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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Surtur from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Surtur (Marvel).
Villain Overview

My time has come! When my crown is reunited with the Eternal Flame, I shall be restored to my full might! I will tower over the mountains and bury my sword deep in Asgard…
~ Surtur
I AM ASGARD'S DOOM!
~ Surtur's last words before destroying Asgard.

Surtur is the overarching antagonist of the 2017 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor: Ragnarok. A versions of him also appears in the Marvel animated anthology series What If...?, serving as a cameo character in the episode "What If... Thor Were an Only Child?".

He is an immense fire demon and the Lord of Muspelheim who is prophesied to bring forth the cataclysmic event known as Ragnarök - where he will destroy Asgard.

He was portrayed via motion capture by the film's director Taika Waititi, who also played Viago Heimburg in What We do in the Shadows, Adolf Hitler in JoJo Rabbit, IG-11 in The Mandalorian, Ratcatcher in The Suicide Squad and Antwan Hovachelik in Free Guy; while he was voiced by Clancy Brown, who also played The Kurgan in Highlander, Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, Viking Lofgren in Bad Boys, Lex Luthor in the DC Animated Universe, The Evil Entity in the Scooby-Doo franchise, Gunmar in Tales of Arcadia, Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob Squarepants, Undertow in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Hades in God of War III, Mr. Freeze in The Batman, Savage Opress in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Chris Bradford in the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, General Wade Eiling in The Flash, Bloodwolf in The Adventures of Puss in Boots and Blackhand in Warcraft.

Personality

I cannot die… not until I fulfill my destiny, and lay waste to your home.
~ Surtur showing his obsession of bringing Ragnarök, even if it means killing himself.

Surtur was a sinister, cold, emotionless, remorseless and devilish individual who would not hesitate to imprison and kill anyone who stood in his way. He was the ultimate personification of destruction, the prophecy explicitly designating him as his fulfiller; he had used his powers against his enemies and had no fear to destroy everything in his path, indicating the fact that Ragnarök had to arrive and that only he could make sure that this happened.

He seems to be solely and completely committed to his destiny to give birth to Ragnarök by destroying Asgard. In fact, he didn't even take time to notice that there were no people on Asgard and Thor had Loki revived him to destroy the now near-invincible Hela; he didn't even bother to escape from the incoming destruction and instead decides to accept his fate being incinerated, implying that he's willing to forsake his life to achieve his goal or that he only wants to destroy Asgard's physical world.

He also seems to have a very serious and unadorned frame of mind, being visibly annoyed when Thor refused to take him seriously when they first met. However, he is remarkably patient with Thor's speeches and well-behaved at the start of the film.

Biography

Confronted by Thor

In his search for answers regarding the Infinity Stones, Thor is captured in Muspelheim and brought before Surtur. The Fire Lord taunts Thor and reveals to his captive that his father, Odin, no longer rules Asgard. Furthermore, with Thor's absence, he has left the realm open for attacks. Surtur claims that he will soon destroy Asgard when he unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that Odin, after taking it from Surtur millennia ago, locked in the vaults of Asgard.

However, Thor escapes his imprisonment and is able to defeat Surtur and his demon horde in battle. In order to prevent Surtur's prophecy from coming true, Thor takes Surtur's crown with him and locks it up in the vaults of Asgard after Skurge kills Surtur's pet fire dragon.

Fulfilling his destiny

When Hela invades Asgard and reanimates its fallen soldiers (known as the Berserkers) as her army, Thor realizes that Ragnarök is the only way to stop Hela and that Asgard is not defined by its location but by its people. He then orders his brother Loki to place Surtur's crown in the Eternal Flame to revive him, which Loki does so.

This calls forth Surtur, who immediately starts annihilating Asgard by impaling his own blade into the land, killing Hela and the remaining Berserkers in the process. While Thor, Loki, Valkyrie and Hulk can safely evacuate the Asgardian citizens in one of the Grandmaster's giant spaceships, they are forced to watch Ragnarök unfold as Surtur fully thrusts his blade to destroy Asgard, killing himself in the process and leaving only asteroids in its stead.

Though Surtur accomplished Ragnarök and destroyed Asgard in death, his path of destruction was nothing but in vain as Thor have evacuated all of the Asgardians and planned to transport them to Earth as their new home. However, the arriving alien warlord Thanos and the Black Order managed to kill half of the Asgardian survivors (including Heimdall and Loki) to steal the Tesseract, leaving a helpless Thor to drift in space while Hulk is sent back to Earth to warn of Thanos' arrival.

