It's been almost eight years since Marvel began rocking their cinematic universe, and three years since it began the colossal victory lap that was The Avengers, and subsequently phase 2. As phase 3 begins, some fans are already fretting about Marvel movies getting stale. How should Marvel respond to this? By killing all our favorite characters of course!
[The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) introduced us to killing off characters in such a harsh manner. Of course it was Joss Whedon, so what do you expect? Still, despite some major players like Bruce Banner and Hawkeye seemingly leaving the story, no big names were killed off. Marvel is willing to shift the story along, but I believe they're waiting for a big event to really get harsh with the fans.
So what is Ragnarok? As you've likely read, it signifies the Norse end of days. It's really just some cataclysmic event that will surely imbue the characters with passion and turmoil as their world is no more. Calling your movie Thor: Ragnarok is like calling your movie "X-men: Apocalypse"... oh wait.
Ragnarok would likely involve the evil fire giant "Surtur", spreading flames and destruction, torching the Bifrost and leading to the fall of Asgard. It's a pretty tumultuous event in the comics, and far more so if you go by actual Norse mythology. Odin fights a giant wolf, and dies. Thor fights giant snake, and dies. Loki fights Heimdall, and they both die. I mean come on, this is the end of the world we're talking about. No convenient rescues from characters we thought to have left the story here!
Marvel certainly can't complain that they're lacking for material. The Ragnarok storyline in the Thor comics literally features Thor ripping Loki's head off for his treachery. While it would be difficult not to perceive that as kind of hilarious on film, I can certainly see why a storyline with that much drama is tempting. My question is, with Thor 3, will Marvel go all out with adapting Ragnarok; killing multiple characters and destroying Asgard?
Vision's lines at the end of Age of Ultron.
Yes, the conversation between Ultron and Vision at the end of Avengers 2 primarily revolves around humans. The citizens of Asgard don't seem to be of any concern to Ultron, yet the scene still shows Marvel's willingness to move the story along massively.
When Ultron claims "they're doomed", Vision calmly responds with "I know". This is a huge admission of cynicism on the film's part. We're used to villains claiming the good guys are doomed, only to be proven wrong immediately, but when an all-knowing super entity like Vision casually admits it, you know something big is in store! Vision's proclamation that "something is not beautiful because it lasts" may well tie into Marvel's opinion on what it's created. Sure, Vision isn't referring to Asgard and Ragnarok itself, but is more showing Marvel's intentions to flippantly end everything. We may encounter this flippancy in Thor: Ragnarok.
Something needs to be done about Loki
Tom Hiddleston's Loki is a really strange villain. He's at once this scheming treacherous antagonist who just will not stop, and he's also a complete woobie that most the audience want to be okay. We want more of him, but we just can't be convinced that Thor would trust him yet again. Either, he needs to be changed as a character, or he needs to commit some act of betrayal and trickery so heinous that only his destruction would rectify it. Ragnarok would be perfect for that, as it sees him team up with the fire giant Surtur, leading to the destruction of Asgard.
[Thor: The Dark World](tag:206462) also did a great job of setting this up, with Loki having userped Odin as King of Asgard, and the true leadership of the realm suspended on a knife edge. You'd think Marvel would be primed to adapt Ragnarok exactly, decapitation and all. Well, there are a few reasons not to.
Upstaging Captain America 3 and [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027)
The idea of everything having to escalate and have the stakes get bigger may be one of the most harmful things to the MCU. The first Iron Man movie was essentially about a guy stealing Tony Stark's cool idea. Now I feel like I've seen so many doomsday plots that when Ultron reveals he wants to wipe out all humanity, I'm like "yeah I guessed that". [Thor: Ragnarok](tag:956858) would involve a battle so cataclysmic that gods are destroyed and the fabric of space and time is torn. Uhh, I guess Captain America and Tony Stark feel a little insignificant after that.
Now, maybe the Infinity War storyline could contend with Ragnarok for gravitas, what with, oh I dunno... ERASING HALF OF ALL LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE. My point isn't that these storylines won't be able to feel weighty next to each other when they're adapted into movies. But if the Marvel movies become an arms race, and see an event horizon where there's no going back from planets and dimensions getting destroyed, then audiences may be on a fast track to losing interest.
Thor: Ragnarok seems to be a crossroads for Marvel. They can either choose to adapt it wholeheartedly, exploiting the drama, or keep the series tepid and ripe for further expression and creativity. What are your thoughts? Write a post on how you'd like Thor: Ragnarok to turn out, or comment below!