In Thor: The Dark World, both Frigga and Loki die from being stabbed once through the torso by Kurse's sword. Moreover, they both die almost immediately - Frigga is dead by the time Thor turns around from attacking Malekith, while Loki survives only long enough to apologize to Thor.

However, in the first Thor movie, Fandral is stabbed through the chest by half a dozen or more giant icicles. Yet he not only doesn't die, he remains conscious at least through the long escape from Jotunheim, and is perfectly healed by that night, when Sif and the Warriors Three ask Loki to get Thor's banishment reversed.

So, is Kurse's sword poisoned or otherwise enchanted to cause death immediately/with no chance of recovery? If not, then why does a single stab wound kill both Frigga and Loki, when a worse wound was explicitly non-fatal to Fandral? (Or did the filmmakers just forget about his wounds in the first movie?)

Note: I'm assuming Kurse's sword was used in his and Loki's death scene as he was the only dark elf who appears to carry one. I'm also aware that Loki's death was an illusion, but since Thor is wholly convinced by it, the circumstances of his "death" must have been believable to Thor - meaning that Thor expects Loki's wound to be fatal. The fact that Thor makes no attempt to perform even basic first aid (like applying pressure to the wound) also suggests this.

  • Actually, Fandral was stabbed through the shoulder, not the chest. IIRC one icicle went through his shoulder and the other impaled him in the lower side. Frigga and Loki, on the other hand, were both stabbed through the upper or lower chest.
    – Omegacron
    Jan 5, 2015 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


Kurse's sword in Thor: The Dark World is not poisoned. The movie was likely attempting to depict Kurse's combat-laden history and his weapon-mastery as well as his superhuman status after his transformation. The only thing we can be sure of about the sword is that it is not made of iron, which is deadly to normal Dark Elves.

From the Frigga entry on the Marvel Movie Wikia

When Asgard is attacked, Frigga fought to defend those that she loved at any cost. She fought Malekith while defending Jane Foster. The battle was interrupted by Kurse who restrained her. As Malekith threatened Jane she was revealed to be an illusion. After questioned, Frigga refused to tell her enemy anything, and Kurse stabbed her through the heart killing her instantly just as Thor came in and angrily shot Malekith in the face with lightning, scarring him. However, Malekith and Kurse escaped. Thor turned to see Odin holding Frigga in his arms. She was given a funeral and burned as the Asgardians mourned the death of their queen.

  • This is likely to be a medium-translation error. Without a history to show it, the character (Kurse) has to be able to show how much of a threat they he is to build up to his physical confrontation with Thor. He is shown in the subsequent fight to be easily capable of holding his own in the battle with the Thunder God.

  • The comic appearance of the Dark Elves had an attack on Asgard but primarily on Thor. In the pastiche created by using the Malekith and Dark Elves and mixing them into the MCU, in the movie's depiction of Malekith's attack on Asgard, the character Kurse also appears but acquires his powers differently from the canon Marvel Universe.

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Algrim the Strong (left) the transformed Algrim into the one of the "Kursed" a magical soldier-warrior with increased strength and superhuman capabilities.

Marvel Canon Earth-616

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  • As all the Dark Elves, Algrim (who would become Kurse) was born in Svartfaltheim, home of his race, and he served in the army of the ruler and sorcerer Malekith the Accursed. Fighting under his lord, Algrim distinguished himself among all his peers, and earned the name “Algrim the Strong”, one of the deadliest Elves at Malekith’s command.

  • His prowess in battle made his master notice him, and Malekith himself summoned Algrim, and telling him he had been chosen as the one who would have killed Thor Odinson, prince of the Asgardians and enemy to Svartfaltheim.

Even though the Asgardians are quite hardy, killing Thor requires someone whose superhuman strength would be nearly equal to Thor's. The Prince of Asgard is three times as strong as any average Asgardian and as a result anyone capable of fighting hand to hand with him would be much more likely to cause catastrophic injuries even to the hardy citizens of Asgard. In the comics, Kurse had twice the strength of an unenhanced Thor, capable of pressing 200 tons.

  • Kurse possesses a number of superhuman attributes as a result of his natural dark elf physiology and mystical augmentation.

  • Kurse's main advantage against foes is his strength - while initially a close match for Thor, his strength was first increased to twice, and then four times, that of Thor.

Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Kurse

Kurse in Thor: The Dark World did not function in quite the same way as his comic namesake but was enhanced in a fashion to make him incredibly formidable, easily the physical equal of Thor.

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  • Algrim was a lieutenant of the Dark Elf leader Malekith. Loyaly serving his master during the war against the Asgardians, he was one of the few Dark Elves who survived the catastrophe that almost wiped out their race.

  • Five thousand years later, Algrim didn't hesitate to sacrifice himself to transform into the last of the Kursed, a Dark Elf "super soldier", so they could unleash their revenge on Asgard.

Kurse's powers were very similar to the canon Marvel-Earth's version of the character. He was easily capable of fighting Thor in hand to hand combat. Most normal Asgardians would have no chance of winning a hand to hand struggle with him.

  • Algrim, as a Kursed, was one of the physically most powerful beings within the Nine Realms that could easily supprass Thor's strength (a feat acquired by very few).

  • Superhuman Strength: The level of Algrim's original strength is unknown, but as a Kursed, he is the strongest of the Dark Elves as Thor (next to Odin) is the strongest of the Asgardians. During their battle, he proved himself stronger than Thor, being able to easily overpower him and knocking away Mjølnir with absolute ease.

  • Superhuman Speed: Algrim, like all Dark Elves is capable of running and moving at speeds much greater than those of even the finest human athlete.

  • Superhuman Durability: After becoming a Kursed, Algrim's body became incredibly resistant to all forms of physical injury. He was capable of withstanding powerful blows from Thor's hammer without sustaining injury.

Visible Evidence

IN THE CLIP THAT FOLLOWS: Frigga is held in a stranglehold by Kurse and the sword is plunged directly into her heart, killing her instantly. Kurse has no chance of missing, likely shearing her heart in half.

  • Lots of good information, but you don't actually address Kurse's sword except in your opening statement, nor provide canon evidence to back up your assertion that it's not poisoned. Reading your answer also makes me realize that in an effort to avoid spoilers in the question title, I didn't make clear the full question I was asking, which is "Is Kurse's sword poisoned, and if not, why did both Frigga and Loki die from a wound shown in the first Thor movie to be non-fatal to Asgardians?". I've fixed it now.
    – thatgirldm
    Apr 17, 2014 at 21:26
  • 1
    I asked about poison because a stab through the torso is specifically shown in the MCU to NOT be fatal to Asgardians - see Fandral in the first movie. If Kurse had used his superior physical strength to actually tear apart Frigga and Loki, then your answer would make sense. As it is, both fatal blows appear to be delivered with less force, and to do less damage, than the multiple icicle stabs Fandral receives which did NOT kill him. Therefore, it's not Kurse's superior strength which is doing the trick, nor is it the type or placement of the stab. So I'm wondering what actually did do it.
    – thatgirldm
    Apr 18, 2014 at 1:07
  • Also, while the info from Earth-616 is interesting, it has no significant bearing on the MCU. The MCU producers have shown willingness to totally disregard comics canon except for names. Kurse appears to be less powerful in the movies (note that Thor got up and went on fighting after being beaten by him), and your own answer notes that MCU Kurse "did not function in quite the same way as his comic namesake". Therefore, I don't want to assume anything based off Earth-616, since the MCU has made clear that those are not safe assumptions.
    – thatgirldm
    Apr 18, 2014 at 1:13
  • I'm asking about poison because it doesn't make sense to me that Fandral could survive the same wound - a blade through the torso - and be completely healed a few hours later, while Loki and Frigga are dead almost instantly. (Going back and rewatching Loki's death, he also gets a weird grey pallor on his face, which also makes me wonder about poison.) "Luck" doesn't seem sufficient to cover the difference - Frigga should have lived long enough for a healer to fix her, and Thor should have at least attempted first aid on Loki, unless there was some other reason why their deaths were inevitable.
    – thatgirldm
    Apr 18, 2014 at 3:36
  • (The system is prompting a move to chat so if you're around, let's do that.) Furthermore, looking at all three wounds, Fandral's appears to go directly through his heart; Frigga's looks to go up from her left hip to below her rib cage, and Loki's goes through his solar plexus. Of those, Fandral has the most fatal placement, but he's the only one who survived. So again, unless poison or something else was involved, it makes no sense to me that Fandral would survive but not Frigga or Loki.
    – thatgirldm
    Apr 18, 2014 at 3:41

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