The fifth installment of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Ragnarok, is set to take us back to Asgard next year as Thor (Chris Hemsworth) faces the Norse apocalypse, and deals with the repercussions of the survival of his scheming brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Now we don't know about you guy but this is one of the more eagerly anticipated Phase 3 films for us here - especially as Kevin Feige has confirmed that it'll be instrumental in setting up the events of The Avengers: 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."
But before we get to the Phase 3 cumulation of Infinity War there's some burning questions needing answered first though, namely...
What In The Hel Did Loki Do To Odin?
You remember the conclusion of [Thor: The Dark World](tag:206462) right? Shia surprise! It's Loki on the throne in the guise of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). The movie ended on this cliffhanger, and since we didn't see any Asgardian shenanigans during [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) what exactly happened to Odin has yet be addressed.
A popularly held theory in the fandom is that (like in the first Thor film) following the news of Loki's death on top of everything else that had happened throughout the film (poor Frigga), Odin fell into an Odinsleep allowing Loki to hide him somewhere and take his place on the throne.
Theres also been speculation that nope, he's dead, especially following Hopkin's remarks that he may be done with the franchise. Feige, as usual, is keeping it all under his hat at the moment:
"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."
Honestly I'd be very surprised if we didn't see Odin appearing again, 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.
Also, in the comic canon Odin "dies" fighting the legendary fire demon Surtur during Ragnarok, ending up 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. Surely we aren't the only ones who thinks this would be an awesome way for him to go out during Thor: Ragnarok?
What Happened To The Aether?
If you stuck around to see the post-credits scene in The Dark World you'll remember that Sif (Jaime Alexander) and Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) deliver the Aether to the Collector for safekeeping. This all seems very well and good, until his base is destroyed by the Power Stone during Guardians of the Galaxy.
While James Gunn (director) has stated that the Collector has more than one base, the fact that the same cocoon was seen in his collection in both The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy makes it seem likely that this was the same base (unless of course he moved the Aether elsewhere). However none of this has been clarified yet, so we'll have to wait and see when it next appears.
If it does turn out to be Adam Warlock's cocoon that we saw in the collection, could he have made off with the Aether? Regardless it's sure to resurface soon as it will play a key role in the upcoming The Avengers: Infinity War, as Feige later confirmed that the Aether is in fact the Reality Stone.
We're also still waiting to see the Soul Stone and Time Stone make an appearance in the MCU, could one of them show up in Thor 3?
What's Up With Thor's Visions?
It seems a pretty safe bet to say that Thor's Scarlet Witch and Mysterious Pool-induced vision sequences will set up the events of Thor: Ragnarok as he travels back to Asgard at the end of Age of Ultron in search of answers to what he saw, which is where Ragnarok will pick up with his narrative according to Feige.
In his vision Thor watches an Asgardian party as it decays around him. Heimdall (Idris Elba), eyes white rather than orange-red, grabs Thor and accuses him of damning them all to Hel.
In the Marvel norse mythology, Hel is part of Niflheim, one of the Nine Realms. Rather than the Christian mythos of Hell it's not a place of suffering but merely a resting place for the souls of regular dead folk - kinda like Valhalla's boring cousin.
So the mention of Hel and the visions Thor witnesses set us up quite nicely for a Ragnarok tying into the comic book mythos. The Age of Ultron deleted scene with Loki too would've tied into this as it reportedly hinted at the fact that he's still alive. Also note his throwaway comment to one of the dark elves in The Dark World: "See you in Hel, monster."
It's been widely reported (but not yet confirmed) that Cate Blanchett will be joining the Ragnarok cast as villainess Hela, the ruler of Hel and Niflheim, which would tie this all together in a neat little bow.
How exactly the rest of the Asgardians - Heimdall in particular - tie into this remains to be seen but it's going to be an exciting, and possibly fatal journey for them when Thor: Ragnarok rolls around 3 November 2017.