Thor and the other heroes are faced with the very real possibility they might not be able to defeat Hela. With no way of saving his home, Thor realizes he must allow Ragnarok to occur in order to prevent Hela’s power from growing. That’s when Surtur comes back into play. Thor and the Revengers plunge Surtur’s helmet into the Eternal Flame, allowing the fire demon to transform into a towering monster as he begins Asgard’s destruction.
He uses his enormous flaming sword to wipe out various parts of the golden city, and Asgard slowly begins to fall. Realizing her powers will diminish if Asgard is destroyed, Hela attempts to stop Surtur, only to seemingly by killed by the fiery blade. But we’ll get back to that. Using the sword for a final time, Surtur unleashes a devastating wave of fire that causes the entire planet to explode.
So, to answer our own headline: Yes, Thor: Ragnarok really does bring about the end of Asgard.
Asgard Is the People
Or does it? Physically, yes; the rainbow bridge and golden city are no more. But while Hela fought Surtur, Thor gathered the Asgardian refugees aboard a spaceship stolen from Sakaar and escaped. In a vision of Odin, Thor’s father explained the true spirit of Asgard isn't the city, but rather the people who live there.
Marvel Studios picks and choose what elements elements from the comic books to weave into its cinematic universe, so perhaps Asgard will relocate to Oklahoma. That follows a 2007 storyline in which Loki and his soldiers, armed with Uru hammers, destroyed the city during Ragnarok. However, we shouldn't get too ahead of ourselves, because, without Asgard, the Nine Realms are now defenseless.
The cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has the potential to get a lot crazier without Asgard's protection. If only there were a popular group of space heroes with experience in guarding the galaxy. Wait a minute, didn’t Marvel just give James Gunn some responsibility in planning the next wave of cosmic films? In that case, it as if the Guardians of the Galaxy could have much more on their plates.
And are there any huge threats that could benefit from having Asgard and Odin out of the way? Well, there’s a certain Mad Titan who will make his presence known very soon.
Infinity War and Beyond
Thor: Ragnarok's first post-credits scene depicts a terrifyingly huge ship looming over the Asgardians’ new vessel. Could this be Thor’s first encounter with Thanos? If we match the post-credits scene with the description of the Infinity War trailer screened at Disney's D23 Expo, Thanos might blast Thor across the galaxy, placing him on a collision course with Star-Lord's ship the Milano. That would introduce Thor to the Guardians, and give him a way back to Earth to warn the Avengers about the Mad Titan -- all because of the destruction of Asgard. Maybe we’re reaching, but surely Marvel wouldn’t move these cosmic pieces off the table for nothing.
With Asgard and Odin gone, Thor must find his own place in the universe. That’s what makes the destruction of his home such an incredible moment. The god of thunder is free, no longer tied to Asgard. If you thought that Thor: Ragnarok was a different -- and weird -- film, just imagine where Marvel will take the hero next, especially if director Taika Waititi returns for another solo outing.
This monumental decision enables the writers to explore a new dynamic. Whether that sees Thor spending more time with the Avengers or staying with the surviving Asgardians remains to be seen. However, it could allow Chris Hemsworth to make an easy exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All Marvel would have to do is say that Thor has departed to serve as ruler of what remains of Asgard, explaining away his absence. But rest assured, the end of Asgard is for the good of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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.