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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Malekith from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Malekith the Accursed (Marvel).
Your universe was not meant to be. Your world and your family will be EXTINGUISHED!!!
~ Malekith confronting Thor during their final battle.
You think you can stop this? The Aether cannot be destroyed!
~ Malekith's final words, before being sent back to his home realm and being crushed to death by his ship.
Malekith the Accursed is the main antagonist of the 2013 Marvel film Thor: The Dark World. He is the cruel leader of the Dark Elves (a malevolent race of beings said to be older than the universe itself) who plots to plunge the universe into eternal darkness.
"Long before the birth of light there was darkness, and from that darkness came the Dark Elves. Millennia ago the most ruthless of their kind, Malekith, sought to transform our universe back into one of eternal night. Such evil was possible through the power of the Aether, an ancient force of infinite destruction."
Born on Svartalfheim, Malekith was a cruel and warmongering Chieftain of the Dark Elves. Although Malekith's soldiers expressed blind loyalty to their leader and he became worshiped as a god-like figure to the Dark Elves, Malekith's desire to restore the universe to a state of eternal darkness put him in conflict with the forces of Asgard and their king Bor.
Thor: The Dark World
Thousands of years later, during which time Bor had died and Asgard was being ruled by his son Odin, the vengeful Malekith and his remaining army awakened when the Aether was absorbed into the body of a human woman named Jane Foster, signalling the beginning of the Convergence. The Aether's reactivity allowed Malekith to sense its location.
Malekith first traveled back to his home world of Svartalfheim, which had been all but destroyed during the great war between the Dark Elves and Asgardian Army, with hundreds of Dark Elf Flagships littered across the burnt wasteland. As Algrim attempted to comfort his leader by reminding him of all the Dark Elves still alive due to his actions, Malekith swore to avenge his fallen brothers by reclaiming the Aether and using its immense power to destroy Asgard and the rest of the universe.
Malekith and the Dark Elves started searching for the Aether. They soon discovered that Jane Foster had been transported from Earth to Asgard in order to have the Aether removed from her body as it was slowly killing her. Malekith sent his lieutenant Algrim into the city under the guise of a prisoner, and before he left Malekith stored a Cursed Stone inside Algrim's gut to make him indestructible and allow him to destroy Asgard's defenses from the inside.
Malekith sent his attack ships to fly into Asgard and invade the city. After Algrim transformed into a Cursed and freed the inmates, including Lorelei, he managed to lower Asgard's defenses. Malekith's own ship crashed into city and his soldiers attacked the guards. While the Dark Elves held back the Asgardian Soldiers, Malekith calmly walked through the room and destroyed Odin's throne with a Black Hole Grenade.
Malekith went to the palace room where he found Queen Frigga protecting Jane Foster. When Malekith attempted to capture Foster, Frigga defended her by attacking Malekith. Being taken off guard by Frigga's fighting ability, Malekith was defeated in single combat. Algrim eventually arrived and restrained her while Malekith went to grab Foster, only to discover that she was an illusion and the true Foster was hidden in another room of the palace.
Malekith called Frigga a witch and demanded to know where the Aether was. Realizing that Frigga would not talk, Malekith allowed Algrim to kill her by stabbing her through the heart. Thor, witnessing the death of his beloved mother, angrily struck Malekith's face with lightning, leaving a permanent burn on the right side of his face. Algrim carried his injured master and together they jumped on board a Dark Elf Harrow and escaped before Thor could kill them.
Malekith was taken back to the Dark Elf Flagship where his injuries were treated while his forces prepared to attack Asgard again. Algrim insisted that they must attack Asgard again while they were still weak after the last battle, however Malekith sensed that Thor and Loki had chosen to disobey Odin's orders and decided instead to move Jane Foster to Svartalfheim in order to draw Malekith out.
Malekith witnessed the Asgardian's arrival on their home world and was surprised when Loki suddenly betrayed his brother by seemingly stabbing him in the side before cutting off his hand and surrendering Foster to his forces. Loki then told Malekith that all he wanted in exchange for his partnership was a seat from where he could watch Asgard burn. Algrim recognized Loki as a fellow prisoner on Asgard who he had seen during his breakout from the dungeons and confirmed this to his superior. Malekith took Algrim's word and mocked Thor as he lay moaning in pain on the ground.
As the Dark Elf extracted the Aether from Jane, it was revealed that Loki cutting off his brother's hand was actually an illusion. Summoning his hammer, Mjølnir, Thor attempted to destroy the Aether while Loki protected Foster, only for the Aether to reconstitute itself almost instantly. Malekith explained that the Aether could not be destroyed and absorbed it, leaving his Dark Elves and Algrim to deal with his two Asgardian opponents. Malekith then made his way to Earth, where he would unleash the Aether into the Convergence and then obliterate the realms.
Arriving on Earth, Malekith and his forces witnessed portals in the sky opening up as the Convergence began. They were soon confronted once again by Thor, who had survived his battle with Algrim. With the Aether enhancing his power and abilities, Malekith battled Thor, absorbing the power of his lightning and throwing him through the air. Their fight quickly led to them being thrown through various portals left by the Convergence.
Their strength was equal, finding that neither could overpower the other as they were teleported over the Nine Realms, taking them to Svartalfheim where Thor lost Mjølnir through a portal, leaving him nearly defenseless. While on Jotunheim they were almost killed by a Jotunheim Beast. Eventually, the two were teleported away from each other and Malekith used the opportunity to begin unleashing the Aether on the Nine Realms, sucking all the light out of the Realms.
Thor returned and used a teleportation device Erik Selvig had created to send him to Svartalfheim. Malekith fell on his back, weakened by the battle, moments later, Erik Selvig used another device to teleport Malekith's Dark Elf Flagship to the Dark Elf's location, the ship continued to fall and Malekith, unable to move in time, was subsequently crushed and killed by his own ship.
Avengers: Infinity War
Malekith is only mentioned in the film as it took place following the events of Thor: Ragnarok. After killing Hela and her Berserker Army by bringing up Ragnarok to destroy Asgard, Thor and Loki intend to create a new Asgard on Earth for the Asgardian survivors. Unfortunately, their dream was crushed when the notorious alien warlord Thanos and the Black Order arrived to obtain the Tesseract that Loki retrieved. To that end, Thanos and the Black Order made the Asgardian survivors suffer Malekith's fate by killing half of them (including Hemidall and Loki) before setting their ship to explode, much to Thor's horror.
After being rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor explains his adventures to them while mentioning about losing his mother to Malekith's rampage.
Malekith was the most ruthless and cruel of his kind, willing to do whatever it takes for his goals to be fulfilled, an example of this would be when Asgardians and Dark Elves were battling on Svartalheim, Malekith sacrificed his own troops in a desperate bid to kill his foe, he also put the well-being of his loyal second in command by Cursing him. Malekith was a mean, vengeful, destructive, and black-hearted tyrant. After losing the war, Malekith, his army and his super-weapon, the Aether were trapped in stasis for centuries however this did not soothe his hatred, he became obsessed with the destruction of the Nine Realms and sought the legendary dark power of the Aether. He also possessed a strategic mind, being able to implant a Cursed One in Asgard and then able to launch an all-out attack on the city, Malekith was able to locate where the Convergence would take place and use it to destroy the Nine Realms.
Due to the power of the Aether, Malekith possessed a superhuman amount of physical strength and was able to hold his own against Thor, he was also able to absorb the lightning fired by Mjølnir. Due to him having the power of an Infinity Stone, Malekith had the capability to destroy a world, but he was not invincible as he was crushed by a Dark Elf Flagship, which killed him.
Powers and Abilities
Malekith has mastery over the Aether, and appears to be one of the most powerful beings in the Nine Realms. He is able to match Thor with the power of the Aether, otherwise slightly surpass him. Malekith possesses various superhuman attributes, some of which are common to his race, the Dark Elves.
Superhuman Strength: Like all Dark Elves, Malekith possesses superhuman strength. Ordinarily, Malekith possesses sufficient strength to overpower weaker beings without supplementing his strength with his other powers.
Superhuman Durability: Malekith's body is extremely durable, much more resistant to physical injury than the body of a human. Malekith has withstood exposure to the temperature and pressure extremes of Jotunheim, falls from great heights, powerful energy blasts, and even numerous mighty blows from Thor wielding Mjølnir, all without sustaining any permanent injuries. Though a powerful lighting blast from Mjølnir did blacken the right side of Malekith's face, he wasn't affected much besides that. Additionally, Malekith was one of the extremely few beings powerful enough to withstand and wield the power of an Infinity Stone. However, Malekith's durability still had its limits - Thor was able to sever both of the Dark Elf's arms by having them teleported back to Svartalfheim, and succeeded in smashing the last teleportation device into Malekith's chest with Mjølnir. The malevolent Dark Elf was finally killed when his massive flagship collapsed on top of him, crushing Malekith.
