Marvel Movie Minute season 4 episode 17 • Thor 017: How does Heimdall's Observatory Actually Work?

Thor 017: How Does Heimdall’s Observatory Actually Work?

Krissy Lenz and Nathan Blackwell from the Most Excellent 80s Movies Podcast join us this week! In this minute of Kenneth Branagh’s 2011 film ‘Thor,’ Thor’s rude to Heimdall as he kinda pushes past him into Heimdall’s Observatory, but Heimdall obviously goes along with it as he walks in and activates it with his sword, igniting a Yggrdrasil-like lightning storm inside the Observatory, setting the Observatory’s shell spinning.

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Minute Seventeen: From Thor’s Demand to Heimdall’s Warning

Krissy (1).jpgIt’s a special week indeed with not one but two guests joining us as we tour Heimdall’s Observatory – Krissy Lenz and Nathan Blackwell from the Most Excellent 80s Movies Podcast.

In the Observatory-heavy seventeenth minute of Kenneth Branagh’s 2011 film Thor

  • Thor is a bit pushy with his demands to get into Heimdall’s Observatory. Well, it seems like he’s already made up his mind that he’s going, but does Heimdall remember that only he has the key?
  • 6A9A8346.jpgSpeaking of the key, that sword that Heimdall is holding? That’s Hofund, Heimdall’s sword. It was made by the same dwarves that made Mjolnir and Gungnir. And it also is the key to turn on Heimdall’s Observatory.
  • So Thor, Loki, Sif, and the Warriors Three just walk in, assuming they’re good. Volstagg has a snarky line he throws at Loki. Let’s just be glad we didn’t get all of the comedy that was scripted.
  • And again, Heimdall just walks in after them. So I guess that’s his way of saying yes?

A tour of Heimdall’s Observatory

  • First off, the actual name for the observatory is Himinbjorg. So how far is it from Valaskjalf to Himinbjorg as the raven flies?
  • We’re all fairly mesmerized by Kenneth Branagh’s decision to film the inside from the top looking straight down. It’s a bit dizzying but a very cool angle to show the Observatory.
  • Heimdall uses Hofund as the key by inserting into a slot in the dais at the center of the Observatory. When he does this, lightning shoots out in all directions, looking very much like Yggdrasil. That was intentional and looks really cool.
  • As that happens, we get a surprising move by the camera as it drops through the floor to reveal the inner workings of the Observatory. Things start spinning and the entire shell of the building starts rotating. It’s one of the coolest things ever.
  • The entire shell of Heimdall’s Observatory then tips down, pointing the turret horizontally. As soon as it hits horizontal, bifrost energy shoots out into space. So this is how the bifrost energy in the rainbow bridge allows for wormhole travel?
  • At this point, as Thor and his group stare into the bifrost through the turret of the Observatory, Heimdall starts a warning about honoring something but we don’t get to hear it all as the minute comes to an end.

So much to see and talk about in Heimdall’s Observatory. Tune in!

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