The next iteration in the Thor series is still a while away, but that doesn't mean fans are any less excited for it than the other upcoming films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact Marvel’s Kevin Feige has confirmed that [Thor: Ragnarok](tag:956858) will be one of the most important movies of Phase 3 of the MCU, indeed the one that may lead into the Infinity War.
"This is a very important movie for us in Phase 3. We plan on taking Thor to another level. It picks up where we leave Thor in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' and impacts everything that comes after."
So, we know Thor is going to be fighting in [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027), but what about the rest of the Asgardians? What will happen to them when Ragnarok comes in Thor 3?
Lady Sif & The Warriors Three
Reportedly modelled on the Three Musketeers, the Warriors Three are a group of Asgardian warriors and close friends of Thor ever since his youth. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe they appear alongside Sif in Thor, aiding the titular character on his ill advised mission to Jotunheim.
They later journey to Earth to bring Thor back to Asgard as they discover Loki's plan to take the throne. All four appear again in [Thor: The Dark World](tag:206462) helping Thor and Loki escape with Jane from Asgard, and in the post-credits sequence taking the Aether to the Collector.
Their Role In Ragnarok
The basis of the Ragnarok storyline in the comics revolves around the Norse apocalypse heralding the continuing cycle of destruction and rebirth of Asgard. The most recent and likely to be adapted of these occurances is the one brought about by Loki and the fire demon Sutfur.
Originally, Sutfur defeats Odin and the Odinpower then passes to Thor. Loki comes into possession of the mould used to create Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and uses it to creates new weapons with which he attacks Thor, causing a war that destroys both Asgard and Mjolnir. To counteract Sutfur and Loki's forces Thor sets out to gain the wisdom of Odin and discovers that Ragnarok is actually being manipulated by higher beings called Those Who Sit Above in Shadow to repeat itself eternally so that they can feed off of the energy created by the event.
Thor sacrifices himself to destroy this cycle, leaving his body in a limbo-like state of death. Asgard is destroyed, but the souls of all the Asgardians are not. Instead they transfer to the bodies of various people around Earth, and are restored later by Thor. The Warriors Three are found in three refugee camp guards in Africa, whilst Sif was reborn in the body of an elderly woman suffering from cancer.
But What Happens To Them During Ragnarok?
During the Ragnarok arc we didn't even see Fandral and Hogun die, they were killed off-panel by arrows. Volstagg, the most prevalent of the group throughout the comics history, survived the arrow storm and fought on until he was killed in battle. Similarily Sif survived until nearly the bitter end. She lost her arm in the first wave of attacks and later died with Volstagg when she led the charge against Surtur's forces, shortly before Asgard falls.
Predictions For The MCU
It seems pretty unlikely to me that the MCU will go the way of the comics with Ragnarok, as the proceeding arc of rebirth and Thor's "death-but-not-really" would take up way too much screen time, not to mention the fact that the genocide of the entire realm would leave a gaping hole in the wider universe.
However it does seem likely that not all the characters are going to make it through, and if anyone's going to get killed off it's likely to be either Sif (though they wouldn't be doing the female hero side of the franchise much good if she died) or members of the Warriors Three.
Marvel does have a history of killing off secondary players (though sometimes bringing them back as per the comics - looking at you Bucky Barnes). Who can forget the death of Frigga in The Dark World? It's a good tactic, striking an emotional response from the fans, but still keeps the main characters available for future movies and allows for further development with them off the back of that.
Additionally as it currently seems unlikely that Marvel will make any more Thor-centred films after the trilogy ends, keeping their characters alive doesn't have much stock for the future stages of the franchise. But then what do I know? I'm not Kevin Feige.