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In Thor, we see Loki saying to Thor that if he destroys the bridge then he won't be able to see Jane again. It is further confirmed in The Avengers that Odin had to use dark magic to send Thor to Earth.

But in Thor: Ragnarok, we see Thor planning to visit Earth with all the residents of Asgard, and they plan to do that by ship. Then, in previous movies, why couldn't Thor just have taken a spaceship to visit Earth?

I calculated the time it would take to reach Earth and it's barely a day, as shown in Avengers: Infinity War (as in, the same day Thor's ship destroyed by Thanos, then Guardians reached that location, Guardians came to Titan following that, and Tony and Strange also reached Titan the same day).

So, what was that fuss about the Bifrost and dark magic in Avengers?

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    "I calculated the time it would take to reach earth" — Who says Thor's refugee ship can travel as fast as Thanos's big space donut? who says Asgard usually has access to space ships? Why would it bother, when it has the Bifrost? Nov 19 '20 at 14:54
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    Oddly there is no indication that Asgardians use / have spacecraft. Obviously they know how but don't.
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 19 '20 at 14:56
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    how can you tell that Loki is lying? His mouth is moving...
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 19 '20 at 17:12
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    It seems unlikely. I mean a civilization that's some 10000+ years old or even more they wouldn't invent space travel. Fights with dark elfs was common for them. They hoarded so many things but not a single space craft? Skurge brought so many things from earth when he visited. Upon having bifrost destroyed the first thing they thought was to summon dark magic instead of buliding space craft? And it's not even that they don't have technology to invent flight. In Thor:The Dark World we specifically saw many flights in Asgard army. All these things don't make clear sense. Nov 19 '20 at 19:15
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    @NKCampbell Why would Loki lie about something that Thor knows is a lie? Nov 20 '20 at 18:06
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The Asgardians seem to rely quite heavily on the Bifrost to travel across the Nine Realms. As far as I can remember the only person we see travel freely in and out of Asgard not using the Bifrost is Loki. And even then, as hinted at in Thor: The Dark World, Loki uses some backdoor portal to travel between the realms as shown when they escape Asgard.

There is no indication that the Asgardians even have spaceships or any vehicles capable of traversing space. Even the opening scene to Thor: The Dark World with Bor against the Dark Elves they use the Bifrost.

That means that whilst space travel is a thing, and clearly the Asgardians are aware of it, they are not capable of it themselves outside of the Bifrost. This of course puts aside the theory where Loki is lying which whilst a possibility doesn't seem to be the case here.

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  • But think about it. When bifrost was destroyed the first thing Odin did was to summon dark magic to send Thor to earth instead of trying to build a space craft ? I mean from ending of Thor and start of The Avengers nearly I guess 1 month+ duration is passed (not sure though). They should have have enough time to build one or atleast try to build one. They are sufficiently advanced as a civilization and this should have been much easier then summoning dark magic especially when it seems like a taboo in Asgard from how Loki mentioned it in The Avengers. Nov 19 '20 at 19:19
  • @samarendrachandanbinduDash maybe, maybe not. Depends where their expertise lies. Check out the tie in comic Thor: The Dark World Prelude for Odin sending Thor to Earth with the dark energy.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 19 '20 at 19:23
  • In addition, in The Avengers (2012) Loki says to Thor upon his arrival "With the Bifrost gone, how much dark magic did father have to conjure to bring you here?" or something to that effect... indicating it is now more difficult somehow to send someone from realm to realm.
    – TylerH
    Nov 20 '20 at 14:37
  • @TylerH Aye, transporting across realms with dark magic is itself very strenuous so wouldn't be done willy nilly. They expand on it a bit in Thor: The Dark World Prelude.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 20 '20 at 14:39
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I have some hypothesis, but they are all speculative.

There are multiple ways to travel interplanetary distances in the MCU. Bifrost is by far one of the fastest, allowing someone to go from one world to another in a moment. It may be that due to having access to this technology, Asgard never bothered to have a fleet of interplanetary ships, as Paul D. Waite suggested in comments:

who says Asgard usually has access to space ships? Why would it bother, when it has the Bifrost?

Then, even with spaceships, long distance travel is not simple. Consider this scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:

In this scene, Rocket and Yondu are in a ship and they need to cross a large distance. They use a technology called Universal Neural Teleportation Network, which uses wormholes.

Yondu: It ain't healthy for a mammalian body to hop more than 50 jumps at a time.
Rocket: I know that!
Yondu: We're about to do 700!

It may be that Asgard is so far from Midgard (Earth) that more than 50 jumps would be required. So they would have to take too long to be practical to reach Earth - maybe more than Jane's natural lifespan.

Notice that neither the Guardians of the Galaxy nor Thor get to Earth through ships in Infinity War. Thor, Groot and Rocky arrive on Earth through Bifrost.

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  • No actually! As I mentioned in my question it seems that Asgard and Earth are hardly 1 to 2 days away through space travel. Because all the characters in different locations meet in the same day at some planet in infinity war. Nov 19 '20 at 17:00
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    @samarendrachandanbinduDash: "all the characters in different locations meet in the same day at some planet in infinity war" — the planet you're presumably referring to is Titan, Thanos's homeworld. Tony, Stephen and Peter arrive there from earth in Ebony Maw's ship (the big round one), which for all we know has access to faster travel than other ships. The Guardians of the Galaxy arrive there from whatever galaxy they were already in, which is probably not the same galaxy that earth's in. Nov 19 '20 at 17:55
  • If that's the case then you are assuming that the ship Thor was travelling in would have taken a lifetime to reach earth which clearly doesn't make sense. And the guardians discovered the debris of asgard's destroyed ship the location they are in must be reachable from asgard in one or 2 days. Nov 19 '20 at 19:23
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    @samarendrachandanbinduDash “ you are assuming that the ship Thor was travelling in would have taken a lifetime” — no, I’m not. I never said “a lifetime”. Just long enough that even if the heir to the throne of Asgard had access to such a ship (and I maintain that we see no evidence of Asgardians having any interest in developing space ships), it wouldn’t be practical to go see his girlfriend on earth and keep the rest of Nine Realms protected. Nov 19 '20 at 23:35
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    @samarendrachandanbinduDash “ the guardians discovered the debris of asgard's destroyed ship the location they are in must be reachable from asgard in one or 2 days” — sure. But there’s no reason to think the Guardians were anywhere near earth. Nov 19 '20 at 23:42

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