Thor: The Dark World concept art by Jackson Sze.
We never really got to see much of Asgard onscreen, in spite of what Messrs. the producers like to proclaim in every interview, to see “the nooks and crannies” of the Realm Eternal—and judging from what little concept art we were allowed to gaze at, it’s a fucking shame.
Notably absent from the movie, Jane Foster’s tour of the capital, where we would have watched a few of its denizens in their daily occupations and other activities unrelated to a formal event.
▪ The “Chess” Players
Many societies of Earth have a game similar to chess, actually, which is hardly a surprise when you consider it as a miniature battlefield, meant to challenge and discipline the strategic mind.
They look young, those two, don’t you think? I love the idea of a warm Asgardian afternoon spent playing with a friend near the lake.
▪ Odin Triumphant
A commonplace view in the city, a colossal statue of the King; there are others around town, as well as figures of Bor and probably Buri, and an impressive number of animals such as boars and ravens, perhaps from local myths and legends.
▪ The Market Stall
Hard to see what’s really displayed on this stall, but we’ve seen in one of the deleted scenes that there are great bowls of colourful spices outside the shops; the Asgardian civilisation is characterised by what I like to call the “Asgardian Paradox”: the incredible advancement of their technology doesn’t interfere with these people’s love for the simplicity and elegance of everything ancient.
▪ The Flying Barge
Not a single horse in The Dark World even though director Alan Taylor expressed his love for the idea that Asgardian culture relied on them a great deal, but flying public transport, probably propelled by magnetic energy like the ball Jane Foster was admiring in the aforesaid deleted scene. The city of Asgard was built level upon level and water literally goes through many a building, high bridges connecting the blocks far above the roaring cascades.
▪ Bonus: the Flying Tower
This is actually a familiar sight straight from the first movie! Compare the concept art by Craig Shoji with the onscreen realisation:
Unfortunately, the filmmakers decided, as is customary, against using the 3D to show beautiful landscapes and paying some kind of homage to the great concept artists who worked on their movies.