WARNING: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Thor: Ragnarok
The long-awaited first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok has arrived, revealing even more epic looks at its new short-haired hero, a glimpse of Asgard’s ancient history, Cate Blanchett’s villainous Hela, and more story teases and easter eggs than fans could have hoped for. We’ve broken down a few of the bigger Ragnarok trailer topics for fans to take home, but for the diehard MCU addicts, or simply those thrilled to be more excited than ever for a new Thor movie, we’ve got you covered.
We’re breaking down each and every reveal from the Ragnarok teaser trailer, so needless to say, there may be SPOILERS aplenty as we theorize and speculate on the story beats, battles, and larger plot details teased in the new footage.
25. A Trip to Muspelheim
It’s tempting to expect that Thor’s next solo film would follow the hero doing something… well, heroic. But the Ragnarok teaser begins with the titular Asgardian god of thunder wrapped in massive chains, tumbling down a deep, dark hole, coming to rest suspended over a burning volcanic crack. Opening with such a “I bet you’re wondering how I wound up here” gag is fitting for director Taika Waititi, but the forces at work behind Thor’s predicament are open to some serious speculation – fueled mainly by the backdrop of the scene, and not the hero debuted within it. To be more specific, it’s the glowing demonic faces in the architecture we’re referring to here.
Those faces alone are unlike anything that’s been shown in the world of Asgard to this point, and the first thought must be connected to Ragnarok‘s villain (something of an embodiment of death). That being said, there’s a good chance that we’re looking at Muspelheim, one of the Nine Realms of Norse mythology – the one licked with flames, and home to torment and pain. Hell, in other words. It’s a realm that’s been teased in previous Thor movies, and while the visual design here is a bit different from the previously released Muspelheim concept art, it does seem a match for the glimpse of Muspelheim shown in Thor 3‘s Comic-Con footage. The reasons for Thor’s presence, and the fight awaiting him is what’s teased next…
24. Surtur, Perhaps?
The focus of the shot is obviously the spinning Thor, gently hanging as the glowing faces around him cry out in silent shrieks. But pay closer attention to those faces, and you’ll notice they’re actually alive, in a sense. Not sentient, and not moving in the way that audiences might expect from a fantasy-inspired vision of Hell. The faces are simply being lit by fire, as if the light emanating from them and making their faces visible is approaching. So, what do we make of this design element? Thor tumbles down into a darkly lit cavern, and the walls and decorations around him slowly begin to burn as if something– or someone has turned on a lightswitch. Or is simply approaching, bringing the fire with them.
As the face become fully lit, and heat can be seen radiating from their eyes and mouths, Thor turns towards the camera, fully lit as if another massive source of fiery light has suddenly appeared before him. Take that implied light source and add in Thor’s expression – far, far from excited about what he’s now looking at – and there’s a good chance it’s Surtur who stands before him. That in itself isn’t a shock, since Ragnarok‘s Comic-Con footage showed Surtur preparing to battle Thor. But given the rest of the trailer, this seems to be a plot beat that’s yet to be explored or detailed. In the comics it was actually Surtur who started Ragnarok itself, so if Thor is seeking him out – before his hair is cut – then perhaps the god of thunder is still trying to puzzle out the glimpse of doom he witnessed in Age of Ultron. Either he’s chasing the wrong enemy… or Surtur plays a much larger role in Ragnarok‘s story than we realize.
23. Hela’s Arrival… From Where?
Audiences have been desperate for details and images of Cate Blanchett’s Hela, so it’s only right that her dark, mystic, and deadly persona be introduced in a tease before a more glorious reveal in the trailer. We’re referring here to the brief shot of Hela walking out of… something, into… somewhere. As the air ripples and tears in a swirl of black magic or energy, Hela confidently struts out, flexing her fingers in preparation of a fight(?). The architecture visible behind the rippling energy could be a match for the yellow sandstone of Asgard, but it’s hard to tell (later shots of her in the trailer confirm this could be the case).
