Mid-Credits Scene: Meet The Collector
As was rumored weeks ago, the mid-credits scene at the end of The Dark World features Asgardian warriors Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and mighty Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) visiting the lair of the eccentric immortal known as The Collector (Benicio Del Toro). In the aftermath of the great battle with the Dark Elves, Sif and Volstagg bring “The Aether” – the power source Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) attempted to destroy the universe with – to The Collector for safe keeping. When questioned by The Collector why they are giving HIM the Aether, the Asgardians reveal that with the Tesseract locked in Odin’s vault, it would be unwise to keep two “Infinity Stones” in one place. Upon the Asgardians’ departure, The Collector states that he has “one down, five to go” – referring to the remaining Infinity Stones yet to be collected.
WHY IT MATTERS: This mid-credits sequence is quite possibly the biggest “button scene” we’ve seen yet, in that it reveals no less than the overarching storyline for Marvel’s entire movie universe – from the end of Phase One presumably up through the end of Phase Three and an Avengers 3 culmination.
By directly dubbing both the Tesseract and The Aether “Infinity Stones” we are getting a variation on the Infinity Gems – space, time, mind, power, soul, reality – that unite to form the godly Infinity Gauntlet. Clearly Thanos (the enemy glimpsed in the Avengers mid-credits sequence) is up to something, and as comic book fans know (and movie fans are now finding out) THIS is that plan: collect the stones, rule the universe.
Post-Credits Scene: Thor of Midguard
The post-credits scene in The Dark World picks up right after the events of the film’s conclusion, in which Thor declared to Loki (who is posing as Odin) that he is leaving Asgard to be with Jane (Natalie Portman) and defend Earth. In the post-credits scene, we watch a lonely Jane going through another round of post-Thor depression, until the Thunder God appears on her doorstep, thereby fulfilling his promise with a passionate kiss. Meanwhile, one of the Frost Giant beasts that was inadvertently teleported to Earth during the climatic Thor vs. Malekith battle chases a flock of birds (which were also victims of some extreme teleportation) across an empty lot. Laughter ensues.
WHY IT MATTERS: Obviously this post-credits sequence is of lesser importance than the mid-credits one, but it does carry some significance – namely in that Thor is now truly at home on Earth and with Jane, even while bigger and bigger trouble is amassing in the cosmos (and in his own back yard).