Every Single Asgard From Stargate


Thor and Loki of the Asgard

Beware of SPOILERS for Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis in this article!

There is perhaps no alien race more recognizably “Stargate” than the Asgard, Earth’s allies from a distant galaxy who occasionally flex their technological muscles against the Goa’uld … when they can momentarily break away from their war with the Replicators, that is. Their place in the franchise goes all the way back to the hologram of the Viking warrior Thor early in Stargate SG-1‘s first season. Little did we know then how important they would become to the fabric of the Stargate universe.

SG-1 went on to discover that the Asgard were once part of an alliance of four advanced races, along with the Nox, the Furlings, and the Ancients. They are allies to Earth and have visited our world many times, determining that humanity indeed has “great potential.”

As much as we loved seeing Thor turn up year after year, eventually the writers introduced new Asgard characters. Some would recur, while others appeared in just a single episode. So, we thought, why not catalog them all in one place? In fact, let’s make a game of it: Before you continue reading any further, stop and see how many Asgard you can name!

What follows is a list of every single Asgard who has appeared (to date) on the Stargate franchise. (For those keeping strict count, that’s excluding the unnamed bystanders who wander through the background or radio Thor in the middle of battle in episodes such as “Small Victories,” or the unnamed Asgard who might or might not be Thor himself who peeps the D.H.D. in “Shades of Grey.”)

Ready to see (as Jack O’Neill would put it) some little grey butts? Let’s meet the Asgard!

Thor of the Asgard ("Unending")

THOR

First Appeared: “Thor’s Chariot” (Stargate SG-1)
Voiced By: Michael Shanks

The original and Supreme Commander is Thor, the first member of the Asgard to be encountered by SG-1. As commander of the warship Beliskner, Thor helped to enforce the Protected Planets Treaty with the Goa’uld by defending planets such as Cimmeria — where the local human culture worshiped Thor as a benevolent god.

It was there that SG-1 discovered a hologram of Thor — or rather the Viking deity he was posing as — in the Season One episode “Thor’s Hammer.” Only when they returned a year later, and solving a series of trials, did the real Thor reveal himself (“Thor’s Chariot”). Thor later took a shining to Jack O’Neill in particular, and helped Earth to negotiate a tenuous peace with the System Lords. Thor holds the record for Asgard appearances on the show, with more than a dozen.

Stargate’s first Asgard were fully-articulated puppets, adapted from a Roswell Grey alien puppet used for The Outer Limits (which shared a production team, and also filmed at The Bridge Studios). The creature from the 1996 episode “Beyond the Veil” was reworked to look less sinister and more benign. While a few shots of Thor are computer-animated, the puppet had a long run from Season Two all the way to his farewell in SG-1‘s final episode. Long-time fans might also know that Thor is voiced by none other than Michael “Daniel Jackson” Shanks (even during Season Six, when he left the main cast).

Freyr of the Asgard ("Revelations")

FREYR

First Appeared: “Red Sky” (Stargate SG-1)
Voiced By: Brian Jensen

The introduction of Freyr proved that not all Asgard are the same. The show’s writers created a character whose personality was very unlike Thor … and so rubbed Jack the wrong way. Freyr is a member of the Asgard High Council and comes across as more cold, hard-nosed, and unimpressed by the humans from Earth.

Freyr was worshiped as a god on the planet K’Tau, which was also a protected planet (“Red Sky”). When SG-1 accidentally messed up the planet’s sun, Freyr and the High Council refused to get involved (which would violate their treaty with the Goa’uld). He also refused help when Earth was threatened by an asteroid (“Fail Safe”). When the Asgard themselves needed help, though, Freyr turned to SG-1 — asking for their help in rescuing an Asgard scientist (“Revelations”).

Asgard High Council ("Red Sky")

THE HIGH COUNCIL

First Appeared: “Red Sky” (Stargate SG-1)

Along with Freyr himself came the rest of the High Council, the leadership of the Asgard people. There are seven seats on the Council, though they are able to confer and render decisions without every member present — as they did on two different occasions when SG-1 pleaded their case.