Shots like these may seem the most inessential, where overall plot twists and storylines are concerned. But in their own way, they hint at the larger mythology being teased or established. What is this black energy meant to represent? Is this Hela’s escape from her ancient prison? Is this a glimpse of her unique brand of magical attack, or simply an effect of her entry or exit from one plane to another? It seems a carefully constructed shot to unveil her in full costume (possibly descending a staircase), so is this the audience’s first glimpse of Hela in the actual film? If so, then the questions of where she is, and where she’s coming from become even more important. All theories are absolutely welcome.
22. Thor Lives The ‘Skux Life’
There’s clearly some creative editing here, since the architecture seen behind Hela doesn’t seem like a match for a back alley in New York City – nor does that seem a fitting location for her to make her debut. Nevertheless, the action jumps to Thor in sad back alley, hurling his trusty Mjolnir at a target revealed to be Hela. Before we get to his target, fans shouldn’t miss the rest of the shot’s reveals. For starters, this shot is confirmation that Thor’s trip on Earth won’t be confined to he and Loki in street clothes, searching for their wayward father. Thor will eventually return to his full Asgardian form, cape and armor included. Why Hela would make a trip to New York to put an end to Thor’s mission is anyone’s guess, but the question now becomes: which part of the city will get the honor of hosting her arrival?
On a more comedic note, Thor’s hammer toss reveals a patch of wall behind him decorated with graffiti reading “SKUX LIFE.” It’s a nod to director Taika Waititi’s New Zealand roots, with the word being a bit of New Zealand slang for things that are cool, gangster, sharp, edgy, slick… the word can be used in just about any context. Since it was used often in Waititi’s recent Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the word cropped up in plenty of interviews and press. Moving from a quirky, comedic hit to a Marvel blockbuster… Waititi is most definitely living the “skux life.”
21. Mjolnir Shatters at Death’s Touch
As we mentioned before, Thor’s toss doesn’t turn out as expected. Mjolnir mau have been unstoppable in prior films, but at Hela’s hand, it is subuded. Not just stopped in its tracks, either. A single touch of Hela’s fingernail, and the hammer forged in the heart of a dying star shatters to pieces. On one hand, it demonstrates the true extent of Hela’s power in the Marvel Universe (nothing is beyond death). On the other, it makes it clear… the old Thor of the MCU is dead.
That’s a death on both a literal and figurative level, since there’s no better way of showing Chris Hemsworth’s move away from the Thor that has been than to literally break the hammer that largely defined him. To the audience, and judging by the marketing surrounding Ragnarok, it could mean Thor’s – and Hemsworth’s – days of simply swinging a hammer are over. It’s not the first time Thor has been without his hammer in the MCU, but his goal is no longer to regain his “worthiness.” Without his signature weapon… Thor’s rebirth into something new is what comes next.
20. Thor & Loki vs. Hela
When Hela breaks Mjolnir, the result is what you would expect from the destruction of a mystical Asgardian relic. But before the massive, lightning-filled explosion takes over the screen, audiences can notice that it is both Thor and Loki standing side by side in the alleyway, both taking the full brunt of the explosion. We knew from set photos that Thor and Loki would both be seeking their father, Odin on Earth (Midgard), but their placement here – together, standing opposite Hela as she shatters one of Asgard’s mightiest weapons – could bear as much thematic weight as it does to the plot. Because for all Loki’s mischief, he’s still more interested in ruling Asgard than seeing it destroyed so easily.
It’s still unclear just how heroic a turn to expect from Loki, since temptations to do so in the past have resulted in even more treachery. That being said, he’s stopped short of killing his brother at every turn. And in taking the throne from Odin in The Dark World, he apparently sent his adopted father to Earth, instead of killing him. Next to nothing is known about the interactions between Loki and Hela, if there are any, and where they may fall on the villainous scale. It’s safe to assume that Loki and Thor enter yet another shaky alliance, but with this scene, there may be reason to think Loki might finally come to his senses. For the sake of a kingdom to rule, if nothing else.
19. Hela in All Her Ancient(?) Glory
For those following the trickle of Thor 3 concept art, the reveal of Cate Blanchett’s Hela is a bit less grand than expected. That’s largely due to her massive, spiked headdress – confirmed in concept art to be heavily based on the comic book version. It’s missing in the shot of her in the alleyway, but it does make an appearance in the trailer. The most memorable of those shots being the one seen here, depicting Hela in full costume, make-up, headdress, and taking a pose that might actually be an inspection of her finger nails (that’s the impression, anyway). The difference between this depiction and the one seen elsewhere may be explained by a passage of time.
