The first official trailer for Thor: Ragnarok dropped, and the internet exploded with excitement. And rightfully so. There has been such an incredible build up towards Thor's experience post Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The direction that #Marvel seems to be taking Thor on is a quest to redeem his worthiness, and for fans of the comic book character this concept will likely ring some bells, since #Thor was deemed unworthy to wield #Mjolnir, he became known as Odinson, a.k.a. The Unworthy Thor and he traverses space with a magical axe and a flying goat. Seriously.
The Unworthy Thor storyline seems to be transitioning to the MCU via Thor: Ragnarok, and that's very exciting for the fans of the God of Thunder, but one of the key components of The Unworthy Thor arc is that through it all he has required the help of his comrades to succeed in regaining his worth, as it were.
In the Unworthy Thor comic arc, Odinson is assisted by Beta Ray Bill, and although Beta Ray Billy is unlikely to appear in Ragnarok, it makes me wonder how Marvel could tweak the story with the supporting characters we already know are going to be in the upcoming film. Either way, this is a movie that will be heavily shaped by, well, a lot more people than Thor.
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- Portrayed By: Cate Blanchett
- Status/Affiliation: Major Villain
It's pretty clear through the trailer that Hela is not an opponent to be trifled with. Hela is a dark mystery with a deadly history and perhaps an even darker and deadlier future. Although through the trailer it seems as though there are two stories arching through the movie, it's easy to see that Hela plays a substantial role in Thor: Ragnarok. Hela is released accidentally by Loki after Thor learns of his deceit — and filled with vengeance she begins on her quest.
Through the trailer we see the pleasure that Hela takes in destroying Asgard and everything that it stands for, especially that smirk when she stops Mjolnir in midair before shattering it. Now if Hela were simply a normal villainess that would seem incredibly impossible, but when you consider the comic book context, she becomes much more imposing.
In the comics, Hela is the Asgardian goddess of death. Odin appointed her to rule over Hel and Nifleheim. These two worlds are as close to hell and purgatory as you can get in the nine realms. Through her span as the ruler of these worlds she has always tried to extend her power over Valhalla, where warriors who died honorably go.
- Portrayed By: Tom Hiddleston
- Status/Affiliation: Minor Villain (Possible Minor Hero?)
Now, it's not really evident just what side of this battle #Loki is on, but there's one thing for certain: he's willing to back whomever he believes can further his own ambitious goals. Whatever the situation, Loki has proven that his greatest asset is his ability to deceive those around him. In the trailer we see him on the battlefield as well as sitting beside the Grandmaster, so his role in Thor: Ragnarok will likely shift or be uncertain until the final moments.
Loki is one character that shouldn't be written off as a side plot, especially considering how pivotal his deception was at the end of Thor: The Dark World with his control of the seat of #Asgard with the All-Father missing. Perhaps Odin's disappearance comes at the hands of Gorr the God-Butcher, who declared that all gods were unworthy in the comics. Utilizing a connection between Loki and Gorr could be an interesting way to deepen the divide between Thor and Loki, since Loki is the one who banished Thor in the first place.
Even it the trailer doesn't come out and directly point out that Loki isn't directly connected with any singular party in #Ragnarok, it's safe to place a bet that he's against Hela and will try to trick both the Grandmaster and Thor into helping him defeat what could be their common enemy.
- Portrayed by: Jeff Goldblum
- Status/Affiliation: Impartial
Remember Benicio Del Toro's The Collector from the previous Marvel films? Yes, well The Grandmaster is much akin seeing as they are both Elders of the Universe. He's lived for eons and enjoys learning about the denizens of the universe and playing all sorts of games. He's the universe's greatest strategist and, over time, he's gained a thirst for setting lesser mortals in trials and challenges to test them in a variety of situations.
That appears to be what Thor has walked into. The Grandmaster appears to have created a gladiatorial arena where he pits heroes and villains alike against each other until only one is standing. In his history in the comics, he's appeared to play these games with the Avengers, the Defenders, the X-Men and many others. Yet, he's never been an outright true villain.
The Grandmaster will likely have some sort of information for Thor/Loki in regards to Ragnarok and potentially how to defeat Hela or return her to the Asgardian underworld of Hel/Niflehiem.
