Okay, now that you’ve finally watched Avengers: Infinity War, how are you holding up? After watching a big epic, traumatic, and at times exhausting film like Infinity War, one begins decompress and start to think about certain scenes, like that post-credit scene for example, and we begin to analyze each character’s role. Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage was an interesting addition to the MCU, right? But who was he playing, exactly? In this explainer, we’re going to breakdown who his secret character was, the background into his role in the comics is and what kind of role he could potentially play in the future.
**SPOILER WARNING: There are major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War below**
When Dinklage was cast, there were guesses about who he’d play, as people wondered whether or not they’d use Dinklage’s stature for his character. Guesses ranged from Adam Warlock’s sideman Pip the Troll to a voice on a CG-character. If you’ve seen Avengers: Infinity War by now, then you know Dinklage played Eitri, the King of the Dwarves of Nidavellir.
Who is Eitri?
Eitri is a cosmic blacksmith, responsible for creating the most powerful weapons in the universe. Like all characters that are bound to Thor and Odin, Eitri’s origins are in Norse mythology, and thus most of his legendary stories involve wielding weapons for the Nine Realms. He has lived well over 1,000 years and is skilled in the manipulation of Uru metal, one of the unique metal ores in the Marvel Universe. It looks like stone but has metallic qualities. Not only can it store energy but also magic, as it can withstand most forms of damage. In the comics, the Dwarves of Nidavellir were not giants, but perhaps in a twist of irony, decided to make Dinklage’s Eitri a giant.
What has Eitri created?
Over the many years, Uru has been used for many applications that MCU viewers will recognize including Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, Heimdall’s sword, The Destroyer, Odin’s spear Gungnir and his Odinsword. More esoteric Marvel Comics applications of Uru include Thor’s battle axe Jarnbjorn, Uroc the Unstoppable’s body and the enchanted mace, and Thunderstrike. Which brings us to Stormbreaker.
What is Stormbreaker?
In the comics, Stormbreaker is hammer used by Beta Ray Bill, who first appeared in Thor #337 back in 1983, as a part of Walter Simonson’s legendary run. Thor and Beta Ray Bill battled at Skartheim where Thor was defeated. Beta Ray Bill did not feel like it was right to take Mjolnir away from Thor even though he earned it, so Odin stepped in and had Eitri and the Dwarves of Nidavellir create Stormbreaker.
As far as what all can Stormbreaker can do? It carries the enchantment of worthiness and recall. It could transform its holder into a disguise, and can be used to fly and teleport. It’s obviously a blunt force melee weapon and can be thrown but it can blast energy and through Thor, lightning. It can also be used to detect energy, especially against the dark, psychic nature.
For the MCU, Stormbreaker is tweaked a bit as it is not just a hammer, but a hammer-axe combo, so it could be a blend of Thor’s indestructible battle axe Jarnbjorn and Beta Ray Bill’s Stormbreaker with powers to control the Bifrost Bridge, which is key after the demise of Heimdall.
So what role does Eitri play in the MCU?
As a reminder, the Guardians of the Galaxy pick up the distress call by the ship holding the Asgardian refugees when they were attacked by Thanos’ ship, the Sanctuary 2 as forewarned in the end credits of Thor: Ragnarok. In Infinity War’s opening scene, we see what happens minutes after, with Thanos making quick work of Thor (who was without Mjolnir) the Hulk and others. With the Guardians arriving too late to help, they pull Thor in and get up to speed on what the situation is when Thor remembers Nidavellir, where Mjolnir was originally forged and he believed another weapon could be crafted to combat Thanos and hopefully defeat him.
When Thor along with Rocket Raccoon and Groot arrive at Nidavellir, they are greeted by Eitri who is traumatized after his encounter with Thanos who threatened to extinguish the Dwarves of Nidavellir unless Eitri made him a gauntlet that could harness the collective power of the Infinity Stones. Even after he made it for Thanos, the Mad Titan still wiped out the Dwarves, sparing Eitri but disabling his hands.
In the comics, the Gauntlet itself was never said to be made of Uru, nor is its creator ever defined. In the MCU, we’ve seen the gauntlet on a few occasions or at least versions of it, most recently as a cast sitting in Odin’s collection room as Hela stumbles on the Eternal Flame. It also makes a brief appearance at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron in the now famous post-credit scene, “Fine, I’ll do it myself,” which brings us to our next subject.
How could Eitri help in the future?
As we all know now, at the end of Infinity War, Thanos has succeeded in completing the Infinity Gauntlet with all six Infinity Stones and we sit on what Doctor Strange said. “There is one possible future that he saw where they win, and that he gave up the Time Stone to not only spare Tony Stark who was about to die at the hands of Thanos, but because the future that he saw where they win depends on Tony being alive and for Thanos to be in possession of the completed Gauntlet. Strange specifically warns Stark that if it comes down to saving the universe or saving Stark or Peter Parker, he’s choosing the universe.
That has me thinking of one thing: Uru Armor.
In the Marvel event comic, Fear Itself, Odin’s brother and rival Serpent, the Norse God of Fear finds a way to release seven hammers to crash on Earth and allow them to be held by those who are worthy of their evil power. In this story, to assist with Odin and Thor, Stark armored up and dipped himself into molten Uru, and is enchanted by Odin to fight beside them. Stark’s Uru Armor has the sleek look of Iron Man, but has the spiked embellishments and armored plating of the Destroyer.
While we know they’re not going to adapt Fear Itself in the next Avengers movie, they could still extract the idea of Uru Armor. Let’s remember that he’s still on Titan, stranded with Nebula. Assuming she has knowledge of Nidavellir, she could find a way to get Stark there and Eitri could somehow summon Thor back to help enchant the Uru Armor. This would just be one component in upgrading their fight against Thanos and over the coming months, we are sure to explore more, but for now, Eitri may still hold an important role moving forward, especially if there are more Thanos-killing weapons to create.