Asgard, even though inhabited, is physically different from Earth and other planets. Asgard is not a sphere-like shape, but a piece of land that floats in space. Asgard also doesn't rotate on an axis nor does it rotate around the sun, though there may be an object of some sort that gives it its sunlight. Gravity is similarly like Earth, although heavier. For example, a chair made of wood would be considerably heavier than one on Earth. What keeps the land together is unknown, but it keeps it together. Water doesn't pour from the land, as the gravity keeps it there as well.
Asgard itself is connected to nine other dimensions which form the nine worlds of Asgardian cosmology through naturally occurring dimensional portals. Sometimes the nine different worlds have been treated as the same dimension with Midgard (Earth) being separate.
Asgard's true origin is unknown due to the cycle of Ragnaroks. According to one story, originally there was a void, Ginnungagap, bounded on either side by Muspelheim, the land of fire and Niflheim, the land of ice. When fire and ice met, they combined to form a giant named Ymir and a cow named Audhumbla who nourished Ymir. She survived by licking the salty ice blocks. From her licking emerged Buri who fathered Bor and through him the Asgardian race. Bor took the frost giant Bestia as his wife and fathered three children: Odin, Vili, and Ve. Bor is attributed with founding the city of Asgard and being its first king. The three brothers eventually slew Ymir and from his body made the Earth and humanity. After Bor's disappearance and the deaths of his brothers in battle with Surtur Odin became the sole ruler of the gods.
Another version states Asgard as it exist now only came into being about two thousand years ago. Every few thousand years Asgard is destroyed in Ragnarok only for a new Odin to form, rebuild the city and start the cycle anew with the gods living similar lives as they did before with slight differences. This cycle was perpetuated by mysterious beings called Those Who Sit Above in Shadow so they could feed off the energy released before being broken by Thor.
Another version given recently by Odin states when Odin and his brothers were children Bor took a seed from a dimensional rift and planted it in the ground creating the World Tree. It is unknown if this merely connected the nine worlds, created all of them including Asgard, or some combination.
Another version suggests the beings who became known as the Norse gods were formed from the "godstuff" scattered by Atum the God-Eater after he slew the evil elder gods. This godstuff was shaped by early human perceptions which formed all modern pantheons. The gods then eventually traveled from Earth to the dimension that became known as Asgard.
Another version suggests the gods were originally tribes of mortals that somehow ascended to godhood and eventually moved to Asgard.
It is unknown to what extent any of these stories are true. It is possible several of them are true or bits and pieces from various ones from the true origin. It is also possible none of them are true.
Whatever the original beginnings, Odin's desire to lead Asgard led him to betray his father during a battle with frost giants. With Bor turned to snow then scattered by the winds and his brothers fallen in battle with Surtur, Odin became the High Father of Asgard. As the years passed, Odin's wisdom grew stronger and he sought to understand more of the universe beyond the nine worlds. His curiosity lead to war with the Dark Gods, a pantheon of alien gods that were Asgard's opposite in every way that mattered. War broke out between them and Asgard fell for the first time. After Thor aided his father in battle, Odin retook Asgard and banished the Dark Gods. Centuries passed and Asgard fell victim to Sutur of Muspelhiem, and in a final battle, Odin and Sutur were killed in battle and Asgard fell once again. However, they both returned alive and Odin return to rule the kingdom.
Odin learned of the cycle of Ragnarok and kept it secret from his people. At one point, the Egyptian god, Seth sought to destroy Asgard and with Thor lost in Onslaught, he saw it as the perfect time to claim Asgard and end the cycle to reshape the kingdom to his rule. However, the Asgardians rose and stopped Seth but in their weakened state, the Dark Gods returned and destroyed Asgard to reshape in their own image. Eventually, Thor returned and freed his people and Asgard returned to its wondrous state again. However, those times grew dark again as Surtur returned to Earth and Odin was once again lost and Thor took over as ruler. Thor moved Asgard to Earth and attempted to better life for all humans, but due to Resistance from without and treachery from within eventually subjugated the Earth to his rule. In time, he was forced to face his crimes and returning to the past prevented that timeline from ever coming about. His actions during this caused the Odinforce to leave him making Asgard vulnerable. It was during this time that Loki started Ragnarok and sought to reshape Asgard in his own way. He devastated Asgard until Thor had discovered the truth and used the powers of the Rune Stones to end Loki's rule and break the endless cycle of Those who Sit above in Shadow for good.
