Asgard | Marvel Cinematic Universe | Atlas

Within the uncounted galaxies of the universe
lie an equally innumerable collection of stars and planets. This plane of reality is infinitely complex
and far too vast to ever be wholly understood. Yet against every odd, nine worlds have emerged,
interconnected across a scale unfathomable to almost all. This is the cosmic nimbus Yggrasil, known
to many as the World Tree, which links together a group of distant planets within the same
shared destiny. The World Tree is home to various races and
cultures, which for a time existed under the strength and benevolence of Asgard. Asgard stood apart from the rest of the Nine
Realms as its very nature defied understanding. It was neither planet nor moon, existing without
any rotational axis or even a star around which it might have revolved. Instead it most closely resembled a small
extrasolar asteroid – although this still provided no explanation for its unique properties. It’s flattened surface exhibited a type
of gravitational pull similar to a planet’s centrifugal force, it underwent intervals
of day and night, and its surface appeared immune to erosion or the depletion of its
great sea into the cosmos. Matter, both organic and inorganic, on Asgard
was remarkably dense and exhibited many strange properties. Whether these were natural adaptations to
the realm’s unique physics or byproducts of Asgard’s creation remains unknown, but
elements and compounds existed there that could not be found anywhere else in the universe. The most notable of these was a kind of wormhole-sensitive
crystal, which, when refined, could be used to open, stabilize, and ultimately control
gateways across Yggdrasil and beyond. This was known to the Asgardians as the Bifrost
and made them masters of everything the Nine Realms had to offer. The immense power of the Bifrost had the potential
to destroy all of Asgard should it be left unchecked, necessitating the use of an Observatory
through which the Bifrost could be carefully directed. This observatory, like all architecture on
Asgard, appeared almost naturally formed from the surrounding earth, culminating in grand
spires and towers visible from almost anywhere in the realm. Many of these structures were covered in gold
polished so bright that they almost seemed to eminante some great inner light. At the center of Asgard’s single great city
rose a graceful and ornate palace, the home of the King of Asgard. Feasts and celebrations of victory were held
in these resounding halls, where warriors and protectors of the realm honored their
fallen comrades and matters of state were decided. Beneath the palace lay some of the galaxy’s
greatest relics, carefully secured and closely watched so that they might not be used by
those of ill will. This was the work of Odin, perhaps the greatest
King of Asgard who scoured the galaxy to acquire exotic items in an attempt to forestall the
long prophesied, apocalyptic Ragnarok. Among the collection was the Casket of Ancient
Winters, capable of plunging an entire world into an infinite icy wind, the hammer Mjolnir,
forged from the heart of a dying star, and the Tesseract, a containment vessel for one
of the galaxy’s six Infinity Stones. While much of the remainder of the Vault’s
supposed treasures were forgeries and fakes, the Crown of Surtur, together with the Eternal
Flame, represented one of the greatest powers in the universe. Combined, they could bring about the end of
Asgard and for countless millennia Odin had watched over the flame so that Ragnarok might
never occur. When Hela, Goddess of the Dead and Odin’s
first born daughter took command of Asgard and threatened the Nine Realms with total
destruction, Ragnarok was purposely unleashed, yet not before the Asgardian people had retreated
offworld. The very foundations of Asgard were shattered,
destroying the greatest works of a people that had once been among the greatest peacekeepers
in the universe. However, it has been said that Asgard was
not a place, but a people. While now homeless and nomadic, so long as
the Asgardians remain, the promise of Asgard itself might one day return. In Atlas, the Templin Institute investigates
the most storied places from across alternate worlds. If you have a suggestion for a future episode,
let us know in the comments section and if you’d like to support us directly, a link
to our Patreon can be found in the description.


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