We're still reeling from this year's SDCC, which dumped a Hulk-ton of pop culture news into our mere mortal brains. Along with all the incredible revelations, gorgeous posters, and awesome merch, an onslaught of trailers were unleashed, and #ThorRagnarok's was probably the best of them all. With 110% more 80s synth than the first trailer, Ragnarok's second trailer revealed just enough to keep us wanting more for the film's release — and it managed to drop a few hints for #InfinityWar too.
We've already had plenty of reports that Ragnarok will set up Avengers: Infinity War in more ways than one, setting the stage for the titanic team-up that the entire #MCU has been building towards. How Ragnarok will achieve this is still a mystery, but the second trailer may just have explained why one of Infinity War's major players is still yet to be confirmed.
Is Hela Really Mistress Death?
In the comics, everything Thanos does is an effort to impress the unrequited love of his life: the literal incarnation of Death itself. #Marvel's Death often appears as a woman with a skull for a head, and Thanos has been trying to jump her bones for decades.
The various Infinity sagas, among other comics, depict the lengths Thanos will go to just to get Mistress Death's attention, even erasing all life in the universe. Needless to say, we're all expecting Death to make at least a small appearance in Infinity War, unless the MCU chiefs have completely changed Thanos's motivation.
Without so much as a trailer for the Avengers team-up movie, it's difficult to say what Death's role will be. However, fans have long wondered if Ragnarok villain Hela is actually Mistress Death herself — and the new trailer drops a significant hint about this theory.
"I'm not a queen or a monster... I'm the goddess of death."
So says Hela to Thor as she crushes his puny head between her fingers, and she's certainly convincing.
Combining the character of Hela with that of Mistress Death wouldn't be too much of a stretch. By introducing Hela/Death in Ragnarok the filmmakers would give Infinity War a sense of continuity and depth, establishing a powerful villain to go up against the Avengers later.
Not to mention, you don't hire actual-real-life-goddess Cate Blanchett and just put her in one movie! With Blanchett's star power, supreme talent, and obvious enjoyment of the role it stands to reason that Ragnarok isn't the last we'll see of Hela.
Norse mythology... somewhat allows Hela to be the manifestation of death. She's the guardian of the frozen afterlife Hel, making her the goddess of a realm of death, at the very least. Her powers seem to be your classic godlike abilities, though she might demonstrate more necromancy during the movie. In fact, if you look closely you can see her army all have skulls for heads, making them an army of dead — and this is a clear nod to Mistress Death's signature look.
Defeating The Point
However, there are some problems with Hela secretly being Mistress Death. Firstly, their characters are completely different: Death is beyond petty ideas of power and vengeance. The comics have proven her to be a being of such extreme power, as she holds dominion over life and death, that she would never try to do something so small as conquer Asgard. Even Thanos killing the universe does not impress her, as she does not crave the control she has over deceased souls. She simply exists as an inexorable part of the cycle of life and death, and nothing Thanos does can measure up to that.
Also she's in love with Deadpool. But that's another story.
As much as Hela says she is the goddess of death, she hasn't got much in common with Mistress Death herself. Death plays a very important role in Thanos's story. In Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos assembles all the Infinity Stones and cuts an intergalactic swathe of destruction across the universe, all in the name of Mistress Death.
But when she finally turns up, she has absolutely nothing to say to him, unimpressed with his actions. This is an iconic scene, totally sweeping the rug out from under the Mad Titan and turning him even more insane with rage and frustration. Needless to say, this would be a fantastic anti-climax to the Infinity War movie, and Thanos's distraction might allow the Avengers to strike back — if they're not already dead, of course.
So, while rewriting Hela to make her secretly Mistress Death would be an interesting way to tie the films together, it would also reduce the impact of Death's role and alter her character beyond recognition. Of course, that's not to say that Hela won't appear in Infinity War at all — the smart money's on Blanchett popping up again to cause yet more glorious havoc, much to our delight.