The anticipation for the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok movie hit a fever pitch with the release of the teaser the other day. While the teaser probably only details the first half or so of the film, fans got to see enough to get an idea of what’s going on without totally spoiling the film, something too many trailers do these days. With so much going on in a short period of time, we thought we would go through and breakdown the many elements, helping you sort through and make sense of what you’re seeing. We will try to avoid speculation where it’s possible, but much of the trailer gives only hints, so we have to pair it with information from the comics and some grounded theories when needed. Otherwise, we’re simply telling you what you’ve seen with your own eyes.
Outside of the images in the teaser, we’ve gotten a pretty good deal of information from the film’s concept art, the comics, and cast and crew interviews. Some of that information really helps to inform the subtler details in the trailer or at least give us a hint about what’s going on. Also, as we approach the new Avengers films, we expect that Thor: Ragnarok will connect itself to the overarching story, so we will try to pick out important details for that arc as well. This piece will also give you a bit of a background on the places and characters we see in the trailer, details that will make you feel like a die-hard comic fan even if you’re not. It’s all about making you feel good about yourself. Here are 15 Things You May Have Missed in the Thor: Ragnarok Trailer.
15. What is Ragnarok?
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok refers to the story that details “Fate of the Gods” or the “Twilight of the Gods.” This is an event that brings about the end of the gods as they fall to world-devouring giants/demons. In the comics, Ragnarok comes about when Loki frees Surtur and some other enemies of the gods, leading to a giant war. Eventually, the Avengers save the day, but this is unlikely to be how this one concludes. Otherwise, this would be called The Avengers 3. In terms of how Loki fits into all this, the last we saw of him in the Thor films, he was posing as Odin, so it’s possible that he is partly responsible for the events. Even though we can’t say for sure, it seems like Loki is trying to help out the Asgardians in some clips in the trailer (which we will discuss later on), so we’re not too sure.
14. This Is Muspelheim
The very first shot we see in the trailer is of Thor chained up and dangling in a hell-like world. Though some are guessing that this is Hel, Hela’s domain, this is almost certainly Muspelheim. During Comic-Con, we were treated to some Thor: Ragnarok concept art in which we saw that Surtur, the fire demon, was highlighted. You can see in the trailer some demon-like faces light up around Thor. This world is just too fiery for it not to Muspelheim. In the Ragnarok comic arc, Surtur (with the help of his magical blade, Twilight) plays a large role in bringing down Asgard. Perhaps the fireball that we see scorching throughout Asgard in the trailer is the one that Surtur used to dispatch of Thor in the comics.
13. Who The Hell Is Hela?
In Norse mythology, Hela is the goddess of death. Her realms are Niflheim and Hel. In the comics, Hela is the daughter of Loki, which her colors seem to honor, though we doubt this relation will exist in the films. That would be weird. Cate Blanchett as Hela looks incredible. She has two looks that we see in the trailer, one with a horned helm and one with long straight hair. In the comics, Hela wants to take over dominion of the Asgardian version of Heaven, Valhalla, but Odin and the gods are not having that. We do see a flashback of Hela fighting Valkyries (more on that later), so it’s probable that she was once thwarted by the gods and locked up for it. Now, we presume that she has been released and has returned to take revenge on the Asgardians.
12. New York, New York
Right before Thor throws Mjolnir at Hela, we notice a few interesting things. First, Thor is in what looks to be a New York alleyway. This would make sense considering the last time that we technically saw him, he was sitting with Doctor Strange in New York having a drink (also notice that Mjolnir was not visible in that Doctor Strange post-credit scene). Second, right as Thor is about to throw the hammer, look behind him. That graffiti, “Skux Life,” is a piece of New Zealand slang, something that played a large part in Thor: Ragnarok‘s director’s latest film. In Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the main character uses this word often. It means ‘gangster’, in case you were wondering. Third, keen-eyed viewers have noticed that right after Mjolnir is broken, prior to the blast, someone is visible to the right of Thor in the shot. This is very likely to be Loki as he was looking for Odin with Thor in the Doctor Strange scene, but some have suggested that it might be Doctor Strange himself. It all depends on whether this scene happens before the post-credits scene or after.
