It's always seemed to me that Thor is the sleeper element to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sure, he rounds out the Avengers line up, especially given his distinct color-scheme, but his stories are usually the ones that operate most separately from the general thrust of the MCU. Phase 2 saw Thor slip into the background to a degree with [Thor: The Dark World](tag:206462); a fun romp that appeared almost episodic in it's nature, and next to movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, has sunk to the back of the minds of many Marvel fans.
My point is that, while Thor adopts perhaps the least immediate premise in the Marvel movies, it's his story that vitally connects The Avengers level storylines to Marvel's galactic tier. You can look at the Thor movies as embodying two types. The first Thor strings things together with Thor's origins story, sets up his implementation in The Avengers with the introduction of Agent Coulson, then crucially signals the presence of Loki on Earth at the end. Thor: The Dark World makes no such move, with a mostly contained story that only hints at Guardians of the Galaxy in a post-credits sequence. What type of movie will Thor 3 ultimately be?
There's a lot riding on Thor 3, in that it's this movie that needs to prove that standalone Marvel stories can still work. Many began to worry after [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) that the MCU was becoming too interdependent on itself, and it's up to Thor 3: Ragnarok to put those worries to rest. Now I've already written about what could go right or wrong with Thor 3 here, but let's talk about how Thor 3 could actually turn out.
Marvel have reportedly approached Kenneth Branagh to assume the mantle of Thor director once more. It strikes me as odd, given that Ragnarok is a tumultuous, world ending event movie, that Branagh would be a hot favorite. He nailed the (relatively) small scale action of the first Thor movie, but whether he's proven his chops to manage something as heady as Ragnarok, we are yet to know. It's one thing to place actors in interesting and convincing situations; it's another to present an imagery that defines an entire comic event! Now for the big questions. Since Thor is essentially the invisible glue that holds the MCU together, how will Thor 3: Ragnarok tie into the rest of Phase 3?
Thanos and Post-Credits Sequences
I may be alone in this opinion, but the post-credits sequence to Avengers: Age of Ultron seemed a little lacking in the foreboding sense of doom department, especially given what it was depicting. Seriously, Thanos has the infinity Gauntlet and is out to complete his perfect instrument of ultimate destruction! How did Age of Ultron fail in conveying the dread that should instill in me? Perhaps Thor 3 could make up for that by fitting Thanos into the Ragnarok plot line somehow. Thor already has a close connection to the galactic tier of the MCU, and Thanos' inclusion in Avengers 2 was hardly natural and organic!
My thinking goes along these lines. Since Ragnarok in the comics is instigated by the Norse god Surtur, we could see Thanos pulling the strings from behind the scenes, much as he did with Loki in The Avengers, and Ronin in Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, given the weight of Ragnarok as an event, this wouldn't be happening nearly on the same scale. However, if Ragnarok does see the destruction of the Bifrost, the fall of Asgard and perhaps even the death of Thor himself, would it not be amazing to find out in a post-credits sequence that this was actually Thanos' doing? It would give some weight to the upcoming [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027), and tide the galactic end of Marvel over while all this Civil War business is going on!
Would you like this to be a reveal in Thor 3: Ragnarok? Let us know in a post here on MoviePilot, vote in our poll, or leave a comment below!