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In Thor: Ragnarok, many Asgardians are killed; all surviving members of the race that we know of escape on a space ship. At the start of Avengers: Infinity War we see that they were almost immediately intercepted by Thanos, who slaughters many and blows up their ship. In Avengers: Endgame, it is confirmed that Thanos had slaughtered half their population (as we know had been his practice) and we see the survivors in their new settlement in Norway on Earth.

How did any of them survive the destruction of their ship? How did they get to Earth?

  • I read somewhere, before Thanos could do his thing, Valkyrie and few others were transported away from the main ship, probably using pods and/or some smaller vessels. Asgardians won't let Thanos and his children in without a fight, which buys escapees little time – Vishwa Aug 5 at 3:03
  • Related: Where was Valkyrie? – A J Aug 5 at 4:29
  • One word: escape pods. – Paul D. Waite Aug 6 at 8:29
  • 3
    ...that's two words – Kieran Aug 6 at 13:26
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I found this in ScreenRant

The Russo brothers have offered a simple solution. "Prior to the start of that scene, escape ships were deployed for Asgardians," Joe Russo explained, "including Valkyrie." He refused to shed any light on the ultimate fate of Korg, but at least this comment suggested Asgardians were able to launch escape pods. It's worth noting, though, that these escape pods likely weren't in a great state of repair. After all, the Asgardian refugee ship originated from the junkyard world of Sakaar.

By the time the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, all escape ships - and, indeed, escape pods - are clearly gone. The only sign of life they find is the body of Thor, floating through space, barely alive after facing the wrath of the Power Stone.

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    It occurs to me that we don’t see the Asgardians on Earth until Endgame, by which time Thor already has Stormbringer, a weapon with which he can summon the bifrost. Perhaps he finds the Asgardians himself in their rescue ships and guides them home, or even brings them with him, a few at a time, via the bifrost. – Michael Stern Aug 5 at 23:49
  • Stormbringer or StormBreaker? – Vishwa Aug 7 at 4:41
  • @Vishwa StromBreaker – mam8 Aug 7 at 8:24
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If you look closely at the opening shot on Avengers: Infinity War, the aft section of the Asgardian refugee ship is briefly visible floating away (in the far right of the middle shot of the sequence below) after the superstructure had been blown into 2 pieces...

Asgardian refugee ship before and after Thanos's attack

...and if one listens to the commentary by the Russo's and writers Markus and McFeely they specifically state that some of the passengers, including Valkyrie and Korg, had survived in the discarded section, a situation typical of Thanos randomly sparing (approximately?) half of the population.

"He stole the Space Stone from me when he destroyed my ship and slaughtered half my people. ..." (Thor upon first meeting the the Guardians aboard the Benetar)

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    I can’t tell what I’m seeing in the middle photo but I’ll take your word for it. How do they get half a blown-up spaceship to Earth? – Michael Stern Aug 5 at 11:00
  • IIRC they never brought that ship to earth. If you refer to the final battle, Doctor Strange brought them to earth – XtremeBaumer Aug 5 at 11:52
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    @XtremeBaumer They were on earth before the final battle, as the Avengers went and found Thor in "New Asgard" in Norway to recruit him for Endgame's heist. The other surviving Asgardians were there. That said, they had 5 years in the meantime for someone to rescue them and to set up on Earth. – IronSean Aug 5 at 12:46
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    Though really, if Thanos' whole thing was to reduce the population of the universe to preserve resources, the fact that Asgard just got blown up means he might've spared them since they've already clearly lost more than half of their people. He only went after the ship because it had the Space Stone on it. Thanks, Loki. – Darrel Hoffman Aug 5 at 13:08
  • @DarrelHoffman Not to be too much a nerd but Thanos’ goal was slightly more complex than that, I think? Thanos seems to be concerned that population grows at the limit of resource-extraction, so that civilization is always “at the brink of collapse,” never having a surplus which can protect it from Murphy’s law. The solution is to either increase resource-extraction without increasing population and consumption, or to decrease population and consumption without increasing decreasing resource-extraction. Just a drop in both population and extraction wouldn’t seem to meet his needs. – CR Drost Aug 5 at 16:36

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