It was a quiet start to the day. The coffee wasn’t even brewing yet and socks were a struggle to put on. Little did we know that these socks were about to blown off by the “Thor: Ragnarok” teaser trailer. It came out of nowhere, unannounced and unapologetic. It showed us a vibrant new take on Thor, a new color-filled direction and what looked like a universe pushed to new boundaries. By the two minutes’ end our jaws were on the floor and we were left cheering, laughing and marking our calendars for November 3rd.
In 24 hours, the trailer would go on to become the most viewed in Marvel and Disney history, a record previously held by “Beauty and the Beast.” And with good reason. This trailer, with its promises of thrills, laughs and chills got everyone excited for the next installment in the “Thor” franchise. So much so in fact, that we here at CBR are already convinced that “Ragnarok” will be the best entry in the trilogy. Come join us as we take a look at 15 reasons why.
15. UNWORTHY THOR
Ever since we’ve known Thor, going all the way back to his first movie, he’s had his trusty lightning-wielding hammer Mjolnir by his side. Through his own solo movies and the “Avengers” movies, his hammer has been his weapon of choice — his only weapon. But now, with “Ragnarok,” we have seen that a cruel fate befalls the mighty Mjolnir and Thor finds himself rather… hammerless. Somehow, Hela manages to destroy the hammer and banish Thor far away from any realm he knows.
Reminiscent of recent developments in the Marvel comics, Thor now bears a striking resemblance to his “Unworthy” storyline that saw him unable to lift his hammer. With short hair and a penchant for axes and swords, Thor is not who he once was. This is a look that seems to have translated into the movie itself, where we saw Chris Hemsworth forsake his long hair for a short cut, face paint, a new armor and some new weapons for him to fight with. It’s a new appearance for Thor that instantly conveys the difference in tone and direction of the movie.
14. LEAVING EARTH BEHIND
The first “Thor” movie rightfully took its titular character to the realm of Midgard. It made sense, considering this is where he had to prove himself worthy, establish a connection with the humans and setup his future role in “The Avengers.” With the sequel “Thor: The Dark World” however, many fans were disappointed to see that the bulk of the action of the movie once again occurred on planet Earth, when they were promised more time spent in different realms.
There is nothing wrong with our planet per say, but as a character, Thor has had many adventures off world, in outer space and in very different realms. In the MCU, he is an alien and a powerful demigod that can and should be taken far away from the Earth and its recognizable surroundings. From what we have seen so far, Earth seems to play a very small role in the film. “Ragnarok” will now be able to focus on more exotic locations, different planets and realms we have not yet seen before.
With Thor far away from Earth, that also means that his main love interest Jane Foster will not be a part of the movie. Instead, director Taika Waititi opted to introduce another supporting character from Thor’s corner of the Marvel comic books in Valkyrie. A fellow Asgardian and mighty warrior, she is often depicted riding a magnificent winged horse. In Ragnarok, the role of Valkyrie will be played by Tessa Thompson and we can’t wait to see what she will bring to the role.
As of yet, it is unclear what her role will be opposite Thor. From the trailer, we have seen that she captures him and delivers him to Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster, which means that she isn’t in the service of Asgard. What that could mean we don’t yet know, but if one thing is certain, it’s that she will have her very own story arc that explains it all. Regardless of whether she is introduced as an antagonist, a reluctant ally, a love interest, a mighty warrior or all of the above, we already know that the Valkyrie is a valiant addition to Thor’s universe.
12. DOCTOR STRANGE’S ROLE
Doctor Strange was seen in the after-credits scene of his very own solo outing talking with the Odinson himself, vowing to help him and his brother Loki find their missing father. While we don’t know the extent of Strange’s role in the film yet, it’s a safe bet that the Sorcerer Supreme will have a relatively small appearance. Nevertheless, the mere promise of an appearance by the good doctor is enough to have us anticipating the release of “Ragnarok” even more.
In their brief scene, Chris Hemworth and Benedict Cumberbatch seemed to be greatly enjoying themselves in mixing these two characters and corners of the MCU together. Compared to previous movies like “Ant-Man” and the “Captain America” films, Thor’s first two movies were pretty much standalone when it came to appearance by other Avengers. But now, not only will we get an appearance by Doctor Strange, but also all signs point to a team-up between the two.
