(Warning: The following contains potential - albeit largely theoretical - SPOILERS for next year's Thor: Ragnarok, as well as some discussion of the upcoming Doctor Strange's use of magic. Proceed with whatever level of caution the all-seeing Heimdall suggests to you is wise...)
Now, along with being one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's oldest properties, the Thor franchise also spent much of the five years since its 2011 debut as the MCU's oddest properties, too. In fact, it wasn't until the 2014 arrival of the ragtag, space-based Guardians of the Galaxy that the Norse God of Thunder and his alien family really saw any competition for the title of 'most out there Marvel franchise'. With this November's Doctor Strange looking set to take that title for itself, though - and following its director Scott Derrickson's recent reveal that its use of magic won't be explained in scientific terms - it seems worth asking:
Will Thor: Ragnarok Be Affected By Doctor Strange Going "Full Magic"?
After all, as Derrickson recently revealed during an interview with Games Radar:
"Magic is magic in [Doctor Strange]. It's not something that's explained away scientifically. It's not something that's easy to define. As magic should be. Magic should be mysterious. There's mystery to magic and there's mystery to the tone of the movie. Mystery is a good thing"
Which, it seems, very much confirms that the MCU will absolutely, positively feature non-scientifically-explainable magic. Which, with the Thor franchise being the only corner of the MCU to really flirt with the use of mysticism thus far, might just indicate that things are set to change a little in next year's Thor: Ragnarok.
If Magic Is Now Non-Scientific In The MCU, Then There's No Limit To What Loki Can Get Up To
What's more, with Thor: Ragnarok looking set to feature Thor going up against both his throne-stealing brother Loki and the demonic hell-queen Hela, there's a distinct possibility that we could see a whole lot of magic in the movie. Loki, after all, has long been capable of wielding 'Asgardian magic', something that the original Thor vaguely wrote off as being indistinguishable from science. As Thor himself told Jane Foster:
"Your ancestors called it magic, but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same."
A line that essentially paraphrased science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke's 'Third Law', which argued that:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
In so doing, then, the Thor franchise - and the MCU as a whole - was able to largely sidestep the scientifically problematic nature of magic by implying that it was, in fact, rooted in science - just science that we weren't sufficiently advanced enough to understand just yet. That logic seems to have played a part in setting the limits of Asgardian magical abilities - with Loki (and Asgard as a whole) being largely limited to theoretically explainable magical acts.
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If Doctor Strange changes the previous films' position on magic though, and opens up the possibility of entirely 'out there' mystical forces and abilities, then there'd surely be nothing stopping Loki - or Hela - from pulling off some far more outlandish schemes. Including, perhaps, Ragnarok itself.
In other words?
It's Increasingly Possible That Thor: Ragnarok Will Feature A Whole Lot Of Magic
After all, though Thor's apparent journey into outer space (indeed, from the sounds of it, to 'Planet Hulk') will surely have a distinctly science-fiction-y character, any film that features an endlessly repeating cycle of death and rebirth (say, the Norse concept of Ragnarok) is sure to require some more fantasy-themed elements. Like, for instance, magic.
With an experienced magic user in Loki, and a potentially inconceivably powerful one in Hela, then, it's entirely possible that we'll see far more of Thor: Ragnarok revolve around the use of - and need to counter - magic. Is it possible, then, that we could see a certain very special guest star turn up towards the movie's close? Indeed...
Is It Possible That Doctor Strange Will Turn Up In Thor: Ragnarok?
Could we, for instance, see Thor - or perhaps the co-starring Bruce Banner - approach the good doctor for help in battling Loki and/or Hela? Or, perhaps, could Strange simply appear in a mid-credits sequence, revealing that an already concluded Ragnarok isn't, in fact, as final an event as we might think? He will, after all, have been hanging around the MCU for close to a year by the time Thor: Ragnarok arrives in October 2017, and may well be in need of some cross-universe experience before Avengers: Infinity War arrives in 2018.
Marvel's end credits have been game-changers before, after all...
Could we even, perhaps, see Doctor Strange emerge as a sort of 'Phase Three' Nick Fury, making small appearances across the MCU's 2017 outings in order to set up Infinity War?
It would certainly make for an intriguing use of his scientifically-inexplicable magical abilities - and for some fantastically incongruous scenes. After all, who doesn't want to see how Rocket Raccoon, Thor and Spider-Man react to being told that Benedict Cumberbatch is the master of the Mystic Arts?
The big question now, then?
What do YOU reckon?
How much will Thor: Ragnarok be affected by Doctor Strange opting not to explain magic scientifically?
via Games Radar