11. Mjolnir Is Broken
When Thor does get around to throwing his hammer, Mjolnir, at Hela, we see her catch it and crush it in one hand. Impressive, but that’s not the first time Mjolnir has been broken. In the comics, Thor’s grandfather, Bor, broke the hammer once. The Destroyer once cut it in half with a bolt of energy. Molecule Man vaporized it. Perrikus sliced it in two. It broke during a fight with the Celestial Exitar, and it shattered when used on the Uru weapons of the Storm Giants. Interestingly enough, Celestials seem to play a role in this trailer and the last event with the Storm Giants is part of the Ragnarok arc in the comics in which Loki revives Surtur. It’s possible that some elements of both of those stories are blended into the film.
10. Hela’s Sword
The next thing we see in the trailer is Hela in both of her looks and her declaring, “Asgard is dead.” As she says this, she brandishes her wicked sword. Actually, we see Hela’s sword a couple times and it looks different in the shots. In an interview with Blanchett, she said that the character is “able to manifest weapons. [Her] headdress can be weapons. [She] can manifest weapons out of different parts of her body. [She] won’t tell you which — [She’ll] leave that hanging.” The headdress bit is neat because we do see the helm move in the trailer. It’s possible that she’s able to pull swords from it. There has been some interesting talk about her swords. While Hela’s main weapon in the comics is Nightsword, it’s possible that the filmmakers are bringing in other elements to combine story arcs. One idea is that she may have Twilight, Surtur’s sword. However, since Surtur is going to be in the film, that’s unlikely. The stronger possibility is that Nightword is blended with All-Black, the Necrosword. Not only does the sword look like All-Black, but it would be able to control darkness (something that appears to be happening in the trailer). It could change shape and it would be a god killer. This sword might allow her the ability to take on all those Asgardians at once.
9. Welcome To Sakaar
So we see the fireball and then we see Thor falling through the sky. In the next shot, we see him on a new planet. This is Sakaar, a place that Chris Hemsworth describes as the land “where every wormhole across the universe dumps out its trash.” In the background of this planet, we can see a few wormholes, so it’s very likely that Thor fell through one of these from Asgard. In the comics, Sakaar is most famous for being the setting of the Planet Hulk story. More on that later. Basically, Sakaar is famous for being a planet that loves its gladiatorial sports. The people are obsessed with it. It’s also a place where ragtag warriors seem to congregate, where they can disappear in a way.
8. Who Is Valkyrie?
When Thor is netted on Sakaar, a woman (Tessa Thompson) collects him and drags him away. Though it’s difficult to tell by her current outfit, the flashback that immediately follows this show helps us out. This is Valkyrie. Valkyrie, also known as Brunnhilde, used to work for the Asgardians as the leader of the Valkyrior in the comics. She and her other Valkyrior goddesses would choose which slain warriors could go to Valhalla. The flashback we see is likely the battle that took place when Hela tried to take over Valhalla. It’s probable that Valkyrie lost this battle (seen in the shot of her in her iconic blue cape falling down defeated) and was shunned by Odin for it. This is almost certainly why she’s on Sakaar and why she will almost certainly be a reluctant companion of Thor.
7. Meet The Grandmaster
In the comics, the ruler of the Sakaarians is the Red King, but he has been changed to Jeff Goldblum‘s character, the Grandmaster, in Thor: Ragnarok. The Grandmaster is one of the Elders of the Universe, an ancient race of beings who love all forms of game and competition. He makes a good fit on Sakaar. We already know one Elder, The Collector (Benicio del Toro) from The Guardians of the Galaxy. In the sequel to that film, we’re going to meet another one, Ego (Kurt Russell). Like the Collector, the Grandmaster probably won’t be necessarily bad or good. He’ll likely just be interested in serving his own interests and his games. Goldblum looks awesome though, doesn’t he? Also, note the similarities in wardrobe and set design to The Guardians of the Galaxy.
