WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, which opens Nov. 3 in North America.
With Thor: Ragnarok now playing in the United Kingdom, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has finally addressed the role played in the sequel by the fan-favorite Warriors Three, who have been conspicuously absent from the marketing blitz.
Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg have been faithful allies of Chris Hemsworth's thunder god in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World. But in Thor: Ragnarok, the trio meets a quick and violent end during a confrontation with Hela in the opening minutes.
At a press junket attended by Screen Rant and other media outlets, Feige defended theirs deaths, explaining "they had noble ends." He also admitted acknowledged they met their swift ends "mainly to serve the arrival of Hela, the arrival of the biggest villain into the MCU, who within the first five minutes destroys the hammer, kicks Loki and Thor out of Asgard, and kills almost anyone we’ve ever met before in the other movies."
While the films follows Thor's quest to return to Asgard to defeat Hela, there's no moment when the Warriors Three are mourned, or even mentioned again. To fans who might be put off by the treatment of these characters, Feige mentioned that "they will be remembered," so perhaps their deaths will be mentioned in Avengers: Infinity War.
This, of course, does not address the absence of Lady Sif. Because of scheduling conflicts with Jaimie Alexander, her character is not seen in the film. Feige insisted Sif's her whereabouts will be explained, but there's no indication as to where or when.
Debuting Nov. 3 in North American theaters, director Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Cate Blanchett as Hela, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Karl Urban as Skurge, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk and Anthony Hopkins as Odin.