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Thor: Ragnarok – Why Odin Chose To Stay In Exile On Earth

Odin died on Earth in Thor: Ragnarok after being exiled by Loki, but why did he stay on Earth, instead of returning to Asgard? Let’s take a look.

Thor: Ragnarok - Why Odin Chose To Stay In Exile On Earth
Thor: Ragnarok – Why Odin Chose To Stay In Exile On Earth

Odin passed away in Thor: Ragnarok after spending some time exiled on Earth, but why did he decide to stay there for the rest of his days? In over 10 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought many characters from Marvel Comics to the big screen in both solo movies and team-ups, and one hero that started off weak but is now a fan-favorite is Thor, who made his MCU debut in 2011.

Thor’s second appearance was in The Avengers, where he joined forces with Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow to stop his brother, Loki, and the Chitauri army from attacking Earth. Thor returned in his second solo-movie, Thor: The Dark World, which is considered among the worst movies in the MCU. At the end of the movie, it was revealed that Loki wasn’t dead and had returned to Asgard, where he took his father’s throne and disguised himself as him, which allowed him to rule Asgard for a while. Loki’s lies came to light in Thor: Ragnarok, as did Odin’s whereabouts, with his sons reuniting with him before he passed away and Hela was free.

In order to get rid of his father, Loki posed as a guard and later took the throne, casting a spell on Odin and exiling him to Earth. Loki didn’t just send his father to Earth and left him on his own, and actually sent him to Shady Acres Care Home, a retirement home in New York City. At some point between this and Thor: Ragnarok, the retirement home was destroyed, and Odin finally overcame Loki’s enchantment. Doctor Strange contacted Odin during this time and the Allfather decided to stay on Earth instead of returning to Asgard to put an end to Loki’s games. Odin traveled around and eventually settled in Norway, where Thor and Loki reunited with him and stayed by his side until he passed away.

Thor: Ragnarok - Why Odin Chose To Stay In Exile On Earth
Thor: Ragnarok – Why Odin Chose To Stay In Exile On Earth

Of course, Odin could have returned to Asgard if he wanted to, or even go to any of the Nine Realms, but he chose to stay on Earth, for some reason. In terms of narrative, Odin had to be on Earth for Thor and Loki to return to it, meet Doctor Strange, and later use the Bifrost, which thanks to Hela’s intervention ended up sending them to Sakaar, kickstarting the rest of the events in the movie. An in-universe reason, however, could be the link between Thor and Earth, as Odin banished his son to Earth in Thor, in hopes that he would overcome his ego and arrogance and learn a powerful lesson on humility and what being a hero is truly about. After Odin’s passing, Thor would become king of Asgard, so staying on Earth and reuniting there with his sons was quite meaningful for Odin as that’s where Thor learned what his purpose and place truly were.

Some fans believe that Odin’s decision to stay was out of necessity rather than a choice, as he had been away from Asgard for too long and was too weak, and with Heimdall no longer in control of the Bifrost, he was forced to stay on Earth. Unless Thor: Love and Thunder or other canon media gives a proper answer, the reason why Odin stayed on Earth during his exile will be up to viewers, but it’s undeniable that it added a lot of emotion and drama to his final moments alongside his sons.

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