Aside from the dreamlike color scheme, slower motion, and heavily evocative imagery suggesting a prologue or flashback, the landscape itself seems to be completely unformed – as if the scene being shown was set in a time before Asgard. The Thor movies have already established the kings of Asgard as bringing some sort of structure to the universe, so if we know Hela will be escaping imprisonment, as Blanchett has discussed, then it’s entirely likely audiences will get to see her defeat and capture. As an added bonus, this could be hint at Hela’s own change of character and personality. She may be chilling and detached here, but her eerie smile and tussled hair may be a sign of how thousands of years being locked away have changed her.
18. Asgard Unites Against Hela
Despite two films having featured it as a primary setting, this shot of Asgard’s soldiers arrayed against Hela stands out. Not only because it’s more soldiers than have ever been shown to comprise Asgard’s military, but because Thor and Loki appear not to be present. That’s a hopeful sign for fans wishing for more Asgard action of any sort, and for obvious reasons, the plot surrounding Hela promises a deeper dive into the mythology of the godly realm. Unfortunately, the scene is clearly bad news for the good guys. The ranks of soldiers may stand between Hela and what appears to be a green-ish ramp up to the palace, but as the shots that follow show, they’re no match for her.
That shot doesn’t appear until later in the trailer, depicting Asgardian soldiers scattered across this courtyard, with the remaining soldiers staring as Hela performs a ballet of death. Her headdress appears in that later shot, suggesting it can appear and disappear at will (like most Asgardian clothing or armor). Now, why she’s fighting her way through the soldiers is a mystery, since it’s unknown what they’re defending, if anything. And judging by the scenes which immediately follow… she may not need to worry about killing anyone by hand.
17. Ragnarok Begins?
The title of the film revealed the true stakes of this story from the outset. Since “Ragnarok” is the name given to the Norse apocalypse, the literal “death of the gods” made Hela’s intentions, if not her methods clear. Knowing nothing else about the film or its plot, the “arrival” of Hela in Asgard would presumably be that Ragnarok also approaching. Which is why the wave of fire consuming Asgard seems both obvious and impossible to believe. Are we truly witnessing the destruction of Asgard in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The fact that the wave of flame seems to be traveling from the city’s higher points to its lower is a particularly bad sign, since the palace itself is set in the city’s highest point. But there’s evidence of something else going on, as well.
For starters, the shot of flames washing through the city and turning a courtyard and its greenery to ash is completely devoid of people. A full-scale evacuation doesn’t seem likely – although we would ask anyone to estimate the actual population of Asgard – so it seems not enough is actually known about the sequence of events or plot to make an educated guess. It’s possible that there’s nobody left in Asgard, but it may simply be a case of Marvel not wishing to show the fiery death of hundreds of Asgardians. In which case… this shot could actually depict the death of thousands. Yikes.
16. The Planet Sakaar
As if losing his hammer wasn’t bad enough, Thor apparently finds himself plopped into a junk-filled landscape (if the previous shot of him descending from the sky at high speed is actually connected to the ones that follow). Going by Hemsworth’s own tease of a junkyard planet, this is almost certainly Sakaar, the universal garbage dump. The Thor star gave a brief explanation by explaining Sakaar to be “basically where every wormhole across the universe dumps out its trash.” And the trash scavengers get a lot more than space junk when this Asgardian arrives in pursuit of… something, assuming he hasn’t also been classified as cosmic “trash.”
Scanning the skies of the planet, it looks like that “wormhole” comment might actually be a literal one, with greenish portals opening across the cloud-covered sky. It’s hard to believe that an actual system of trash chutes could be constructed by universal powers using wormholes, but if any director is going to add that wrinkle to the MCU, somehow Taika Waititi seems the man to do it. Whatever the method or reason for Thor’s arrival, he doesn’t get much of a welcome.
