Thor: Ragnarok is still over a year away and doesn’t even have a trailer yet, but excitement is already building for the God of Thunder’s third solo outing. Although the previous Thor movie, Thor: The Dark World, was arguably one of Marvel’s lesser efforts, the sequel looks like it could be one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most exciting movies yet. For starters, Ragnarok is much more ambitious than its predecessors, featuring a surprisingly large cast that happens to include Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/The Hulk, which alone makes the whole thing worth the price of admission, in our opinion. Understandably, with Thor: Ragnarok still being far from release, there are not yet a ton of concrete details known about the film, but we’ve rounded up the most important confirmed details and rumors to help bring you up to speed on everything you need to know about Thor’s upcoming adventure.
This post contains potential SPOILERS for Thor: Ragnarok.
11. Doctor Strange Appearance
Although it hasn’t been explicitly confirmed that Doctor Strange will be in Thor: Ragnarok, you can be sure that Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme will figure into the proceedings in some way, even if doesn’t involve Benedict Cumberbatch gracing our screens with his sophisticated British mug. Speculation that Thor will meet Strange in the film began in earnest when Chris Hemsworth posted a photo back in August of himself holding a business card with Stephen Strange’s home address written on it. Taika Waititi, the director of Thor: Ragnarok, was recently asked if Strange would be making an appearance, which he neither confirmed or denied while also heavily implying that Strange would be part of the film’s post-credits sequence.
To be honest, it would be hugely surprising if Doctor Strange wasn’t involved in this film in some way, as his status as one of Marvel’s weirder cosmic characters fits right in with the tone of the Thor movies; plus, Thor: Ragnarok will help set the table for Avengers: Infinity War and you can be sure that Strange will play a significant role in that film, so why not have him make a guest appearance here?
10. Loki Is Back
The Thor series (and the first Avengers film for that matter) wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without the presence of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Hiddleston’s performance as the Trickster God is arguably the best of any villain yet featured in the MCU, but he hasn’t been seen since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, which caused some to worry that Loki might be sitting this one out. Fortunately, Hiddleston confirmed his involvement back in August with an Instagram post of himself in costume.
Little is known about what role Loki may have in the story (he played more of antihero role in The Dark World, so he probably won’t be an outright villain in Ragnarok), a set photo of Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor wearing street clothes hints that the pair will travel to Midgard (a.k.a. Earth) together, which suggests that the estranged brothers are on somewhat friendly terms. It’s hard to see how we will get to that point considering when we last left Loki, he was posing as Odin and ruling Asgard in his stead. We’ll just have to wait until further plot details are released to know for sure what the true nature of Loki’s role will be.
9. Thor Fights The Hulk Again
One of the first big revelations to come out about Thor: Ragnarok was that The Hulk would not only be involved, but that he would have a rematch with Thor after their brief but memorable fight aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in The Avengers. When asked whether the pair would duke it out again, Mark Ruffalo answered in the affirmative, telling The Daily News “I think they’ll probably fight. There’s no doubt, everyone wants us to fight at one point.”
One of the big plot rumors going around is that at one point in the film, Thor will find himself exiled to another planet where he will have to do battle in a gladiatorial arena. He easily dispatches all challengers, but then The Hulk shows up decked out in gladiatorial armor (which Marvel was showing off at Comic-Con this year) and things get real. It’s expected that the pair will eventually team up to face Cate Blanchett’s villain Hela, but before that happens, we’re going to be treated to a knockaround slugfest between two of the Marvel universe’s most powerful heroes.
8. Jeff Goldblum Is The Grandmaster
The Thor movies have enjoyed the presence of veteran talent in the form of Anthony Hopkins’s Odin since day one, but the next film in the series is getting even more with the addition of Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster. In the comics, the Grandmaster is an intergalactic gamesman who challenges heroes and villains across time and space to games of luck and chance and based on Goldblum’s description of his approach to the role, it already sounds like the Grandmaster could become a fan favorite addition to the franchise: “He’s a hedonist, a pleasure-seeker, an enjoyer of life and tastes and smells,” Goldblum told Empire back in June. “I thought, ‘I can do that, I’ll bet!'” Based on its title and what we’ve heard about the film so far, Thor: Ragnarok is going to deal with some pretty heavy, end of the world-type storytelling, so it certainly could benefit from having Goldblum hamming it up as the equivalent of an intergalactic gameshow host.
7. Karl Urban Is Skurge
Having appeared in comic book (Dredd), sci-fi (Star Trek) and fantasy movies (The Lord of the Rings), Karl Urban certainly has enough geek cred to make his addition to the Thor: Ragnarok cast an exciting prospect. Although Cate Blanchett is playing the main villain (more on her character in a bit), Urban will be playing quite the formidable foe himself in Skurge, also known as The Executioner. Skurge is an Asgardian with enhanced abilities and a battle axe, and also happens to be one of Thor’s biggest enemies in the comics. Skurge will likely be Hela’s (Blanchett) most loyal servant and lead warrior, as he plays a similar role in the comics, which means he will be a significant threat and key player in Thor: Ragnarok.