A powerful foe in the “Thor” mythology, Skurge The Executioner is often depicted armed with an ax, but he is also well-recognized as using rifles, something that makes him oddly stand out and clash with the more otherworldly-viking influences of the “Thor” comics. Now, we only saw a brief second of Skurge in action, wielding dual rifles and unleashing a hail of bullets at enemies unknown and yet it was all we needed to see to be sold on the character’s inclusion.
Director Taik Waititi seems to have gone all in with the character with a take that honors everything he is supposed to be while embracing the wonderful clash that comes with rifles and Asgardian mythology. With the addition of Hela, Valkyrie and now Skurge, Ragnarok is expanding the cast of the “Thor” movies greatly and we’re loving it. Karl Urban is a great choice to portray the Executioner and we look forward to seeing much more of the character in action.
Ask anyone who saw “The Dark World” and most will tell you that the villain, Malekith, was a bit of a letdown that lacked depth and characterization. We can safely say from barely two minutes of footage that “Ragnarok” will not suffer the same fate. Hela has already proven herself a fearsome and powerful foe to Thor and Asgard and Cate Blanchett looks to be having a rollicking good time in the role. She has already made it her own and has turned the Asgardian Goddess of Death into a force to be reckoned with.
Not only will we get to see Hela, but from what we have seen of the teaser trailer, it looks like we might also get our first real look at the Niffleheim realm and Hel, Hela’s domain. Thor’s world will get even bigger as it simultaneously crumbles down around him with Hela’s arrival. We have seen glimpses of what she is capable, from destroying Thor’s hammer to laying waste to Asgard’s armies and we can’t wait to see the full might of her powers.
9. A NEW VIBE
Ever since the release of “Thor: Ragnarok’s” new 80s-influenced title card, fans have been questioning what could have prompted that change. From the use of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” to the font and even the spirit and approach of the trailer, there seems to be quite a bit of old school stylish flair on display here without falling into heavy nostalgia territory. It’s a style and approach that fondly calls back to the wonderful Jack Kirby era of the comic books.
After the more Shakespearean approach to the first “Thor” movie and the medieval penchant of “The Dark World,” things seem to be heading in an entirely new direction for “Ragnarok.” A more vibrant direction, one that is as fun and exciting as dark and destructive. There seems to be a great mix of styles and influences here that this movie will greatly benefit from. Just like Skurge and his machine guns, there is a clash of worlds here, and it already works tremendously.
8. AMAZING VISUALS
Once again, we’ve only gotten a brief glimpse at what “Thor: Ragnarok” has in store for us and already we know that some amazing visuals will be part of it. From the opening shot of Thor falling down to rock and fire to a shot of what seems to be a legion of Valkyries falling from the skies, there is a beautiful visual quality on display here, one that looks carefully constructed, cinematic and worthy of Thor himself.
Already from these two minutes of footage we can tell that this movie will set itself apart from its two predecessors. There is a very iconic and larger-than-life feel on display in “Ragnarok,” one that is used to great effect. The characters in this movie are all god-like characters and their actions should come across as larger-than-life. Director Taika Waititi looks to have worked very hard on the visual tone of his film and its already paying off.
7. LOKI’S BACK
Last we saw Loki, he was hiding under the guise of his (adoptive) father Odin and sitting comfortably atop the throne of Asgard. While this was only a movie away from “Ragnarok” in the “Thor” series, it seems like it has been a very long time to Marvel movie fans, who have come to see “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Ant-Man,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Doctor Strange.” That’s right, a whole lot has happened since then.
After appearing in three movies in as many years and developing quite the fan base, it has been four years and six movies since we have seen Loki. This means he’s more than overdue for a comeback. And what a comeback does it promise to be. Once again, we haven’t see much of him, but already we know he will stand out from the pack. He may even be seen fighting for Asgard when Hela comes to attack it, seeing as Loki wishes not to see it destroyed, but to rule it.
6. THE DESTRUCTION OF ASGARD
Asgard has been a fixture of Thor’s movies, as well as the history of the MCU. We don’t exactly know how old it is but it has been around for thousands and thousands of years. It is the backbone of Thor’s world, a constant that he knows he can rely upon. Loki sought to control it in “Thor,” and we saw it come under attack at the hands of Malekith and the Dark Elves in “The Dark World,” but never were we worried that Asgard wouldn’t be standing come the movies’ credits.
But this time around, if the movie’s title wasn’t ominous enough, then maybe our first glimpse at Hela laying siege to Asgard is cause for concern. In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is the death of the Asgardians and the destruction of their world. The end, a final chapter. What was once strong and independent will come crumbling down. Hela will bring her fight to Asgard and this time, we don’t know what will come of it when the credits roll on “Ragnarok.”
5. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY INFLUENCES
With the use of the music, the new mix of colors, the vibrancy on display and a new sense of humor that delivers on the laughs, there was a very “Guardians of the Galaxy” vibe to the trailer. And all signs point to it actually being a good representation of the movie as a whole. In fact, Chris Hemsworth had previously said in interviews that the next “Thor” movie could benefit from an apporach similar to the “Guardians” movie, and it looks like the director and producers did just that.
This lively, musical and colorful approach to such a dark subject matter in the end of all things that is “Ragnarok” sets the movie apart from its predecessors and looks to be something incredibly special. And it’s not just in the approach as well, but also the content. We saw many glimpses of spaceships, other planets, various aliens, laser gun fights and even the Grandmaster himself, all of it promising a movie that will be set as much in Asgard as the rest of the Marvel cosmos.
4. TAIKA WAITITI’S DIRECTING
Anyone who has seen Taika Waititi’s “Hunt for the Wilder People” knows that he is a great director, and anyone who sat down to watch “What We Do In The Shadows” saw just how hilarious and dark his movies could be all at the same time. And yet, for those who had never heard of him, you may have seen a couple of little shorts he made titled “Team Thor,” which chronicled the Odinson’s time on Earth while his friends were too busy fighting each other in a little civil war they didn’t bother to invite him to.
“Team Thor” was essentially a mockumentary and it was uproariously hilarious. After that, there was little doubt that Waititi was a great choice to lead Thor into his next adventure. From the look of things, it even seems like Waititi brought his sense of humor with him after we all laughed and cheered, just as Thor himself did when he saw the Hulk show up to face him in the Grandmaster’s arena. “We know each other! He’s a friend from work!” Waititi’s expertise at balancing the intensity with the funny seems destined to become one of “Ragnarok’s” defining traits.
3. THOR ON HIS OWN
Away from Earth, from Asgard, from his closest friends and even from his most trusted companion and weapon Mjolnir, Thor will have to face a very different journey this time around. The Warrior’s Three will not fight at his side, Jane Foster, Darcy and Erik Selvig won’t be there to lend a helping scientific hand and Mjolnir will not come to his master when he calls for it. Plain and simply, this movie will see Thor away from his support system and left to his own devices, similar to Captain America without S.H.I.E.L.D.
This will gladly help shine the spotlight on Thor himself, as both a man and a god. No longer is he the all-powerful God of Thunder. We will see him on his own and away from everything he and the audience have come to associate with him. Familiar faces will surely come, but with the focus on him, Waititi and Hemsworth will show us exactly who Thor is. Not only is he an Asgardian, he is also a fighter, a hero, an Avenger.
2. THE RETURN OF THE HULK
Ever since the end of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” fans have been wondering where the Jade Giant has been hiding. “Captain America: Civil War” pushed those questions further when Bruce Banner didn’t show up to side with is friends in something so big as the Avengers fighting each other. Well, as we’ve come to know, it turns out that Banner and his alter ego weren’t even on Earth at the time, which, as alibis go, is pretty rock solid.
Borrowing more than a few pages from the “Planet Hulk” storyline from the comic books, the Hulk is now fighting in the Grandmaster’s arena and his next opponent is none other than his only other friend who didn’t take part in “Civil War.” As exciting as it will be to see these two go for round two, we also look forward to answers as to what happened to Banner after he hopped aboard that quinjet in “Age of Ultron,” as well as what else he has been up to since.
1. THE WINGED HELMET
Thor fans rejoice! The helmet has returned and it is glorious. Ever since Thor has worn his iconic helmet in the first scene we ever saw him in back in the first “Thor” movie, he was never shown wearing it again. As a classic element of the character in the comics, akin to Iron Man’s armor or Captain America’s helmet, longtime readers and fans of the character have been clamoring for the God of Thunder to wear his winged helmet in the movies.
It’s understandable that wearing this type of helmet for an actor over long periods of time can be a challenge and no one is faulting the production team of the Marvel movies for not opting to feature Thor with his helmet, but director Taika Waititi still found a logical and awesome way to bring it back: as part of Thor’s arena battle armor. It may be only for this scene, but the way it was presented to us and even the way it is featured on the released poster is telling us that this is the “Thor” movie we have all been waiting for.
Do you think “Ragnarok” will be Thor’s best movie yet? Let us know in the comments!