You may have heard the news by now that #Marvel centerpiece Avengers: Infinity War is set to begin filming in Scotland toward the end of next month, marking the most expensive and largest movie ever to be made in the country.
Following in the footsteps of World War Z and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, #InfinityWar comes with a reported £10 million ($12.5 million) boost to the Scottish economy. Filming locations are reported to include Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city, and the famous Scottish Highlands.
But, why Scotland? The open expanse of the Highlands has been used in major movies like The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus and briefly in Skyfall. The largely unpopulated and unspoiled area is perfect for isolated shots of natural beauty. But with Infinity War expected to take place at least to some measure in outer space, why bring the magic to the outdoors of Scotland? We have a theory.
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This year sees an exciting release schedule for the Marvel roster, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok all coming our way before Avengers: Infinity War in 2018. Of these three movies, the one that is likely to have the biggest impact upon the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole is #Ragnarok, as there exists here the potential for Asgard to be completely annihilated.
It's looking increasingly likely that the final Infinity Stone will show up in Ragnarok, and with Hela causing problems for #Thor and the gang, it wouldn't at all be a surprise for the movie to follow the comic book storyline, which saw Asgard destroyed as part of Thor's attempt to stop the cycle of Ragnarok repeating for eternity.
At the conclusion of Thor Disassembled, following a long battle with many casualties, Thor sacrifices himself to stop the cycle, destroying Asgard and the remaining inhabitants. Worry not, he eventually manages to rebuild Asgard upon Earth, floating above the ground and considered as its own separate nation. And there's been much speculation that the events of Ragnarok will see something similar occurring in the #MCU, leading into Infinity War.
Thor himself has been missing in action in the MCU since Avengers: Age of Ultron, so there's plenty of space available to explore what he's been up to in the interim. That is, aside from slacking about in the Civil War mockumentary.
And there's already been threads of plot overlapping from the #comics to the movies. Thor and Loki are set to return to Earth in Thor: Ragnarok to search for their father, Odin, who is reported to be wandering the Earth in a human body — which is exactly what happened to the Asgardians following the destruction of Asgard.
So could Asgard already have been destroyed, or will it be in Ragnarok? The time period between Age of Ultron and Thor's return to the wider MCU in Infinity War is more than enough for this to have occurred. And if so, could Scotland be the location of a new Asgard? The Highlands certainly fit with the mythology of the series, although the gleaming Asgard we've seen previously might look a little out of place in amongst the rolling green hills.
We aren't the only ones to suggest this as a possibility, it's an idea echoed by TGG Talk over on YouTube, who suggested that the historical castle located in Edinburgh could be used as a stand in for Asgard's grand palace.
TGG also points out the fact that Scotland shares mythology with the Norse, dating back to the 9th century when the Vikings settled in the area. Scotland isn't a Nordic country, but it does share a lot of heritage with Scandinavia, so tying together this location with that of Asgard and the Norse Gods wouldn't be too crazy an idea.
Likely when filming actually kicks off next month we'll start getting more information about the particulars of what the location means for the movie, so keep an eye on those sets when they start springing up. You never know, we could be about to witness the birth of a new Asgard.
Do you think Asgard will survive Thor: Ragnarok? Sound off in the comments below!