Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok ended with a strange blend of tragedy and optimism. The people of Asgard had lost their home, and the Nine Realms were plunged into chaos once again with the loss of their protectors. At the same time, though, Thor came to the realization that Asgard is not a place; it is a people. And so the survivors of Asgard began a journey that would take them to a new home.
Then came the mid-credits sequence, and we learned that their journey was about to be interrupted. Their spacecraft was faced with another, gigantic vessel. Marvel has confirmed that this was Thanos's ship, the Sanctuary II. He's come to claim the Infinity Stones, and the Asgardians are in the line of fire.
The Fate Of Asgard's Defenders
Things look pretty bleak for Asgard's champions. One scene from the trailer shows a mysterious figure (either Loki or Ebony Maw) walking among the flaming wreckage of the Asgardian ship, stepping over Asgardian bodies as they do so. This vessel contains the last survivors of Asgard, desperate refugees, and their ship has clearly been ravaged in battle. The scene changes, to show Loki offering the Tesseract. Tom Hiddleston plays the part with customary gravitas, giving Loki a visible sense of fear and dread. He knows that the Asgardians are on the brink of extinction.
But what of Asgard's defenders? On the one hand, we have Thor Odinson, and we already know how his story turns out. At D23, Marvel showed footage of Thor's battered body floating through space, until he slammed into the Milano's cockpit. When the Guardians of the Galaxy find the Odinson, he is completely defeated, left adrift. Meanwhile, the trailer suggests that the Hulk's body is cast down to Earth, crashing down in what's clearly meant as a homage to 2012's The Avengers. Appropriately enough, he clearly smashes through the roof of the Sanctum Sanctorum. It's a neat homage to Jim Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet comic.
Regardless, it's clear that both of Asgard's mightiest defenders were defeated during the battle.
A Glimmer Of Hope
There is one reason to hope, though, and that's Tessa Thompson's #Valkyrie. The actress has been spotted on set photos in England, working alongside other #Marvel stars. It's clear that Valkyrie will survive somehow, and will ally with the Avengers in defense of Earth. Although the fierce warrior is hardly your typical Asgardian, if one person could survive, then so could others.
Watch the trailer carefully, and you'll swiftly realize that it focuses in on the Earth-bound segments. In fact, there are only three scenes that seem to represent the movie's cosmic plots. The first is Loki's expression of horror as he walks through a field of Asgardian bodies. The second is a strange muscle-flex scene featuring Thor. And the third is at the end, with Thor coming face-to-face with the Guardians of the Galaxy. It's possible that the Guardians will help Thor save some of his people — but even with their help, the odds don't look good for the last of the Asgardians.
The people of Asgard are in desperate danger. Thor: Ragnarok seemed to show the God of Thunder only successfully rescue a few hundred people, and any deaths due to Thanos's attack would ultimately risk the extinction of the Asgardian race. Scientists believe that the so-called "magic number" for creating a sustainable population of humans (and presumably humanoids) is as low as 180. If too many Asgardians die, if the number of Asgardians drops below 180, then the race will face extinction.
It seems likely that Thanos's attack happens early on in the film, as he clearly uses the Space Stone to bring his forces to Earth. Did Loki hand over the Tesseract in time to save enough Asgardian lives? Or is it too late, and has the story of Asgard come to its final conclusion after all?
Do you think Thanos effectively wiped out the Asgardians? Let me know in the comments!