Taika Waititi stunned fans with a “Thor: Ragnarok” teaser that looked unlike anything the franchise ever offered before. The director stamped his arrival with a colorful and stunning visual aesthetic (while keeping his signature humor factor) to the Chris Hemsworth-led movie. This had folks comparing it to the overall mood and excitement of what James Gunn did with his “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise.
Diehards of Marvel Studios were also treated to the Hulk’s first appearance since “Avengers: Age of Ultron” with Waititi embedding bits and pieces of “Planet Hulk’s” gladiator arena into the main thread of Hela’s hatred for Asgard. The clip showed Thor banished to an alien planet to fight for his life while Hela laid siege to his home. As a result, CBR decided to analyze 15 things we think we’re worthy enough to see when the movie hits cinemas!
15. THANOS MEETING HELA
“The Unworthy Thor” comic made a major revelation recently with Hela pledging her services to Thanos and even sharing a kiss with him in what appears to be her audition to be his new mistress of death. She promised him bloodshed, which is something he’s always been fascinated with, and the timing could not be more coincidental. With Cate Blanchett (as Hela) bringing the MCU’s first real female supervillain to life, and given how powerful she looked while seemingly destroying Mjolnir in the teaser, she could be sticking around for a while.
Given that Asgard was housing the Space Stone (Tesseract) in Odin’s vault, there’s a good chance she may acquire it while laying waste to Thor’s home, and what better way for her and Thanos to make an MCU connection by her offering it to him as a partner in war, or maybe something more. It would make an epic post-credits scene seeing Thanos getting his hands on the item, signaling what could be the first move towards “Avengers: Infinity War.”
14. HEIMDALL VS. SKURGE
Fans have long called for Heimdall to be used in a more badass manner in the MCU akin to the comics. Idris Elba didn’t do much as the character in the first movie, but in “Thor: The Dark World,” he got more battle-time by taking on Malekith’s armies and their war vessels. Even though he’s a sentry (with all-seeing eyes), we would like to see more of him as a formidable warrior, which Waititi already hinted at in the teaser. What better opponent to battle than Skurge The Executioner?
Karl Urban will be playing this villain so that’s already a fight made in Norse heaven given that both actors are superb physical specimens! After failing to see Heimdall take on Kurse in the last movie (when he infiltrated Asgardian quarters and was killed by Loki), we’re hoping to see Skurge used as Heimdall’s main foil as he’s the right kind of match-up. He’s not as powerful as Thor, but still strong enough to tackle Heimdall. It would be awesome seeing the hero wielding his sword against Skurge’s guns.
13. THOR-IFFIC CAMEOS
It wouldn’t be a Marvel Studios movie without some epic cameos and we would love to see some that would build towards “Infinity War.” Given that the “Guardians of the Galaxy” sequel will be out of the way by then, it would be nice to witness the spacefarers meeting with Thor after his galactic trek, perhaps warning him of Thanos’ impending invasion. Doctor Strange is also a strong candidate to appear (as he and Thor already shared screen-time in Strange’s solo flick), and we could even see the likes of Balder or Amora (a.k.a. Enchantress) popping up.
The Black Order (Thanos’ death squad in the comics) could also be teased, as well as Black Panther, who will be getting his solo film early next year. A big curveball could be Red Skull, who vanished while trying to use the Tesseract in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Maybe Hela has him somewhere as a hidden ally after that underwhelming disappearance, and he could well be tapped up to be used as an agent of chaos for Thanos.
12. THE JARNBJORN AXE
With Mjolnir apparently shattered by Hela in the teaser, we saw Thor in the gladiator arena using a club and reduced to a mere shell of himself. Hopefully, when he gets free from his imprisonment, he goes back to comic basics and uses the battle axe known as Jarnbjorn (as some teaser images showed him with a sword too). Seen prominently in “The Unworthy Thor,” this axe was forged by Dwarves, and is sharper than almost all Earthly weapons. This means it can cut virtually anything and also has a blood-charm placed on it that makes it indestructible, to the point where it can pierce the armor of Celestials.
It looks much cooler than a simple sword and gives Thor that medieval yet regal Norse god feel. A sword would be overplayed as it’s something almost all Asgardian soldiers use, so to truly differentiate Thor as a mighty warrior, Waititi should be using the axe which would still manage to make the Odinson come off as intimidating.
11. EPIC THOR & HULK FIGHT
In “The Avengers,” we got a tease of Hulk and Thor brawling when Loki manipulated Bruce Banner aboard the Helicarrier into losing his temper and attacking the heroes. The two powerhouses went toe to toe with each other, ripping apart the vessel in an evenly-contested affair. Their rivalry was seen further after they teamed up to take down the Chitauri arsenal, with Hulk then cheekily punching Thor away in celebration.
