Thor: Ragnarok is shaping up to be a very exciting outing in the annals of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and not just because it's probably the closest we're ever going to get to a live-action Planet Hulk movie. Because Ragnarok introduces some exciting new characters, as well as the #MCU's first female villain.
Speaking of Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death is coming to the big screen in Ragnarok, portrayed by the incomparable Cate Blanchett. Based on the Norse goddess Hel, #Hela has been around in the pages of Marvel Comics since the mid 1960s, yet another creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
When talking about Hela, it's never long before someone smugly informs: "Oh, she's Loki's daughter you know" and/or "she's basically a female Loki". Well, yes and no. Putting aside the fact that we shouldn't be defining the first female villain of the MCU by use of an already established male character, Hela is technically #Loki's daughter, but in true comic book nature the truth is a little more complicated than that.
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The Loki of #Norse mythology is well known for getting about a bit. Famously he is the father of the wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jörmungandr and the mother (yep) of the eight-legged horse Sleipnir. He's also the father of Hel, the goddess upon whom Hela is based.
In #Marvel Comics Loki is also the father of Hela, a throwback to the mythology upon which his character is based. But it's not necessarily the Loki that we may be familiar with who is her father, but a different version altogether.
Like his Norse counterpart, Marvel's Loki also gets about a bit. He's appeared in many different forms over the years, from Kid Loki as a member of the young Avengers, to his famous Female Loki form which he took from Lady Sif following the Disassembled Ragnarok.
But he's not as well known for siring children in the mainline Marvel Universe, though he does have a daughter, Sylene, in the alternate universe of Earth-982. He and Hela work together quite often in the #comicbooks as part of various schemes, but not that much is made of their familial connection. There's a reason for this.
In the comics Ragnarok is an event which occurs over and over again, the destruction and recreation of Asgard. In Disassembled Thor puts an end to the cycle of Ragnarok by defeating Those Who Sit Above In Shadow, the manipulators of the event, so there can be no more Ragnarok.
But each previous Ragnarok basically destroyed Asgard and all its inhabitants, before recreating them. Hela rules Hel and Niflheim, which exist outside of Asgard and, therefore, Ragnarok. Whilst she is the child of the giantess Angrboða and Loki, she is the child of a different version of Loki, one who died during a Ragnarok many cycles ago.
So it would be very unusual for the MCU Loki and Hela to be related, at least in terms of a father-daughter relationship (especially since Blanchett has a good ten years on Tom Hiddleston). It is worth noting though that, in the comics, it was Odin who put Hela in charge of the realm of Hel, so perhaps there's a connection to be looked into there.
So perhaps we'll get a reference to this piece of comic book trivia in the form of a throwaway comment or something like that, but don't expect a big family reunion when Thor: Ragnarok rolls around.
What are you most excited to see in Thor: Ragnarok? Tell us in the comments below!