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Why was Thor going to be made king if Odin is immortal?

According to legend, the Odin Father is the keeper of the Odin Force, and must enter the Odin Sleep once a year to retain his power ... we see a pattern here that Odin is somewhat important. Additionally, some legend says that Asgard survives and maintains it's splendor specifically because of the Odin Force, which is only maintained by the will of Odin. So if he is going to always be around (for Asgard to persist per the previous legends), is Odin merely a title, or is there something more important about Odin that he will persist even if Thor replaces him? Odin does seem to be a little invincible after all.

Was the title merely hereditary and each Odin passed the title before dying or is there another reason for Odin passing the title?

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Were they truly immortal though? I thought Demigods could be killed by each other in battle. –  Polynomial Dec 30 '12 at 18:12
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possible duplicate of How long do Asgardians live for? –  Thaddeus Dec 30 '12 at 18:20
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The Asgardians are functionally immortal as long as they eat the Apples of Indunn. But they can be killed in battle and have protocols for succession. –  Thaddeus Dec 30 '12 at 18:23
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It's also important to remember that immortal is not the same thing as invincible. There is always the possibility of Odin being killed in battle or just being too ill or frail to govern. –  phantom42 Dec 30 '12 at 22:17
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It's referred to as Odinsleep because Odin is the one doing the hibernation. If it where Thor, or another god who needed to hibernate to replenish his energies it would be the Thorsleep. –  Monty129 Dec 31 '12 at 19:33

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

It's because the Norse Gods have to go through a little thing called Ragnarok. Basically, the real myths of the norse are set forth in the Eddas and in them, Odin and Thor are both fated to die after slaying great foes. In the Marvel universe, only Odin is fated to die in that battle. Thor gains control of the Odinforce and is driven slightly insane by it, which is covered in the trades: The Death of Odin, The Lord of Asgard, Gods on Earth, Spiral, The Reigning, and Gods and Men.

Thor does have to sleep to retain control of this power, the same as Odin had to, although he can still use his own power whenever he wants. He later uses the power to recreate Valhalla on Earth, although that last might have been retcon'd as I haven't kept up lately with the story line.

The reason that it is present in the movies is, I suspect, that Thor doesn't really have a lot of stuff to hang a story on. His comic book has always been a little less character driven that the other Marvel properties because he isn't really a part of this world and doesn't really want to fit into it anyway.

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+1, even though I found the last paragraph questionable :) –  FoxMan2099 Aug 3 '13 at 16:13

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