On November 3, 2017, the next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will hit theaters, Thor: Ragnarok. It promises to be an epic movie spread across outer space and one that brings the God of Thunder up against some of his strongest enemies yet. We're pretty excited about the movie here at CBR, and there have been some teases and new information released recently, so we thought it was time to give an overview of what we expect to see.
Thor: Ragnarok has been described as raising the stakes for both Thor and the MCU, taking the hero to a new world where he'll face threats to the existence of Earth and Asgard. There's also an incredible cast with old favorites from the earlier Thor movies, along with new characters and a host of stars like Jeff Goldblum and Cate Blanchett. The movie will also dig deeper into Norse mythology than ever before, bringing more of the Nine Realms onto the screen for the first time. Old friends could die, new friends could rise, and it's all going to lead into the biggest Marvel movie yet, Avengers: Infinity War. Let's talk about what we know will happen and what we're hoping for.
WARNING: This article will have spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: The Dark World.
15 FACT: THOR VS. RAGNAROK
Pretty much the first thing we knew about Thor: Ragnarok came from the title, which is that it involves Ragnarok. In ancient Norse mythology, Ragnarok was the end of the world, a future battle between the major gods and monstrous creatures where Earth would be destroyed and renewed.
Rumors, leaks and even the official summary have confirmed that Thor: Ragnarok will be about Thor trying to stop Ragnarok from falling onto Asgard and destroying his homeworld and possibly Earth as well. It's going to be Thor vs. the Apocalypse with higher stakes than anyone in the Marvel Universe has ever faced, which means it's going to have a massive impact. We don't know yet how far the story will go towards showing Ragnarok, but we have a pretty good idea of who's responsible.
14 FACT: HELA IS THE VILLAIN
The Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett will be playing Hela, the main villain of Thor: Ragnarok, and she's not only the first female villain of a Marvel movie, she's also a rival god. Hela is another element from Norse mythology who was introduced in the comics with Journey into Mystery #102 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, based on the Norse goddess of the dead, Hel.
According to reports, Hela will be the ruler of Hel and Niflheim, the Norse realms of the dead, just like in the comics. At the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok, Hela will have been imprisoned for thousands of years until she is accidentally released. Hela will be the one who tries to trigger Ragnarok, which leads her into conflict with Thor.
13 FACT: THOR LOSES MJOLNIR
The superhero Thor loves his all-powerful hammer, Mjolnir. He uses it to fly, summon lightning bolts, and (of course) hit things with it. When Thor lost his hammer in his first movie, it was the loss of his very identity as a Norse god. He got it back and has been slamming his way through the Marvel universe ever since, but it looks like he's going to lose it again in Thor: Ragnarok, and it will be even worse.
In the trailers for Ragnarok, we've seen Hela actually catch Mjolnir in mid-air, something that was thought to be impossible for anyone who wasn't considered worthy. Hela even seems to shatter the mighty weapon, which means he can't just pick it up again. It looks like Thor is going to have his work cut out for him.
12 FACT: PLANET HULK
The major theme that's been picked up in trailers and press material is that Thor: Ragnarok will use some major plot elements from the 2006 storyline, "Planet Hulk," so let's get into what that was and how it will affect the movie. Starting in Incredible Hulk #92 (Greg Pak, Carlo Pagulayan), several superheroes on Earth tricked the Hulk onto a spaceship that crash-landed on a remote world named Sakaar, where he was forced to fight in gladiatorial combat.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is apparently sent to the planet Sakaar, which has the same love of gladiators as the comic series. Without Mjolnir, Thor has to put up with fighting in an arena until he can escape, but discovers his opponent will be the Hulk. No word yet on why or how Hulk ends up on Sakaar.
