The eagerly anticipated Black Panther is set to release in February 2018 with the first part of Avengers: Infinity War following it in April 2018. As always, the internet is buzzing with new theories about how Ragnarok has hinted at what’s to come in the films. We still have many questions: Where is the last Infinity Stone? Did Loki take the tesseract? Will Matt Damon reprise his role as an Asgardian actor? To help, here at CBR, we’re looking at 15 fan theories about the MCU after Thor: Ragnarok.
Spoilers for most of the MCU ahead!
15 LOKI HAS THE TESSERACT
In the third act of Thor: Ragnarok where the Asgardians are fleeing the destruction of their home, Loki is sent to put Surtur’s helmet in the eternal flame, and on the way, he spots the tesseract. We know that the Tesseract, or anything that gives the bearer power, calls to Loki. While we don’t see him pocket the Tesseract, we should assume that he did.
This has consequences for Avengers: Infinity War -- Thanos will for sure be after it and can likely sense where it is, hence his ship appearing in Ragnarok’s final scene. Thanos isn’t known for diplomacy, so he will claim it and possibly punish Loki for having it in the first place. Luckily, Loki is used to prisons at this point, and as the god of mischief, he could weasel his way out of another one.
14 A HULK, BLACK WIDOW, AND VALKYRIE LOVE TRIANGLE
Thor: Ragnarok introduced Valkyrie, a woman who can drink and fight better than any man. She also seems to have a soft spot for the Hulk. The times when we saw her in good spirits usually involved the Hulk and their training. Could these feelings develop?
The MCU likes them some love triangles. One could say that this is lazy storytelling, but it is guaranteed to add conflict. It would be convenient to pair Valkyrie off with Thor, but some fans think there’s potential for a Hulk, Black Widow, Valkyrie triangle. Consider this: If Bruce becomes the Hulk permanently, which is hinted at in Ragarok, Black Widow would have to move on. She loves Bruce Banner but is scared of the Hulk, while Valkyrie clearly prefers the green guy. Then again, as the first bisexual Marvel character, Valkyrie may just ignore Thor and Banner altogether.
13 PHASE 3 “FAMILY” THEME WILL CONTINUE
Ragnarok is the third film in phase 3 to have a strong family theme (along with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2). This theme is likely to continue with Black Panther: T’Challa’s father died, which is why he’s king, and his sister and mother are likely going to have a significant impact on the plot. When family members are present in a story, fans always have to worry about their safety.
As far as Infinity War is concerned, we shouldn’t forget that the villain of the story has a family. Thanos adopted (more like stole) Gamora and Nebula, and it’s his terrible parenting that made Gamora and Nebula rivals in the first place. With Thanos gaining more power and more Infinity Stones, there is probably going to be a showdown between the father and his daughters.
12 HEIMDALL HAS THE LAST INFINITY STONE
Because the last Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, wasn’t revealed in Thor: Ragnarok, this rumor is still alive and well. CBR has even covered this theory before Ragnarok came out, but in case you haven’t heard this one, grab your Hofund and listen.
Now, we probably don’t have to spend too much time convincing you to look into Idris Elba’s eyes. Notice how Heimdall’s eyes are a glowing golden orange hue, similar to the color the Soul Stone is said to have. It was speculated that the Soul Stone was the stone in his armor, but with Ragnarok this will have to change since refugee Heimdall isn’t wearing armor. The stone could potentially be in his possession still, and if this is the case, Thanos showing up at the end becomes even worse for the Asgardians.
11 THE LAST INFINITY STONE IS IN WAKANDA
The Black Panther film already has a lot going for it. First, the cast is mostly made up of black actors, including talented women such as the legendary Angela Bassett. Second, Black Panther’s suit in the trailer has melted brains from here to Sokovia. Adding one more ingredient to what is already a recipe for an awesome film could spoil or enhance it. So we have to wonder: what if the last Infinity Stone is in Wakanda?