15. Snagged By Valkyrie
If Marvel Comic fans had a prediction of how Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie would be introduced, we’re willing to bet it wasn’t that she would be dragging Thor in a net across a cosmic garbage dump, dressed up in war paint and smirking at her fortune. She appears to be dragging Thor towards her spacecraft, suggesting she’s something of a self-sufficient scavenger herself. Thanks to photos and videos captured on the set of Ragnarok, fans have already seen Valkyrie’s white face paint, as well as this particular leather armor. It’s all a departure from the comic book source material of ‘Brunnhilde,’ and while the make-up seems to be a product of Sakaar – since Thor is eventually painted in a similar fashion – the costume, Tessa Thompson recently explained, is more about making Valkyrie more formidable than sexualized:
“If we were also dedicated to the source material, Valkyrie would potentially be a female Thor but she’s fighting in basically a bathing suit, which is also absurd. So we had a conversation of, what is a strong look? Like, she should probably be in pants. That probably makes more sense for the kind of work she’s doing. And we had conversations about her sort of feeling like a tomboy and having a certain masculinity about her while still being very much a woman.”
The trailer gives a front-on look at Valkyrie’s armor soon enough, depicting a version of Valkyrie that is, needless to say, not quite as glorious as the Valkyrie of Norse mythology. The reason for that, as well as the reason Thor lands in her custody… well, the trailer answers those questions soon enough.
14. The Valkyrie of Norse Mythology
Valkyrie’s current costuming is a step down from the Norse armor she’s been wearing in more recent comic stories, but fans do get a glimpse of that splendor – not just on Valkyrie, but on the Valkyrior, the entire order of warrior women Odin entrusted with ferrying the souls of the dead to Valhalla. In mythology both Norse and Marvel, it was an honor reserved for the most accomplished and honorable of women, and judging by this scene they’ll need all the skill and bravery they can muster. Because it’s not some random fight they’re entering, but a contest with Hela herself. Hela’s costume, the unformed landscape, the continued slow motion, and overall grandeur of the Valkyrie may support the idea of this being an ancient prologue not unlike The Dark World‘s.
After all, the other MCU films have made no mention of the Valkyrie, and the presence of one member of the order now residing in Sakaar implies their time has passed. So the appearance of not one, but four blue-caped, winged-horse-riding warrior women is more than welcome, even if it’s just for a second. Thompson’s Valkyrie can’t be picked out, but the actress has hinted that Valkyrie’s “special sword” may be of particular use in the film – the kind of sword we’re guessing is visible in the hands of each of these winged warriors.
13. The Fall of The Valkyrie?
The shot that follows does appear to be Thompson’s Valkyrie, falling from the sky alongside her sisters and their many steeds, seemingly defeated by the power of Hela. Whether that means fans can look forward to a prolonged battle sequence, or this painterly tableau of a single throw of Hela’s sword felling Odin’s fiercest fighters isn’t clear. But the surreal imagery and style here is staggering either way, and something fans would more likely expect from a Zack Snyder than Taika Waititi. “The Fall of the Valkyrie” seems as fitting a title as any for this masterpiece, and how it informs Valkyrie’s character when faced with Thor has been hinted at by the stars.
The question is obviously how Valkyrie went from this ancient defeat at Hela’s hands to pulling Thor out of a cosmic junkyard planet. Since Hela was clearly imprisoned at the end of that story, and Valkyrie lived beyond this battle, why did she leave Asgard? Chris Hemsworth suggested one explanation, hinting that a return to Asgard for Thor and Valkyrie would be completely different experiences:
We wanted Thor to encounter somebody that was… much more his equal and in many ways his superior. Valkyrie is trying to not embrace any sort of Asgardian heritage that she has. Thor thinks maybe that will create a bond between them and, on the contrary, she wants to forget it all entirely.
12. Jack Kirby’s World Becomes Real
For the average movie fan mainly familiar with the Marvel universe through the MCU, the alien world of Sakaar that Thor is dragged through and thrust into can best be described as not just “alien,” but “geometric.” It’s easy to appreciate with no greater reference, and could be taken as another step behind James Gunn’s own image of angular alien worlds and technology in Guardians of the Galaxy. But comic book fans who know their foundational artists see these sets and character designs for what they really are: as close as the MCU has yet come to bringing Jack Kirby’s art style to life.
