Thor has a stranger family tree than most, and Avengers just added a cosmic new wrinkle to the Asgardian’s lineage with another iconic Marvel god.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Avengers #42 by Jason Aaron, Luca Maresca, David Curiel, VC’s Cory Petit, and Carlos Lao, on sale now.
Just about any family tree in the Marvel Universe is going to be a complicated one, though few places have such a plethora of twisting branches as the Asgardian pantheon.While Odin is famously the father of Thor, Marvel’s resident Thunder God has a more complicated lineage than it may appear at first glance.
And in Avengers #42, Thor has just been thrown another curveball regarding who his actual mother is, as the Phoenix Force revealed itself to be Thor’s birth mother To understand just how much of an impact this latest revelation could leave, we have to go back through the history of Thor’s various maternal figures.
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Freyja (or Frigga) Freyrdottir was the daughter of the leader of the Vanir, one of the two races that would eventually come together to form what are now known as the Asgardians. For years the Vanir, led by Freyja’s father Freyr, were at a near-constant state of war with the Aesir, led by Odin himself. Eventually, Odin offered a truce in the form of a marriage proposal to Freyja, and the two warring races would join together alongside their leaders. The newlywed couple had several children together, but a string of tragedies and dark prophecies kept any of them from ever finding their proper place in the Asgardian pantheon beside their parents.
Freyja was understandably frustrated and depressed after having been deprived of her own children time and time again. However, she would become a loving mother to Thor when he was brought back from one of Odin’s trysts, as well as to Loki once he was adopted. Freyja might not be Thor’s biological mother, but she has always loved him as her own since she joined the Marvel Universe in 1960’s Journey Into Mystery #92, by Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein and Joe Sinnott.
During 1980’s Thor #300 and #301 by Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio, and Keith Pollard, the God of Thunder found himself facing down an entire pantheon of Celestials on his own, the rest of the Asgardians having been seemingly killed. Even Thor himself fell to the cosmic gods for a time, only to be rescued by who he would come to believe was his birth mother, Gaea.
As an elder god of the Earth from a time before life itself existed on the planet, Gaea became an integral part in multiple diving pantheons known by many names. To Odin, she was Jord, with whom she had a son who would be returned to Asgard from Earth and raised by Freyja. Thor didn’t learn about this part of his lineage until Gaea saved him from the Celestials and informed him about how he could bring back the other Asgardians. As touching of a story as it is, it seems that it might not be the truth at all thanks to the newest revelation regarding Thor’s lineage.
Most recently, the Phoenix Force itself revealed itself to supposedly be Thor’s mother. While the Avengers have been fighting one another at the behest of the Phoenix in order for it to find a suitable host, it has also chosen to speak to Thor directly while taking the form of one of its first human hosts. Known as Firehair, the woman who would become was abandoned at birth for her bright red hair by the xenophobic tribe she had been born into. A pack of wolves rescued and raised her, and she would eventually find a group of early mutants much like herself.
When her people were slaughtered in a battle with the other tribes, she was rescued once more from the place where she had been left to die in her infancy, this time by the Phoenix. Firehair was able to overcome the cosmic force’s dark influence, instead choosing to recruit other powerful beings to her cause of protecting the weak, among them Odin himself. The two became romantic after so much time spent fighting side by side, and while Odin has been vague about the exact nature of their relationship, it looks like it culminated in a child being born. If the Phoenix is to be believed, there is a lot more about his childhood that the God of Thunder still doesn’t know, and with the state of things on Earth regarding the Phoenix’s presence, those secrets could decide the fate of the world completely.
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