If the Soul Stone is in Wakanda, that means Thanos would be visiting Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War. Fans have pointed out that D23’s Infinity War footage suggests that this will happen. While there are many other reasons why Thanos would be in Wakanda, it’s certainly a possibility that part of Black Panther would involve finding the Soul Stone (even though it probably doesn’t need to).
10 THANOS FINDS THE SOUL STONE IN INFINITY WAR
It stands to reason that if the Soul Stone isn’t found in Thor: Ragnarok or Black Panther, then it must be found in the first Avengers: Infinity War film. We have been waiting for years, literally, to find out where the Soul Stone is. With all this build up, it would be ironic if it’s Thanos who discovers the last Infinity Stone in Infinity War.
If we thought the first two Avengers movies had a lot of cast members to juggle, Infinity War will prove that you can somehow schedule 50+ celebrities, give them all lines, and get it all shot before Death comes to claim us all. There is going to be a lot of plot to cover even with splitting the movie in two parts. If the Soul Stone isn’t found by Infinity War, its discovery may not get as much attention as we were expecting.
9 HELA AS MISTRESS DEATH
Mistress Death is a key figure in The Infinity Gauntlet comic. It’s her rejection of Thanos that causes him to seek the Infinity Gauntlet’s power. Mistress Death is Death personified, who sometimes takes a female form instead of a skeletal one. Some fans think that the goddess of death, Hela, can be combined with the Mistress Death figure.
Though we fell in love with Hela almost immediately, fans have pointed out that in order for this Mistress Death theory to work, Thanos will have to have met Hela previously to explain him wanting to prove himself to her. It’s completely reasonable to believe that he could have met her when she was conquering realms with Odin. Her rejection of him in the past could explain why he’s floated around in a space chair for so long.
8 THANOS WILL RESURRECT CROSSBONES
With Thanos at full power, it’s likely that he will resurrect fallen baddies to fight for him. One of these fighters could be Crossbones, whose story ended with a bang in Captain America: Civil War. MCU fans have been putting clues together based on a picture of the Crossbones actor, Frank Grillo.
Frank Grillo happened to be in Atlanta during Avengers 4 filming time. He’s in a recent picture posted by Robert Downey, Jr. at a charity event in Atlanta with other Avengers actors. Obviously, the actor could just be there for the charity, but if Infinity War is going to be playing with time (set photos have been released of actors in hairstyles and costumes from previous films), this could be mean that Crossbones has other ways to come back even if it’s not through resurrection.
7 LOKI WILL BECOME A GUARDIAN
Loki has well-documented daddy issues and has always been a bit of a misfit outcast. This sounds like most of the Guardians of the Galaxy characters who found a home with one another. One fan theory suggests that Loki meeting the Guardians will result in him gaining additional insight into his life as well as a potential home.
Loki and Peter could bond over dead mothers, growing up on different worlds, and difficult fathers. Loki and Gamora could bond over having a turbulent sibling relationship. And we can only imagine the hijinks that Loki and Rocket Raccoon could get into! After having these conversations, Loki could develop a stronger sense of himself, realize his life wasn’t all that terrible, and choose to either stay with Thor or his new friends.
6 HELA IS ALIVE AND THANOS WILL FIND HER
Don’t assume that a character is dead unless you see the body. In MCU films, even if you see the body, that doesn’t mean the character is dead. This means our new favorite villain from Thor: Ragnarok could be alive.
At the end of Ragnarok, Thanos’ ship appears shortly after the destruction of Asgard. If Hela is alive, floating around, he would sense her power. Since he loves collecting powerful things, he would snatch her up quickly before she’s restored to her full strength. If this were to happen, we could get a version of the Mistress Death storyline from the Infinity Gauntlet comic without going full Death. Although, this could just be wishful thinking since we loved Hela so much and would want to see more of her character.