6. Heimdall Is Hunted
The very next scene has one of our favorite Asgardians, Heimdall (Idris Elba), looking different than we’re used to seeing him. He looks like he’s being hunted, running away from something and for some reason. Then we see a random soldier attacking him and he crushes it. So what’s going on here? We’re not exactly sure, but we can speculate a bit. First, the thing he’s fighting is almost guaranteed to be a henchman of Hela. Since it has the same colors and is shaped like her outfit, they’re going to be connected. But why is she hunting Heimdall? Well, this could possibly be associated with the T.H.A.N.O.S theory, which suggests that Heimdall is in possession of the last Infinity Stone, the Soul Gem. The T.H.A.N.O.S theory argues that each letter of Thanos’ name indicates where the Stones are found. T-Tesseract, H-?, A-Aether, N-Necklace, O-Orb, S-Scepter. The theory argues that the H stands for Heimdall.
5. Who Is Skurge?
After we see a quick shot of an aircraft flying toward a wormhole, likely escaping Sakaar, we get a quick shot of Skurge (Karl Urban) blasting away. In the comics, Skurge is also known as “The Executioner,” the sometimes villain. Yet, Skurge is also known for helping Thor escape from Hel by holding the bridge while shooting wild cover fire (in much the same way he is in this shot). It seems likely that they simply switched the locations around. Rather than have Skurge help the heroes escape from Hel, he’ll help them escape Sakaar.
4. Thor’s New Look
Right before we see Thor’s new look, we see Loki in a battle, but we’ll discuss that next. Let’s jump to the coliseum. Here we see a large door open and out pops a fresh-looking Thor. His hair is now short, which is a nod The Unworthy Thor comic. He then does a bit of fan service by putting on a modern-looking version of his iconic helmet. Some fans were disgruntled by the lack of the helmet in all the previous MCU films, so this is a nice way to acknowledge the character’s comic book roots. He’s also holding a mace that some fans have pointed out looks a lot like Hercules’ Golden Mace, which, incidentally, is a weapon that is often compared to Thor’s Mjolnir.
3. Planet Hulk
As Thor awaits his opponent in the trailer, the announcer says, “I give you, your incredible…” and the Hulk busts on out sporting his classic Planet Hulk look from the comics. As we mentioned, Sakaar is best known for the Planet Hulk story. In that arc, the Illuminati, a group made up of all the leaders of superhero leaders, such as Professor X and Iron Man, decide that the Hulk is too dangerous for Earth, so they shuttle him away to another planet. On his way to this planet, he falls through a wormhole and ends up landing on Sakaar instead. It’s unclear if the film will follow this story, but the Hulk will find his way to Sakaar some time before Thor. In both the comics and the events before Thor meets him in the battle, the Hulk rises through the ranks of the gladiators on Sakaar. We don’t know how big the Hulk’s role will be in the film, but, in the comics, the Hulk is thought of as the savior of the Sakaarians.
2. What’s Up With Loki?
One of the biggest questions in the trailer is, what is up with Loki? After Thor gleefully shouts “Yes!” upon seeing the Hulk, the shot switches to a confused Grandmaster and his guest, Loki. What’s he doing there? Now think back to that shot of Loki flipping his daggers and looking like a thug ready for a fight. It appears that Loki travels to Sakaar to help Thor get off the planet. We can assume that the Grandmaster won’t let him go so easily, so Loki might have to do some negotiating. In that fight scene earlier, behind Loki can be seen what appears to be Sakaarian soldiers. Maybe Loki, Thor, the Hulk and some Sakaarians return to Asgard to take down Hela and whoever else is running amok in Asgard.
1. Are Those Celestials?
In that same shot in the box at the coliseum, look behind the Grandmaster. That guy in the red suit over the Grandmaster’s left shoulder looks very much like a Celestial. Celestials are huge and ancient and extremely powerful. The outfit makes this guy look like a small version of Eson the Searcher (with only four yellow circles instead of six). We saw a quick shot of Eson the searcher destroying a planet in The Guardians of the Galaxy (when the Collector was telling the history of the Infinity Stones), so they might be connected. In that film, we also saw the planet Knowhere, which is the head of a Celestial. Earlier in the Thor: Ragnarok production, director Taika Waititi released a picture of him wearing the helmet of what looks to be Ziran the Tester, the Celestial responsible for the creation of the Eternals. Maybe the guy behind the Grandmaster is related to the Celestials or maybe he’s just a nod to the artwork. Who knows? It’s impossible to say for sure, but there’s almost no doubt that the Eternals and the Celestials will have a bigger role to play at some point in the MCU.