Some of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful characters can be found among the Asgardians, and their stories are entwined with a culture that values strength and honour.
Much like the Norse deities they are based on, Asgardian warriors are well-versed in combat. Each Asgardian has fought to protect their home and further the glory of Asgard.
With an appreciation for fighting comes a need to use weapons like swords, maces and axes. It’s how the Asgardians have lived for centuries, living and dying in battle so that they may celebrate in the halls of Valhalla.
Thor is as famous as his magical hammer, Mjolnir, but he’s not the only Asgardian to wield a formidable artifact. The God of Thunder’s famed hammer is only the tip of the iceberg, with Asgard containing a treasure trove of mythical items that reflect the power of the Norse pantheon.
Characters like Odin are in possession of weaponry that can rival Mjolnir’s might. From the potent Gungnir to the elegant Fimbuldraugr, Asgard is filled with weapons that are as deadly and timeless as the gods that wield them – here are the most powerful ones of all…
Hofund is a magical sword wielded by Heimdall, the all-seeing protector of the Bifrost. Made by the Dwarf smiths of Nidavellier and enchanted with Odin’s magic, Hofund is the key to opening the Bifrost bridge between the Nine Realms.
Heimdall has used his sword to summon a shield to protect Asgard, wield cosmic blue flames, strike down a weakened Thor and used it to disguise himself as a mortal while on Midgard.
But Heimdall isn’t the only character to harness the power of Hofund. During the War Of The Realms storyline, Daredevil became the owner of the sword and he also gained Heimdall’s ability to witness key events throughout the universe.
As the sword can control cosmic forces, Hofund is one of the most powerful weapons in the Asgardian armoury. Like Heimdall himself, Hofund’s purpose is to stand guard against the enemies of the Nine Realms. It is a symbol of Asgard: strong, resilient and eternal.
9. The Night Sword
The Night Sword belongs to the Asgardian goddess of death, Hela. When out of its scabbard, the blade is wreathed in green flames, displaying its deathly origin. In Thor: Ragnarok, she wielded it as her primary weapon, cutting through an army of Asgardian soldiers who tried to resist her rule.
As a capable swordsman, Hela has fought various duels with the Night Sword, such as when she battled against the Olympian god of death Pluto. At the time, Pluto wielded his enchanted Midnight Axe and the Night Sword proved to be more than a match. Sensing he was going to lose, Pluto summoned demons to attack Hela. If the fight had gone on without any interference, Hela could have overwhelmed her fellow death god, demonstrating her weapon’s potency.
Hela may also use the Night Sword as a conduit for her most powerful fighting technique called ‘The Hand of Glory.’ It involves her channelling all of her mystical energy into a blow powerful enough to kill another Asgardian.
Before he was worthy of Mjolnir, Thor used a battle axe called Jarnbjorn. Forged by dwarves, Jarnbjorn is strong enough to cut through virtually any kind of material. In addition, a charm was cast on the axe to make it indestructible.
Thor fought with Jarnbjorn during the 11th century, battling against the Celestial-powered Apocalypse. Wanting revenge, Thor blessed the battle axe with his own blood, making the weapon powerful enough to cut through Apocalypse’s armour.
Eventually, the Thunderer lost the axe and it passed down through the ages, never staying in one place for long. Originally, it was stolen from Baron Mordo’s tomb by Kang the Conqueror.
Then, it was taken by the Apocalypse Twins, who studied under Kang and used it to murder the Celestial Gardner. This was part of a bigger plan to draw the Celestials to Earth so they would destroy the planet. After recovering the axe from the Apocalypse Twins, Thor placed it back inside the Asgard’s armoury.
When the God of Thunder could no longer use Mjolnir, he picked up Jarnbjorn again. However, the dark elf Malekith took the axe and used it to cut off Thor’s arm.
Like Thor’s hammer, Odin’s spear, Gungnir, is magically connected to its owner. Forged from enchanted Uru metal, there are several stories of how the spear came into existence. According to one tale, dwarves crafted it from sunlight as a gift to The All-Father. Another story states that it was crafted by the Sons of Ivalid as part of a contest hosted by Loki. Yet another story claims that the spear was from a previous Asgard destroyed in Ragnarok.
Gungnir is considered the equal of Mjonir. But unlike Mjonir, there is no worthiness enchantment on the weapon because the Asgardians can’t conceive of anyone beside Odin from using it. No matter how far away the spear is from its owner, it will always return to his hands.
The All-Father has used his spear to create powerful energy blasts, summon lightning, destroy buildings and wound other godly beings like the Celestials.
The King of Asgard can also use his weapon as a conduit for the Odinforce, a fathomless form of Norse magic that has made Odin one of the most feared entities within the Nine Realms.
6. Balder’s Sword
While Balder’s sword doesn’t have an official name, it is still deadly in the hands of the Asgardian God of Light. Given to him by Odin, Balder uses his blade as a channel for his light creation abilities. Once, Balder generated so much light that it melted the entire fortress of Utgard-Loki and reduced a gang of frost giants to a tiny size.
The sword can also be used to transport others across great distances. In Thor #180, Balder and Sif needed to fight against a brainwashed Thor. Summoning his blade, Balder willed it to transport Sif away from the battle. During the fight, Balder managed to hold his own against his brother, swinging his blade blow for blow with Mjolnir.
