Unsung

Big helmet, big hero.
SPOILERS for Infinity War.

There is an argument to be made about the quality of the MCU films or the decisions that people make within them. For example, Thanos could have chosen to snap his fingers to increase universal resources but then you wouldn't have had a movie. I also still have a strong belief that Tony Stark is the true bad guy of the MCU. Maybe less so now but Stark appears to still be a fount of bad calls. This is definitely a point I can choose to agree to disagree on to save some friendships though.

What I think can be generally agreed on is that most of the films in this universe are about men with bad fathers growing up while more mature women stand by them in support roles. It varies by film and degree but mostly holds true, with Stark, Thor and Quill being prime examples of man-children and perhaps Steve Rogers and T'Challa being a bit more adult. There is also a thing where the heroes have a black or POC best friend to get them back on course, save their butt or support them even with opposition from others. You have Stark with Rhodey, Steve with Sam, Peter with Ned, Strange with Mordo and then Wong and Star-Lord with Gamora, who I know is green but is a black lady underneath so she also fulfills the mature women role as well. And a green lady is definitely a Person Of Color.

And who is on the top of this POC BFF list? Heimdall, Thor Odinson's best buddy and the true hero of the MCU.

Hear me out. Heimdall is the real deal hero of this whole universe and if he isn't, then he is definitely near the front of the pack in the hero race. Let's look back at his heroic moments.

Heimdall maintained the Bifrost Bridge which connected the Nine Realms. In his role as the gatekeeper to Asgard, he had the ability to see nearly all the souls in existence from his observatory post. He kept the realm of Asgard protected and his first failure and one of the first movements to Infinity War came when Loki figured out a secret way out of Asgard that allowed Frost Giants in. He was upset about this and it was the only reason he let Thor and his warriors pass into Jotunheim. Even then he told Thor he would lock him out if a threat to Asgard presented itself, friend or not. He eventually called Thor back under Odin's order and thus begin the plot of the first Thor film. Heimdall was the god who discovered Loki's treachery and allowed Sif and the Warriors Three to travel to Earth to save Thor, and probably the planet, from The Destroyer. He also was the one that struck down the Frost Giants attacking Asgard and used his sword to bring back Thor and company to stop Loki's machinations.

Ice, ice, baby...
Heimdall was also the impetus behind the Bifrost reconstruction. He saw the Nine Realms falling into chaos and alerted Thor and Odin of the issue. Thor was sent to Earth to get Loki and fight with the Avengers. He returned and gave the Tesseract to Heimdall to begin to rebuild the Bifrost, which would help with the defense of the Nine Realms. 

With the Bifrost rebuilt, Heimdall could return to his observatory. Here he realized that he could no longer see Jane Foster prompting him to send Thor to Earth. Thor finds Jane who is now infected with the Aether aka the Reality Stone which awakens the Dark Elves. Heimdall teleports Jane and Thor back to Asgard to remove the Aether. If Heimdall didn't do any of this, then the Dark Elves would have begun an age of darkness in the universe and more than likely destroyed Earth. Hero moves.

With the Aether back on Asgard, Heimdall is back at his post. He is wary of a prisoner that the Asgardians have returned who is revealed to be the disguised Algrim aka the last of the Kursed Dark Elves. Heimdall also sees an invisible ship entering Asgard air space and takes it down single-handed. He then uses his sword to activate Asgard's shield and destroys more ships. Alas, he was too late to stop Malekith and Kurse and Queen Frigga dies. With an invisible enemy and Odin ordering the Bifrost to be closed, Heimdall gives up his post and shares some drinks with a grieving Thor.

People, let me tell you bout my best friend...
Thor asks Heimdall for his help with getting Jane out of Asgard. Heimdall is a man of honor and doesn't want to commit treason but he realizes that Odin isn't thinking straight in his time of mourning and the Dark Elves will keep returning to attack Asgard with Jane and the Aether there. He helps out Thor like a true friend does, admits his treason to Odin as a distraction and ultimately helps Thor with keeping the Aether/Reality Stone away from a truly bad guy, at least for a couple of years.

Heimdall appears in a vision to Thor which leads to the creation of Vision and propels Thor's return to the other Realms to quell chaos and search for more knowledge of the Infinity Stones. Heimdall eventually assumes his role as gatekeeper again and saves the Inhumans by sending Sif to deal with a Kree that wanted to eradicate them. This doesn't last long before Odin, who was actually Loki, removes him from his post and he goes into exile.
What's a god(dess) to a non-believer?

While in exile, Hela returns and Heimdall steals his sword which is the key to operating the Bifrost, essentially keeping Hela contained on Asgard. He also rescued refugees escaping Hela's wrath and used his vision to help Thor escape Sakaar so he could save the Asgardians if not Asgard.

Heimdall begins to attempt to help the remaining Asgardians escape but was soon attacked by Hela's undead Berserkers and eventually Fenris. He held off the attack until Thor and his Sakaaran forces arrived. They eventually loaded the surviving Asgardians onto an escape ship and left their realm and Hela (hopefully) to be destroyed by Surtur, completing Ragnarok. Once again, Heimdall is clutch. The Asgardians had suffered the lost of a home but survived thanks to the brave Heimdall.

Then, Thanos arrives. 

Thanos slaughters half of the Asgardian and is preparing to destroy Thor and the Hulk when an injured Heimdall comes in and saves the day again. Using the dark energy/magic that Odin used when the Bifrost was down, Heimdall is able to teleport Hulk to Earth. He is killed for this but his actions gave both the Earth and the universe a chance to defend itself from the arrival of Thanos. If Heimdall hadn't done this, then the Black Order would have just arrived to a confused and easily defeated Avengers team and Dr. Strange's one out of 14,000,605 possible future scenario wouldn't have been seen to allow for some sort of victory in the forthcoming Avengers 4. Thor also may not have had the final break to push him to make Stormbreaker to hurt and possibly kill Thanos in the future without the sacrifice of his noble best friend.

This guy.

Heimdall's actions and decisions saves us all and we should appreciate this unsung hero in the MCU.

Sean Fields is an aspiring writer and has been in the education field for more than a decade. He works mostly with teenagers nowadays which both keeps him well informed on pop culture and makes his hair turn grayer daily. He has a few blogs but is currently focused on this one and this other one. You can also find him on TumblrTwitter and Instagram, if you want to be entertained or infuriated.




Unsung Unsung Reviewed by Sean Fields on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Rating: 5
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