Longevity: Like all Dark Elves, Malekith possesses a greatly extended lifespan and ages at a much slower pace than humans, being one of the oldest beings in the Nine Realms. He is also immune to the effects of all known Earthly diseases and infections.
Regenerative Healing Factor: Malekith's metabolism enables him to recover from damages somewhat faster than most human beings. He is shown healing in stasis pods on board his ship.
While he was empowered by the Aether, he gained extremely powerful reality warping abilities.
Reality Warping: When he was empowered by the Aether, he was able to alter reality to plunge the world into darkness, though he never got the chance to complete this process.
Tentacle Projection: He could generate large tentacles of mystical dark energy to harm Thor.
Regeneration Augmentation: While empowered by the Aether, he was capable of regeneration from injuries in seconds and even regrowing amputated limbs. While he was seen regenerating his amputated limbs, Thor stopped him before he could complete the process.
Strength Augmentation: While using the Aether, he is able to increase his strength to immense superhuman levels, to the point where he can match Thor's incredible strength blow for blow with his bare hands, even with Thor having Mjølnir.
Size Alteration: While conducting his reality warping ritual, he grew in physical size.
Teleportation: With the Ether, Malekith reveals himself capable of teleportation, suddenly appearing on Thor to attack him.
Expert Combatant: Malekith is an extremely skilled warrior in both armed and hand-to-hand combat, shown when he quickly and effortlessly took out three armed Einherjar with only his dagger. Malekith also went toe-to-toe with Thor, the most powerful and skilled warrior in Asgard, though he was ultimately defeated by the latter after a prolonged battle.
Expert Tactician: Malekith lead the Dark Elves against Asgard for many years. When facing defeat against Bor and the armies of Asgard, Malekith sacrificed most of his own people and ships to decimate the Asgardian army.
Multilingualism: Malekith fluently speaks both English and his native language, Shiväisith.
Dagger: Malekith wields an ancient dagger forged of Dark Matter that predates our own universe. The merciless leader of the Dark Elves used this blade during the Asgardian invasion of Svartálfheim and during his siege on Asgard. It was Frigga, mother to Thor and Loki, wife of Odin and queen of Asgard, who wrestled this blade from Malekith’s grasp.
Aether: Malekith is the only one known to effectively use it in combat. The Aether's primary function is to alter reality on a molecular level. He planned to use the Aether to corrode matter into dark matter and then unleash it on the entire universe, but the Aether can also be weaponized into tendrils that shoot out from its wielder. With the Aether, he can regenerate limbs, organs & other injuries within seconds.
In the comics, Malekith has the dark side of his face on the left instead of the right.
In a non-canon story in the Captain America & Thor: Avengers! comic, Malekith is the royal mage of Queen Alflyse of Svartalfheim.
Malekith is once again the main antagonist of the video game adaptation of Thor 2: The Dark World, where he is voiced by Marc Thompson. This version is relatively the same within the film version with the exception being that he is slightly more faithful to the comics as he turns into a monstrous creature in order to fight Thor-as he did in the comics. Also, unlike in the film, where he drops his own ships onto dozens of his own soldiers in order to distract Thor, he has his henchmen attack countless villages as a means of distraction. It is also revealed that Loki was working with him the whole time, but was betrayed when Malekith saw him useless.
In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Malekith has the same outfit as his Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation, except that his skin is the same as his comic book incarnation and the right half of his face is fully black.
Despite being classified as a Dark Elf, Malekith has brighter beige skin rather than blue, brown, purple, or onyx, though eventually his skin became the latter after acquiring the Aether, resembling one of the classic dark elf depictions.
He is often not well praised by fans as an antagonist due to lack of screen time and underdeveloped motivations and personality.
In addition, Christopher Eccleston has said that he did not enjoy the role due to the heavy amounts of makeup, requiring 6.5 to 8 hours to apply, and that a majority of his scenes that were to flesh out his character were cut in favor of giving more screen time to Loki. He also admitted that he only accepted the role for the money.