Powers and Abilities

  • Fire Manipulation: Surtur is capable of generating massive waves of fiery energy from his Twilight Sword. This fire was strong enough that, in his weakened state, he was able to hold his own against Thor. Upon reaching full power, Surtur's flames were strong enough to consume all of Asgard.
  • Superhuman Strength: Surtur has tremendous amounts of superhuman strength, enough to fight against Thor in his weakened state. Upon reaching full power, Surtur's strength is able to effortlessly swat away Hulk and quickly take out Hela, who had herself been able to fight Thor and Valkyrie to a stalemate. Odin is the only being known to have been able to defeat Surtur at full power, having depowered, wounded, and banished him thousands of years ago.
  • Superhuman Durability: Due to his large size, Surtur is able to withstand blows from Mjølnir, only dying after sustaining a full-power electrically charged blow from the hammer to the head. However, Surtur's durability, with all his other abilities, increased massively following his resurrection by the Eternal Flame. In this state, Surtur was practically invulnerable, being only slightly phased by a leaping blow from Hulk and being only barely affected by Hela piercing him with an onslaught of her blades.
  • Immortality: Surtur is capable of living as long as he needs in order to initiate Ragnarök.
  • Sword Mastery: Surtur possesses skills in the use of his Twilight Sword, a massive flaming sword capable of slicing through whole palaces and also used to kill Hela.

Quotes

Tremble before me, Asgard! I am your reckoning!
~ Surtur upon being revived
It's a crown!
~ Surtur about his crown.
But Ragnarök has already begun! You cannot stop it! I am Asgard's doom, and so are you! All will suffer, all will burn!
~ Surtur
You cannot stop Ragnarök. Why fight it?
~ Surtur about the Ragnarök.
You have made a grave mistake, Odinson.
~ Surtur to Thor Odinson.

Trivia

  • This is the first live-action adaptation of the comic book villain Fire Lord Surtur.
  • Prior to his cinematic debut, Surtur made his appearance in the non-canon video game, Thor: God of Thunder.
  • Surtur is one of the few Marvel Cinematic Universe antagonists to succeed in his goal, the others being Loki Laufeyson, Thanos, Baron Zemo, Erik Killmonger, Ghost, Mysterio, Flag-Smasher and Kang.
    • While he fails to eliminate the Asgardians directly his Surtur's goal indirectly succeeds as most of the Asgardians are wiped out between Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War due to Hela and Thanos' respective actions.

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Movies
Hulk Vs. Thor: Loki Laufeyson | Hela | Enchantress | Skurge | Surtur | Malekith the Accursed | Valkyrie
Thor: Tales of Asgard: Algrim | Frost Giants | Loki Laufeyson | Fenris Wolf | Amora the Enchantress | Surtur
Thor: Loki Laufeyson | Frost Giants (Laufey, Grundroth, Hailstrum, Raze & Jotunheim Beast) | The Destroyer | Jasper Sitwell
Thor: The Dark World: Dark Elves (Malekith the Accursed & Kurse the Strong) | Loki Laufeyson | Marauders (Duhg & Kronan Marauder) | Jotunheim Beast | The Collector
Thor: Ragnarok: Berserker Army (Hela Odinsdottir, Skurge & Fenris Wolf) | Sakaaran Guards (The Grandmaster & Topaz) | Loki Laufeyson | Fire Demons (Surtur & Fire Dragon) | Thanos

TV Series
The Mighty Thor: Loki | Amora the Enchantress | Skurge the Executioner | Absorbing Man | Grey Gargoyle | Thunderbolt Ross | Zarrko | Pluto | Sandu | Surtur | Mr. Hyde
Loki: Loki Laufeyson's Variants (Loki Laufeyson (Variant L1130), Sylvie Laufeydottir, Boastful Loki & President Loki) | Time Variance Authority (He Who Remains, Miss Minutes, Ravonna Renslayer, Hunter D-90) | Alioth | Kang the Conqueror
What If: Infinity Ultron | Yellowjacket | Loki Laufeyson | The Destroyer | Brock Rumlow | Jack Rollins | Thunderbolt Ross | Skrulls | Nebula | Grandmaster | Skurge | Yondu Udonta | Ego | Arim Zola | Prince Killmonger | Strange Supreme | Surtur | Frost Giants

Video Games
Thor: God of Thunder: Loki Laufeyson | Frost Giants (Ymir) | Rock Trolls (Ulik) | Fire Demons (Surtur) | Hela
Thor: The Dark World: Loki Laufeyson | Dark Elves (Malekith the Accursed, Kurse the Strong) | Ymir | Mangog | Marauders | Frost Giants

See Also
Hercules (Marvel) Villains

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