11 FACT: THE GRANDMASTER
Another major character from the comic books we know will be in Thor: Ragnarok is the Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldblum. The Grandmaster first appeared in 1969's The Avengers #69 (Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema), one of the all-powerful and immortal Elders of the Universe. Some sources have made him the brother of the Collector, who has already appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Grandmaster is a lover of games and gambling who tried to pit teams of heroes and villains against each other, which ties well into Thor: Ragnarok. According to Goldblum and other sources, the Grandmaster will be the ruler of Sakaar, where he's created the arena combat as the ultimate game of chance. He'll be a secondary villain, forcing Thor and the Hulk into mortal combat.
10 FACT: JANE FOSTER'S GONE
In the comics, Jane Foster has always been the love of Thor's life. She first appeared in Journey into Mystery #84 in 1962 (Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby) where she was a nurse working for Dr. Donald Blake, Thor's alter ego. Over time, she fell in love with Thor, became a doctor herself and even became the new Thor when he lost his worthiness in 2014.
That's why it's been bothering fans how little Jane has shown up in the movies. She was in 2011's Thor, played by Natalie Portman and also in Thor: The Dark World, but not in any of the other Marvel movies. It's been confirmed she's not going to be in Ragnarok and it looks like they have no plans to bring her back at all.
9 FACT: THOR LOVES VALKYRIE
In Thor: Ragnarok, the hero will have a new love interest, one who might be a better match for a god of Thunder. According to reports, an Asgardian woman known as Valkyrie will be his romantic partner, played by Tessa Thompson. Valkyries have always been a part of Nordic mythology, and also a character from Marvel comics with the same name.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Valkyrie will be a tough warrior from his homeworld who is working with the Grandmaster for unknown reasons. She doesn't think much of Thor, so there seems to be some history there, and we hope the movie will explain why she's on Sakaar instead of Asgard. She's powerful and arresting, so there's no wondering why Thor would fall for her. The only question is whether she'll be a friend or an enemy or an enemy who turns into a friend and more.
8 FACT: DOCTOR STRANGE MEETS THOR
Marvel movies are famous for cameos from other actors and their teasers during the credits, and the mid-credits scene of 2016's Doctor Strange set up an encounter for Thor: Ragnarok. Those who stayed during the credits would have seen Strange meeting with Thor, who explained he was looking for his father, Odin. Strange agreed to help Thor to get Loki off of Earth, as he considered him trouble.
Marvel has confirmed that Doctor Strange will play a role in Thor: Ragnarok, as promised. We don't know how big of a role yet, but we do know that Strange would fit right into Thor's world of magic and monsters. We can assume that Strange will be helping Thor, but whether the doctor will end up on Asgard, Sakaar or just be a brief cameo is an answer we're looking forward to.
7 FACT: ODIN RETURNS
In Thor: The Dark World, the final scene had a shocking twist. We had seen Loki apparently die, and later on, a guard approaching Odin who turned out to be Loki. Not only that, but later on Odin seemed to be back on the throne, only to change into Loki himself. That meant Loki was alive and pretending to be Odin. What happened to Odin?
Well, Anthony Hopkins himself later said that Odin was dead, apparently killed by Loki. Still, Anthony Hopkins is confirmed to be in Thor: Ragnarok. The next question was, of course, how is Odin going to be in Ragnarok if he died in the last movie? There seem to be hints that Odin will appear in a flashback showing how he actually died, which should be exciting to see the final moments of this proud Asgardian.
6 FACT: LOKI WILL RULE
We know Loki will be in Thor Ragnarok, where we'll learn what the fallout was from his pretending to be Odin. We can assume it didn't go well, since Thor knows Loki is alive, which means he also knows Odin is dead. Yet in the Doctor Strange teaser, Thor said he was searching for his father. With the clues about Hela, we can piece together what might be happening.
It seems like Thor found out his brother was still alive, but doesn't know Odin is dead. Loki might have revealed himself, but not his role in Odin's disappearance. We can also assume Loki is somehow involved in the release of Hela from her prison. We also know he's working with the Grandmaster somehow, as we see Loki being held prisoner on the planet, rescued by Thor and subsequently teaming up with his erstwhile brother once again!
