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Do Marvel's Thor and Odin require food and drink (human food and drink) for their energy, or no? Is this shown anywhere in canon sources?

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Yes, the Asgardians can eat and drink. They do so with great relish and enthusiasm. Do they NEED to eat and drink? A completely different question. The Asgardians of the canon Marvel Universe, do not appear to utilize food as their primary source of personal energy. Thor has gone for very long periods (months) in space without eating and did not seem to weaken or lose his fighting prowess.

  • The Asgardians may not need to consume food to live, their immortality and superhuman vitality comes from the Apples of Idunn, which as long as they consume them on some as yet undisclosed time period, they maintain their youth, vigor, extraordinary regeneration, durability and superhuman abilities.

"The Gods gained their wisdom and youth and vigor and verve from these apples. Everything that made the gods godly came from these golden fruits only the enchantress could retrieve."

  • The Apples of Idunn must be consumed regularly or the Asgardians will lose their godly vitality and near-immortality.

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Thor : Age of Thunder (2008)

  • Given the Asgardian molecular makeup (their molecular makeup is three times denser than normal humans) it is unlikely normal human food is able to even nourish them in any significant way. There is no reference to Asgardian foods being more substantial or offering greater than normal benefits.

  • However, Asgardians in the Marvel Universe appear to enjoy their physical bodies and relish the opportunity to eat and drink, so it is safe to assume Asgardians eat because they like it, not because they need it. When Loki was imprisoned for betraying Odin and Asgard, he did not eat while chained below the Earth. While Asgardians resemble humans, they are NOT and Marvel has indicated they are aliens who have taken Human form, thousands of years ago.

enter image description here

This image denotes Marvel's official position on the Asgardians as aliens. From Thor #493 (written by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato)

Things to be remembered about Marvel's Asgardians:

  • Marvel's Asgardians were based on the deities of Norse myths of old. But they are not those deities.

  • They are an advanced species of humanoids who resemble humans and have technologies so advanced they appear as magic to humans.

  • They are extremely long-lived as a species and have superhuman levels of strength, vigor and physical vitality. As such, myths may not take into account the actual capabilities of these beings.

  • While they consume the Golden Apples of Idunn, the actual mechanics of how those Apples work have not been defined in the comics, only expressed in myths and legends. Most Asgardians expected to survive until Ragnarok, with the occasional death of lesser gods at the hands of their powerful enemies such as the Frost Giants or Fire Giants.

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    As a nitpick - Denser just means that they have a lot more, not that it is structurally different. Hence, food would nourish them the same way, they would just need much much more of it. (Which can be referenced in the other answer's linked panel, he is eating (presumably) Earth food, but has 7 or 8 boxes that he has finished.)
    – JohnP
    Mar 18 '15 at 18:08
  • @JohnP - Precisely this. It hardly seems likely that he'd eat so much food if there wasn't a good reason for it. At most you could argue that he'd need to eat three times as much food, in line with his x 3 molecular density. It's a very big (and unsubstantiated) jump to say that he doesn't need Earth food at all...
    – Valorum
    Mar 18 '15 at 23:09
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    Thor has lived for months in space (See: Black Galaxy Saga) without so much as a cracker during the entire adventure. He did not lose energy nor flag in his fighting ability. Eating has never been an issue for Marvel's Asgardians to do what they do. Mar 18 '15 at 23:57
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    Molecular density isn't close to the most important part of this answer, it's the quote in the picture: "The Gods gained their wisdom and youth and vigor and verve from these apples. Everything that made the Gods godly came from these golden fruits..." Now, maybe Thor could survive on normal food and lose his powers, but this quote makes it clear that the golden apples give the gods their "vigor", which answers OP's question about the source of "their energy," whether he meant biological or superhuman vitality.
    – Nerrolken
    Mar 19 '15 at 0:01
  • @Nerrolken - I disagree. It's a vast jump from "the apples give them their superpowers" to "the apples mean that they don't need to eat". A jump too far in my opinion.
    – Valorum
    Mar 19 '15 at 0:15
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Thor is shown eating and drinking on a pretty regular basis in both the comics and film canon. Invariably we see him consuming heroic (pardon the pun) amounts of both food and drink.

Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man #1 enter image description here

Thor: God of Thunder #13
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Movie : The Avengers
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Movie : Thor
enter image description here

We also see Odin drinking (with a bear):

Ultimates vol 5 #1
enter image description here

and of course, both of them enjoy Twinkie bars (who doesn't?)

enter image description here

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    Beer drinking bear. That has to be the most awesome thing ever :).
    – Suman Roy
    Aug 9 '14 at 6:08
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    @SumanRoy - There's a question all of its own; "How drunk do you need to be before this picture makes sense"
    – Valorum
    Aug 9 '14 at 6:11
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    This answer. I like it... another!.
    – user20155
    Aug 9 '14 at 12:22
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    Sure they can eat and drink, but the question was, do they need it for their sustenance? I mean, humans can drink beer too, but they don't really need beer to stay alive. They can do without! (Or so I'm told. Haven't tested this theory myself.)
    – Mr Lister
    Aug 10 '14 at 11:28
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    @Richard Your answer could be improved by providing some source or citation indicating that he HAS to eat. You've provided screenshots demonstrating that he CAN, but everyone knows that. Clark Kent has lunch too, and vampires have feasts in many stories, but Superman is powered by the yellow sun and vampires generally only need blood. Your answer leaves the question of whether Thor REQUIRES food completely unaddressed.
    – Nerrolken
    Mar 19 '15 at 0:13

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