6. Cate Blanchett Is Playing The Main Villain
As already mentioned, Cate Blanchett is playing the main villain of Thor: Ragnarok and if early reports are to be believed, she is truly going to turn Thor’s life upside down. Hela is the Asgardian goddess of death and for all intents and purposes is the one trying to unleash Ragnarok on Asgard and the rest of the nine realms (in Norse mythology, Ragnarok is world-ending event that leads to the deaths of a number of major figures including Thor, Loki, Odin and pretty much every major Norse god you can think of). Rumors from earlier this year have suggested that Hela will hatch some sort of scheme with Loki, but considering the magnitude of what she is planning to unleash, it’s safe to say that Loki ends up on the receiving end of a raw deal. At any rate, Blanchett is an amazing talent and has every chance of becoming one of the MCU’s best villains, so her presence in Thor: Ragnarok is certainly something to look forward to.
Thor will have his hands full with some formidable new villains in his next movie, but fortunately, he’s also getting some help in the form of a new female hero played by Creed’s Tessa Thompson. Thompson is confirmed to be playing Valkyrie, a.k.a. Brunnhilde, who in the comics leads the Valkyrior, Odin’s personally-selected group of warrior goddesses who help defend Asgard. Interestingly, Valkyrie has in recent years been a member of teams such as the Defenders and the Secret Avengers, which means that after she helps Thor stop Hela from unleashing Ragnarok, there’s a chance we may see her in future MCU ventures, including Avengers: Infinity War. That film already has about 1000 character in it (no hyperbole), so what’s the harm in adding one more?
4. Less Lady Sif
Unfortunately, while Thor: Ragnarok is gaining a strong female character in the form of Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, it’s losing another (in a way) in Jaimie Alexander’s Lady Sif, who will reportedly only have a minor role in the film; a disappointing turn of events after Thor: The Dark World expanded that role considerably. When Marvel put out Thor: Ragnarok’s official cast list earlier this year, fans were dismayed not to see Alexander’s name, but the actress deflected fan concerns with a sly “Don’t worry 😉 …..” suggesting that she will be in the film after all. However, other reports have indicated that the film conflicts with her obligations to the NBC series Blindspot, so if she is in the final film, it will likely only be for a minor appearance.
3. No Jane Foster
Thor: Ragnarok will see the return of most of the previous film’s cast, but one notable absence is Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, who has been a main character and Thor’s love interest in both previous films. In August, Portman confirmed that not only will she not be reprising her role in Thor: Ragnarok, but that she’s not even sure if she’ll be coming back to the MCU at all. “I don’t know if, maybe, one day they’ll ask for an Avengers 7 or whatever,” Portman told The Wall Street Journal. “I have no idea! But as far as I know I’m done…it was a great thing to be a part of.” Although Portman’s character was one of the weaker elements of the previous two Thor movies, it is disappointing that we won’t get to see Jane Foster’s relationship with Thor develop any further, at least for the time being. Perhaps this opens the door for that Lady Sif romance that was strongly hinted at in Thor: The Dark World? One can hope!
Fair warning: the next two plot details have not been confirmed by Marvel, but they do come from reliable sources. Yes, this goes against the “confirmed details” focus of this article, but if true, these are very significant plot details that must be discussed.
2. Mjolnir Is Destroyed
Things will go from bad to worse quickly in Thor: Ragnarok, as evidenced by the report that Thor’s trusty hammer Mjolnir will be destroyed in his initial battle with Hela. How Mjolnir is destroyed remains unknown, but the loss of his weapon is the catalyst for Thor being sent into exile by Hela, eventually leading him into contact with The Hulk, who will surely be instrumental in helping the God of Thunder reclaim his kingdom. It’s unclear whether Thor will reforge Mjolnir at some point in the film or simply try to carry on without it, but it will be interesting to see how Thor fares in battle without it.
1. Heimdall Is Killed
For those who forget, Heimdall is the Asgardian gatekeeper played by Idris Elba who is decked out in awesome gold armor and wields a giant sword. If you’re a fan of Heimdall (and really, how could you not be?) then you may want to start preparing your goodbyes. According to a rumor originally reported by Latino-Review, Hela will kill Heimdall during her conquering of Asgard. While no one at Marvel has publicly substantiated this rumor, it would certainly tie in both with the premise of the film and would lend further significance to that scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron where Heimdall warns Thor about Hela in a vision. Not to worry though, as the report also notes that Heimdall will return for the film’s climactic final battle, which will see reanimated Asgardians, Valkyries, and of course Thor battle Hela for Asgard, and Heimdall will be a part of it.