Thor: Ragnarok promises to be one of the best Marvel movies to date. The early reviews may be praising the film for its humor, but there's one intense scene that has fans both seriously excited and seriously curious: the destruction of Mjolnir. Teased in the first trailer, the scene showed Hela, Goddess of Death, effortlessly plucking Thor's enchanted hammer out of the air and shattering it with one hand.
That first #ThorRagnarok trailer led us to expect the scene with Mjolnir's destruction to be in a New York alleyway. iIt didn't take fans long to fit this in with set photos showing Odin in the form of a homeless man living on the streets. Then, surprisingly, more recent TV spots showed a different version of the scene. It would appear that, actually, Hela and #Thor were in an open, grassy plain, with a landscape that seemed reminiscent of the coast of Iceland when she destroyed Mjolnir. What was going on? And why the misdirection?
Note: Mild spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok to follow.
A Change In Direction
Speaking to Digitalspy, director Taika Waititi explained that the scene changed shape during filming. The script originally envisioned Doctor Strange revealing that Odin was living on the streets of New York, and Thor tracked his father down in a back alley. The problem was, as Waititi explained, it just didn't feel right. Up till then the film had been "so fast paced and all over the place," but he wanted to give the characters a chance to relax a little for this deeply emotional moment.
“We wanted to go somewhere peaceful and actually like chill out with those characters, and be with Odin while he imparts his wisdom and stuff and not have to hear like stupid yellow cabs honking out the back. It just felt like a terrible environment to have a scene which could be very emotional for what happens with Odin and the boys."
As we'd expected, that suggests the meeting with Odin takes a turn for the worst when Hela appears on the scene. Odin has imprisoned her for millennia, and there are rumors she has an even more personal reason for her hatred of the All-Father. We don't yet know what happens to Odin, but it seems this encounter costs Thor his hammer.
Waititi's explanation is an amusing one, and it reminds us that he prefers to treat a script as a very fluid thing. In this case, he clearly didn't feel the footage conveyed the heart of the scene in a way that did the characters justice. As a result, he modified the script and set this emotional moment in a very different context.
When are you planning to see Thor: Ragnarok? Let me know in the comments!