Marvel Makes Thor the King of the Dead

Thor has long been the god of thunder and the prince of Asgard, but he briefly took on a new title as the king of Hel and the lord of the dead.

SPOILERS for Thor #4 by Jason Aaron and Mike del Mundo follow.

Thor and Loki traveled together to Hel, the realm of the dead. The realm has become the frontline of the war against Sindr, the daughter of Surtur and ruler of Muspelheim. Sindr has aligned her realm with Malekith the Accursed, the dark elf who has plunged nearly all 10 realms of the World Tree into the War of the Realms.

Once they arrived, Thor and Loki were reunited with their brother Balder the Brave, the ruler of Niffleheim and regent of Hel. Balder has been leading the dead in their battle against Sindr. With him is his lover, Karnilla of the Norns, as well as Skurge the Executioner.

The heroes waylaid a shipment headed toward the opposing forces' encampment to take what they believed to be a superweapon. What they actually found was Loki's children — Hela, the deposed former ruler of Hel, and her brother, Fenris Wolf.

Hela wants her throne back and attacked the Asgardians. Loki managed to halt the fighting and came up with a plan to keep the peace. He convinces Hela and Balder that Hel needs to be united if it has any of surviving Sindr's assault. He then suggests that Hela and Balder should marry and co-rule over the realm.

Hela and Balder reluctantly agreed to go through with Loki's plan. Though Karnilla was not happy about the arrangement, she pressed Balder to go through with it for the good of Hel. But the wedding was interrupted by multiple wedding crashers, including Thanos and Sindr with her army.

A battle broke out and Sindr knocked the crown of Hel off of Balder's head. Luckily, Thor was there to pick it up. Putting it on his own head, the enchanted crown made Thor the King of Hel and wielder of the Deathstorm.

Thor King of Hel
(Photo: Mike del Mundo, Jason Aaron, Marvel Entertainment)

Thor's reign as king of Hel did not last long. He used the new power to defeat Sindr and halt her forces, but Hela was then quick to take back her crown. Now she and Karnilla are reigning as joint queens of Hel while Thor, Loki, and Balder have returned to the realm of the living.

What do you think of Thor's short reign as King of Hel? Let us know in the comments!

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Thor #4 is on sale now.