- Portrayed By: Tessa Thompson
- Status/Affiliation: Ally to Thor (eventually)
Valkyrie is an interesting character because historically she has been an ally of Asgard for a great while. In the unclear truth relayed by the mysterious, sentient eye that claims to once have belonged to #Odin (stranger things have happened in the comics), it was said that #Valkyrie is of Asgardian birth, and was tasked with leading the Valkyrior. These warrior goddesses would appear over the battlefield and choose from the fallen any who were worthy to enter Valhalla.
Yet it seems that in Thor: Ragnarok, she is working (in some capacity) for the Grandmaster. Perhaps Hela was a part of the previous Ragnarok and that is the epic battle scene in the trailer where we see the Valkyrior falling from the sky. In the comics, primarily an issue of The Avengers from 1970, Valkyrie is imprisoned in a crystal by Amora the Enchantress. At least her essence is — it's actually a fairly convoluted story, but the premise is that Amora was able to channel Valkyrie's power and even grant other people with her likeness. Valkyrie could not be the real Valkyrie.
This could be the direction that Marvel is going with Valkyrie's character considering that throughout the comics the constant theme has been that Valkyrie hasn't always been herself or be unaware of who she truly is. Perhaps meeting Thor on Sakaar will reawaken the truth of who she is, and she will play a much larger role moving forward in helping Thor become worthy again and regain his legendary status.
- Portrayed By: Idris Elba
- Status/Affiliation: Ally to Thor
We see Heimdall pop up very briefly in the trailer near the end, and it's absolutely perfect. We knew early on that Heimdall would have an expanded role to play in Ragnarok. There are a couple theories about his role in the upcoming film.
- The first being that Heimdall falls in battle shortly around the time that Hela destroys Mjolnir making her defeat of Asgard even sweeter for the villainess. Yet, Heimdall isn't out for the count because the warrior returns with the Valkyrior and other fallen heroes of Valhalla.
- The second being that Heimdall somehow escapes before Asgard is turned into ruins and he, along with the Warriors Three, attempt to discover how to defeat Hela and her minions. The Warriors Three are thrown into the mix based on the teaser from Comic-Con in 2016 where the three warriors are in a similar setting (wooded area) to where we see Heimdall in the trailer.
- There's some gravity to both situations, but perhaps it will be a combination of both as Heimdall and the Warriors Three fall to Hela only to be taken by the Valkyrior to Valhalla. Yet when Valkyrie is reminded of who she truly is, she calls them from Valhalla for one final battle with Hela.
Most likely Heimdall will play a major role in developing Thor's drive to put an end to Ragnarok and Hela's overwhelming power. Heimdall has always been the stoic support character, and he will continue to be important - but likely will be less stoic and more vocal.
Skurge the Executioner
- Portrayed By: Karl Urban
- Status/Affiliation: Ally to Thor
Any comic book fan knows the story of Skurge, as he's been a consistent part of Asgardian lore both as adversary and ally at times. It appears that Skurge will appear alongside Thor in the upcoming film. Skurge is half-Asgardian, half-Frost Giant and is essentially the equivalent of a Norse 'berserker': a ruthless warrior who earned the title of Executioner because of his abilities during battle. He is a famed warrior in Asgard, even though he's spent a lifetime partnered with the villainess, Amora.
Amora is often better known as 'Enchantress'. Enchantress, much like Hela has consistently tried to place Asgard and the other realms under her control. With rumors that Hela will channel a bit of Enchantress, it's possible that we'll see Skurge begin his appearance partnered with either Loki or Hela. Yet, ultimately with Skurge being half-Asgardian and half-Frost Giant, his allegiance has always been with Asgard.
In the comics Skurge met his end in a way only befitting a warrior of his legacy, bloody and glorious. Thor teamed with Skurge to collect souls from Hel that were stolen by Hela. Although they succeeded in finding the souls, someone needed to guard the bridge of Gjellerbru (this was the bridge that connected the realm of the living to Hel). Skurge made one final stand with twin machine guns (sound familiar), and took out legions of Hela's dead army allowing Thor to escape. His death was considered a truly heroic act, and he was allowed to enter Valhalla, victorious in his death.
What do you think? Are you ready to experience Ragnarok?