In the scene where Thor leads the party to Jötunheim they travel across the rainbow bridge on horseback. At the end of the movie when Loki is using the Bifrost to destroy Jötunheim, Thor uses Mjölnir to travel across the bridge in seconds.

In the scene where Thor and the Warriors Four are surrounded by Frost Giants, Odin takes the Bifrost to Jötunheim on horseback, which honestly seems like a pointless hindrance to Odin against an attack by Frost Giants. I understand that the commander on a battlefield in old days would prefer horseback to quickly move about and get a good vantage point, but he is Odin. I am sure that he had some quicker means to get to the Bifrost on time than on horseback.

Why with the incredible magic and extremely advanced technology of the Asgardians would they choose a method of transportation as primitive and slow as horseback?

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    Who says the horse wasn't extremely advanced magic?
    – NominSim
    May 11, 2012 at 18:07
  • Hahaha. This is very funny. I agree with you. Maybe they haven't invested time in transportation technology.
    – VISQL
    May 11, 2012 at 18:10
  • 1
    Horses are cool. Jan 29, 2016 at 23:21

2 Answers 2


Odin riding Sleipnir

  • The Norse Deities depicted in Thor are relatively immortal, so speed may not be an issue when they are trying to get anywhere.
  • When you will live forever (unless killed in battle) you don't need to rush. They may prefer horses (living things) to mechanical tools in order to maintain a connection to Life itself.
  • For the record, Sleipnir was no ordinary horse. Sleipnir is a massive and powerful horse, gifted with eight legs, and famous for the battles he has fought with King Odin Borson on his back.
  • If we were to consider that this realm is using technology more advanced than ours, whose is to say these things that look like horses ARE actually horses.

Looking back into Myth:

Odin rode an archetype of horses called Sleipnir.

In Norse mythology, Sleipnir (Old Norse "slippy" or "the slipper") is an eight-legged horse. Sleipnir is Odin's steed, is the child of Loki and Svaðilfari, is described as the best of all horses, and is sometimes ridden to the location of Hel. The Prose Edda contains extended information regarding the circumstances of Sleipnir's birth, and details that he is grey in color.

At Marvel:

On Marvel Earth #616 - Sleipnir is Odin's magical eight-legged steed, and the is supposed to be the greatest of all horses. As part of a magical bargain, A frost giant was building a wall for Asgard in exchange for the Moon, Sun and the goddess Freya. He had to build the wall in six months using only his grey stallion, Svaldfari. As the giant was nearing his task, the trickster Loki lured the mare off for a sexual liason (thus getting the wall work for free, keeping the Sun and the Moon and Freya from the giant) and getting an eight-legged superhorse in the bargain.

According to the Prose Edda, Loki returned to Asgard and gave the eight-legged gray colt to Odin, telling him that the horse was the swiftest on earth, and could bear Odin over sea, through the air, and to and from the land of the dead. According to Sigrdrífumál in the Poetic Edda, Sleipnir (Earth-616) had runes carved on his teeth.

In terms of the production of the movie:

  • Horses are production-wise, the cheapest and most easily understood trope for moving the characters from Asgard to Jotenheim once they've used the Bifrost to connect the realms
  • Horses allow a brief period of dialog to move story along
  • no special effects need be created and no explanation for how horses work in Asgard
  • Horses played strongly in Norse mythology...
  • 4
    Sleipnir is Odin's steed, is the child of Loki and Svaðilfari Wait, what? Am i reading that wrong or does that say Sleipnir is a child of Loki (one of Thor's sons)? o.O
    – RCIX
    May 11, 2012 at 19:55
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    @RCIX Loki is not Thor's son, nor he is Odin's son in mythology. Loki was merely the archetypal troublemaker in Norse mythology and Odin was basically an old wizard and trickster himself. May 11, 2012 at 19:59
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    @RCIX: Loki is also the father of the wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jörmungandr, the goddess Hel, is frequently referred to as a pervert, and is once accused of being the mother of several (apparently otherwise unremarkable) humans. If anything, his son by his wife is the surprising child.
    – user1030
    May 13, 2012 at 17:34
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    @RCIX - Loki is actually the mother of Sleipnir. Note that Loki is a shapeshifter. Chapter 43 of Gylfaginning tells the story of this.
    – Compro01
    Nov 16, 2012 at 20:09
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    It used to be the case in the Marvel 616 universe that Sleipnir was the offspring of Loki and Svaðilfari, like it was in the myth. They did change that in Thor: Reign of Blood (2008) however, where they decided that Sleipnir was the remains of eight slain warhorses Thor had owned that he revived by magic into one combined horse. That story was weird. May 1, 2019 at 17:49

According to the film's maker, Kenneth Brannagh, his primary reason for wanting to include horses was that it would be an iconic scene, something that's so unusual that it would be instantly memorable to audiences.

Branagh insisted on including something that would both speak to his legacy as one of cinema’s great interpreters of Shakespeare and look memorable: horses.

"It was almost the reason I joined up!’’ says Branagh, who makes clear the idea of horses running about in space was ‘‘absolutely’’ his. ‘‘I thought, ‘this will be the image that either has people laughing us out of the cinema or where you say ‘Fuck me! That’s so distinctive, unusual and original it’s why I go to the pictures’. You’ll never get that kind of image in another film! That's where we’re strong."

Ken Loves Thor; Defends Frank


"An image that was absolutely central to me wanting to do this film was to have six warriors ride on horses across the rainbow bridge in the middle of space,” Branagh explained. “Seemed to me weirdest, weirdest, most brilliant, thrilling image.”


He also felt that it was wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, making sure that audiences weren't taking the whole thing too seriously.

If you want a movie in which you hope people might be thrilled in the cinema by six warriors galloping on horses across a Rainbow Bridge in the middle of outer space, then you need at other points in the movie that we are celebrating that lovingly but we’re not necessarily saying that we absolutely think that that’s occurring even as we speak. But as Jane Foster says with passion and sometimes with humour, magic is just science we don’t understand yet. So, humour became essential to do all that.

Thor - Kenneth Branagh interview

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