Type: Mystic Realm
Usual Means Of Access: Magic
Dominant Lifeform: The Aesir (the Norse gods)
Prominent Inhabitants: Thor, Odin, Loki, other gods
Comments: Asgard is a small otherdimentional planetary
body (its surface area being about the same as that of the
continental United States), whose nature and physics are
different from those of planetary bodies in the Earthly
dimension. Asgard is not a sphere like the Earth of Moon,
but a relatively flat asteroid-like landmass suspended in
space. Asgard does not rotate about its axis, nor does it
revolve around a sun. Asgard has intervals of night ad day
(of undisclosed durations) even though it does not rotate.
There is no evidence of changing seasons, however. It is
not known if Asgard's source of light and heat is the Earth's
sun, a sun in the Asgardian dimension whose gravity does
not exert itself on Asgard, or a glowing ball of light dissimilar
to a star in most of its properties. Unlike Earth, Where
the force of gravitation radiates from the center of the
sphere, Asgard's gravity apparently radiates from some point
or object beneath the suspended landmass. Consequently,
there is a top side to Asgard, upon which beings can stand,
and a bottom side where beings cannot stand and from which
they will fall through space toward the source of gravitation.
At the boundaries of Asgard's landmass, a being or object
canstep off into the void.
There is apparently some force that keeps the bottom and
edges of Asgard's landmass from eroding away. Whatever this
force is also prevent the bodies of water which are at certain
of Asgard's boundaries from pouring off into the void, as
well as preventing Asgard's atmosphere from escaping, Asgard
has been described as floating on a "Sea of Space."
This sea apparently has a surface, one that is navigable
by certain Asgardian ships that resemble Viking longboats.
The exact nature of space in the Asgardian dimension is
While the gravity of Asgard is roughly analogous to Earth's,
common matter is considerably denser on an average. Consequently
a chair made of Asdardian wood would be more massive (and
heavier) than a chair made of analogous Earthly wood. Rocks,
water, flesh, bone, steel - all matter is denser and thus
Besides all of the anomalies described above, Asgard is
connected in some as yet unknown way with at least two other
dimensional planes, one of which is that of the Earth (whom
the Asgardians call Midgard, a word meaning "Middle
Realm"). The Asgardians refer to all of the major known
inhabited realms of their cosmology as the "Nine Worlds."
Only four of the Nine Worlds are located on the main Asgardian
landmass: Asgard, home of the Gods, Vanahelm, home of the
Asgardians' sister race, the Vanir, Nidavellir, home of
the Dwarves, and Alfheim, home
of the Light Elves.
The remainder of the Nine Worlds are on separated landmass
isolated from one another by interdimensional space. Midgard,
our Earth, does not appear to be physically affected by
the motions of any of the other physical bodies in the Asgardian
cosmology, although Earth's axis (the imaginary pole around
which it rotates) is in alignment with one of the roots
of Yggdrasil, the cosmic ash tree that stands in Asgard.
Jotunheim, the world of the
giants, is a flat ring-shaped realm with high mountains
along its inner edge. It is apparently on its own separate
dimension plain, discrete from Asgard's and Earths, home
of the Dark Elves, is another asteroid-like land-mass, smaller
than Asgard. There are numerous nexus-portals between the
mountains of Jotunheim and Svartalfheim and the mountains
of Asgard permitting easy passage by denizens of each realm.
These passageways make Jotunheim and Svartalfheim seem like
"underworlds" of the Asgardian continent itself.
The eighth of the Nine Worlds is Hel, realm of the dead,
and its sister realm, Niffleheim. In the Asgardian scheme
of afterlife, the heroes and honored dead go to Valhalla,
a special region of Asgard, the common dead go to Hel, and
the dishonored dead (murderers and other evildoers) go to
Nefflehelm, and Valhalla possess the necessary physical
conditions to permit the astral form of the deceased to
exist there for indefinite periods of time. At one time,
Hela, goddess of the dead, usurped the rule of Valhalla,
despite the fact it was on a different dimensional plane
than Hel. Odin has since reclaimed
the land. The ninth of the Nine Worlds is Muspelheim, land
of the fiery demons. Until his recent disappearance, the
primordial demon Surter ruled Muspelheim. Muspelheim is
on its own dimension plane, separate from from all the other
Nine Worlds. In the Asgardians' account of the origin of
their cosmology, Muspelheim, the land of fire, and Nifleheim,
the land of ice, were said to predate recorded time, separated
from one another by Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void.
Asgard is honeycombed with nexus-portals to the various
extradimensional realms or the Nine Worlds, making the worlds
(with the exception of Earth) sometimes seem like they are
on a contiguous plain. (Indeed, early cartographers of Asgard
mapped it this way.) The only permanent portal to Earth,
Bifrost , the Rainbow Bridge, has recently been shattered,
severing Asgard's connection with Earth and making passage
between realms difficult. There is a special passageway
from Asgard to the extradimensional realm of Olympus,
home of the Greek gods. Since Olympus is not part of the
Asgardian cosmology, this nexus-portal is believed to be
an artificial rather than natural phenomenon. Another unique
feature of Asgard is the Cave of Time, an apparently natural
phenomenon through which passage to other time eras is possible.
It is possible that somewhere in Asgard's outlaying Sea
of Space there are floating nexus-portals to Earth's space.
Beings of the Earthly dimension have in certain instances
been able to travel from Earthly to Asgardian space. There
may indeed be an edge to Asgard's Sea of Space, perhaps
at the perimeter of the "Dome of the Sky" extending
from the outer edge of ringed Jotunhelm. At the edge of
the Sea there would exist "dimensional borderlands"
which serves as transitional areas between discrete dimensions.
Asgard and its sister realms are populated by six distinct
humanoid races, described under Asgardians. Besides these,
there are several singular cratures who exist upon various
of the Nine Worlds. The first is the Midgard Serpent Jormungand,
an immense snake-like dragon whose bodyencircles the inner
edge of the mountains of Jotunheim closest to Midgard. The
Midgard Serpent lies at the very edge of the dimensional
boundry between Jotunheim and Midgard, and prevents passage
between dimensions. The second is the winged dragon Nidhogg,
who lives in Niffleheim and gnaws at one of the roos Yggdrasil.
The third is the giant wolf-god Fenris, who is responcible
for the war-god Tyr's loss of a hand. Fenris is imprisoned
in the disant land of Varinheim. The fourth creature is
the primordial ice giant Ymir.
First Appearance: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #85