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At the end of Thor, as Thor is destroying the Bifrost Bridge, Loki says

If you destroy the Bridge, you'll never see her again!

The implication is that without the Bifrost Bridge, there is no longer an easy way to get to Earth.

Then in The Avengers Loki says this to Thor after Thor arrives on Earth

With the Bifrost gone, how much dark energy did the Allfather have to muster to conjure you here, your precious Earth?

At the end of the movie Thor returns to Asgard via the Tessaract. In Thor 2, the Bifrost Bridge has been fully restored.

To me, this implies the Bifrost Bridge was going to be a huge undertaking, but because they suddenly acquired the Tessaract, they were able to easily rebuild it. Did they need the Tessaract (or something like it) to rebuild the Bifrost Bridge?

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In Norse and related mythology (like Edda) Thor was the only one who couldn't use Bifrost as it was too frail for him. He either had to take a detour or wade through. This, of course, is only marginally related to Marvel's Thor. –  SQB Feb 4 at 22:02
    
"If you destroy the bridge, it will become more powerful than you have ever imagined!" - Yoda –  DVK Feb 4 at 23:33
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1 Answer

Probably so.

There’s a Marvel comic called Thor: TDW Prelude which takes us from the end of Thor (destruction of the Bifrost) through The Avengers and to the beginning of Thor: TDW. I answered a similar question last year, and quoted this panel (which handily answers your question, too):

enter image description here

(This comes in issue 1 of 2.) As Odin says to Thor:

Retrieve the Tesseract at all costs. Only with its power can we rebuild the Bifrost. Bring it, and Loki, home.

I think we can take this as canonical confirmation that the Tesseract was necessary to reconstruct the Bifrost.

However, there is this panel in the second issue which I find a little ambiguous, as Heimdall and Thor rebuild Bifrost:

enter image description here

Thor says:

Take the Tesseract. Use its power instead of the All-Father’s to restore what I destroyed.

You could read this as meaning that Odin could have restored the Bifrost himself, but at great personal cost (quite possibly death). I’m not sure how to interpret that line, so I’ll leave it up to you.

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Couldn't "instead of the All-Father's" mean something like "use its power to provide a way of traveling between worlds, instead of the All-Father having to harness dark energy again" as opposed to "use its power to rebuild the Bifrost Bridge, instead of the All-Father using his power to rebuild it"? –  Hypnosifl Feb 4 at 22:02
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I agree with your interpretation @alexwlchan. He's clearly using the power of the tesseract to rebuild the bridge in place of the power that Odin would have had to channel. –  Richard Feb 4 at 22:51
    
Thanks for this answer... –  Sachin Shekhar Feb 5 at 17:53
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