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Norvell


Member Since: Sun Jan 02, 2011
Posts: 3,786


Due to how there is a nebulous and undefined God Cycle that reincarnates Asgardian gods (and maybe even their histories), are Thor and the Asgardians fundamentally the same beings as when they appeared originally?

Or is Thor a variant of the same Thor, similar but different, from when he first appeared? If so, how many versions of Thor and the Asgardians have there been?

I would say that until Oeming's Ragnarok, the Thor from JIM #83 to then was probably the same god, as were the Asgardians, even though there were touches of Ragnarok prior to that which were averted.

After being reborn, Thor has died (Fear Itself) and been reincarnated again. By my count, that would be three different Thors, if we exclude that Beyonders/Doom stuff (which I frankly didn't pay much attention to outside of the Thor / Odin bits). And if a death outside of Ragnarok has the same impact on their rebirth.

This is a way or reconciling divergent writing, and may not be intentional, but Fraction suggested that there are indeed many different versions of the gods. For example, when Amora was splitting open the World Tree's roots, the gods (even Hela) were remembering history different -- specifically as it relates to Skurge. At least one of the gods remembered Skurge as a bard; another remembered him a shoe cobbler (IIRC).

According to this, the gods can be reborn and be changed, and their alternate histories will fuse seamlessly with the current timeline. As Karnilla did with Ulik/Tanarus when Thor was deceased.


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ThorTheMightiestAvenger


Member Since: Wed Mar 30, 2016
Posts: 1,051



The Ragnarok Cycle is complicated, but I'll do my best to outline what we know. Every two thousand years or so, all the gods die in Ragnarok which feeds TWSAIS and the gods are then reborn soon afterwards. The gods seem to be literally born again to their mothers as we see several gods being born as their current versions such as Thor.

The gods have to die in Ragnarok in order for it to contribute to the cycle. For example, all of the gods who died in the final Ragnarok inhabited mortals and Thor was able to call them out, but Odin died fighting Surtur before Ragnarok so Thor could not revive him. It could be argued that returning from a death outside of Ragnarok could be linked to the cycle since fate may will them back so that they can later die in Ragnarok. The new gods can be very similar or very different. Fraction's Age of Thunder features Thor from the third Ragnarok cycle and he looks very similar to modern Thor, but he is more brutal and apathetic.

The Thor that we all know and love who first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 has never been reborn in the Ragnarok cycle. Unlike previous versions of Thor, he managed to see the Ragnarok cycle (thanks to Odin's plans) and broke the cycle forever. Any returns from death are now completely separate from Ragnarok. For example, after Fear Itself, Thor returns to life by fighting hs way out of the afterlife with the same version of Thor dying, awaking, and emerging. After breaking the cycle, Thor also says that he remembers every moment of his previous lives so at this point all versions of Thor are as close to being the same as they have ever been.





FOR ASGARD!!!
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JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


Interesting question, as there does indeed seem to be various Thors in Marvel from past and present, sort of like trying to sort Superman over the years!


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Norvell


Member Since: Sun Jan 02, 2011
Posts: 3,786



    Quote:
    The Ragnarok Cycle is complicated, but I'll do my best to outline what we know. Every two thousand years or so, all the gods die in Ragnarok which feeds TWSAIS and the gods are then reborn soon afterwards. The gods seem to be literally born again to their mothers as we see several gods being born as their current versions such as Thor.


I don't think the two thousand years timeline is relevant in modern continuity, if it was ever relevant. The Shadow Gods themselves may no longer be relevant. They could merely be parasites of the cycle, not its originators. We know that the Fates, which were originally empowered by the Shadow Gods, are no longer tied to those entities and appear to be completely different kinds of beings post-Ragnarok.

There's also a strong indication that the Shadow Gods were actually Beyonders; or at least that's how Odin perceived the Beyonders during that whole event.


    Quote:
    The Thor that we all know and love who first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 has never been reborn in the Ragnarok cycle. Unlike previous versions of Thor, he managed to see the Ragnarok cycle (thanks to Odin's plans) and broke the cycle forever. Any returns from death are now completely separate from Ragnarok.


I would say Thor was reborn after Ragnarok, whether he died or not. The Thor who appeared at the beginning of the JMS run had only a portion of the Odin-Power, had both eyes, and didn't appear to have any of the mystical knowledge accrued during Ragnarok. It's been a long time since I read that run, and I never re-read it, so let me know if I missed anything.


