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Ragnarok cycles timeline

Posted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:00 am
by wolframbane
In my research of the history of Thor, I wanted to uncover information regarding the timeline of the earlier Ragnarok cycles, specifically:
a) When did the Ragnarok cycles begin?
b) How many Ragnarok cycles were there?
c) How long is the average Ragnarok cycle?

Now, Marvel has been vague regarding the timeline of the Ragnarok cycles, but I think I have unearthed enough information to construct a basic framework.
a) There have been at least 25 Ragnarok cycles. Thor: Reign of Blood occurred during the Era of the 23rd Ragnarok (with Thor: Ages Of Thunder during the 3rd Ragnarok, and Thor: Man of War during the 11th Ragnarok). After the 23rd Ragnarok, there were at least two more Ragnarok cycles, the current one, and the one immediately preceding it (with a red-headed Thor), as depicted in Thor #293-294.
b) The current or final Ragnarok cycle ended with the Modern Age. It began circa 2000 BC, as per Official Index to the Marvel Universe v2 #1 and OHOTMU A-Z: Premiere HC #14. Thor and the Warriors Three were even shown as being active "less than four thousand years ago" in Thor: Truth of History. Thus the current Ragnarok cycle lasted approximately 4000 years.
c) The prior Ragnarok cycle depicted in Thor #293-294 was mentioned to have ended about 2000 years ago, and the light of the destruction of that Asgard was actually the Star of Bethlehem, which ushered in the birth of Jesus Christ, circa 4 BC. Given more recent revelations, this date is probably incorrect, but perhaps when the last Asgard was destroyed c. 2000 BC, it took almost 2 millennia for the light to arrive on Earth. The Star of Bethlehem has also been described in the MU as being a falling Yazdi Gem from Tomb of Dracula Magazine #1, and as being followed by an alien Wise Man in Marvel Holiday Special 1996.
d) As per OHOTMU A-Z: Premiere HC #14, the earliest recorded activity of the Asgardians was c. 16,000 BC (the beginning of the Hyborian Age), so approximately 14,000 years passed between the beginning of Asgardian history to the end of the second-to-last Raganarok cycle in c. 2000 BC.
e) With a minimum of 24 Ragnarok cycles prior to the current Ragnarok cycle, over a period of 14,000 years, allows for an average length of 583.3 years per Ragnarok cycle, discounting the current cycle's length of 4000 years. In all, we are given sufficient information to compile an approximate and very tentative chronology for the Eras of the Ragnarok, using an average of 583.3 years per common cycle, although any of these these dates could easily be off by several decades, centuries or even millennia. At best, it can serve as an approximate guide for anyone wanting to estimate certain events during this period. Using an average date length to determine a chronology is an entirely legitimate exercise in perfect accord with accepted historical method, and is often used for the construction of King Lists.

The Era of the First Ragnarok (c. 16,000-15,416 BC)
The Era of the Second Ragnarok (c. 15,416-14,833 BC)
The Era of the Third Ragnarok (c. 14,833-14,250 BC), seen in Thor: Ages Of Thunder
The Era of the Fourth Ragnarok (c. 14,250-13,666 BC)
The Era of the Fifth Ragnarok (c. 13,666-13,083 BC)
The Era of the Sixth Ragnarok (c. 13,083-12,500 BC)
The Era of the Seventh Ragnarok (c. 12,500-11,916 BC)
The Era of the Eighth Ragnarok (c. 11,916-11,333 BC)
The Era of the Ninth Ragnarok (c. 11,333-10,750 BC)
The Era of the Tenth Ragnarok (c. 10,750-10,166 BC)
The Era of the Eleventh Ragnarok (c. 10,166-9583 BC), seen in Thor: Man of War
The Era of the Twelfth Ragnarok (c. 9563-9000 BC)
The Era of the Thirteenth Ragnarok (c. 9000-8416 BC)
The Era of the Fourteenth Ragnarok (c. 8416-7833 BC)
The Era of the Fifteen Ragnarok (c. 7833-7250 BC)
The Era of the Sixteen Ragnarok (c. 7250-6666 BC)
The Era of the Seventeenth Ragnarok (c. 6666-6083 BC)
The Era of the Eighteenth Ragnarok (c. 6083-5500 BC)
The Era of the Nineteenth Ragnarok (c. 5500-4916 BC)
The Era of the Twentieth Ragnarok (c. 4916-4333 BC)
The Era of the Twenty-First Ragnarok (c. 4333-3750 BC)
The Era of the Twenty-Second Ragnarok (c. 3750-3166 BC)
The Era of the Twenty-Third Ragnarok (c. 3166-2583 BC), seen in Thor: Reign of Blood
The Era of the Twenty-Fourth Ragnarok (c. 2583-2000 BC), seen in Thor #293-294
The Era of the Twenty-Fifth Ragnarok (c. 2000 BC-Modern Era), first seen in Journey in Mystery #83

Also note that during the late Hyborian Age, circa 10,000 BC, the names of Asgardian gods were often invoked and occassionally encountered, primarily by the Aesir of Aesgaard and the Vanir of Vanaheim (the Nordheimr humans who dwelled in northwestern Thuria/Eurasia, not the similarly named Asgardian gods themselves, also known as the Aesir of Asgard and the Vanir of Vanaheim), as well as on occassion by the neighboring Cimmerians. Ymir was behind the scenes in Strange Tales #1, and invoked in Savage Sword of Conan #49, #196-197 and #323, Conan the Barbarian Annual #2, and Conan of the Isles. Atali, the daughter of Ymir, encountered Conan himself in Strange Tales #1, and was invoked in Conan the Savage #5-6, Savage Sword of Conan #49 and Conan of the Isles. Perhaps the Ice Giant's daughter from Thor: Reign of Blood is another incarnation of Atali herself. Borri the Grey God was encountered in Conan the Barbarian #3 and Conan the Adventurer #7, and his Choosers of the Slain are probably the same as the Valkyrior. Woden was invoked in Savage Sword of Conan #179 and Conan the Savage #10. Thor and Heimdall were invoked in Conan of the Isles.

According to my estimate, the Hyborian Age of Conan may occur during The Era of the Eleventh Ragnarok, seen in Thor: Man of War, but this could easily be incorrect. Or perhaps the Woden, Thor and Ymir invoked by Conan and company are the same incarnation of gods of this era.