Heimdall is a Marvel character drawn directly from Scandinavian mythology, so both his origins and biography are full of references to this type of being. After all, Heimdall is a Vanir, one of the sons of the Nine Goddesses who personify the sea. Initially, Heimdall was none other than one of the bravest warriors among the Asgardians, the people commanded by Odin and who controlled one of the nine kingdoms that form Ygdrassil, the tree of life. During one of the wars between Asgard and the Storm Giants from Midgaard, the plane on which the earth is, Odin decided that Asgard needed a guardian. To do so, he confronted his most powerful warriors, including Agnar the Fiery, Gotron the Eagle and Heimdall himself.
Of all of them, Heimdall was chosen not only for his enormous strength and fighting ability, but also for his ability to see beyond time and space, which makes him the perfect guardian of the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that links Asgard to the earth. As the mystic guardian of the gates of Asgard, Heimdall protects the kingdom from a multitude of threats, but as the first line of defence, he is always more striking when he is overcome. In this way, for example, he frees Loki from his imprisonment in a tree when he falls into one of his tricks – a leaf falls in his eye and cries in front of the tree, a requirement for his release – or lets the wind goddess Vanna who was spying for the Storm Giants pass by. However, he has also been instrumental in saving Asgard on numerous occasions such as when Loki pretended to be Thor and he was the only one to notice or when he helped Thor get the Asgardians back together after the Ragnarok. In fact, such is his importance that he has even become the Lord of Asgard when Odin or Thor were unable to take charge of the heavenly city.
Heimdall shares traits with many of his fellow Asgardians. Brave, loyal and ready for battle you can be trusted to always find a way to do the right thing. As guardian of the Bifrost he is impregnable and inscrutable because he is able to see beyond what is in front of him. Therefore, it can sometimes seem somewhat absent as it is always in a state of permanent alert. Heimdall seven the weight of his responsibility as protector of the gates of the city and dishonors it when he fails, even if it was not his fault.
Friends and enemies of Heimdall
His role as a Bifrost watcher not only leaves him little time to socialize, but also necessarily distances him from his own race by constantly looking out for what is happening outside. In addition, he must be an impartial servant of Odin so he has sometimes had to fight against his fellow soldiers on other occasions, such as when Thor is expelled from Asgard by his father. Even so, he is a respected and sought-after advisor, and when Bifrost was temporarily destroyed he took advantage of “free time” to maintain a sentimental relationship with Amora the Enchantress. As for his enemies, he has faced all those who threaten Asgard among whom stand out Loki, the fire demon Sutur, Hela or Norman Osborn, when he tried to conquer the mythological city.
Heimdall in the Kinematic Universe of Marvel
Thor is probably the most difficult character to transmit to the modern audiences of all those who form his avengers because of his mythological origin and the Shakespearean attitudes and plots that surround him. But of course, without Thor, the Avengers would not be the Avengers, at least not from the beginning. That’s why Marvel has made two films starring the Nordic giant, Chris Hemsworth, Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013), which are among the least economically and qualitatively successful of the Marvel films, and has released a third, Thro: Ragnarok, which, by giving the film to the genius Taika Waititi, has finally done justice to the character and his universe, albeit in a somewhat sui generis way.
In all three films – and briefly in Avengers: The Age of Ultron – Heimdall plays a secondary but important role. In the first two he is the guardian of the Bifrost and is charged with power and solemnity governing the flows of time and of the nine kingdoms, while after the Ragnarok is far from his position, but does not stop fighting for Asgard. Even so, the actor who plays it, Idris Elba, one of the greatest talents today is not at all comfortable with his participation in Marvel’s films which he claims he does only by contract. Apparently, his role involves having to be tied to cables and a lot of chromaticism, something that doesn’t seem to satisfy an actor who considers himself more suited to more dramatic roles. So it’s hard to think that we’re going to see Heimdall many times, at least not like we have so far.
What powers does Heimdall have?
Heimdall shares with all Asgardians an extremely superior physiology than the human one that endows him, in addition to an enormous longevity, strength and superhuman resistance that make human beings call Asgardians gods. In addition, Heimdall’s senses are almost enormous, he can feel the presence of the life force of other Asgardians beyond space and time and can foresee threats before they occur. Finally, Heimdall carries Hofund, a sword to which Odin has conferred special powers that allow him to channel powerful cosmic energies and blue flames through it.
#InFewWords: A Heimdall conclusion
The Guardian of Heaven
Heimdall stands for stoicism, honor and duty. He has sacrificed his life almost like a monk to protect his people, watching over them day and night without expecting anything in return and without ambition to gain more power. No one more worthy to guard the gates of a city inhabited mostly by great and brave warriors.