The first time, Colonel O’Neill sought help from the Asgard to save the planet K’Tau after its sun red-shifted. Later, when Anubis tossed an asteroid at Earth to try and make its destruction look like an accident, the High Council again declined to get involved. But the High Council’s leadership ultimately proved ineffective, as the Goa’uld broke the treaty … and the Asgard race chose extinction rather than succumbing to the gradual demise of the Asgard through their genetic degradation caused by cloning.

Loki of the Asgard ("Fragile Balance")

LOKI

Appeared: “Fragile Balance” (Stargate SG-1)
Voiced By: Peter DeLuise

While it’s not clear that Stargate’s version of Loki is actually Thor’s own brother, we’d sure like to think he is. Thor talked to him like a disappointed older sibling when the two met in the seventh-season episode “Fragile Balance.”

Ever the mischievous Asgard, Loki went rogue and defied the High Council’s orders to leave Earth alone. Loki is a scientist, determined to solve his people’s cloning problem by any means necessary. That has meant abducting and studying human subjects over many decades. And in this episode he decides to see for himself why Thor and the others find Colonel Jack O’Neill so interesting. He takes Jack and clones him, unaware that the Asgard have put protective measures to safeguard his DNA. Jack’s clone only grows to be a teenager.

Along with SG-1, Young Jack thwarts Loki’s plan by getting on board his ship and zatting him unconscious. When Thor is called in, Loki is in big trouble.

Heimdall of the Asgard ("Revelations")

HEIMDALL

Appeared: “Revelations” (Stargate SG-1)
Voiced By: Teryl Rothery

Heimdall is a brilliant Asgard scientist, with a uniquely sharp and no-nonsense personality that comes from Teryl “Dr. Fraiser” Rothery’s performance in the Season Five finale, “Revelations.” Heimdall has been conducting a top-secret research project in a laboratory beneath the surface of a nondescript planet in the Milky Way, in order to keep this important work far, far away from the Replicators. (More on that later …)

The planet is discovered by Anubis, who sends in Osiris on a ship with powerful shields and weapons — strong enough to take Thor by surprise and destroy his ship. Heimdall and his research are in need of rescue, and so the Asgard call in SG-1 for help. It’s a fantastic episode that pits the Goa’uld against the Asgard (and actually gives them the upper hand for a change) … but unfortunately it is Heimdall’s one and only appearance.

Sam and Kvasir ("Ripple Effect")

KVASIR

First Appeared: “Ripple Effect” (Stargate SG-1)
Voiced By: Trevor Devall

A new Asgard introduced by the writers late in the show’s run was Kvasir, the Asgard who first turns up at Stargate Command in the Season Nine multiverse episode “Ripple Effect.” He is a scientist with an expertise in time-dilation technology, sent to help when Earth encounters a problem with SG-1 teams from dozens of universes showing up.

Kvasir is highly logical, and a little socially awkward. He’s efficient at what he does, first helping Lt. Colonel Carter to engineer a device they hope will seal the space-time rupture. While the first effort doesn’t go to plan Kvasir ups the ante by loaning Earth an Asgard weapon, reversing the rupture and allowing the other versions of SG-1 to be sent back to their own realities.

Kvasir returned with his technical know-how in the season finale and the tenth season premiere, helping to determine the nature of Merlin’s anti-Ori weapon — then working on board the Odyssey to repair damaged systems following the disastrous battle at the Supergate. (Kvasir also appears to be the Asgard officiating Sam and Jack’s wedding in “200.”)

Aegir of the Asgard ("New Order, Part 1")

AEGIR

Appeared: “New Order, Part 1” (Stargate SG-1)
Voiced By: (Uncredited)

Aegir makes just one brief appearance, in the opening hour of SG-1‘s eighth season. The Asgard have hatched a new plan to eliminate the Replicators using a black hole, and Thor arrives just in time to scoop up Teal’c and Carter before their cargo ship is sucked in. But the Replicators escape, and under the direction of an enraged Fifth they create a ship and set a course for the Asgard homeworld. Thor pursues the enemy, but he is flying a simple science vessel.

