Real Name: Iduna (original spelling)

Occupation: Goddess of immortality

Legal Status: Citizen of Asgard

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Idunn’s existence except as a mythological character.

Other Aliases: None

Place Of Birth: Vanaheim in Asgard

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Freia (mother), Iwaldi (father), Njord (grandfather), Gaea (grandmother, alias Nertha), Nertha (great-aunt), Frey (uncle), Skadi (aunt), Ve (step-father, alias Lodur), Hnossa (half-sister), Nanna, Syn, Sjofn, Sigyn, Lofn, Var, Snotra (sisters), Bragi (husband), Odin (father-in-law), Frigga (mother-in-law), Thor (half-brother), Balder, Hermod, Hoder, Heimdall (brothers-in-law),

Affiliations: Gods of Asgard, The Asynjur

Base of Operations: Breidablik (Hall of Bragi) in Asgard

First Appearance:  Journey into Mystery #114

History: Idunn is a member of an extra-dimensional race of beings known as the Asgardians, who were worshipped as gods by the ancient Scandinavian and Germanic tribes of Europe. She is the daughter of Freia, the goddess of fertility, one of the Vanir who united with the Aesir to become Asgardians. Freia had a great love for gold and had several dalliances with Iwaldi, one of many dwarves who created treasures for the gods. Because of this fondness, Odin decreed that Freia needed to learn humility and assigned her with the temporary duties of a Valkyrie for a while. Idunn, meanwhile, became one of the Aynjur, attendants of Frigga, along with her sisters. She was assigned protection of the golden apples of immortality that provided the Asgardians with their youth and long lives. She was also married to a son of Odin named Bragi, the god of speech and poetry.

Because the Asgardians depended on Idunn for protection of their golden apples, she was one of the most important of the gods of Asgard, but she was frequently being manipulated or terrorized by enemies to the gods who wanted to destroy them. Loki, the trickster-god, was once taken prisoner by the storm-giant, Thiassi, who demanded the golden apples of the gods from him. Loki surrendered Idunn to him for his freedom, but Odin then ordered Loki to return Idunn to Asgard under penalty of death. Loki then impersonated a falcon and kidnapped Idunn from Thiassi with him in pursuit as an eagle. Odin then demanded a great fire to be raised and they consumed Thiassi alive in its flames as Idunn returned to Asgard. The Fenris Wolf even once assaulted her in order to devour the Golden Apples for himself, but she was rescued by Vidar, the god of the hunt, in his role as the German god Haakon. These events later became the basis for the fairy tale of “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Following the destruction of Valhalla, Loki had Odin promise Idunn to the giants Fafnir and Fasolt if they would rebuild Valhalla and fortify its walls. Loki had promised him that he would not have to surrender Idunn to the two giants, but then Thor and Frey arrived to fight the two giants to protect Idunn. Odin ordered them to stand down in order to stay to his oath. Loki, however, was wanting to cause Ragnarok as the two giants refused to surrender Idunn. They instead held her in return for the fabled Ring of the Nibelung. Odin, however, knew of the curse on the ring and instructed Thor and Loki to retrieve it. Soon thereafter, Idunn was returned unharmed to Frey’s protection.

Odin eventually fell in battle in Norway in battle against the demon Surtur and Thor replaced him as Chieftain of the Asgardian Gods. Loki however set into motion a revised version of Ragnarok to claim Asgard, and Idunn was killed by Loki’s invading armies. Thor met with the Norns to put an end to the recurring cycles of Ragnarok among the Asgardians as Asgard fell, but eventually Asgard and the Asgardians were restored through the limitless power of the Odin-force itself. What has since become of Idunn has yet to be revealed.

Height: 5’9”
Weight: 370 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde

Strength Level: Idunn possesses the normal strength level for an Asgardian goddess of her size, height and build who engages in extensive regular exercises; she can lift (press) 25 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Idunn possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Asgardian gods. Like all Asgardians, she is extremely long-lived, but she is not immortal like the Gods of Olympus. She has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. She is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If she were somehow wounded, her godly life force would enable her to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of her bodily molecules to cause her a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Odin or Njord or for a number of Asgardian gods of equal power working together to revive her. Idunn also possesses superhuman strength and her Asgardian metabolism provides her with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Asgardian flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Asgardians' superhuman strength and weight.)

Idunn also has several undefined powers mystical in nature that involve the fertility of the earth as well as care of the apples of immortality. The nature of these powers are unrevealed, but she is obviously able to create nectar from these apples for a large group of gods such as the Asgardians. 

Comments: In the minor entry for Idunn under the Asgardians profile of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #1, Idunn seems to have been mistakenly confused with her mother, Freia, but she might have used the name Freia as an alias. Mythologically, this is incorrect. Freia has an entry here.  

In Greek mythology, the Garden of The Hesperides is sometimes located north of Hyperborea and in the region of what is now known as Scandinavia (modern Norway and Sweden). Traditionally, they are set in Ancient Libya in the shadow of the Atlas Mountains, but the Scandinavian location certainly fits in with the story of Idunn.

CLARIFICATIONS: Idunn is not to be confused with:


UPDATED: 05/14/06