*Spoilers for [Thor: The Dark World](tag:206462) (which has been out for two years now so, c'mon)*
Despite the fact that it's not due for release for nearly two years, [Thor: Ragnarok](tag:956858) is already generating a lot of speculation following the events of its predecessor, The Dark World, and the apocalyptic visions experienced by Thor during Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Again, because of the fact that it's not due for release for nearly two years, we really don't know much about it other than what we've speculated from looking at the comic book storylines. So, we don't really know very much about Ragnarok, and all those rumours circling saying that this is the end of the line for Thor and/or Loki are just that, rumours (especially considering that both actors still have two films left after Thor 3 on their contracts... Just saying).
So, let's talk Thor 2: The Dark World.
The popularly held theory in the fandom is that, following the news of Loki's death on top of everything else that had happened throughout the film, Odin fell into a convenient Odinsleep, allowing Loki to hide him somewhere and take his place on the throne.
However, Antony Hopkins himself has other ideas.
“[Odin is] dead. I’ve done two [films]. That’s enough.” He confirmed following the release of The Dark World back in 2013.
Alan Taylor, Dark World director, also backed up this claim with his own.
“That was a big twist. It took us a while to realise that we were actually going to kill him. And then it took us a while to realise that we were going to do that at the end."
Odin in the Marvel comics
Well, it wouldn't exactly be the first time Odin has popped his clogs. Like all good long-running comic book characters he's had his fair share of death; he's died three times thus far, though never directly at the hands of Loki.
Firstly, he's killed of by an arch-rival of his, Mangog. Mangog is kinda the living embodiment of anger issues, a being constructed from the hatred of an entire race supposedly killed (but actually just imprisoned with the body of Mangog) by Odin.
Anyway, Mangog gets released, triggers a Ragnarok, a whole lot of other stuff happens and Odin is killed fighting against him. Though not for long as his soul doesn't entirely pass into the realm of the dead, and is brought back. Then, when leading the Destroyer against the Celestials, the Destroyer is - eh - destroyed. Because the Destroyer is powered by the life force of all the Asgardians (except Thor, but including Odin), when it gets melted they all die. But don't worry, Thor manages to revive them all later on.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Odin falls fighting Surtur, the legendary fire demon who brought about the last Ragnarok in the Marvel comics universe. At this point the Odinforce transfers to Thor, suggesting that Odin is finally dead once and for all. After Thor defeats Those Who Sit Above In Shadow, he ends the cycle of Ragnarok once and for all, destroying Asgard and sacrificing his own life in the process. After rebuilding Asgard and it's people upon Earth, Thor finds Odin in a limbo state akin to the Norse concept of Heaven, in which he battles eternally with Surtur to keep the demon from coming back into the realms. However he later returns from this limbo, and is currently kicking about somewhere in the Marvel universe, defending Asgard with machine guns.
Alright, so what about the Marvel Cinematic Universe Odin?
Whilst Hopkins and Taylor might be pretty certain that Odin is dead and gone, the almighty Kevin Feige seems to have other ideas.
"Like all of our plans at Marvel Studios, we know where we would like to go if given the opportunity. We have very good ideas whether the All-Father is with us or not. Clearly I like the notion that some people think he might die in [The Dark World]. That works to our advantage. I wouldn’t spoil that necessarily." - Kevin Feige
To be honest, I'd be very surprised if we didn't see Odin appearing again, though I suppose a lot of that depends on Hopkins. Though he's not quite as prevalent in the MCU as he is in the comics, he's still a pretty big deal, and having Loki kill him off off-screen would be a really underwhelming way to end things.
Additionally there's been no sign in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) that the Odinforce has transferred to Thor. Following the death of Frigga, who we know Loki still had a soft spot for, I find it a little bit of a stretch that he would turn around and kill his adoptive father in cold blood, particularly given how shades of grey the morality of his character has been thus far.
One of the reasons I love Thor so much is because it's a really Shakespearean story at heart; Loki is a great villain because he's not really bad by default, he feels betrayed by his family but still seeks the approval of his father and brother even as he tries to succeed him.
Then again, he is a bit nuts, so I guess anything could happen.
I understand why they ended The Dark World that way, wanting to leave a cliffhanger and get fans talking, and they've certainly achieved that much. But to not resolve the Odin storyline in Ragnarok would leave a lot of people a bit put out.
Given that Ragnarok is coming now Asgard is going to need all the help it can get, and a resolution to the Odin-Loki storyline could give us some much needed narrative closure and, most importantly, some more of Odin kicking ass.