Apocalypses are all the rage in superhero films nowadays. Every Marvel film threatens the ending of the world as we know it, unless the heroes do that one thing to save the day (which they do, always). And [Thor: Ragnarok](tag:956858) promises to be no different, except this time it's not our world that faces doom, but Asgard. Which means that world might actually end this time: rumours have already been flying that all Asgardians will end up dead or resurrected, and the fate of the Thor himself remains uncertain. But new revelations about [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) might change everything for the Thunder God, and Thor 3 might not be what you'd expect...
Kevin Feige, in his fan-tantalising tradition, has promised that Thor 3 will shock and entertain in equal measures, and will change the shape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"Thor 3: Ragnarok is a very important movie for us in Phase 3...we plan on taking Thor to another level."
The previous Thor solo films have focused mostly on family troubles and Asgard, though [Thor: The Dark World](tag:206462) did cross over into our world quite a bit. They've been very self contained in contrast to the Captain America movies. Both [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](tag:254973) and Civil War shake the foundation of the MCU: Winter Soldier saw the destruction of SHIELD, and Civil War will change the world of superheroes forever. Thor 3 looks set to rival this impact, and might see the Avengers disassemble for good (well, until there's another world ending threat of course). So let's examine what we know so far, and consider the possibilities now that Civil War and Thor 3 have an established link...
Setting the stage for Infinity War
The first hint we got about the events of Thor 3: Ragnarok was of course in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035). Remember Thor's big hallucination scenes? I'll forgive you if you don't - you were probably too distracted by Chris Hemsworth being all shirtless and wet (nice). But if you need a recap, Thor was warned by his good buddy Heimdall that if he doesn't shape up then his actions will lead all Asgard to certain death and doom: "they see you leading us to hell..." He also caught a glimpse of the final infinity stone in Loki/dad Odin's sceptre.
Whether this is foreshadowing for Ragnarok or we don't yet know. Thanos might make his first move in Thor 3, seizing the sceptre and laying Asgard to waste in the process. This would set the stage for Infinity War part 1, as the team would then have to deal with whatever Thanos is planning to do once he's collected the whole set.
Of course, the team may not be quite the same after Thor 3. I've already talked about the possibility that the new Avengers may be the stars of Infinity War part 1, with the old heroes returning to save the day in part 2. And Ragnarok may be the tragedy that tears the team asunder: the 2004 comic book of the same name was part of the "Avengers Disassembled" arc, which saw the team break apart. Oh, and Thor died. But, as Jamie Alexander revealed, the demise of the Asgardian hero might happen before we even get to Thor 3...
A clone duplicate in Civil War?
In a recent interview, Jamie Alexander revealed that Civil War will hold the key to Ragnarok, and that there might be a major plot twist concerning Thor himself.
At one point during the Civil War comics plotline, Thor was assumed to be dead, so Tony Stark decided to clone him (what a natural, logical step). The cyborg clone was called, yup you guessed it, Ragnarok. And he wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs: his first move was to attempt to kill a bunch of ex-allies, and he eventually joined the evil Dark Avengers. Could this be how Civil War sets up Thor 3? We've all assumed that the Ragnarok in the title referred to the end of days, but maybe it actually means Thor's clone...
Thor's death and the future of the Avengers
Ok, this is a little far fetched. But it's not like Marvel write the most realistic of stories. Evil cloned Viking god? Sure! It's possible! But considering we've just had a Tony-plays-Frakenstein plot, I doubt we'll see this again any time soon. And with all that delicious foreshadowing in Age of Ultron, it seems like the Ragnarok in Thor 3's title really will be the end of days for Asgard.
That doesn't mean Thor is safe though. Infinity War is going to take its toll on the Avengers, and one way or another, Thor is likely to die. Of course, in Marvel's tradition this might be a fake out, and the godly hero might return for part 2 (you can read more about that here). But we've definitely got some big changes coming up, so we should enjoy Chris Hemsworth's glorious acting (and gratuitous shirtless scenes) while we have the chance!