5

In S02E12 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,

Lady Sir's memory was compromised because of the Kree weapon. She didn't know who she was. She also didn't know the name of her planet. S.H.I.E.L.D. needed to tell her that she was Lady Sif, a great warrior from Asgard.

Later, we came to know that

She was able to recall the memories of her childhood. She shared information about species as well as translated an alien word.

Now, the question is: Why couldn't she recall her name and planet? Do the Asgardians not have their name assigned in their childhood? Do Asgardians not know their planet name in their childhood? Is this a plot hole?

  • Since I can't make a one-character edit, I would like to suggest that Marvel follow up their female Thor with a "Lady Sir". Joe Quesada, you may contact me to discuss my fee. – KSmarts Mar 21 '15 at 4:16
18

Why couldn't Sif remember the name of her planet?

This is the easier question: she did. When Coulson and May go to pick her up at the police station in Portugal, they have the following exchange1:

Coulson: You have no memory of who you are?

Sif: I...I know I am from Asgard, but I do not remember my home there.

Why couldn't she remember her name?

The truncheon doesn't seem to actually remove memories, but rather blocks them from consciousness using advanced Kree technology2.

In particular, notice that Sif has an emotional reaction to the name "Thor", despite not knowing why3:

May: What about Thor?

Sif: [smiles] Um...I do not know this word, yet when you say it I want to smile.

This seems inconsistent with Sif's earlier comment (emphasis mine):

Coulson: You must remember things about your homeworld, right?

Sif: Only basic lessons a child could learn.

Presumably, in a highly-stratified culture that's had the same king for pretty much its entire history, a child would learn the name of the Crown Prince.

If Thor has been erased from Sif's memory, it's likely because of their close relationship4, which suggests that personal identity information is blocked. The designers of the truncheon may have worried that leaving personal information could lead to a recall. If so, they may have been worried about the target remembering their name for the same reason.


1 I apologize for the quality of the transcript, but it's the best I could find

2 Read: Magic

3 Thanks to Izkata for correcting me on this; I had previously said that Sif remembered Thor, which is incorrect

4 Odin, at least, was keen for them to make babies. And of course Thor is, in the words of Skye and May, "dreamy"

  • 4
    "What I find interesting is that Sif remembers Thor and Odin" - she has emotions when she hears the name, but she doesn't "remember" them. May be a clue as to how it works – Izkata Mar 18 '15 at 21:57
  • @Izkata Thanks for the correction; I've updated. I still think she recognized Odin, though, despite referring to him as "the king"; that doesn't seem unusual in such a structured society as the Asgardians have – Jason Baker Mar 18 '15 at 22:10
  • She doesn't say "Odin", though; I'd say it's possible she meant more generally - ie. she's familiar with the idea of there being a king, because she has basic memories of how Asgardian society is structured (things that a child would know), but she doesn't specifically remember who the king is. She's just wondering if the warrior skills she just learned she has were used in service of the realm, or for some other purpose. – anaximander Mar 19 '15 at 9:10
  • @anaximander That's certainly possible, but I find it hard to reconcile Sif's statement that she "knows only basic information, such as a child would learn" with her not knowing that Odin is the king. He's been the king for basically the entirety of Asgardian civilization; that's the kind of thing a little kid learns in school – Jason Baker Mar 19 '15 at 12:44
10

The Kree memory-modification truncheon (which has no canon comic equivalent) appears to be designed to manipulate the short-term memory of the target. Depending on the settings, it appears to also target identity-specific information.

  • Given the nature of the Vin-tak's espionage mission, the device appears to suppress short-term memory against species of which the Kree are familiar. Against the Asgardian Sif, it targeted identity-specific memories in order to disable but not kill. No need in making more enemies if you can make them forget you were there. If Skye had not been a member of SHIELD, thus having their protection, Vin-tak would have likely accomplished his goal.

  • It is likely the Kree wanted this to be a black-bag operation where they killed as few people as possible and prevented any information of their being on Earth. Given their history with Earth as a test-bed for a number of genetic experiments, they would not be welcome and this ensured their mission wouldn't be compromised by someone remembering them until after Vin-tak was long gone.

  • Since it appeared that Heimdall was aware of the Kree operation, it is possible the Kree would expect Asgardian interference and tailored a weapon for just such an occasion. The Kree medical technology is thousands of years ahead of anything else in our galaxy and likely able to target specific memories as needed for espionage purposes.

8

She DID know she was from Asgard.

I know I am from Asgard, but I do not remember my home there.

She couldn't remember her name, or any recent events. The Kree "weapon" was likely designed to make a person forget who they were but retain their basic skills, such as reading and writing.

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