Waiting in defense of the planet Orilla is Aegir, who is the commander of the warship Valhalla. He transmits a message informing Thor that the defense force is ready, and as soon as the Replicator ship drops out of hyperspace the Valhalla and its sister ships open fire — destroying the enemy ship, but causing millions of Replicator blocks to rain down on the planet below!

Penegal of the Asgard ("New Order, Part 2")

PENEGAL

Appeared: “New Order, Part 2” (Stargate SG-1)
Voiced By: (Uncredited)

Penegal is another Asgard leader who is active during the Replicator invasion of Orilla, the new Asgard homeworld, as the story continues to play out in Part 2. He is the one who informs Thor that the Replicators survived the assault and have rained down on the planet’s surface, with the blocks and nanites reorganizing themselves and infesting vital Asgard systems — threatening to annihilate their fragile civilization.

The neck piece that Penegal wears in his transmissions suggests that he is probably a sitting member of the Asgard High Council.

Asgard colonists in the Ida Galaxy ("The Fifth Race")

IDA GALAXY COLONISTS

Appeared: “The Fifth Race” (Stargate SG-1)
Voiced By: (Uncredited)

One of Earth’s earliest contacts with the Asgard came after Jack accidentally took a download of the Ancient database into his brain, giving him access to their knowledge, technology, and gate addresses … but threatening his life (“The Fifth Race”). At first speaking a few Ancient words here and there, Jack eventually loses the ability to communicate at all. But he constructs a unique power device for the Stargate, using it to dial an 8-symbol address that takes him to another galaxy.

On the other side Jack finds a remote colony of Asgard, once allies of the Ancients, who are able to remove the database and save him. What follows is perhaps the most important exchange in all of Stargate, as the Asgard tell him about the old alliance and suggest that humanity is already on its way to becoming “the fifth race” — worthy of standing on equal footing with the Asgard and other caretakers of galactic peace.

The characters here aren’t named, but they do show us that the Asgard live in more than just their home galaxy. They name their planet as “Othalla,” in the galaxy of Ida; later the Asgard’s home galaxy itself is identified as Othalla.

Hermiod of the Asgard ("The Siege, Part 3")

HERMIOD

First Appeared: “The Siege, Part 3” (Stargate Atlantis)
Voiced By: Trevor Devall

Actor Trevor Devall voiced Kvasir on Stargate SG-1, but his first Asgard was actually on Stargate Atlantis. Hermiod is a member of the Daedalus crew, bringing his genius and technological expertise to the engine room on Earth’s first deep-space carrier (under the command of Mitch Pileggi’s Colonel Caldwell). Hermiod made his debut in the spin-off’s second season premiere, along with the ship itself … grumbling all along the way while Asgard beaming technology was being used as an offensive weapon, beaming nuclear devices onto Wraith hive ships.

If ever there was a Stargate character you would describe as “no-nonsense,” that’s Hermiod. This is the Asgard who mutters under his breath in his own language because he can’t believe the crap he has to put up with. He’s on the ship to safeguard the Asgard’s technology and make sure the humans are using it properly. But the Daedalus frequently finds itself in the middle of a shoot-out with the Wraith or the Replicators, and so of course Hermiod instantly proved himself to be invaluable … even if he is surly.

Heimdall shows Carter the Asgard ancestor ("Revelations")

ANCIENT ALIEN

Appeared: “Revelations” (Stargate SG-1)

Heimdall’s appearance in the Season Five finale also introduced us to his science project: the preserved body of an Asgard from much earlier in their evolution, perhaps millennia before the Asgard’s cloning program passed the point of no return. This was a crew member from an Asgard ship that was lost 30,000 years ago, set adrift and only recently rediscovered. Heimdall hoped that the ancient Asgard might hold the key to solving their genetic degradation.

