Thorsday: All of the All-Fathers
The Asgardians are a powerful alien race in the Marvel Universe with abilities and technologies far beyond Earth’s capabilities. Sometimes their technologies are so advanced they appear to be magical. Other time, their magic is so incomprehensible and powerful that even technology cannot understand it. But whether this power is used for good or evil is entirely dependent on the ruler of the Asgardians — the All-Father.
The All-Father has control of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, which connects all realms. Only a powerful and just leader can keep the Nine Realms in balance. But who has held that legendary title? And were they a kind or cruel ruler? Let’s find out.
Cul Borson is the eldest son of Bor Burison and Giantess Bestla. He was a power-hungry, fear-mongering Asgardian, terrifying mortals on Earth. As the God of Fear, he could pull energy from fear itself, and used this to his advantage.
When his father Bor passed away, he intended to claim the throne of Asgard. He insisted that he would be a benevolent ruler, but instead, caused great fear throughout the Nine Realms. It made him more powerful than ever, but it also made his own brother turn against him and dethrone him.
During the War of the Realms, Cul ruled Asgardia as regent when his brother Odin went into Odinsleep to help aid Frigga, poisoned by Loki’s treachery. Cul was a rather incompetent leader, obsessed with unmasking Mighty Thor (Jane Foster) and causing discord. He eventually redeemed himself, sacrificing his life for a group of imprisoned Dark Elf children on Svartalfheim.
Odin Borson is Cul’s younger brother. Odin is the God of Wisdom, and ruled over all Nine Realms with careful and deliberate actions. Not all of his decisions have been benevolent, but they have been with the intent of bringing success to the Asgardian people, not just power for himself.
He believes that only the worthy should rule, which is why Thor must be worthy of wielding Mjolnir. He has been generous to many. He adopted a Frost Giant runt, raising it as his own. He (somewhat) trusted a human with the power of Mjolnir. And he has defeated many an intergalactic threat for the betterment of all Nine Realms.
He is certainly the most well-known All-Father, in no small part due to his own Odinforce. The Odinforce is connected to the World Tree and can be passed down to the next ruler of Asgard, though the transition is not always peaceful.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Odin’s adopted son Loki took the throne. He was not able to take the Odinforce, though he did send Odin to a retirement home in New York.
As ruler of Asgard, and the temporary All-Father, Loki used his magic to disguise himself as Odin so that everyone would follow him without question. The Asgardians didn’t even know that Odin was gone. In some storylines, Loki does take the Odinforce, though he is usually not able to control it. One thing remains the same: When Loki takes the throne, Ragnarok is not far off.
During Marvel’s Ultron Forever comic crossover, Ultron evolved and became the Ultimate Ultron. He created legions of drones and was even able to create AI replicants of the Avengers.
It wasn’t long before he conquered the Solar System, and with the help of Loki, Ultron was able to imprison all of the Asgardians, dethrone Odin, and take the Odinforce for himself. It would take a worthy hero and a worthy hammer to defeat him.
And that is exactly what happened when a group of time-displaced Avengers — among them, Jane Foster and Thor Odinson — overthrew this automated All-Father.
Thor has always been the heir to the Asgardian throne. Even though Odin has other children, both older and younger, Thor is the most worthy. He has become the All-Father in many timelines and stories. He is the All-Father in the MCU and in Marvel comics.
Thor uses the Odinforce in a way that even Odin himself could not have imagined, and even renames it the Thorforce. Just as he did as an Avenger, Thor fights for justice, now across all Nine Realms (Ten, if you include the Asgardian-hating Angels of Heven).
He keeps his watchful eye on Yggdrasil and fights against all who wish to bring Asgard harm.