With the realm of Asgard, Norse mythology and limitless magic all at the filmmakers' disposal, it is a bit odd that the trailer begins with a child witnessing a gas tanker hovering feet off the ground. It's unclear if the truck is being lifted by the kids witnessing the physics-defying stunt, or if the truck has been rendered weightless, but regardless, something isn't right. Strange magic and deception are all key elements of the source material The Dark World will be drawing from, so anything's possible. But given the later information revealed about this scene, it's likely that Malekith the Accursed is behind the stunt. The truck is later seen on its side, surrounded by police and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), leading us to believe that whatever happens, Thor soon discovers that the fight has already begun.
Cloaked in Shadow
The post-credits scene for The Avengers proved that Marvel really does enjoy keeping their villains behind a cloak of darkness, but given what we know of Thor 2, we'd bet these shots are of the Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston). As the narration by Anthony Hopkins' 'Odin' informs us - and without going too in-depth into Norse mythology - it's safe to say that the Elves' history goes far, far into the past. Exactly how the film version of Malekith will differ from the comic book isn't clear, but as was the case with Thor (2011), expect a good old-fashioned lust for power and rule to drive his desire. By the surroundings, we'd guess that these shots show the interior of Malekith's fortress or flagship, but the reason for his less-than-comfortable position is a mystery. Either way, expect this moody setting to act as a suitable backdrop for the 'Dark Elf's dealings and scheming. We know he's the kind of villain who likes to get his hands dirty, but we also know he'll have other troops to order around as well.
London Attacked (Again)
We don't know what it is about London that movie super-villains just can't stand, but we'd recommend Brits take it as a compliment that launching an attack against the city means the whole planet will take notice. In this case, it looks to be an otherworldly spacecraft doing the damage, even if it isn't pictured launching any weaponry, merely wreaking havoc on masonry (there's a ship seen firing in the trailer, but it doesn't appear to be this ship. Up to this point, the exact interaction that Malekith's forces and Earth would have has been largely unknown; this sequence seems to imply that Earth may fall under direct attack, offering context for set photos of Thor in London. The design of the ship seems to fit with Malekith's style, but your guess is as good as ours.
Thor's New RideThere was never any doubt that Thor would be returning to Earth as promised, even if he did do it for The Avengers, arriving through undisclosed means and leaving with his wayward brother Loki by using the Tesseract. But in the trailer, he's clearly found a new way to get from point A to B. With the Bifrost ('rainbow bridge') destroyed at the climax of Thor, the film left fans wondering how Asgard and Earth would ever again be linked. It was hinted that Jane Foster (Portman) would uncover the secret, but it seems the solution is Asgardian in nature. The beam of light certainly looks the same as the Bifrost did (along with the runes left burned into the ground), so barring some clever exposition, the filmmakers may have realized that fans are more concerned with seeing Thor on Earth than the research required to make it happen. Well, most fans, anyway.
Three's a Crowd
While Thor's return to Earth may mean one heck of a vacation for Jane Foster, her arrival in Asgard isn't good news to everyone. The trailer makes it hard to miss Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and what looks to be her somewhat suspicious gaze. Alexander has talked at length about the history between Thor and Sif being a major theme in the upcoming sequel, and with such a strong hint supplied in the very first trailer, it may be playing an even larger role than we may have thought. It's unlikely that Sif will do anything to remove Jane from the situation altogether (even if Sif and Thor are married in Norse mythology), but the love triangle between the three should give Alexander more time in the spotlight. And more of an opportunity to see if she's a good candiate to play Wonder Woman.
One of the 'blink and you miss it' shots of the trailer shows not just an icy setting, but Thor, Jane Foster, and Loki travelling together. Loki's actions in The Avengers may make an alliance seem unlikely, but the trailer also shows that Loki isn't quite the villain he used to be. So how do we explain the three of them traveling together? Well, previously-released spoilers from someone close to production help explain this scene: only Loki knows the way to access the 'dark side' of Asgard where Malekith sits plotting, so Thor must free him from bondage in exchange for guidance. Why Jane is being brought along isn't clear, but with much of the talk about Loki centering on his possible redemption in The Dark World, it's hard to know if this shot reveals a trickster god already reformed, or simply biding his time.
Science and MagicOne of the most suspicious (and brightest) shots of the new trailer is one depicting a prone Jane Foster reclined on a bed of light, seemingly undergoing an intense experience. Since Asgardians aren't known for their tanning beds, this shot has us scratching our heads. Foster's clothing definitely looks closer to that of Earth than the Asgardian finery she is seen wearing in other sections of the trailer, but both the light and her strange expression imply that the scene is one of magic and sorcery, not something here on Earth. Is this the work of Thor's enemies, striking at his weakest spot, or does Jane's journey from Earth to Asgard entail more of a transformation than we previously thought?
Before the first full look at Malekith's half-scorched face is given, viewers are treated to a close-up look at his stunning braid; but in the background, it certainly seems like Asgard' biggest threat has found his way into Odin's palace. While the architecture seen behind the Dark Elf could be from anywhere in Asgard, it is likely no coincidence that both Jane Foster and Thor's mother Frigga (Rene Russo) seem taken off guard in what should be the safest place in the nine realms. We don't know how deadly Frigga will be with the sword she's brandishing, but with rumors surrounding her relationship with both Thor and Loki, and massive spoilers about her character arc, this scene sets the stage for a heck of a fight.