Asgard seemed like a pretty nice place. Shining towers, cool rainbow bridge, beautiful people chilling out on divans – if Heimdall hadn’t been so protective, it could have made a nice holiday destination in the MCU. Oh well, it’s gone now thanks to Surtur being released and Thanos apparently killing most of the fleeing Asgardians.
Still, we’ll always have the memories. But those memories could have looked quite different if Marvel Studios had used this design for the original Thor by concept artist Charlie Wen. The thinking behind what you see below is that Asgard would reflect the mind of whoever sat on the throne. So, this layout reflects the ordered, stable and regal interior of Odin’s mind, with his throne being situated at the very centre of the city.
The design also recalls Norse symbols and Asgardian costumes, with the loops, whorls and knots echoing designs found in genuine archaeological artefacts – albeit with a science fantasy twist. Presumably, this layout would shift and morph when someone with a more twisted mind like Loki was King of Asgard.
That’s all pretty decent thinking, but the reality of this design looks a bit blandly futuristic to me – sort of a cross between Elysium and a modern airport. Plus, I just love the idea of Asgard having an edge to it that you can plunge off, something neatly exploited in various action sequences across the Thor films. It’s overtly fantastical elements like this that separate the goings on in Asgard from the more familiar Earth-based settings.
I’m always a sucker for unused concepts like this even if I don’t like them, and it’s fun to imagine how the Thor movies and the MCU at large might have developed in different ways if they’d chosen to use what’s here. Charlie Wen seems to be on a bit of a posting kick on Instagram right now, too, and is releasing all kinds of neat concept art and designs, so we’ll be sure to bring you anything particularly interesting as soon as he drops more.