In Thor (2011), Thor described Asgardian society as having technology so advanced it's like magic.

In that case, do Asgardians have any access to magic at all (like the type Doctor Strange uses), or is it just really advanced science?

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    Are you asking about comics or films? Your question implies the films, but the tags say comics. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 10:03
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    "Your ancestors called it magic... but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same. "
    – phantom42
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 11:51
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    Loaded Question. Could the basic energies in the Marvel-verse be such that they can be accessed either by mental forces ( hence Dr. Strange) or by advanced physical devices ( The 'super-sciences' )? That explanation means that the energy is the same you are just using a different method of accessing it, like solving equations with either standard mathematics or algebra. Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 5:16
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    What's standard mathematics if not algebra?
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 19:22
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    Isn't Mjolnir a proof of "magical" use? What type of science checks if anyone is "worthy" to wield the hammer? Are we going to change the premise "A magician did it!" for "A scientist did it!"?
    – Bardo
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 12:14

3 Answers 3


As far as we are aware, Asgardians do not use any form of magic.

The problem we have attempting to answer this question is that as of right now, the only "magic" we have seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that which the Asgardians use, which is explicitly a form of extremely advanced technology - so advanced that is appears magical to humans (and presumably any other less advanced civilizations).

A quote from the Agents of SHIELD season one episode "The Well" sums things up quite nicely;

Skye: You guys may think it's old news, but it's new... news to everybody else. So, Asgardians are aliens from another planet that visited us thousands years ago?
Phil Coulson: Or more.
Skye: And because we couldn't understand aliens, we thought they were gods?
Phil Coulson: That's where our Norse mythology comes from.

The fact that we "couldn't understand aliens" and assumed they were Gods is why we (mistakenly) believed that they were magical, when we know now that they are simply a species that are so technologically advanced that it appears to be magical to less advanced species. That very episode deals with the fact that when humans don't understand something we have a tendency to jump towards the supernatural as an explanation, much to the chagrin of Agent Jemma Simmons.

However, the upcoming introduction of Dr. Stephen Strange into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Doctor Strange (2016) will probably confirm that actual magic exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

From this article;

You don’t get into it in Harry Potter, but if a scientist went to Hogwarts he’d find out how some of that stuff is happening! We’re not going to spend a lot of time on that [in Doctor Strange], but there will be some of that. And particularly for a character like Strange, who goes from a man of science to a man of faith and who traverses both worlds. And sometimes there won’t be an answer! Sometimes he’ll want an answer - “How is this happening?!” - and nothing.

Kevin Feige on how magic will be handled in Doctor Strange

This quote would seem to imply that the magic we see in Doctor Strange will be real, actual magic, akin to the magic seen in the Harry Potter franchise - some of which follows rules and might be scientifically explainable, and some of which won't.

This means that the magic that Doctor Strange will be using very different to the "magic" that the Asgardians use (which, as already stated, is just extremely advanced technology).


In the comics, no. There Asgard uses a mix of both science and magic intertwined to get the best (and worst) effects from both sources. And magic is a distinct and separate force from the laws of physics (as flimsy as they are in the Marvel universe).

The Cinematic Universe however has so far made the explicit distinction that all magic is sufficiently advanced science. Until we see Iron Fist or Dr. Strange that distinction is not likely to change. It is implied that Scarlet Witch is some form of induced super (like Cap was) derived from inhuman powers (not gamma/vita rays like Cap), but there is not solid backing for this.


Thor's abilities (strength, durability, etc.) aren't powers. Those things are naturally part of his biology due to his Asgardian heritage.

The other things he does, including summoning storms with his hammer or teleporting, are magical.

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    These are pretty bold statements and need to be backed up. Note that Thor explains (repeatedly) that Asgardians tech may appear magical, it's actually not.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 7:27
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    That image doesn't answer the question either.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 0:12
  • It does. It says he has the regular powers of a normal Asgardian, but his strength is especially heightened because of Odin. His physical abilities are innate. All Asgardians have them. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 17:17
  • It states that his powers are heightened because he's the product of a union between Earth and Asgard.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 17:30

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