    Quote:
    For example, after Fear Itself, Thor returns to life by fighting hs way out of the afterlife with the same version of Thor dying, awaking, and emerging. After breaking the cycle, Thor also says that he remembers every moment of his previous lives so at this point all versions of Thor are as close to being the same as they have ever been


The last part is not reliable, since even if Thor remembers his past life, what he remembers is not necessarily the version experienced by the 'classic Thor' (assuming for the sake of argument they are separate beings). That was kind of my point. When gods are reborn through this method, their histories are seamlessly woven into continuity, as if that version of history had always been correct. And it is not necessarily incorrect, as time and history to the World Tree are fluid.


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ThorTheMightiestAvenger


Member Since: Wed Mar 30, 2016
Posts: 1,051




    Quote:

      Quote:
      The Ragnarok Cycle is complicated, but I'll do my best to outline what we know. Every two thousand years or so, all the gods die in Ragnarok which feeds TWSAIS and the gods are then reborn soon afterwards. The gods seem to be literally born again to their mothers as we see several gods being born as their current versions such as Thor.



    Quote:
    I don't think the two thousand years timeline is relevant in modern continuity, if it was ever relevant. The Shadow Gods themselves may no longer be relevant. They could merely be parasites of the cycle, not its originators. We know that the Fates, which were originally empowered by the Shadow Gods, are no longer tied to those entities and appear to be completely different kinds of beings post-Ragnarok.


Fair enough on the two thousand year thing, but it is the only timeframe we have ever been given. Even if TWSAIS are not the creators of the cycle and are mere parasites (which could legitimately be the case), the cycle is over regardless. Thor during that final Ragnarok destroyed the thread of fate and explicitly ended the cycle. The cycle is over and if it is not over, then Thor engineered the deaths of his people for nothing.


    Quote:
    There's also a strong indication that the Shadow Gods were actually Beyonders; or at least that's how Odin perceived the Beyonders during that whole event.


They might be Beyonders, but they make it clear when speaking to Loki that they do not have the means of reigniting the cycle.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      The Thor that we all know and love who first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 has never been reborn in the Ragnarok cycle. Unlike previous versions of Thor, he managed to see the Ragnarok cycle (thanks to Odin's plans) and broke the cycle forever. Any returns from death are now completely separate from Ragnarok.



    Quote:
    I would say Thor was reborn after Ragnarok, whether he died or not. The Thor who appeared at the beginning of the JMS run had only a portion of the Odin-Power, had both eyes, and didn't appear to have any of the mystical knowledge accrued during Ragnarok. It's been a long time since I read that run, and I never re-read it, so let me know if I missed anything.


Thor may have been reborn in JMS run or he may have just recovered during the slumber of the gods, but it doesn't really matter since the other Asgardians were explicitly killed and were reborn. Now it may sound like splitting hairs, but I think there is a big difference between rebirth and reincarnation. Reincarnation is at the heart of Ragnarok and it involves being literally born again with no memories truly maintained from previous lives. The reincarnated individuals can differ in appearance and personality with the actual ties to their previous lives being a bit relative honestly. Rebirth basically just means you come back from the dead. You may get a new body, but you are yourself for all intents and purposes with all memories and the same personality. I know its a bit arbitrary, but that's how I interpret it.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      For example, after Fear Itself, Thor returns to life by fighting hs way out of the afterlife with the same version of Thor dying, awaking, and emerging. After breaking the cycle, Thor also says that he remembers every moment of his previous lives so at this point all versions of Thor are as close to being the same as they have ever been



    Quote:
    The last part is not reliable, since even if Thor remembers his past life, what he remembers is not necessarily the version experienced by the 'classic Thor' (assuming for the sake of argument they are separate beings). That was kind of my point. When gods are reborn through this method, their histories are seamlessly woven into continuity, as if that version of history had always been correct. And it is not necessarily incorrect, as time and history to the World Tree are fluid.


Thor doesn't just remember a previous life, but every moment of all previous lives. It seems I missed your point in the initial post that the World Tree essentially bends reality to fit history. Are you suggesting that all the gods essentially live in the same time frame with the World Tree's help or that the World Tree moves things around to fit in the cycles? I think either interpretation may be necessary in some way to reconcile some of the continuity issues. Mjolnir's forging destroys all the dinosaurs, but Thor is shown with several fairly advanced versions of humanity in different cycles with hammer in hand. So either Thor keeps getting a new hammer forged and the writers just really like showing us how a previous version was forged or Mjolnir is from a previous cycle.





FOR ASGARD!!!
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swmcbf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,053


I wish there were multiple Thor's running around. It would be a comfort thinking Aaron Thor was not the same as Cate's Thor. Come to think of it I guess they are different anyway.


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Captainidiot


Member Since: Tue Nov 18, 2014



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Norvell


Member Since: Sun Jan 02, 2011
Posts: 3,786



    Quote:
    Fair enough on the two thousand year thing, but it is the only timeframe we have ever been given.


