#1 Posted by trickarrow (15 posts) - - Show Bio

I understand ancient primitive people thought of Odin, Thor and other Asgardians as gods because of their powers... but why do Odin and others call themselves gods?

I think of it as Superman's story. If I traveled to another planet and had powers because of their sun or whatever and they started calling me a god and worshiping me I know I'm not a god, but I just start calling myself and my children gods.

#2 Edited by JonSmith (3980 posts) - - Show Bio

We don't know that we made the word 'gods' in the Marvel universe. It's possible it's the Asgardian's and their kind (the Olympian's) word for just what they are, like we call ourselves human, with various subtypes depending on where we come from i.e., while we're all 'humans', we have different subgroups, perhaps the most relevant example, calling ourselves after our place of origin: 'Americans', etc.

However, when we first encountered them, they told us they were 'gods', and given their great power, humanity did what any race does when confronted with a being of sufficient power above them: Worshipped them, with the result being that the word 'god' means a worshiped deity in our language, while to them, it's just what they are.

We didn't have a word for it before the gods like Olympians and Asgardians (and the like) revealed themselves, and when they did, they gave us the concept.

How's that for an explanation?

#3 Posted by trickarrow (15 posts) - - Show Bio

@jonsmith: pretty good, except the term god was used before. there were older races that worshiped all sorts of lesser known gods, then there's Judaism which is older than Norse religion. And depending on what some believe older than mythological religion. Some of what I said is probably not applicable to the Marvel universe though.

#4 Posted by JonSmith (3980 posts) - - Show Bio

pretty good, except the term god was used before. there were older races that worshiped all sorts of lesser known gods, then there's Judaism which is older than Norse religion. And depending on what some believe older than mythological religion. Some of what I said is probably not applicable to the Marvel universe though.

I'm not saying the Asgardian's themselves necessarily started it, but a god, the first on Earth did, introduced the concept, etc. And as other gods' revealed themselves, they spread the concept around.

#5 Posted by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

They have the qualifications: immortal by birth, not mutation or accident, able to create through will, vast powers and manipulation of the elements, life, death, time, etc, and most importantly: they've been worshiped and glorified for thousands of years. And that's just Thor.

#6 Edited by trickarrow (15 posts) - - Show Bio
#7 Posted by Yung ANcient One (4580 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with Rise and JonSmith

( + )

#8 Posted by seekquaze (606 posts) - - Show Bio

@trickarrow: In Marvel, there is a classification of beings called gods. You know how Skrulls are called part reptile because they share features with reptiles despite being from another planet. Well, it is a similar case here. Gods generally recognize gods from other planets. The Eternals, who boast almost identical power sets to gods at least on the outside and have been mistaken as gods, have always drawn a clear line between gods and themselves, products of magic compared to those of science respectively. Alien races like the Rigillians and Skrulls have acknowledge the existence of gods and treated it as a class of being. Desak and Gorr have both hunted down a specific type of being separate from other superpowere beings. In Desak's case it was a specific type of magic. So I think there is more than enough evidence to say with certainty that gods are a specific type of being. Cases where one does not recognize claims of godhood usually are more from the religious connotations of the word.

As for why the gods call themselves gods that is trickier. It is possible they were born knowing they were gods. A sort of innate knowledge. Another possibility is they came to that conclusion themselves. Generally, the gods are the most powerful beings in a belief system. If each set of gods started out as the most powerful being on their planet and later either created mortals or saw the rise of mortals weaker than them then they would/could come to the conclusion that they are gods since they shape the universe. "God" may be the translation into modern english for whatever the Asgardian word for themselves is. They recognize other gods as beings who share similar characteristics.

A sort of problem with Marvel is thanks to hundreds of writers you never get a universal consensus on anything. Many writers do treat the gods as only races of superpowered beings. Occasionally you get a writer who implies something different about them from other superpowered beings. These traits are generally shared by all gods thus making gods a specific type of being. Another problem over the years has been the more mortals interact with gods the less godly gods have to become. Captain America and Hank Pym have to be useful. So the vast powers of the gods are often watered down or forgotten.

#9 Edited by joshmightbe (24434 posts) - - Show Bio

Because they can

#10 Posted by OmegaRed86 (505 posts) - - Show Bio

I knew someone smarter than me could explain it. Thank you all.

#11 Posted by CaptnMcDeadpool (913 posts) - - Show Bio

I understand ancient primitive people thought of Odin, Thor and other Asgardians as gods because of their powers... but why do Odin and others call themselves gods?

I think of it as Superman's story. If I traveled to another planet and had powers because of their sun or whatever and they started calling me a god and worshiping me I know I'm not a god, but I just start calling myself and my children gods.

Well, and that's the thing. Superman came from Krypton and later found out he was of Kryptonian heritage, and not actually born on earth. Odin and Thor had been in existence for thousands of years already by the time man even showed up on the scene. As well, they had an understanding of the existence of "elder gods", being even superior to them. They also, through interaction with mortals, understood their inherent superiority over men. As well, they assumed all the traits common to those that are superior in some way shape or form form what would otherwise be their contemporaries, including arrogance. Superman was, despite his heritage, was raised with old fashioned, mid west values and is decidedly more humble.

#12 Posted by HaveAtThee (492 posts) - - Show Bio

Odin and Thor basically have most any traits you can think of when thinking of a "god," but not a "God" as in a supreme all-powerful and all-knowing entity. They both have lived and will go on to live for many millenia, even though they can technically be killed by other powerful beings. I think being a god in the Marvel universe consists of (at one time or another) possessing supernatural magic, incredible longevity and a flock of worshipers. Like Thor being the god of thunder although thanks to his Aesir lineage (as well as Mjolnir) he also has several cosmic powers at his disposal. His god of thunder status is thanks to his being born from the Elder Goddess Gaea, and thus he has a physical/spiritual connection to the Earth and its elements.

#13 Edited by Selinaky (677 posts) - - Show Bio

I also think there's an innate 'mystic' element that's only found in gods. For example (Possible Thor: God of Thunder spoiler) Gorr the God Butcher talks about god blood, so there must be some distinction between just a powerful being and a god?

#14 Posted by seekquaze (606 posts) - - Show Bio

@selinaky said:

I also think there's an innate 'mystic' element that's only found in gods. For example (Possible Thor: God of Thunder spoiler) Gorr the God Butcher talks about god blood, so there must be some distinction between just a powerful being and a god?

This would be supported by Desak seeking out specifically gods and ignoring other superpowered beings. And it would help explain how gods or cosmic beings can recognize other gods.

#15 Posted by THORSON (2300 posts) - - Show Bio

because they are

#16 Posted by PowerHerc (80657 posts) - - Show Bio

They have the qualifications: immortal by birth, not mutation or accident, able to create through will, vast powers and manipulation of the elements, life, death, time, etc, and most importantly: they've been worshiped and glorified for thousands of years. And that's just Thor.

Nice explanation. Bravo!

#17 Posted by Doctorholmes241 (71 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe they're just arrogant

#18 Posted by Darthnowell (50 posts) - - Show Bio

Tell me the definition of a god (not God) then tell me they're not gods. Seriously, gods vary so much from myth to myth that there might be several definitions.

#19 Edited by MaccyD (3384 posts) - - Show Bio

In the marvel universe gods are a type of cosmic being. Asgardians are only one variation of it. Thor is instinctively able to identify another god and most known planets have been safeguarded at least once by a god. Read Thor: God of Thunder, it show the reason why gods are different from normal aliens.

#20 Edited by w0nd (2697 posts) - - Show Bio

Meh a young thor without his hammer was able to make it rain fire...that's good enough for me