5 RUMOR: MJOLNIR'S FATE
How Valkyrie will connect to the rest of the Marvel Universe has yet to be seen, but that hasn't stopped rumors from flying. In the comics, Valkyrie has had a complex history with her spirit being transferred to different beings including a woman named Barbara Norriss who she replaced on Earth. There's no sign that Valkyrie will go that route, but there is a rumor that she'll have a role in the future Marvel universe.
Some have wondered if, as an Asgardian, Valkyrie will end up having the power to lift Mjolnir. That's happened before in Avengers: Age of Ultron when the Vision proved worthy of the hammer. There's also the fact that Chris Hemsworth's contract will be ending soon. With Thor having been replaced by a woman in the comics, Valkyrie could end up as a replacement for Thor.
4 RUMOR: SURTUR
Marvel has confirmed that another Marvel villain would show up: Surtur, another character from Norse mythology adapted by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963's Journey into Mystery #97. He's a giant fire bat demon thing and the ruler of Muspelheim, a world from the Nine Realms that's constantly on fire, much like Hell.
That fits in with the theme of Hela, and Surtur has been one of Thor's most dangerous foes for years, so it's no surprise he would show up in Thor's movie. His role hasn't been fully explained, but we can assume he has some connection to the goddess of the underworld. By now we have all seen the footage from the second trailer of the Hulk falling into a sea of fire that forms a face, which means Surtur might be connected to how the Hulk gets to Sakaar or how they get off... if that demon is indeed Surtur and not just some creature on Sakaar (there are lava beasts on the planet in the comics, after all).
3 RUMOR: THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
Marvel's been teasing the Infinite Gauntlet, an all-powerful artifact made of six gems created by the tyrant Thanos to alter the universe. Five gems have already been seen in the movies; the Space Stone in the Avengers' Tesseract, the Power Stone in the Guardians of the Galaxy's Orb, the Reality Stone from the Aether in Thor: The Dark World, the Mind Stone in the Chitauri scepter, and the Time Stone in Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto.
The sixth Infinity Stone -- the Soul Gem -- hasn't been revealed, but fans expect it to show up in Thor: Ragnarok, since it's the last film to lead into Infinity War. In the comics, the Grandmaster had the Mind Stone. Since the Mind Stone has already been found, he might have the Soul Stone or Hela might be the one with the stone, which of course would make sense. We'll find out soon enough.
2 RUMOR: THE WORLD SERPENT AND FENRIR
Remember earlier when we talked about monsters in Ragnarok? Well, fans are hoping to see those monsters in Thor: Ragnarok, and a fight with them would be truly epic. In the original mythology, Ragnarok will lead to a gigantic snake called Jormungand the World Serpent to rise from the oceans. Thor would fight the World Serpent, and a gigantic wolf named Fenrir would kill Odin, the latter of which we think we have seen in the second trailer, fighting with the Hulk.
Thor has fought Jormungand several times in the comics, so this would be amazing on screen. While we don't even know if Ragnarok will actually happen in Thor: Ragnarok, it would really amazing if it at least started. The movie could climax with Hela starting Ragnarok like Loki started the Chitauri invasion, and Thor had to fight a massive serpent, while Hulk takes out the giant wolf. The CGI will be working overtime on this one.
1 RUMOR: THOR VS. ZOMBIES
As long as we're dreaming, let's talk about zombies. Another part of the myth of Ragnarok was the dead warriors of the underworld returning to life. With Hela the goddess of the dead involved in the movie, that seems like it would make a great climactic ending to the movie. In fact, it could get much worse than just a bunch of skeletons attacking Thor.
One rumor has been that Heimdall, the guardian of the Rainbow Bridge, would die in the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok. If that's true, then it would be really horrifying if Heimdall rose up as part of Hela's army, forced to fight his former friend. Imagining Thor battling a wave of undead soldiers including Heimdall, especially without Mjolnir, is enough to give us goosebumps.
Scheduled to hit US theaters on November 3, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
What are you looking forward to in Thor: Ragnarok? Let us know in the comments!