5 THE PLAY ABOUT LOKI WILL COME TRUE
Whenever there’s a play in a story, we should pay attention. There are usually hints about characters, motivations, and plot. In Thor: Ragnarok, Matt Damon and Luke Hemsworth make cameos as Asgardian actors in a play that tells the story of The Dark World, specifically when Loki dies on Svartalfheim after confronting Malekith.
In the play version, Thor says that he’ll spread the word about how Loki saved Asgard. By the end of Ragnarok, Loki did help, but the stakes could be higher. Thanos represents the highest stakes any of the MCU characters have come across so far. The Asgardians and their ship looked very vulnerable in comparison to Thanos’ massive ship. Loki could save Asgard by doing something drastic to save the people because as the film repeats: Asgard is not a place. It’s a people.
4 LADY SIF WILL BE BACK
In the first two Thor films, Thor’s closest companions were Lady Sif and the Warriors Three. In Thor: Ragnarok, the Warriors Three are quickly dispatched when Hela comes to Asgard. Lady Sif wasn’t present in the film because of Jaimie Alexander’s scheduling conflicts, but this leaves room for her return.
Lady Sif has been a fan favorite character since her appearance in 2011’s Thor. It was her role in Phase 1 that ushered in the warrior woman characters to come. Feige has said that Sif was probably banished, but fans are coming up with creative ways for her to come back. Some fan theories joke that she was vacationing on Earth, and honestly, this would be the best scenario. The Asgardians, should they survive Thanos, are heading to Earth anyway, and Lady Sif could be the welcoming they need.
3 THOR’S VISION IN AGE OF ULTRON WILL COME TRUE
Thanks to Scarlet Witch, Thor has a vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In it, Heimdall has white (presumably blind) eyes, tells Thor that “we’re all dead,” and calls him “a destroyer.” This definitely foreshadowed Ragnarok, but it could further come to fruition in future MCU films.
Asgard is destroyed, so the “you’re a destroyer” line makes sense post-Ragnarok. “We’re all dead” is obviously referring to the Asgardians, and while Ragnarok happened, the Asgardians … are not dead. Fans theorize that because of this line from Age of Ultron, the Asgardians will die despite all of the mighty Thor’s efforts. Also, fans have tried account for Heimdall’s eyes in the vision. If the Soul Stone is connected to his power of seeing a million souls, could this mean that he’s blind because the Soul Stone was taken away from him? Fans seem to think so.
2 VALKYRIE WILL LEAD THE THOR FRANCHISE
We can’t expect Chris Hemsworth to be Thor forever. At some point, his contract will end, and Marvel will likely usher in new heroes, which is already beginning with Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. Phase 4 doesn’t have many details, so this could be when new heroes begin to replace the established heroes. When it comes to representing the Thor franchise, we have an equally powerful and progressive Asgardian now with Valkyrie.
According to one fan theory, there may come a time, perhaps sooner than we think, when Thor will be unable to answer the call for help. If this is the case, we have the equally capable Valkyrie to take his place. While she may not necessarily get her own movie franchise, she could be the representative of Asgard whenever Hemsworth -- and his triceps -- retires.
1 LOKI WILL DIE
Thor: Ragnarok gave us the most developed version of the Loki character to date. Fittingly, this happened after Thor realized that instead of imploring Loki to “stop the madness,” he should just accept who Loki is. Loki then stepped up with defeating Hela and getting the people off of Asgard. With all of this development, fans think he may only have one more place to go: Valhalla.
The clues have been there for the entirety of this list: Thanos is likely going to take the Tesseract from Loki and then punish him. Loki could die from this. Like the play he enjoyed as king of Asgard, Loki could also die to save the Asgardians -- sacrificing himself for their lives would be the ultimate marker of growth (he’d have never done something that selfless in the past), and his death would solidify how serious the situation is in Infinity War.
Did this list Ragna-rock your world? Let us know which theories you think are true in the comments!