This Asgard is much taller and more human-like in appearance, but with a very tall cranium. He originated with a pitch by producers Peter DeLuise and Michael Greenburg, who had much bigger plans for this life form. Starting in Season Four they pitched the character of Odin as a sort of Asgard-human hybrid, the result of a cloning experiment using human DNA. This idea was eventually scrapped in favor of Heimdall’s research into a newly discovered Asgard ancestor. (Other elements from the pitch, including an Asgard experimenting on humans, became the seventh-season episode “Fragile Balance.”)

Colson's "blank slate" Asgard clone ("Covenant")

A BLANK SLATE

Appeared: “Covenant” (Stargate SG-1)

This frail-looking fella might not count as a character in his own right, as he seems to have been a “blank slate” cloned body that was created by Alec Colson’s company. Colson came to suspect the existence of extraterrestrial life and the workings of the Stargate program, and eventually showed his Asgard to the media — part of an effort to force the government to tell the truth to the public.

While Asgard DNA is programmed to grow a clone in just a few months, these clones are said to be essentially an empty shell — having basic autonomic responses but lacking a conscious mind, ready for an existing Asgard consciousness to be transferred into them. It’s a minor miracle that Colson’s people could teach it to walk. The Asgard eventually took possession of the clone, who was to become host to an Asgard mind in need of a new body.

Ra's true form is revealed ("Stargate" the Movie)

BUT WHERE’S RA?

Since the original Stargate feature film hit theaters in 1994 fans have marveled at the villain’s final form, only revealed in the moments before his death at the hands of a naquadah-augmented bomb. Production designers decided he should look like a Roswell Grey, an alien life form that viewers would find instantly recognizable (… even if it didn’t make a ton of sense that an entity that large was somehow inside Ra’s human body, a host he had taken from Earth 10,000 years ago).

When the television show revealed years later that the Asgard also look like Roswell Greys, a theory was born: Could Ra have actually been a rogue Asgard?!

It’s a fun idea, but one that doesn’t make much sense within the canon of the show’s mythology. It wouldn’t be the first thing that the TV show changed from the movie (including the idea that Ra was the last of a dying race). Asgard can’t fit inside a human and meat puppet them around the galaxy, so that final shot of Ra in his true form has to be retconned away. Ra wasn’t an Asgard. He was just a really, really ugly Goa’uld.

The rogue Asgard ("The Lost Tribe")

THE ‘VANIR’

First Appeared: “First Contact” (Stargate Atlantis)
Voiced By: (Uncredited)

The final episode of Stargate SG-1 was momentous for a lot of reasons, beginning with the end of the Asgard civilization. After millennia of research and experimentation they were unable to solve their genetic degradation problem, and committed mass suicide. It was the end of an era for Stargate, and fans lamented the end of the Asgard. But the writers weren’t done with them just yet.

Atlantis reached its fifth season two years later, and Daniel Jackson’s visit to the city of the Ancients led to a shocking revelation: a breakaway group of Asgard have been living in secret in the Pegasus Galaxy for 10,000 years (“The Lost Tribe”). Originally looking for a place to research the cloning problem away from the watchful eye of the High Council (and its medical ethics), these Asgard found themselves stranded and forced to hide out on a hostile planet after the Wraith destroyed their intergalactic ships. Now they have reemerged, using their advanced technology (including super-powered combat suits that conceal their identity) to attack Atlantis and take whatever steps they deem justified to achieve their goals.

Nicknamed “the Vanir” by fans (after a group of gods in Norse mythology), the rogue Asgard provided a huge well of potential stories for Stargate’s future. Their leader went unnamed, but he revealed himself to Daniel — chiding him for his holier-than-thou attitude, and basically insinuating that the rest of the Asgard got what they deserved. These Asgard were antagonistic and ruthless, not necessarily targeting Atlantis (like the Wraith and the Replicators had) but perfectly willing step on our heroes if it served their purpose.


Which Asgard is your favorite … other than Thor, obviously? Where would you have liked to see their story go? Let us know in the comments!





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