Why was Thor going to be made king if Odin is immortal?

According to legend, the Odin Father is the keeper of the Odin Force, and must enter the Odin Sleep once a year to retain his power ... we see a pattern here that Odin is somewhat important. Additionally, some legend says that Asgard survives and maintains it's splendor specifically because of the Odin Force, which is only maintained by the will of Odin. So if he is going to always be around (for Asgard to persist per the previous legends), is Odin merely a title, or is there something more important about Odin that he will persist even if Thor replaces him? Odin does seem to be a little invincible after all.

Was the title merely hereditary and each Odin passed the title before dying or is there another reason for Odin passing the title?

  • 3
    Were they truly immortal though? I thought Demigods could be killed by each other in battle.
    – Polynomial
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 18:12
  • 10
    The Asgardians are functionally immortal as long as they eat the Apples of Indunn. But they can be killed in battle and have protocols for succession. Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 18:23
  • 3
    It's also important to remember that immortal is not the same thing as invincible. There is always the possibility of Odin being killed in battle or just being too ill or frail to govern.
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 22:17
  • 3
    It's referred to as Odinsleep because Odin is the one doing the hibernation. If it where Thor, or another god who needed to hibernate to replenish his energies it would be the Thorsleep.
    – Monty129
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 19:33
  • 2
    I'm surprised that no one mentioned the fact that Marvel's version of Asgardians are NOT immortal at all - just extremely long-lived.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


It's because the Norse Gods have to go through a little thing called Ragnarok. Basically, the real myths of the norse are set forth in the Eddas and in them, Odin and Thor are both fated to die after slaying great foes. In the Marvel universe, only Odin is fated to die in that battle. Thor gains control of the Odinforce and is driven slightly insane by it, which is covered in the trades: The Death of Odin, The Lord of Asgard, Gods on Earth, Spiral, The Reigning, and Gods and Men.

Thor does have to sleep to retain control of this power, the same as Odin had to, although he can still use his own power whenever he wants. He later uses the power to recreate Valhalla on Earth, although that last might have been retcon'd as I haven't kept up lately with the story line.

The reason that it is present in the movies is, I suspect, that Thor doesn't really have a lot of stuff to hang a story on. His comic book has always been a little less character driven that the other Marvel properties because he isn't really a part of this world and doesn't really want to fit into it anyway.

  • +1, even though I found the last paragraph questionable :)
    – FoxMan2099
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 16:13
  • 1
    The trades mentioned cover the end of THOR volume 2 (circa 2003-2006 or thereabouts), and are a specific iteration of Ragnarok. And, in fact, only the very end of that run (the last storyline, and thus the last trade) was truly Ragnarok; Odin "died" (he's come back since, at least once) before Ragnarok, which led to the events mentioned. Marvel has shown Ragnarok multiple times before (THOR volume 1, 200 (recounting of myths); 273-278 (a version of Ragnarok; Asgard does not get wiped out); and elsewhere). And, Odin has "died" other times (most notably during the Simonson run).
    – RDFozz
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:28

We are not gods. We're born, we live, we die, just as humans do.

--Odin, Thor: The Dark World

The short answer is simply that the Asgardians are not immortal.

Unfortunately, we do not know enough about the Odinforce and the Odinsleep in the MCU to extrapolate further on those subjects.

  • 1
    This depends on the definition of "immortal". Some would look upon this as someone cannot die; others, as someone cannot die by natural causes, still others as someone is simply so long-lived that, to humans, they are practically immortal. Asgardians presumably fall in the second or third category.
    – RDFozz
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:28
  • 1
    I agree that it comes to semantics, but Odin's phrasing ("as humans do") makes me inclined to believe they're the third category.
    – DanDoubleL
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 21:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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