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In Thor (2011), it's heavily implied or stated that Norse mythology is based on the Asgardians' battles with frost giants on Earth in the tenth century AD. How were gods like Thor and Loki part of the old stories--with their eventual personalities intact--when they were babies at the time?

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This is just a theory, so I'm posting as a comment for now, but it's never stated that the Bifrost is just transport through space. It could potentially be used to travel to different points in time as well. –  Monty129 Apr 24 at 10:37
    
This is why retconning is so prevalent in Marvel, there are always discrepancies to deal with. –  MichaelF Apr 24 at 12:32
    
Maybe they got drunk and wound up in a foreign place.. we have all done it.. cept in their case in their youth they wound up on earth fighting/living with vikings.. Drunk party tricks lead to them being considered gods... good god hide this from marvel or they will make a a film of it –  Marriott81 Apr 25 at 10:49

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

According to Marvel's movieverse version of 'Thor', the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, lead by their king Laufey, attacked Tonsberg, Norway in 965 A.D., bent on the conquest of Earth. But they were opposed by Odin and the warriors of Asgard who defeated them in battle. At the end of that battle and after the Frost Giants were driven back to Jotunheim, Odin 'found' a runt Frost Giant baby (Loki) and took him. Odin raised Loki and his 'biological' son Thor together as siblings.

Here's a still of Thor and Loki as adolescents years AFTER the battle of Tonsberg:

Young Thor and Loki

They appear to be approximately the same age with Thor being called 'firstborn'. This would make Thor a baby during that battle, not a combatant. Hard to fight a battle in 965 A.D. when you're in diapers. Remember, this is Marvel movieverse mythology, which won't necessarily follow any individual comic.

This would make both Loki and Thor about 1064 years old in 2011. According to 'real' Norse mythology, Thor should have been at least a couple of hundred years old in 965 AD.

Finally, even the opening narrative (as told by Odin to the boys while in the weapons room) is his description of that battle to them. He's telling them the lore while teaching them proper kingship attributes.

With all that being said, apparently Thor had (according to the movieverse) made a few trips to earth after he grew up. Fandral alludes to such visits when Thor convinces Sif and The Warriors Three to sneak off with him to Jotunheim in an attempt to find out how the Frost Giants got into Asgard. Fandral tells Thor, "This isn't like a trip to earth where you can summon a little lightening and be worshipped like a god, this is Jotunheim." This is confirmation that Thor had been to earth as an adult 'God Of Thunder' in MCU. Probably no sooner than about 1000 AD though.

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So in that case, how did Thor and Loki get into the myths on Earth? –  Izkata Apr 24 at 3:45
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^ Exactly--since the battle in 965 AD is presumably supposed to have been the inspiration for Norse Mythology, why did Thor and Loki, then infants, feature so heavily in the myths? –  Milo Price Apr 24 at 3:46
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@Izkata-Apparently Thor had made trips to earth after he grew up. When they sneak off to Jotunheim to find out how the frost giants got into Asgard, Fandral tells Thor, "This isn't like a trip to earth where you can summon a little lightening and be worshipped like a god, this is Jotunheim." –  Morgan Apr 24 at 3:56
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@Izkata-Thanks for making that hotlink an actual picture on the page. I don't know how to do that yet. My skillsets lay elsewhere. –  Morgan Apr 25 at 2:58
    
@Paul D. Waite- Like Atlas' doom to hold up the heavens, yours is to repair my poorly written prose. –  Morgan Apr 26 at 8:20

They weren't babies at the time. The flashback showing little Thor and Loki was less than a thousand years ago. A thousand years ago was the last great war on Midgard between Asgard and the Frost Giants. At that time, Odin took the Casket of Ancient Winters, and little Loki from the Frost Giants. Over the next few centuries, Asgard and Midgard continue to be in contact, providing a teenaged/young adult Loki and Thor the opportunity to interact with humans, which led to their inclusion in the Norse myths in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This isn't plainly stated in Thor, but can be inferred. The Norse myths book that Selvig gets at the library shows a non-child Thor, meaning that a non-child Thor interacted with humans long ago.

The Marvel Phase 1 timeline provides more concrete evidence. 1000 years ago, Odin took the Casket (and Loki). 400 years later, the Tesseract is lost on Earth, which means Asgardians were on Earth. 400 years is apparently enough time for a child Asgardian and Jotun to grow up.

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good enough explanation for me –  FoxMan2099 Apr 24 at 2:53
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Granted, it's been a while since I saw the movie, but since Loki is found after the final battle, I think they would have to have been babies at the time. –  Milo Price Apr 24 at 3:48
    
@MiloPrice If Loki was a baby, why does that infer that Thor was also a baby? –  Adam Davis Apr 24 at 15:29
    
In the script, Odin confirms that he took the casket and Loki on the same day. The official timeline release by marvel says that that battle and Odin taking the casket was 1000 years before Iron Man. –  phantom42 Apr 24 at 16:55
    
@AdamDavis: in Thor, we see Thor and Loki as children in the Asgardian weapons vault with Odin, and they seem abut the same age. They are aliens, so for all we know one could be 200 years older than the other, but the movies treat them as equals and both potential kings, and don’t ever refer to one as older or younger. It’s reasonable to think they’re at least close in age. –  Paul D. Waite Apr 26 at 7:53

In The Truth of History (2008), Thor can be seen here:
Thor on Pyramid

Meaning, Thor visited Egypt during the construction of Pyramids (2630 and 664 BC). So, when Asgardians' battles with frost giants on Earth in the 10th century AD happened, Thor wasn't a baby.

As for the Loki, it may look like plot inconsistency of MCU, but Marvel's official database never said that Loki was found after the final battle. In fact, there was no final battle. You can see the battle in Thor (2011) too.

Laufey, king of the frost giants, was slain in battle and the giants were defeated. Surveying the spoils of war, the Asgardians discovered a small Asgardian god-sized baby hidden at the giants' main fortress. The infant was Loki, whom Laufey had kept hidden due to his shame over his son's diminutive size. Odin remembered his father Bor’s dying words to adopt the son of a father killed by his hands; Odin adopted Loki into his own family, raising Loki like a son along with his biological son, Thor.

So, Loki might have found after a small battle much before 10th century AD battle.

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Sure, but that’s a 2008 comic. It doesn’t necessarily apply to the 2011 movie. –  Paul D. Waite Apr 24 at 6:33
    
@PaulD.Waite Comics and Movies may not be 100% consistent, but they are heavily connected. And, we've seen such answers here. Maybe, this can't be the answer, but its not that bad to downvote. –  Sachin Shekhar Apr 24 at 6:41
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Sure, but given that the comic you posted is directly contradicted by the movie (as per @Morgan’s answer, which was posted before yours), it seems like your answer is wrong. I think it’s okay to downvote answers that are wrong. The site isn’t here to produce wrong answers, right? –  Paul D. Waite Apr 24 at 8:11
    
Post-edit, I think you’re still wrong. I just re-watched Thor, and the timeline seems clear. The Asgardians drive the Frost Giants from Earth after their invasion in 965 A.D., defeat them in a final battle on Jotunheim some time after, and take their Casket of Ancient Winters. We see Odin describe this to a very young Thor and Loki in the weapons room. We later learn from Odin that Loki was actually son of the Frost Giants’ king, and found abandoned on Jotunheim after this final battle, by Odin. In short: Thor and Loki, in the MCU, were definitely children some time after 965 A.D. –  Paul D. Waite Apr 26 at 7:51

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