True, but IIRC, that story was relayed by the Eye of Odin, who very likely gave Thor a false narrative. We don't know if any aspect of that story was true.


    Quote:
    Even if TWSAIS are not the creators of the cycle and are mere parasites (which could legitimately be the case), the cycle is over regardless. Thor during that final Ragnarok destroyed the thread of fate and explicitly ended the cycle. The cycle is over and if it is not over, then Thor engineered the deaths of his people for nothing.


We don't really know if the cycle is over, or if merely the parasitic nature of has been expunged. In order for the cycle to truly be over, beings like Surtur would have to give up their modus operandi, wouldn't they?


    Quote:
    They might be Beyonders, but they make it clear when speaking to Loki that they do not have the means of reigniting the cycle.


I'll have to re-read that, the end of the Loki story fell off my radar.


    Quote:
    Thor may have been reborn in JMS run or he may have just recovered during the slumber of the gods, but it doesn't really matter since the other Asgardians were explicitly killed and were reborn. Now it may sound like splitting hairs, but I think there is a big difference between rebirth and reincarnation.


I agree that there is a difference between resurrection (which I think Thor has done several times) and reincarnation.


    Quote:
    Reincarnation is at the heart of Ragnarok and it involves being literally born again with no memories truly maintained from previous lives. The reincarnated individuals can differ in appearance and personality with the actual ties to their previous lives being a bit relative honestly. Rebirth basically just means you come back from the dead. You may get a new body, but you are yourself for all intents and purposes with all memories and the same personality. I know its a bit arbitrary, but that's how I interpret it.


I think this is where we diverge, and I think you may be referencing non-canon or semi-canonical events. Lets say for the sake of the argument that there is no timeline, that the gods have gone through Ragnarok countless times and have been reborn to feed the Shadow Gods. The alternative is really hard to follow, because it overlaps mortal history. If your version is correct, haven't the Shadow Gods only eaten once or twice?

The alternative is explanation, which I prefer, is that Ragnarok keeps happening, and a variant of history overlaps (and replaces) the previous one. Hence countless versions of Thor can appear throughout viking history, without any real continuity issues. In which case the Ragnarok Cycle could have happened dozens, hundreds, even millions of times. There is no limit. However, as the Odin-Force said, each cycle in some way diminishes the gods. Almost like a battery that keeps recharging.


    Quote:
    Thor doesn't just remember a previous life, but every moment of all previous lives. It seems I missed your point in the initial post that the World Tree essentially bends reality to fit history. Are you suggesting that all the gods essentially live in the same time frame with the World Tree's help or that the World Tree moves things around to fit in the cycles?


Basically. I see no other viable explanation that would allow Thor, Odin, etc. to be viking gods, which is really not that long ago on a cosmological scale. Also keep in mind that some versions of Odin are billions of years old. Fraction's Odin is about as old as Galactus, and the Asgardians of that run originate from another universe (Odin and Cul's generation). In addition, that version of Odin and Cul waged a war that literally razed Earth (former Aesheim, IIRC). In addition, this version of Odin sacrificed himself on the World Tree (and lost an eye) as a boy.


    Quote:
    I think either interpretation may be necessary in some way to reconcile some of the continuity issues. Mjolnir's forging destroys all the dinosaurs, but Thor is shown with several fairly advanced versions of humanity in different cycles with hammer in hand. So either Thor keeps getting a new hammer forged and the writers just really like showing us how a previous version was forged or Mjolnir is from a previous cycle.


Exactly. I think some variant of this explanation is not just likely, but 100% necessary.

By the way, check out the following stories for further development of this theory:

- Ultraforce/Avengers (we see variants of Loki and Thor spill into universe via the Infinity Gems; IIRC the death of Loki causes a fracture in this timeline. The attack on Nemesis shows like a dozen variants of Mjolnir striking her.)
- Thor: God-Sized Annual #1 (Amora's attack on the World Tree causes shifting memories of Skurge, even to Hela)
- Thor v1 ~#500 or and surrounding issues (Odin uses a sword with some connection to Yggdrasil to merge mortal identities for the Asgardians into history)
- Karnilla / Tanaraus issues of Fraction's run (Karnilla uses Fate-magic and numerous reagents to replace Thor with Ulik in mortal history, during Thor's post-Fear Itself death; the effect being reversed upon Thor's resurrection)

- There may be one or two Aaron issues which delve into this as well, involving the Fates.


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JesusFan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008



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Norvell


Member Since: Sun Jan 02, 2011
Posts: 3,786



    Quote:
    I wish there were multiple Thor's running around. It would be a comfort thinking Aaron Thor was not the same as Cate's Thor. Come to think of it I guess they are different anyway.


Look at what happens to Cul after Fraction ended his run. Wow, what a downfall of a character after being built up so much.


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