This seems like the movie to continue that fight and we’re hoping it’s as bonkers as when Iron Man donned his Hulkbuster suit (in “Age of Ultron”) to take the green behemoth down after Scarlet Witch tricked Banner (yet again) into fighting his friends. This time around, we hope they cut loose because there’s not much collateral damage to worry about on another planet. Thor joked that Hulk was his co-worker in the teaser, but until we know Hulk’s mindset, it’s highly unlikely he will be copacetic with catching up on old times.
10. LESS LOKI, MORE HELA
This movie already has all the ingredients to be Hela good! We’ve seen what her power can do, not just against Thor, but against Asgard on the whole. She appeared to plunder it with fire and that’s the kind of intimidation that Loki lacked with all of his covert missions and mind games. She’s more direct and scary, so we’re hoping they focus more on her, and less on Loki.
We’ve seen enough of the trickster (in two “Thor” movies and “The Avengers”) with the Chitauri and the Destroyer, so let’s move past his whining and craving to sit atop Asgard, and move onto someone who’s more ambitious. Loki’s petulant and insolent, but Hela is simply beyond pettiness and selfishness. She’s all about business and using true physical power to attain success. Blanchett is expected to deliver gold and in every glimpse so far, she looks to be a scene-stealer. We’re sure Loki will do fine but he’s gotten a bit stale and the franchise does need to be freshened up.
9. SURTUR UNLEASHED
One of the biggest threats to Asgard in the comics has been the fire demon known as Surtur. He’s caused Odin major problems in the past and as a result, Thor also became his sworn enemy. His existence revolves around utter destruction and the demon is often linked with being a part of Ragnarok a.k.a. Asgard’s end of days.
It would be amazing if Hela stored this monstrosity in her fiery pits as a secret weapon, especially as we saw hints of her dominion (called Hel) when Thor was chained up at the start of the teaser. He would also give Thor and Hulk a major reason to team up as they did against the Chitauri, as he’s one of the most powerful forces that has ever threatened Asgard. Surtur rules Muspelheim (the realm of fire on the World Tree), and this would be a great retcon into Hela’s origins and her actual motivations against Asgard and its inhabitants.
8. VALKYRIE & THOR LOVE CONNECTION
It seems that Waititi is changing up Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson) a bit and instead of making her a key member of Asgard’s army, she looks to be a hunter gathering fighters for the Grandmaster (played by Jeff Goldblum) and his arena. Having her and Thor reconcile differences and perhaps sharing similar heritage could ignite a spark between them, which would make sense with MCU moving away from Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster.
We would finally get someone of Thor’s calibre for him to be with as it seems Sif is also not factoring in much in the film. Positioning Valkyrie as a potential queen would be big, not just in terms of diversity, but also because she would be just as versed in the art of war as Thor is, allowing her to be a true guardian to Asgard who could protect it when Thor flies off for Avengers duty. He needs someone to fight with him, not be a damsel in distress, or be another peripheral figure like the Warriors Three.
7. THE MIDGARD SERPENT
The Midgard Serpent is another monster who is linked with bringing about Ragnarok and in the comics, it was often stored in Hel. This offers Hela another potential war toy to use, which would make sense given that it was part of a huge prophecy that promised Asgard’s downfall, as well as the death of its ruler. This could end up being Thor or Odin, but as long as we see the creature attacking, we’ll be fine.
Fans were fooled into thinking the leviathans Joss Whedon cooked up for the Chitauri may have been the Midgard Serpent, so now this is a chance to get the giant snake and harbinger of destruction done right. It could also be executed visually as a dragon, which would be even more perfect given that there won’t be any Fin Fang Foom in the MCU and its “Iron Man” stories. Monsters like this are what made the Jack Kirby and Walt Simonson stories so grand, so it’s about time we get them in full force.
6. FIGHTING ALIEN BEHEMOTHS
“Thor” is a comic franchise that’s always been about exploring and spectacle, which is something the movies haven’t really delved into. These films had a more grounded Thor, focusing a lot on him saving Earth, with the Asgardians tied more to science than anything. With him expanding his reach to alien planets, we’re hoping Thor cuts loose and goes all out on big creatures and aliens like what James Gunn and his team of rogues did for the “GOTG” franchise.
It’s tough given that this “Thor” franchise doesn’t have an “Infinity War” budget, but apart from the Frost Giants in Kenneth Branagh’s first movie, everything else was just soldiers. This was observed in Alan Taylor’s “The Dark World,” which used an army of elves as well as the Korg. That said, we’re pretty much keen to see things rectified with a true space adventure or saga of the realms unfolding like in “John Carter of Mars.” What god wouldn’t be up for fighting gigantic monsters in the cosmos?