- Dome of Combat
- Giant Bust of Odin
- Hall of Heroes
- Monument to the Unknown Warrior
- Museum of Weaponry
- Shopping Center
- Temple of Titans
- Warlock's Haven
- Warrior's Walk
- Yggasdral (Tree of Life) Monument
After the destruction of Asgard and the Civil War had concluded Thor returned from the dead. Choosing an appropriate spot in the Oklahoma desert Thor re-created the city of Asgard exactly as it was before Ragnarok. When the farmer that owned the barren land resented Thor putting a mystical land above the land he owned Thor offered to purchase the land, allowing him to enter Asgard's vaults and take whatever price that he deemed the land worth from the treasure stores. Asgard currently hovers above this spot in Broxton, Oklahoma. It was targeted by the Skrulls during Secret Invasion.
During Siege, Asgard was invaded by Norman Osborn and the majority of his forces. As a result of the battle, Asgard was toppled and destroyed by the Sentry. With their city in rubble the Asgardians had no choice but to try and rebuild. To strengthen the relationship with Midgard, Thor relocates Heimdall's observatory on top of Stark Tower. It was renamed Asgardia.
The Nine Worlds
There are Nine Worlds in the Asgardian cosmology. Over the years they have been treated both as separate dimensions and as one dimension.
- Asgard which is the home of the Asgardians.
- Vanaheim which is the home of the Vanir.
- Alfheim which is home to the Light Elves.
- Midgard which is the Earthy plane of existence.
- Jotunheim which is the home of the Frost Giants.
- Nidavellir which is home to the Dwarves.
- Svartalfheim which is home to the Dark Elves.
- Muspelheim which is home to the Demons
- Hel which is the realm of the dead.
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Asgard is also home to Norse gods. In 1939, Loki, posing as Baron Zemo, made an alliance with the Frost Giants who laid siege to Asgard, intending to cause Ragnarok, the end of all things. Odin banished Loki to the room without doors, saving his life. The leader of the Frost Giants, Mammoth killed Odin, Thor in despair over his father's death and his brother's betrayal, used Mjolnir to destroy Asgard, along with the Frost Giants and the rest of the Asgardians. As he was confined to the room without doors, Loki was the only Asgardian god to survive the destruction of Asgard. Thor and Balder were reborn as humans on Earth in the late 20th century. During the events of Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates, Thor was killed, and reborn as an Asgardian, shortly after this in Ultimate Comics: Fallout, Asgard was recreated in the skies above Europe, as part of Odin's greater plan to remake two worlds, Asgard into what it once was, and Earth into what it can be. Asgard was destroyed in Ultimate Comics: Ultimates issue 2, by Reed Richards and the children of tomorrow. Thor placed his son, along with Mjolnir in the room without doors to save his life, as Odin once did for Loki.
- Asgard appears in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "The Vengeance of Loki." Thor shows the Spider-Friends what Asgard is like.
- Asgard is featured in The Super Hero Squad Show. It is shown as a floating city with Bifröst Bridge going from Asgard to Super Hero City. In "Oh Brother," Loki persuades Doctor Doom into lending some of his Lethal Legion members into helping him invade Asgard.
- Asgard is introduced in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode, " The Siege of Asgard".
- Asgard is the setting of Marvel Animation film, Hulk vs. Thor.
- Asgard has appeared in the live-action Marvel Studios film, Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh. It looks like a shining city suspended at some point in the universe with celestial stuff surrounding it. It was later attacked by Frost giants lead by Loki to take the throne but his plans where thwarted by Thor. The Bifrost was broken at the end.
- Asgard is scheduled to be the setting of the upcoming animated film, Thor: Tales of Asgard.
- Asgard is featured in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Loki attacks Asgard with an army of super-soldiers while Odin battles the Frost Giants and Thor is on earth. In order to release a conquered Asgard, the heroes open the doors of Bifröst Gate so that reinforcements can arrive and release Balder, Tyr, and Heimdall before going to look Odin in Niffleheim.
- Asgard is featured in the Marvel Super Hero Squad video game.
- Asgard is featured in Thor: God of Thunder based on the live-action film.
- Asgard is a stage in the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.