27

Thor is a pretty tough guy. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor frequently appears to be the strongest among the Avengers (managing to bust up Iron Man's suit without breaking a sweat). That makes sense - humans are always pretty lame compared to superheroes.

However, Thor seems to be even stronger than the average Asgardian - as evidenced in both of his eponymous movies where he single-handedly defeats hordes of Frost Giants and Dark Elves. This too is hardly unexpected, as he's the heir to the throne of Asgard, son of the Allfather, and wielder of Mjolnir. But still, I find myself asking... why?

Is he genetically superior in some way? Did he eat more of the Apples of Idunn than his peers? Does the Allfather's magic run through his veins, granting him greater abilities than a footsoldier of Asgard?

As a note of curiosity, his pals in the movies (the only other heroes who get names at all) who accompany him on his many misadventures to the Nine Realms seem to be better than average as well. Sure, this could be chalked up to "they're protaganists, get over it" - but I'd like a better explanation.

How strong are Asgardians? discusses Asgardians' strengths in general, but only briefly mentions Thor specifically. I'd prefer an in-MCU answer if possible.

  • 2
    "Thor due to his birth mother being Gaia and his father being Odin can lift upwards of 100 tons unaided by magic. He can double that strength if he is using his gloves and belt of strength." No one knows how strong Thor is in comparison to his MCU counterpart. His back story has not been developed enough there for anyone to know if he is also the son of Gaia/Jord in the MCU as well. – Thaddeus Howze Aug 25 '15 at 2:49
  • Is Thor more than an Asgardian? So much more... – Paul D. Waite Aug 25 '15 at 8:22
  • 2
    “managing to bust up Iron Man's suit without breaking a sweat” — when did that happen? – Paul D. Waite Aug 25 '15 at 8:22
  • 1
    Eh, he crushes one gauntlet. That’s hardly busting up the suit. – Paul D. Waite Aug 25 '15 at 9:41
  • 2
    @PaulD.Waite - Is he the God of Hammers? – Adamant Feb 19 '18 at 16:33
15

You are right in thinking that Thor appears to be stronger than any other Asgardian, but it has nothing to do with him as a person.

You've already mentioned the reason for his strength in your question, but you appear to be mistaken about the link they share. Thor isn't strong and as such he is allowed to wield Mjölnir, Thor is strong because he wields Mjölnir.

This magical extremely advanced technological hammer was forged in the heart of a dying star, granted to Thor by Odin (his father) and can only be wielded by those it considers worthy. An inscription on the side of it reads;

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."

It is this that gives Thor the strength and durability that makes him stand out even amongst Asgardians, and we have seen in Thor that when considered unworthy, he loses his powers until proves himself worthy once more.

As for his friends Sif, Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun (known collectively as Lady Sif and the Warriors Three), they just happen to be some of the best warriors that Asgard has to offer. They are simply extraordinary Asgardians, which is likely the reason that Thor, who by his own admission courted war in his youth, was drawn to them in the first place. Unfortunately, we do not know much about these characters back stories within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the films have (naturally) been more about Thor than they have his supporting cast.


It is also worth mentioning that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have seen no evidence of the Apples of Idunn that give the Asgardians immortality in the comics. It seems to me that the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be pushing more towards the advanced aliens concept than the comics do, with Asgardians being mortal (albeit with extremely long natural lives) and with some of their technology being recognised as technology rather than being mistaken for magic by Jane Foster in Thor: The Dark World.

  • 2
    "...shall possess the power of Thor." It is this that gives Thor the strength... Isn't this a bit circuitous? Which came first, kind of a chicken and egg problem. I would like to resolve the facts in fiction but am stumped often, so I just go with it. – Ihor Sypko Aug 25 '15 at 13:14
  • 2
    @IhorSypko Mjolnir was created for Thor in Norse mythology, so the power it grants belongs to Thor in the same way the hammer does. But whosoever holds Mjolnir, if they be worthy, shall possess that power also. – Dr R Dizzle Aug 25 '15 at 13:29
  • 1
    so Odinson (Thor but not Thor) essentially just has the powers of his well trained Asgardian friends? – kaine Aug 25 '15 at 13:58
  • @kaine I don't understand. Thor is Odinson. – Dr R Dizzle Aug 25 '15 at 14:01
  • @DrRDizzle correct me if I am wrong but I read that Mjonir is (was?) being weilded by a woman who being granted the power of Thor calls herself Thor. As a result, the familiar Thor relinquished the name "Thor" and now goes by "Odinson". I don't know if this story line is concluded yet. Basically I was referring to Thor without the power of Mjonir only because someone else is using it at the moment. – kaine Aug 25 '15 at 14:07
33

With the release of Thor: Ragnarok, aspects of Dr R Dizzle's answer have now been invalidated. In particular:

Thor's hammer is destroyed, and yet he still retains his Asgardian strength/durability/physiology.

This seems to indicate that his standard Asgardian powers are his again, and not imbued by the hammer. We never see him depowered without the hammer since the first movie, so it's hard to say when the enchantment was no longer in effect.

Furthermore, we get a clearer answer to the original question:

After Odin dies, he reappears to Thor near the end in a vision, explaining that the hammer was a tool to help him control his true power as the god of thunder ("What are you, Thor, god of hammers?" - Odin). We are also shown that Hela, Odin's daughter, once wielded the hammer. Even without it she likewise had formidable powers, enough to take on all of Asgard herself.

From this we see that Thor is not merely an Asgardian, and does in fact have special powers/abilities tied to his lineage as a royal of Asgard. But whether it be genetic, technological, magical, or something in between that is "The Odinforce", we do not know.

  • 3
    Agreed, now that Thor: Ragnarok is out, this is now the more correct answer. Clearly Thor's power does not function the same between the MCU and the comics. – Kosmos Nov 27 '17 at 19:22
  • 1
    It seems that all 3 "gods of" are unusual. Even Loki who has powers no other frost giant has (and he has NO genetic material of Odin in him). God of Mischief, God of Thunder, Goddess of Death. They are very different from the average each. Especially in their powers. – Thomas Nov 27 '17 at 21:19
  • 2
    @Thomas Genetics are likely only a part of the equation. Having access to Asgardian technology/magic/training would also give him a huge edge. It should also be noted that Loki was not just another frost giant, but the son of their king. In the same way that Odin's children have special unique powers, likely so might Loki from among his kind via his royal blood. – Mwr247 Nov 27 '17 at 21:30
  • @Mwr247 not sure about that. At least his (true) father did not show any powers beyond that typical for a frost giant if I'm not mistaken? (and we never see anyone but loki having those illusion powers at all in asgard) – Thomas Nov 27 '17 at 21:35
  • @Thomas Not that we saw, but we know the frost giants were once formidable enough to be a significant threat to Asgard, and had access to their own unique magic (the casket of ancient winters, as an example). By the time we see them they have been already been defeated and basically reduced to nothing. As far as the uniqueness of his powers, the royal Asgardian family's powers also manifested differently from one another. Loki may have had a predisposition to magic via his frost giant heritage that Asgardian upbringing gave him the access to develop, and to specialize into illusory magic. – Mwr247 Nov 27 '17 at 21:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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