Word recently broke that Peter Dinklage, now best known for his role as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s flagship series, Game of Thrones, was being courted for a role in The Avengers: Infinity War. At the time, it led us to speculate that he might be playing Modok based on the film’s writers having namedropped him as wishful thinking for the role years prior, but now there’s a new report that claims otherwise.
This is due to the source of this new information: 4chan (h/t Screen Geek), that breeding ground of rumor and speculation, which has run some previous rumors on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe that ended up panning out (such as Doctor Strange featuring the Time Stone, Justice League 2 being delayed, and The Batman brandishing Deathstroke as the main antagonist). Given this track record, the possibilities of Dinklage’s role having been outed are pretty strong, though certainly not foolproof (that Tony Stark [Robert Downey, Jr.] cameo in Strange never panned out, for instance).
According to the leaked details, Dinklage – should he land the part – would appear in the Avengers two-parter as none other than Eitri, the King of the Dwarves. Though somewhat obscure, this could actually be a rather substantial, albeit still-limited character in the two films given his important role in the Marvel comic book mythology.
Just who is Eitri, anyway?
Originally introduced in 1983 in – where else? – the Thor comics, Eitri is the leader of the Dwarves of Nidavellir, one of the Nine Realms that the Asgardians rule over. The two peoples have had a largely friendly, though sometimes fraught, relationship; the gods of Asgard may have relied on the Dwarves to forge such legendary weapons as Odin’s spear, Gungnir, and Thor’s own hammer, Mjolnir, the diminutive people have periodically attempted to overthrow the divine begins – such as the time a Dwarven version of Thor rose up to lead a rebellion, which was ultimately overthrown by the real God of Thunder – and have even captured and then traded several minor Asgardians to the Trolls as slaves.
Eitri’s personal relationship with Asgard began several centuries ago, when Odin intervened in Nidavellir to prevent the Rock Trolls from occupying and subjugating the land. In a token of appreciation and friendship, Eitri gave the All-Father a nugget of raw Uru, one of the rarest – and most important – elements in Marvel’s version of the galaxy. Possessing the ability to absorb magical energies and store enchantments like no other material, Odin eventually decided to have the king of the Dwarves work it into Mjolnir for his son, Thor. The rest, of course, is history.
Interestingly enough, it is not only Thor who has benefited from Eitri’s exquisite talents with the forge – Tony Stark himself received an extremely powerful Iron Man suit crafted exclusively from Uru for his own assistance in preventing another Rock Troll incursion.
Eitri’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The most diehard of MCU fans have already been exposed to the Dwarven king, although they may be forgiven for already having forgotten about it: in the prelude comic book to 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, Thor and his Asgardian army arrive at Nidavellir just in time to prevent the Trolls from invading the planet and stealing the Dwarves’ legendary forges for themselves – part of the general wars that we only quickly witness at the beginning of the movie and which serve to further Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) personal development. Eitri here serves more as a reference than as an actual character, but it nonetheless establishes the mythological figure in the cinematic pantheon.
It would seem that film audiences will get a far grander introduction to the character, given Eitri’s description that has been listed on 4chan: “the creator of the Infinity Gauntlet.” Since Thanos (Josh Brolin) already has possession of the Gauntlet at the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s possible that we might get treated to a flashback of the Mad Titan arriving on the Dwarves’ planet and somehow forcing Eitri to fashion the weapon for him; then again, this is a scene that could also theoretically appear in Thor: Ragnarok, given all the talk by Marvel Studios about the third Thor installment being the direct lead-up to Infinity War. (If so, think of this being like Age of Ultron debuting Ulysses Klaue [Andy Serkis] so that the nemesis could later take a much more expanded role in Black Panther.)
Should the Dwarf appear in both parts of the new Avengers, it would naturally entail that he has a much larger role to play in the joint story. The possibilities here are almost endless (he could be enslaved by Thanos to create more Asgardian-esque weaponry for him and his followers; he could be in hiding on Nidavellir, forcing the more cosmic denizens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to scour the landscape for him; he could prove to be the newest partner – or pain – to Doctor Strange [Benedict Cumberbatch]), but the most exciting scenario has to be his joining the Avengers to try and stop the Mad Titan from conquering all of space and time. In this way, Iron Man might be able to get that special Uru armor on the big screen, as well – and viewers might be in store for another spectacular action sequence (or three).