Essential Thor

Essential Thor: Thor's Exile

Learn the tale of Thor's arrogance and his banishment to Earth

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With the release of "Thor" on May 6, 2011 and "Captain America: The First Avenger" on July 22, 2011, Marvel.com presents the Essentials, a series of articles showcasing each character's expansive history and mythology  in the Marvel comics.

From character retrospectives to a look at memorable storylines and interviews with key creators, the Essentials will act as the perfect guide for fans both old and new! Look for new Cap Essentials every Monday and Thor Essentials every Thursday as we head toward the release of each film!

 

By Marc Strom

Thor: Exiled to Earth
When Donald Blake discovered that gnarled cane in a Norweigan cave, little did he suspect it would unleash the power of the Mighty Thor. And he knew even less of the history of how that cane got there...or, for that matter, how Thor became trapped on Earth.

Years later, we would discover the full story of Thor's exile to Earth; the story of a father disappointed with his son's hubris, and of a young prince desperately in need of a few lessons in humility. Since then we've seen a number of interpretations of this epic tale, and now we look back at them to show you a picture of a hotheaded youth who, through his time amongst mortals, learned the lessons that would transform him into one of the greatest heroes known in the Marvel Universe.

The Original Tale

Thor's moment of exile
As we first learned the story, Thor showed much promise as a child. Brave and courageous, the young Odinson first earned the right to wield his mighty Uru hammer by accomplishing a series of noble deeds, the last of which was to selflessly give up his own life to save that of the warrior Sif. Escaping the grip of Hela, though, the Thunderer gained his signature hammer, Mjolnir, from that day forth brandished in service to his kingdom, defending the walls of Asgard from all manner of threats and living up to his father, Odin's, expectations.

Over time, though, Thor became complacent and, ultimately, prideful. He let his victories get too far to his head, and Odin called upon his son. He banished Thor to Earth, wiping his memories of Midgard and trapping him within the frail frame of Donald Blake. As Blake, Thor lived his life among mortals until Odin determined his son had learned the lesson of humility. At that time, he led Blake to the cave in which lay the enchanted cane that would transform him into his original form of Thor, and from then on the he became reacquainted with the world of Asgard, dividing his time between there and Earth.

The first comprehensive telling of Thor's life came in THOR ANNUAL #11.

Ages of Thunder

Odin teaches his son a lesson
In another telling of the tale, we see the depths to which our hero has shrunk in the pages of THOR: AGES OF THUNDER. Here Thor lives only for the battle, without any true sense of the destruction which his power can cause. He gains satisfaction in slaying Frost Giants and will look for any excuse to start a battle.

For Odin, the final straw came when Thor, in his arrogance, slaughtered a group of mortal men for eating his horses. Though he had left them nothing to eat while he defended their home from an army of the undead, Thor still saw the mortals' actions as a slight against his stature, and could not stand to let them live.

Odin threw an army of Valkyries at his son in the hopes that they might calm his bloodrage, but with little effect. In the end, Odin himself donned the armor of the Destroyer and fought his son in a mighty battle that ended with Thor defeated. The Allfather took away all of Thor's power so that he may gain humanity and banished him to Earth, to wander the land until such time as he may gain entrance to Asgard once more.

The story of Thor's fall spans THOR: AGES OF THUNDER #1, THOR: REIGN OF BLOOD #1 and THOR: MAN OF WAR #1, all collected in THOR: AGES OF THUNDER.

The Mighty Avenger

A lesson in humility
In the currently ongoing THOR THE MIGHTY AVENGER series, we're introduced to a Thor who retains his memories of Asgard, but can not remember how to get there nor why his father has seemingly left him stranded on Midgard. Shortly after arriving on Earth, he encounters Jane Foster at the museum she works at, and she quickly offers him a couch to crash on until he can get his bearings straight.

Already Thor has met Captain Britain, Giant-Man, the Wasp and Namor, as well as received a visit from the vaunted Warriors Three from his homeland. The Warriors, as well as Thor's half-brother Loki, have all hinted that Odin has sent his progeny to Earth to learn some very valuable lessons, but none dare speak of just what Thor did to earn such a punishment. He retains his signature brash pride and arrogance, most recently attacking Namor for suggesting that he could learn some humility if he wishes to be a truly great leader.

THOR THE MIGHTY AVENGER #6 comes out November 24, and on December 8 THOR THE MIGHTY AVENGER VOL. 1: THE GOD WHO FELL TO EARTH will collect the first four issues of the series.

 

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