11

Range of Bifrost Bridge is infinite and it can reach all 9 realms. But, it looks useful only with the existence of Heimdall who can see everywhere in 9 realms (good for targeting) and can hear everything from everywhere in the 9 realms (good for taking commands).

What would happen if Heimdall dies in a battle? Would they abandon the Bifrost? Or, would Heimdall's powers be given to new guy?

Also, how did Loki operate the Bifrost in Thor movie? It wasn't like he really operated it, but at least he targeted it to a remote planet. Did he triggered some kind of last target or target history?

  • 3
    Another good question. You're on a roll. – Valorum Mar 14 '15 at 16:44
9

We see in Thor: Ragnarok that Heimdall himself is not required to operate the Bifrost.

Skurge has replaced Heimdall as Heimdall has been branded a traitor and is at large when the movie begins. Skurge does not seem to have Heimdall's power of sight.

We also see Volstagg operating it briefly, though the primary keeper seems to be Skurge.

To replace Heimdall's sight, there appears to be some sort of radio or communicator. The exact workings of it are unclear, but Skurge and his guests are able to hear Thor from another planet/realm using it. It is also unclear how well this device works and whether or not Thor could be heard from beneath the planet's surface.

In order to operate the Bifrost, Heimdall's sword is, however, required. Skurge possesses this at the start of the movie, and when it goes missing, Hela mentions that it is required to operate the Bifrost.

Update

As of Avengers: Infinity War, we see that Heimdall's sword is actually not required to open the Bifrost. Heimdall is able to open it without his sword, and Thor's new Stormbreaker is able to open the Bifrost due to its special abilities.

4

I think Loki's use of the Bifrost at the end of Thor indicates that anyone is capable of using it, at least in a limited fashion. At least if you gave this other person a key to the Bifrost (i.e. either Heimdall's sword, or Odin's staff). Loki (without Heimdall's assistance!) was able to open the Bifrost to Jotunheim. This differs from earlier in the film where we saw Heimdall setup the Bifrost for Sif and the Warriors Three where the device was then activated later without Heimdall present. So it seems like anyone can walk up to the Bifrost and open a portal to another specific planet, it may be that only Heimdall can target so finely as to go anywhere on a given planet.

The question then becomes whether you can replace Heimdall with someone else who has such outstanding sight. And we don't have an answer to that. It's unclear if Heimdall's sight is purely genetic, or is learned.

  • I think you're right, for simply operating it, the key is, well, The Key (Gatekeeper's Sword or King's Staff). As for targeting, maybe Asgardian tech has some form of mental component (??), after all, Mjolnir comes flying back to Thor (in Dark World, after Thor goes through the portal it immediately takes off into space, so that homing works over huge distances) when mentally called. – BMWurm Mar 15 '15 at 9:37
1

As we see in Avengers: Infinity War (spoilers):

The Bifrost is operated with a weapon (possibly any item) forged in the Nidavellir forge. Previously seen weapons with that power include Odin's spear Gungnir and Heimdall's sword Hofund. The Bifrost has no connection to the location where it is operated from: In Infinity War, Thor is able to open a bridge to Wakanda from the forge using his new axe, Stormbreaker, with good accuracy.

But then again,

Indeed in Infinity War, Heimdall is able to use the Bifrost without any artifacts to send Hulk back to Earth. Actually he appears to use the sword Hofund after all. And Loki of course says this in Thor: Dark World: With Bifrost gone, how much dark energy did the All-Father have to muster to conjure you here?. But he could very well use his spear for that purpose, as he did in the first Thor movie to arrive to Jotunheim.

Regarding Thor,

Thor's hammer Mjölnir seems to be an exception due to Odin's command. The hammer cannot be used to open the Bifrost, even though it was forged in Nidavellir. But he obviously can use Stormbreaker to open a bridge, without any extra training or spells, so it strongly suggests it is tied to the artifact itself.

So, I guess the answer to the question is: Yes, if you possess the power.

  • 1
    I don't believe this is true, Mjolnir wasn't capable of summoning the Bifrost. It was made in the same forges. – Edlothiad May 14 '18 at 8:29
  • Mjölnir was not imbued with the "special magic" that the other weapons were. That was by order of Odin. – Juha Untinen May 14 '18 at 12:57
  • But yes, after more thought, I don't think the Bifrost has anything to do with artifacts. It might even be that Bifrost is just a name for a "technology" / skill that a master can use regardless of place. So the teleportation that Thor used might not even be "Bifrost", but simply another implementation of the same technology. – Juha Untinen May 14 '18 at 13:05
  • I'm unsure your final comment is correct, doesn't Heimdall hold the sword while sending Hulk on his way. – Edlothiad May 14 '18 at 13:08
  • @Edlothiad Attempting to avoid spoilers in the comments, but later in Infinity War, Thor is able to summon the bifrost without Heimdall's sword. – DarkSkyForever May 14 '18 at 13:35

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