Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Thor has been visiting the Earth from the time of the Norse Vikings. What is the expected life span (in Earth years) of an Agardian?

The Wikipedia article on Asgard only states:

They are extremely long-lived (though not truly immortal like the Olympians), aging at an extremely slow rate upon reaching adulthood (through the periodic consumption of the golden apples of Idunn).

share|improve this question
    
To mix references without mercy: it depends on how well they can wedge the dagger in the wall and if they can work up a really good fling or not. –  dmckee May 16 '12 at 20:39
1  
To steal from the other major sci-fi Asgard, maybe they just clone themselves every couple hundred years and transfer their consciousness into a new body. –  BBlake May 16 '12 at 21:45
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Marvel's Comics Asgardians were considered functionally immortal. They aged very slowly upon reaching adulthood (unlike Marvel's Olympians, who do not age AT ALL) and as such would live until killed. While the Golden Apples of Idunn are discussed in Marvel's Asgard, no mechanics for their processes are described.

The Asgardians in their most popular appearances

The Asgardians in their most famous guises over the decades.

The difference between functional immortality and actually immortality would mean nothing to us, if their span of years numbered in the thousands. Since the myths of Norse mythology have included beings such as Odin since the 11th century, Odin would be at least 1,000 years old. He is likely much older.

enter image description here

This image denotes Marvel's official position on the Asgardians as aliens. From Thor #493 (written by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato)

Things to be remembered about Marvel's Asgardians:

  • Marvel's Asgardians were based on the deities of Norse myths of old. But they are not those deities.
  • They are an advanced species of humanoids who resemble humans and have technologies so advanced they appear as magic to humans.
  • They are extremely long-lived as a species and have superhuman levels of strength, vigor and physical vitality. As such, myths may not take into account the actual capabilities of these beings.
  • While they consume the Golden Apples of Idunn, the actual mechanics of how those Apples work have not been defined in the comics, only expressed in myths and legends.
  • Most Asgardians expected to survive until Ragnarok, with the occasional death of lesser gods at the hands of their powerful enemies such as the Frost Giants or Fire Giants.
share|improve this answer
4  
What do the images have to do with your answer? –  user366 May 17 '12 at 6:35
2  
I do not make the assumption, a person asking the question has ever seen images of what they are requesting (image 1) That picture shows popular versions of Marvel's Asgardians over a wide swath of time. Since comics are a visual medium, if there are images that can help substantiate the information I am relaying, I do that (image 2). Take the time to read image 2 and you can read Marvel's official stance on the Asgardians as a reference canon of the Asgardians as aliens. –  Thaddeus May 17 '12 at 17:01
add comment

That so-called "official stance" is the contents of an in-universe human magazine ("Alien Heaven: The Truth of Asgard") and, as such, contain information that the auhor of that magazine assumes to be true. That information cannot be assumed to be Marvel's official stance. Information found other places prove that the author of that magazine is misinformed.

The author of that magazine also lacks some sense of logic. One of is arguments is that accounts of Thor's history (a primary source) is different than Nordic mythology (accounts of Asgardians' feats who reached our times by word of mouth). Of course they are different. And in the next line, he wonders if Asgardians are the source of Norse religion, which would render his previous argument void.

share|improve this answer
3  
This doesn't actually answer the question though –  Monty129 Sep 9 '13 at 1:15
add comment

Asgardians are not magical, mystical beings. At some point in their history they achieved an extremely high level of technological and scientific advancement. Perhaps millions of years ahead of humans on earth in terms of technology and science, they were also masters of molecular biology, enabling them to extend their lifespan by thousands of years.

Some have advanced the idea that the Asgardian people became so reliant upon the super science of quantum level computing power and artificial intelligence systems, and for so very long, that they actually forgot the true origins of their race as being no more than a technologically superior species. They regressed to become almost child like in their sociology, believing their power was indeed the product of magic and mysterious forces they could not completely define or understand.

One author even went so far as to suggest that if one could place the hammer of Thor under a scanning electron microscope you would see futuristic versions of microproccessors, complete with the logo of whatever ancient Asgardian chip manufacturer soldered into place.

share|improve this answer
1  
Paragraphs are you friend. You also failed to answer the question, which is a year old and already has an accepted answer. For that reason I am flagging your answer. –  James Sheridan Mar 15 at 8:16
1  
@JamesSheridan - It's tenuous but he does refer to the asgardians being "masters of molecular biology, enabling them to extend their lifespan by thousands of years". Without a canon quote it's a poor answer but it's not flagworthy. –  Richard Mar 15 at 10:22
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.