On Odin’s passing, Balder became the reluctant new King of Asgard. Much like his father’s spear, Balder’s sword became a symbol of his rule.
An example of the sword’s authority happened after the events of the Siege storyline. In the wake of Asgard’s destruction Balder wished to abdicate the throne, but Thor convinced him to stay. The god of light raised his blade to announce his claim and his people bowed before the sight of it.
5. The Bloodaxe
The Bloodaxe belongs to Skurge the Executioner, who wielded it in the service of evil Asgardians like Amora the Enchantress and Hela. For years, Skurge used his weapon to cut a bloody swathe through history. Eventually, the Executioner grew weary of his lot in life and chose to redeem himself by battling Hela’s forces on the bridge of Gjallerbru.
As an enchanted armament, the axe is capable of killing gods, creating energy projections and altering the weather. Amora also placed a charm on the axe that allowed it to open dimensional rifts.
Due to being infected with Skurge’s evil, the axe possesses a curse. Whoever uses it is compelled to commit great violence, as shown from when it was picked up by a mortal woman called Jackie Lukus. The axe drove Lukus mad, turning her into the vigilante Bloodaxe.
During Dan Jurgen’s Thor series, the thunder god used the axe in tandem with his hammer. Feeling himself succumbing to the curse, Thor destroyed it with the Odinforce so no one else would ever be tempted by its allure.
Fimbuldraugr is a divine blade used by Fandral the Dashing of the Warrior’s Three. As Asgard’s finest swordsman, Fandral is a master of all forms of bladed combat. The Odinson has repeatedly called Fandral “the best of us with a blade.” He uses Fimbuldraugr to defend his home alongside his friends, Volstagg and Hogun.
Fandral has taken the sword on countless adventures. A famous example occurred when he accompanied his friends on a mission to recover the Warlock Eye from the Temple of Mystics in Muspelheim. When Fandral and the others arrived, they found the Eye had been stolen by another Asgardian called Harokin. Fandral fought valiantly against Harokin’s forces, using Fimbuldraugr to slay many enemies while Thor retrieved the Eye.
Another memorable adventure took place when Fandral travelled with Hogun to the latter’s homeland. He helped his friend overcome the conqueror Mongol of the Mystic Mountain, who had slaughtered Hogun’s people.
Fimbuldraugr has various nicknames, which include ‘the whispering spirit’ and ‘the ghost at the end of all times.’ While Fandral may be embellishing for dramatic effect, there’s no denying that his sword is impressive.
3. Tarene’s Hammer
Thor isn’t the only superhero to utilise a hammer. The mystical Tarene, AKA Thor Girl, is in possession of a golden hammer that shares similarities with Mjolnir. Tarene’s connection to Asgard is interesting because she wasn’t born there. Instead, she came from a planet that was destroyed by Thanos. With the Thunder God’s help, Tarene defeated the Mad Titan.
Feeling a connection to Asgard, Tarene transformed herself into an Asgardian goddess and sought to emulate Thor’s teachings. Her hammer has various abilities, which range from weather control to energy manipulation. She’s also displayed the ability to break through dimensional barriers, as shown from when she travelled from Earth to Asgard in a matter of seconds.
In the past, Tarene has demonstrated enough proficiency with her hammer to knock Thor off his feet and shatter buildings with a single strike. During the recent Fear Itself storyline, Tarene held her own against the magically enhanced Juggernaut, further highlighting her fighting prowess.
Created by Loki, Eir-Gram is a sword that can channel the spirit of its wielder into the edge. The god of mischief forged his weapon in Mephisto’s realm because he needed the hellfire to forge a weapon that wasn’t wholly connected to Asgard. He crafted Eir-Gram from the soul of an Asgardian woman called Kelda to stop the malevolent Disir.
A group of Valkyries who rebelled against Odin’s father, Bor, the Disir were cast out from Asgard and forced to survive by eating Asgardian souls. The Disir are trapped between life and death, making them hard to kill. In addition, they have demonstrated a high level of resistance against Asgardian weapons, which is why Loki needed to make a deal with Mephisto to create an object that could harm them.
Therefore, Eir-Gram is one of the few weapons that can permanently hurt the Disir. The blade can slice through the magical essence of the former Valkyries, causing intense pain.
Only a select few have proven worthy to lift Mjolnir, and when the Korbinite Beta Ray Bill managed to hold the hammer, Odin had one specially created for him. Bill’s worthiness came about through defeating Thor in fair combat. Even though he’d bested the Odinson, Bill felt guilty over lifting Mjolnir.
Called Stormbreaker, Beta Ray Bill’s hammer is made from the same Uru material as other powerful Asgardian weapons. Although similar to Mjolnir, there have been times when Stormbreaker has differed from the weapon it was based on. On one occasion, Bill was endowed with cosmic power by the Silver Surfer, which changed Stormbreaker’s appearance to that of an axe.
Despite being proud of his weapon, Bill hasn’t lost sight of its importance to the rest of the universe. He has allowed other people to prove themselves worthy of lifting the hammer, feeling that he has a duty to share his godly power for good.
With Stormbreaker in his hands, Bill has become one of the Marvel Universe’s mightiest protectors. His bravery earned him a place among the Asgardians and he can be considered Thor’s close friend.
(This article originally appeared on whatculture.com)