The Strange Case of Thor: Ragnarok

By  · Published on August 23rd, 2016

New set photos reveal plot details from the next Thor film.

Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth on-set from @ChrisHemsworth

More than a year from Thor: Ragnarok’s November 2017 release, disparate clues are coalescing into a somewhat clear picture of the film’s plot. In our last report on the film, we discussed the outline of the plot that I will summarize here for context. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Hela (Cate Blanchett) banish Thor to a “gladiatorial planet” after he attempts to disrupt their plans in Asgard. After meeting the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and fighting through an array of alien adversaries, he comes face to face with the arena’s champion: Bruce Banner, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). The two set off on a buddy road trip to find an ultimate weapon that will help them save Asgard and stop Ragnarok, the Norse end of days.

from @TaikaWaititi

Footage from Comic-Con this July confirmed these general details and also reaffirmed that director Taika Waititi has brought a sense of humor to the film. The above photo, part of a mockumentary on Thor’s “vacation”, hints at the role Thanos (Josh Brolin) and the Infinity Stones may play in the plot. His search for the six gems will not culminate until Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018, but the MCU entries preceding its release (like Ragnarok) will have to introduce some key components of the stones’ mythos: the last two stones, the Soul and Time gems, and the Infinity Gauntlet that holds them. Expect these items to form the basis of at least some of the next few MCU films.

Ragnarok has been filming in Australia for a few weeks, though Ruffalo finished his stint on set in the beginning of August. Over the past couple days, set photos and Twitter posts have revealed some new components of the film’s story. The above photo of Hiddleston and Hemsworth indicates that Loki and Thor will have some scenes in New York City. There is some question as to when this occurs in the movie, as Hemsworth appears with hair much longer than the short cut seen in clips of Thor’s cage match with the Hulk. However, a small detail suggests that their time in the Big Apple will occur later in the movie, or at least after Odinson meets Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), the female warrior and his possible love interest. Their romance is a key part of Thor comics history, and is even more likely considering that Natalie Portman confirmed she will not appear in any more MCU films.

In the comics, Valkyrie gains her powers after she talks down the Hulk at the Statue of Liberty and gains the wrath of his enemy, the Enchantress. Though it could be a misdirection, this newspaper headline could hint at a confrontation between the Hulk, Thor, and Valkyrie at some point in the film. In that case, Lady Justice would either refer to Lady Liberty herself or to their newfound ally.

The original photo from @Daley_Pearson and the zoomed in note

The most telling photo comes from Daley Pearson, a member of the film’s production staff and Hemsworth’s co-star in the mockumentary shown at Comic-Con. The picture, which seems to depict an on-camera moment from the set, shows Thor holding a small sheet of paper. The address on the paper, 177A Bleecker St., is that of the Sanctum Sanctorum, Stephen Strange’s Greenwich Village abode. Given the investigative nature of the film’s quest, this seems to indicate that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will appear at some point during the heroes’ search. With hints that the Time Stone will appear in Doctor Strange this November, the Sorcerer Supreme’s expertise may prove valuable if the weapon Thor seeks is one of cosmic origin (maybe even a gauntlet, of sorts?). Some may point out that Thanos already retrieved the gauntlet during the mid-credits sequence for Avengers: Age of Ultron, but President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige has stated the cinematic version of the Infinity Gauntlet has two gloves. The search for the gauntlet in in Ragnarok and the Time Stone in Doctor Strange would line up perfectly with a plot regarding the Soul Gem in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Given the recent reveal that the Guardians will appear in Infinity War, it makes sense that the next entry in the series will concern a plot relating to the Infinity Stones.

At this point, it is far too early to be certain of the events in Ragnarok, but these details present a much clearer picture of the movie than we had previously. Though the film (and the rest of the movies before Infinity War) may not play out exactly as I have predicted here, be prepared for more mentions of the Infinity Stones. And, of course, get ready for the big guy in purple.

Thor: Ragnarok opens on November 3, 2017.

Related Topics: ,