And today we’re going to speak about the last character (at least, from the comics) appearing in Thor: The Dark World, even if this one is quite an hard one to spot. Among the Asgardian soldiers who fight against the Dark Elves when they attack Asgard, there’s one who seems to be somehow in charge of the troops, the same one that reports to Odin that Thor has left the kingdom with Loki and Jane Foster: the actor is Clive Russell, the character is none other than Tyr. In the movie, he appears just as a military commander, but in the Norse mythology he was the God of War, and also in the comics he’s one of Odin’s sons. We know that most of the scenes featuring Russell have been cut from the final release, so maybe it was intended to hint, at least, at Tyr’s kinship with the protagonist, but that remains to be seen in the Blu-Ray edition. In the meanwhile, let’s see who Tyr Odinson is in the comics.
A valiant prince of Asgard, Tyr, the God of War and of Heroic Glory, was the son of Odin and Frigga, brother to Balder the God of Light and Hermod the God of Speed. Faithful to his nature, Tyr grew up with quite a lust for battle, and soon became Asgard’s fiercest and most powerful protector. His most famous and celebrated deed from the old times was also the reason he was recognized as one of the bravest warriors in the realm: the gods were afraid of Fenris, the mystic wolf, and tried more than once to capture him and shackle him, but the beast was far too strong, able to break any chain they came up with. The Asgardians asked the Dwarves to build a magical tier, Gleipnir, built with the roots of a mountain and the beard of a woman, apparently unseful, but magically unbreakable. A delegation of the gods went to the wolf, and challenged him to break the magical rope, as a bet; Fenris, however, was quite cunning, and smelled the trap, recognizing fear in the gods’ eyes. As a warranty, he said he would have accepted their challenge only if one of them accepted his own: to put a hand into his jaws during the “game”. Tyr was the only one corageous enough to accept the challenge, and put his left hand into the monster’s mouth. The Asgardian tied the beast, and as soon as he realized he had been tricked and trapped for good, Fenris bit off the god’s hand, maiming him for life. From that day, Tyr wore a metal plate on his left arm, a sign of pride for his bravery and a reminder for his peers, and he also gained the nickname of Leaving of the Wolf, something he slowly came to apreciate, as long as it reminded everybody of what he had sacrificed for the sake of Asgard.
His role as Asgard’s champion, however, wasn’t meant to last long: Odin conceived a new son with Gaea, one that was his favorite even before being born. When his step-brother was born, Tyr knew his years of glory were at an end. While Thor’s power and glory raised, Tyr’s ones diminished, and, at last, the God of Thunder “stole” from him also the role of protector of Asgard. Seeing all the honor Thor was tributed with, Tyr grew jealous and resentful, until he decided to abandon Asgard and to separate himself from the other gods. From that moment, he came back only in case of need, when his prowess in battle was needed, and he became for Asgardians the harbinger of war, since he only appeared when a serious threat was approaching. Odin tried to call him back, but Tyr rebelled against his father, more than once, to the point that his insolence almost costed him exile; it was Thor, however, to convince the Alfather to have mercy on his brave but proud son, and Tyr was left alone. Despite this, Tyr came back to feel resentment towards his step-brother, especially when Lady Sif, the woman he had always loved, started being interested in Thor. Tyr challenged the God of Thunder using the powerful Mace of Myth War, but was defeated, and scolded by Odin himself. Loki used this anger to trick Tyr into attacking Asgard, putting him to the head of an army composed by Frost Giants, Fire Giants and even the powerful Serpent of Midgard. Tyr battled and defeated Hogun, but was easily vanquished by Odin himself when Loki betrayed him. Tyr avoided incarceration, since his betrayal was clearly more inspired by a stupid mind than by an evil heart, and he left Asgard. He came back to battle Surtur and his Fire Giants, and then disappeared for years. He joined his peers once again when Asgard fought the alliance of Loki and Dr. Doom, and, when he came back, it seemed that his past fights with Thor had been forgotten, leaving space only to a correct and entertained rivalry.
Tyr Odinson is a proud and stubborn warrior, a fighter whose loyalty is (almost) unbendable and whose arrogance is often his only weakness. Being the God of War, he’s an extremely proficient hand-to-hand and armed combatant, trained in the use of any weapon (before he lost his left hand, he was Asgard’s best archer); he is also an expert tactician, and he’s been recognized by Thor as Asgard’s best general. With all the superhuman abilities of Asgardians, Tyr is a prince who doesn’t wish to rule, knowing his character to be a threat to the throne more than a benefit, but is always ready to take the lead of the Asgardian army whenever danger approaches his kingdom.