WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, in theaters now.
Fans have seen the trailers for Thor Ragnarok in which a fiery wave rips through Asgard, seemingly signaling the destruction of the mythical home of the gods as the hands of Hela. After all, she’s the powerful goddess of death, strong enough to not only catch Mjolnir in mid-air but also destroy it. Clearly she's more than a match for Thor and Loki; otherwise, Chris Hemsworth's god of thunder wouldn't have to assemble his own team of "Revengers."
But does Asgard actually fall in Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok?
What Is Ragnarok?
When Marvel Studios announced the title of its third Thor film, plenty of people undoubtedly turned to the internet to learn what in the world "Ragnarok" is. For those familiar with Norse mythology, or Marvel comics, Ragnarok has an incredibly destructive meaning: It signals the end of all things, including several major gods. The apocalyptic event, "the doom of the gods," involves a terrible battle that ends with the world destroyed, only to be reborn for the survivor. So when Thor: Ragnarok was announced, fans were quickly clued in to the potential destruction of Asgard and, quite possibly, the deaths of major characters.
Fire Demon Surtur
The film actually opens with the fire demon Surtur explaining to Thor how he’s going to burn down Asgard using his helmet once he gets his hands on the "Eternal Flame." Thor stops him, of course, and returns to Asgard relatively unscathed, and places the helmet -- first see in July with a Hot Toys figure -- in Odin's Vault for safe keeping. Considering that chamber also houses the Eternal Flame, it seems more than a little risky to store those two objects in such proximity, as they can lead to the end of the world. (But who are we to judge?) So the means for Asgard's destruction are established from the very beginning of Thor: Ragnarok.
But Surtur and the specter of Ragnarok soon slip into the background as Hela (Cate Blanchett) makes her way onto the stage following the death of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Through some convenient exposition from supporting characters like Heimdall (Idris Elba), it’s revealed Hela draws her power from Asgard itself, becoming stronger when she’s near it. The goddess mounts her assault of the realm and swiftly takes control. That means once Thor returns from exile on the far-flung planet Sakaar, he and his allies must fight to free Asgard. However, Hela and her undead army prove too strong.