Pick up a cosmic comic book from the past half-century pointed to as reference for a Marvel movie story, and there’s a good chance it will have been penned by Jack Kirby, the creator of both Marvel and DC’s most lasting cosmic worlds and figures. Whether it’s Galactus or Darkseid and the New Gods, the outlandish (but somehow purposeful) lines, armor, helmets, and unspecified space machinery are the mark of Kirby. We can only hope the film itself keeps up the love.
11. The Grandmaster Gets a Prize
The first look at Jeff Goldblum in motion as the MCU’s version of The Grandmaster is a bit of a departure from the source material (we think), but judging by the results, it’s likely fans will embrace it. Especially when the role of a cosmic, pleasure-seeking, gladiator promoter seems a role Goldblum was born to play. At least that’s the role we assume he’s playing, since Valkyrie brings the captured Thor to him as a contender, most likely for his gladiatorial games. Goldblum’s role is kept to a minimum in the trailer, but if the large, undulating, grey-furred objects on either side of Thor are a sign of what’s coming, we don’t mind the filmmakers keeping some surprises.
As for Valkyrie, it seems this exchange cements her role and occupation when the film finds her. Grandmaster suggests some familiarity, inquiring as to exactly what she has “brought” him. Is this the first “contender” for the gladiator arena that Valkyrie has supplied? And is this a sign that she has yet to recognize the son of Odin, or evidence that she is truly severing her connections to Asgard by offering Thor himself as a sacrifice?
10. Heimdall Battles Forces of Hela?
Having sole grasp of the title of ‘Coolest Thor Character With The Least Screen Time,’ confirmation that Heimdall (Idris Elba) will be getting to slice apart some enemies with his giant sword is always welcome. But this is not the armored Heimdall we have known and loved: this is a cloaked, disguised, and long-haired Heimdall carrying his coveted sword through an unknown forest. It’s possible that he may be the only one able to see through, or simply deduce Loki’s trickery, and as such fled Asgard with the sword once used to grant access to the other Realms. Where he is hiding, or who he is hiding from is the mystery… but his enemy may hold an answer.
Taking a closer look at the enemy he’s slicing apart as the shot begins, and while its face can’t be seen without sword damage, the color and style – as well as the general ‘undead, twisted’ feel of it – suggests a connection to Hela. She has been known to send her armies of monstrous footsoldiers against her enemies in the past, but one such soldier appearing only in this scene is curious. What does she want with Heimdall? Are the rumors of an Infinity Stone in his possession true? Or is she simply seeking out one of Thor‘s coolest characters to make sure he gets a role?
9. A Plot-Relevant Wormhole?
You would think that on a cosmic planet referred to by its star as a trash dump for the universe, one such garbage chute would be worth a greater amount of inspection. But in a seconds-long shot from the trailer, a wormhole appears that seems much, much more substantial (and relevant to our plot). Not just due to the size of it, but the fact that it appears to be kicking up a serious storm in its immediate vicinity, both in the air and water. So what’s causing it? And most importantly, who’s piloting the spaceship that seems to be speeding straight towards it?
An intense look for any and all clues does show what appears to be the same rippling black energy around its edge seen previously, with Hela emerging. Taken in its simplest explanation, this rupture is also caused by Hela. Could this be the visual representation of Ragnarok, with a void into space being opened to swallow Asgard whole? Or is this planet still Sakaar? We can assume that Thor will be leaving Sakaar at one point, so if this spacecraft -painted in a similar fashion – is his ride out, this wormhole could be… anywhere.
8. Skurge Wields Familiar Weapons
Sure, the movie is set to include an Asgardian prince, a Valkyrie that once defended the path to Valhalla, and even a truly incredible Hulk. But that’s all an appetizer to the real hero for many fans: Skurge the Executioner. The half-Asgardian, half-Frost Giant powerhouse is to be played by Karl Urban in Ragnarok, and has remained absent from most of the movie’s marketing. Since he was famously used as a pawn by malevolent rulers, many immediately assumed that he would be carrying out Hela’s orders in the film. But now… we’re not so sure.
