loki.[3]

War of the Elves

Malekith first announced the beginning of the War of the Realms when he declared war against Alfheim, home of the Light Elves. Malekith slaughtered countless of Light Elves and marched towards Ljosalfgard.[3] Complying to ancient treaties,[4] the Dwarves of Nidavellir agreed to welcome Light Elf refugees into their land.[5] While Thor (Jane Foster) assisted the Light Elves in fighting the invading forces, Queen Aelsa held a meeting with Malekith to negotiate peace. The Dark Elf King had her brainwashed with magic and forced to take his hand in marriage to unify the Light and the Dark Elves.[5] Following the marriage, Aelsa snapped out of the brainwashing, but before she could take action, she was imprisoned in her own dungeons.[6]

The Dark Elves proceeded to raze Afheim and consume its resources over the following months.[7] When the League of Realms traveled to Alfheim to rescue Queen Aelsa, Malekith set in motion his plan to burn down Alfheim after having determined the realm outlived its usefulness. After starting a fire, Malekith attempted to murder Queen Aelsa. While she was plummeting to her death, Aelsa was saved by Mjolnir and taken to safety. Thor subsequently cast a storm to extinguish the flames, but most of Ljosalfgard had already burned down.[8]

War of the Thors

In order to keep the Asgardians and Thor occupied, Malekith had Loki goad the Shi'ar deities K'ythri and Sharra into challenging the Goddess of Thunder in a contest of godhood, resulting in the brief Asgardian/Shi'ar War. K'ythiri and Sharra were eventually defeated, but their actions brought the Mangog back.[9] After allying himself with the Queen of Cinders of Muspelheim,[10] Malekith had his new-found allies attack Nidavellir,[4] in an invasion overseen by Amora the Enchantress and Ulik.[11] The Asgardian Volstagg was traumatized after Fire Demons murdered a group of Light Elf children under his protection, and he was sought by the Mjolnir of an alternate universe.[4] As the War Thor, Volstagg slaughtered the Muspel forces in Nivadellir and retaliated against the Queen of Cinders.[11] When innocent Fire Demons were caught in the War Thor's rampage, Thor saw herself forced to stop him.[12] During their battle, the two Thors were transported to Svartalfheim, and War Thor attempted to lay waste to it. As Jane Foster, Thor convinced Volstagg to forfeit the hammer and his quest for revenge.[13]

In the aftermath of the War of the Thors, Malekith and his allies continued moving. Roxxon invaded Vanaheim, Muspelheim invaded Niffleheim, and Malekith himself approached the Queen of Angels of Heven to propose an alliance.[13] The Nornkeep was shortly afterwards attacked by a composite army of the forces of all the realms allied with Malekith. The Norns sought help from Odinson, but he failed to prevent the death of the Norn Queen Karnilla. Before meeting her end, Karnilla had the Norns divide their forces into three and flee to hide and protect them.[14]

The Fall of Asgardia

When Mangog attacked the Old Asgard, Malekith directed it to Asgardia, the latest home of the Asgardians where Odin ruled with an isolationist iron fist.[15] During this time, a war brewed between the giants of Jotunheim, in which Storm and Mountain Giants joined forces against the Frost Giants, who were allied with Malekith. Additionally, Ulik and the Rock Trolls attacked the forges of Nidavellir. Thor sought help from Hercules, who agreed to ask Zeus for the intervention of the Gods of Olympus.[16]

Following an arduous battle, the Mangog was killed, though at the cost of Jane Foster's ability to transform into Thor since Mjolnir was destroyed. Asgardia was also destroyed in the process, forcing the Asgardians to relocate to Old Asgard. After Jane's fall, she convinced Odinson to gather the strength to step up, reclaim the mantle of Thor and continue fighting the War of the Realms on her behalf.[17]

Siege on Niffleheim

The war on Niffleheim marched on, and the forces of King Balder were overpowered. Balder was reunited with his brothers Thor and Loki, who telepoted to Niffleheim to put an end to Malektih's plans. Tyr tricked Balder and his allies into liberating Hela, who was being returned to Hel as a prisoner of the Queen of Cinders.[18] Loki convinced Balder and Hela to marry despite their enmity for tactical purposes to unite the realm against Sindr. The ceremony was interrupted by Thanos, with whom Hela had been allied once,[19] but he made an appearance solely to cut his ties with her and leave. Sindr's forces attacked, and Balder was defeated by Gar-Toom, one of Niffleheim's chieftains who had decided to pledge allegiance to Sindr. The cavalry arrived in the form of the Einherjar and the Valkyrior, whom Thor had gone to recruit in the meantime. Thor successfully forced Sindr and her forces to retreat back to Muspelheim.[20]

