WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok, in theaters now.
By now, judging by the weekend box office numbers, most of you have seen the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Ragnarok. While CBR has gone over numerous aspects of the film, there’s one detail we haven't speculated about much: What are they going to do with all of those Asgardians on that massive spaceship?
Obviously, we don’t know the answer just yet, but we do have some ideas. If you look at Thor’s comic book history and the ending of Ragnarok, it appears that Earth might be receiving a good number of Asgardian immigrants. Or, you know, Thanos might just kill them all.
But let's break down the possibilities.
Asgard Is a People!
For those who haven’t seen the Marvel Studios sequel, a quick recap: Thor and his “Revengers” -- Loki, Valkyrie and the Hulk -- defeated Hela, but were forced to destroy Asgard in the process and fulfill the prophecy of Ragnarok, "the end of all things," as the thunder god explains. In a pretty great twist, Thor realized his earlier defeat of Surtur, who's instrumental in the prophecy, posed a problem: He required the fire giant to fight Hela and destroy Asgard, the source of her powers. Unfortunately, that now means Thor and the other surviving Asgardians are now refugees.
The last we see of them, the Asgardians are flying through space in a commandeered vessel, looking for a place to call home. As is repeated throughout the film, “Asgard is not a place. Asgard is a people.” Thus, wherever they land will be the new Asgard. Thor, of course, decides Earth is a proper destination. Unfortunately, as we see, before he can finally set a course for Midgard, a hulking ship shows up behind them, leaving everyone’s fate uncertain.
So, what happens next?
Thanos Makes His Move
The only real hint that we have about what happens after Ragnarok comes from the description of the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War screened in July at Comic-Con International. As you no doubt know by now, that footage begins with Thor crashing into the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship, the Milano. They bring him in, and ask who he is. If you try to fill in the gap between the end of Thor: Ragnarok and the beginning of that footage (or at least its description), it appears the encounter with the vessel that intercepted the Asgardians -- it's been confirmed as Thanos' Sanctuary II -- didn't end well.
It might be easy to jump to the conclusion, then, that Thor was the only survivor of whatever happened next, which would be an undeniably dark turn, leaving Thor the last of his kind. However, we know that Chris Hemsworth is joined in Infinity War by Mark Ruffalo's Hulk, Tom Hiddleston's Loki and, possibly, Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, so that scenario can probably be ruled out.
What’s more likely is that Earth will receive an influx of new residents.
Welcome to Broxton, Oklahoma, Population: Asgard
For those not super-familiar with Thor’s comic book history, Asgard has been destroyed before; it's occurred several times, in fact. The most memorable version of the post-Ragnarok Asgard was told in writer J. Michael Straczynski’s Thor run in the mid-2000s. After the destruction of Asgard, Thor and his people rebuilt their home as a city floating above Broxton, Oklahoma. As you can imagine, the Asgardian people living in such proximity with the residents of Oklahoma meant there were plenty of fish-out-of-water high jinks. It was an interesting turn of events, and led to a great deal of fun stories.
So, let’s assume that Thanos isn’t going to perform genocide on the remaining Asgardians. In this scenario, what will likely happen is that Thanos takes over the Asgardian ship and, in the battle, Thor finds himself separated from his people. Thanos has the Asgardians imprisoned, and after the events of Infinity War, Thor rescues them. That’s still going to leave the Asgardians without a home, and Earth would definitely be a welcome retreat. It would be amazing to have New Asgard, or whatever they dub the city, arrive in Oklahoma. Even if they don’t make it a floating kingdom, there’s plenty of uninhabited land in that part of the country for the gods to stake out as their own.
That would create a fun status-quo change for Thor and for Asgard, as Marvel's god of thunder claims his birthright and ascends the throne. It would leave the idea of a Thor 4 (sorry, Thor: Ragnarok 2) open, and allow someone like director Taika Waititi have a ton of fun with the Asgard-meets-Oklahoma story.
Plus, let’s be honest: New Asgard, Oklahoma, does have a nice ring to it, right?
In theaters nationwide, director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Cate Blanchett as Hela, Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Karl Urban as Skurge.