5. LOKI’S DEATH
The trickster faked his death in the last movie and disguised himself as Odin to rule Asgard. This movie will deal with the repercussions, especially with Thor infuriated for being duped yet again after forgiving his brother. We’re not sure if Loki will be Hela’s son as per the comics, or how aligned he is to her, but when she’s ready to deal the final blow, it would be nice if he sacrifices himself genuinely to save his people, Odin (his adoptive father), and his Asgardian family in general.
It would bring about great redemption and make for powerful storytelling because if Thor’s to be truly worthy, he needs to be forgiving and kind. Having him let go of all these demons with his brother’s death could redefine him and even spur him into taking the crown of Asgard. Given that the Chitauri were a gift from Thanos, and Loki lost the Mind Stone, Thanos could also end up killing him, giving Thor a reason for revenge. Loki’s course has been run in the MCU so it’s best to give him a proper send-off.
4. DON’T OVERDO THE HUMOR
Waititi is known for the comedic vibe in his movies and honestly, it’s something he does well. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is a recent example of this, as it showed how he loves blending humor and endearment into stories that are masked with serious messages. This is a good formula for “Ragnarok,” but it’s still the Asgardian apocalypse so while the new tone makes it stand out, let’s hope it isn’t drastically shifted from a story of gods and wars.
As much as the humor does seem to be working in the teaser, we don’t want an essence too similar to what Gunn does because the Asgardians of the Galaxy could get old really quickly if we hear similar jibes and jokes. It looks like there will be a lot of action, so that’s an optimistic note, but if we get a lot of Thor joking around or engaging in a buddy-buddy relationship with Hulk, it could throw the audience off as Hela will most likely be razing Asgard. Waititi needs to be careful with these oscillating tones so that there isn’t much disconnect in the narrative.
3. NO MORE FAMILY DYNAMIC
Thor’s family dynamic is way played out, exploiting every trope there is. We’ve seen rebellious sons, a loving mother, an obstinate father, the death of a parent, the loss of a son and sibling, and so on. It’s all been done before with this dysfunctional family so to really move past this, it may take, not just the death of Loki, but that of Odin to break this cycle.
We want Thor to be his own man and move away from the past, which is why ruling with a queen could be the next step in the character’s evolution. There’s only so many times he can hash the throne out with his father or be tricked by Loki. This freed-up Thor would also have a new dimension to him when he takes up arms with the Avengers, similar to J.M.S.’s run where he warned Iron Man not to cross his rule after “Civil War.” We may end up with a more stern and cynical god, which has a lot of potential in terms of having him actually pick a side following the Sokovia Accords debacle.
2. OTHERWORLDLY SOUNDTRACK
The “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise may have a rival in terms of music now! Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” complemented Waititi’s visuals, and hinted that the music bed or soundtrack to “Ragnarok” could be gearing to blow our minds. Waititi has said he wants a retro feel, so once it’s something that is separated from Gunn’s scores and his own musical style of filmmaking, we’ll be good to go. The MCU doesn’t need repetition, after all, especially not at this point with Thanos looming.
There’s a stark sense of adventure and fun incoming with “Ragnarok,” so a bubbly, fizzy, yet action-oriented score would certainly do the trick. It may end up being a buddy-buddy movie with Thor and Hulk so it’s not like it has to be kept to the rock and roll realm. Waititi’s movies always have a poppy musical element to them that adds new character to the film, so with that flair spiced in here, we’re expecting audio delight when Thor goes on his galactic quest and tries to return home. We’re eager to see how many mix tapes the director is going to put out too.
1. KING THOR
Thor relinquished the crown in the last film as he wanted to be with Jane Foster on Earth. With that not seemingly working out, having him return to rule Asgard would be quite a statement, and a mature one at that. Given that Loki stole the crown and Odin’s even older now, Thor could be ready at long last to bear this responsibility he’s avoided for so long — to protect his people. Both his father and brother may not survive this movie, so it would make sense that he assumes the position to steer Asgard clear of Earth’s “Civil War” drama.
Even in the comics, Thor isn’t often seen as a ruler, but in this case, it would be something that makes him more assertive, kingly and revered. He would also be feared due to his heroics in the field of war and willingness to be open minded, after his Avengers exploits. He’s already shown big signs of being a potential king so it’s about time this was made official so he could truly start assembling defenses for Thanos, with Asgard as a potential first wave.
Thoughts on our picks? What would you like to see when “Thor: Ragnarok” hits cinemas?