WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
The identity of who Peter Dinklage plays in Avengers: Infinity War has been a hotly-debated topic ever since photos surfaced of the Game of Thrones actor with a new haircut and fiery red hair, possibly hinting at the character of Pip the Troll. The rumor mill started turning again when his name was discovered on a poster for the ensemble film, followed by a promo that was widely believed to capture his voice as the Black Order member, Corvus Glaive.
However, both guesses proved to be wrong. Dinklage actually plays Eitri, King of the Dwarves of Nidavellir in the film. Eitri is the giant-sized dwarf who famously forged Thor's magical hammer Mjolnir. In Infinity War, following Thor's rescue by the Guardians of the Galaxy in the wake of his beating at the hands of Thanos and his Black Order, the Asgardian sets off on a side quest with Rocket and Groot to Nidavellir in search of a "Thanos-killing weapon."
With the help of Groot, who, yes, lends his arm as a handle, this weapon is revealed to be Stormbreaker, as was spoiled in merchandising tie-ins ahead of the film's official release. Dinklage's Eitri got a good amount of screentime, and his large stature provided a nice contrast for fans who are used to seeing Dinklage as the smallest person on screen.
Along with creating Stormbreaker, Eitri had another significant role in Infinity War as the person behind the creation of Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet, which he used to house and control the six powerful Infinity Stones. Of course, Eitri didn't volunteer to make the Infinity Gauntlet, but was instead forced after Thanos arrived on Nidavellir. Once Thanos got what he desired, he slaughtered the realm's dwarves and turned Eitri's hands to stone, so he would be unable to craft any more weapons.
Eitri's Marvel counterpart is similar to the one shown in Infinity War, as they're both master forgers. Even without the use of his hands, Eitri is able to use his brilliant mind to instruct Thor on how to return power to his tools. In order to give Stormbreaker the same gifts as Mjolnir, Stormbreaker is made out of Uru metal and contains inside it the forces of a dying star, allowing it to harness the God of Thunder's abilities.
In the comics, Stormbreaker is the weapon Odin crafts for Beta Ray Bill, after the alien hero wielded Mjolnir in Thor's stead. In fact, Thor isn't the only Avenger to be blessed by a weapon of Uru origin. During the 2011 event series Fear Itself, Tony Stark donned a suit of armor made entirely out of Uru metal. The result created an armor designed similarly to that of the Asgardian Destroyer.
The fact that Stormbreaker is able to pierce Thanos' body in the film's final climatic battle proves how formidable a weapon it is. The smart move would be for Earth's Mightiest Heroes to regroup in Avengers 4, and turn to Eitri for help in assembling more of these Thanos-killing weapons -- after all, Tony Stark can never have too many Iron Man armors, right?
Marvel Studios should look to offer Peter Dinklage a semi-recurring role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor has a large fanbase that would surely flock to see him make more appearances. Nidavellir may be no more, but that doesn't mean the King of Dwarves should be placed on the sidelines going forward.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston and Josh Brolin, among others. The film is now in theaters worldwide.