The Last Realm Standing

In preparation for the invasion of Midgard, the last realm standing, Malekith sends Dark Elf assassins after Odin while he himself impersonates Loki to trick Thor into accompanying him to Jotunheim, where he leaves him stranded facing a countless army of Frost Giants. Once Malekith's forces attack Manhattan, Loki betrays Laufey to save Freyja from him, and is in turn eaten alive by his father.[21] The heroes of Midgard become overpowered, but they are assisted by Odin and the Valkyries. However, when Doctor Strange casts a spell to evacuate the civilians of the island, he's overcome by his own magic and accidentally teleports the heroes away, leaving the Valkyries to die. After Brunnhilde., the last Valkyrie, is slain by Malekith, the Dark Elf's forces mobilize across the entire globe, claiming different continents for each faction of his allies.[22] North America becomes "New Jotunheim" under the control of the Frost Giants; South America falls to the Draugr under the Enchantress' command, becoming "The Dusk Lands;" Africa is taken over by the Angels of Heven and rechristened "New Heven;" Asia is renamed "New Muspelheim" under the rule of Sindr and the Fire Goblins; Oceania becomes the "Kingdom of the Trolls" claimed by Ulik and the Rock Trolls; Antarctica is occupied by Dario Agger to become "The Kingdom of Roxxon Inc," while Malekith and the Dark Elves take Europe for themselves and turn it into New Svartalfheim.[23]

After regrouping at the Avengers Mansion, the heroes begin to plan a counter offensive.[22] Heimdall passes on his sword Hofund to Daredevil, allowing him to rebuild the Bifrost and send different hero strike teams on their missions across the Ten Realms. A team led by Captain America ventures into Jotunheim to rescue Thor. A team led by Freyja travels to Svartalfheim to find the Black Bifrost and destroy it. On Earth, Captain Marvel leads the War Avengers to London to directly confront Malekith, who has stolen the Ebony Blade from the Black Knight, but the Dark Elf uses the sword on War Avengers member Venom, teleporting himself and the symbiote away from battle. The Dark Elves attack Asgard and manage to blow up the Bifrost, cutting off travel between the realms for the heroes. Freyja's team is cornered at the Black Biforst, and after sensing the Biforst's destruction,[23] the All-Mother decides to instead make use of it to gather allies from across the Ten Realms and have them gather on Midgard. After noticing that the Black Bifrost is compromised, Malekith attacks Freyja using the Venom symbiote, now turned into a sword. Odin arrives to help her clad in the Iron All-Father Armor developed by Tony Stark, and they manage to destroy the Black Bifrost.[24]

With Odin and Freyja presumed dead, Thor leads the global counterstrike against Malekith's allies.[25] The Angels of Heven are ultimately massacred by Angela using the Naglfar Beacon, who also slains the Queen of Angels;[26] the Enchantress is defeated in Brazil by Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange;[27] Ulik is defeated by She-Hulk;[28] the Agents of Wakanda manage to take global communications back from Roxxon; the Dark Elves are defeated in London;[25] and Captain Marvel later takes down Sindr.[29]

Odin and Freyja are revealed to have survived when Malekith communicates with Thor to challenge him in Stonehenge, warning him of a magical barried erected that would kill his hostages if crossed by anybody other than Thor. Daredevil takes Thor to the Sun, where Yggdrasill has taken root, in order to find a way to overcome Malekith's challenge.[25] Thor sacrifices his left eye and the last shards of Mjolnir to unlock the answer, which is to recruit his future self of a distant time as well as his past self from back in time. The three Thors are joined by Jane Foster, who regained her form of Thor after the shattered remains of the alternate version of Mjolnir used by the War Thor reconstituted when she lifted them.

While the four Thors take on Malekith, the rest of Earth's heroes confront the final faction of Malekith's allies standing, the Frost Giants in Manhattan. Laufey uses the Casket of Ancient Winters to empower himself and subdue the heroes. During battle against Malekith, Thor commands the God Tempest in the Sun to reforge Mjolnir, bringing it to his side to deliver the final blow against the villain, who is then shredded to pieces by his own beasts due to his fear of defeat. Daredevil throws Hofund down Laufey's throat, and Loki uses it to crave his way out of his father's stomach, killing him. As the fruits of Malekith's defeat begin to blossom, Odin steps down as King of Asgard, and bestows the title of All-Father upon Thor.[29]

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Notes

  • The War of the Realms as an in-universe event began in 2015's Mighty Thor Vol 2 #1. The War of the Realms as an editorial event focuses of the developments surrounding Midgard's entry into the war.[30] This page documents the War of the Realms in its entirety, including the events before Midgard's entry into the conflict as background information.

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