For starters, Skurge isn’t a typical villain. He’s a tough, violent, and uncompromising warrior… but that’s led to him being as much of a help to heroes a hindrance over his comic book career. And since this shot reveals him unleashing what are distinctly human firearms, it seems most likely that he’ll be taking up improvised arms – perhaps pulled from the space junk of Sakaar. Against who, you ask? Judging by his similarly gladiator-inspired costume, we would hazard a guess that Thor may meet at least one fellow gladiator with something to prove. Whether he survives the fight, and whether he truly is fighting on the ‘good’ side of it remains to be seen.
7. Loki’s Defense… with Some Curious Back-Up
In the flurry of action in the trailer’s last half, it’s tempting to see Tom Hiddleston’s Loki playfully tossing a pair of daggers, apparently preparing for a fight and simply fist pump with excitement. But more than any other shot in this trailer, the characters involved may reveal much of the overall story – and which side of the fight he winds up on. For starters, those daggers are a new addition to Loki’s arsenal, and seem to share a color scheme, at least, with Sakaar (or he’s just not afraid of clashing). His back-up also demands some extra attention, since they are most definitely alien – the one on the left, at least. Which raises a very unexpected question.
What could send Loki striding towards a fight (since his stare suggests imminent badassery), flanked by warriors bearing the geometric symbols and outlandish fashion of Sakaar, with a mob of people cowering in fear behind him? Given his villainous past, one might assume that it’s him the people are cowering from, having learned of his Odin-centric deception. But if Asgard itself is in danger – as the architecture seems to suggest – would Loki finally make the choice to defend it? It still doesn’t explain his partners in combat, nor the people behind him… but it’s a compelling shot, to say the least.
6. Thor’s New Look, Now Explained
Audiences were stunned when the first full image of “the new Thor” was revealed, sporting short hair, war paint, a more gladiatorial costume, and two very un-Thor-like swords. Putting together the pieces of rumor and plot details offered a possible explanation, but now it seems to be confirmed, once and for all. Thor is thrown into gladiatorial combat by the Grandmaster, and loses his hair (and a good chunk of his cape, apparently) along the way. At long last, he may resemble the truly terrifying hero that his background in Norse mythology might suggest.
As we mentioned before, it seems that the overhaul in terms of Thor’s visual style is intended to be something of a “rebirth” for the actor and character, and not a moment too soon. Age of Ultron implied that there was wisdom and knowledge of the coming Infinity War that only he could access – so with the war now looming, he stands poised to prove his worth, proficiency in combat, and that Mjolnir was never what made him mighty. If it exposes Hemsworth’s biceps in the process, all the better.
5. Even The Helmet is Back
It wouldn’t be a Marvel movie without some fun, and in a perfect blend of Jack Kirby-esque design, nonchalant badassitude, and adherence to the comic book roots of the character, Thor gets a brand new helmet. One that seems designed in keeping with Sakaar’s overall style… but with the flick of a switch, creates a brand new take on Thor’s iconic winged helmet. Think Norse mythology meets TRON (with a bit of anime thrown in for good measure) and you’re close to the bullseye.
It’s unclear if this is a total coincidence, since the helmet does bear a resemblance to the standard Roman infantry helmet (which is also influencing the design of Thor’s other armor pieces). The cheek guards and the silhouette say gladiator, so if the “wings” are intended to simply add a decorative flair, then it’s downright destiny Thor should find himself wearing it (in more ways than one, perhaps). Either that, or it’s a case of the Grandmaster’s armorers having some fun at the expense of the so-called ‘god of thunder.’ Both work.
4. An Armored Hulk
It may not be the Planet Hulk movie that comic book fans hoped for (and were regularly told was coming from Marvel), but any chance to see Bruce Banner’s enormous, green alter ego suit up in armor is one to be taken. In this case, it’s the armor previously shown during Thor 3‘s Comic-Con footage, and more recently in some incredible promotional Ragnarok artowkr. Donning some patchwork armor (is it really necessary?), a helm, wielding a massive hammer and axe – and some war paint for good measure – Hulk won’t even wait for his entrance to open to dive into the arena.
But once the shock of seeing the Incredible Hulk dressed up as a gladiator on an alien world wears off, fans might begin to wonder just how he got there, why he stayed, and how his story will lead him away from it – if he is planned to be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whatever the explanation, Thor’s relief at finally finding a friendly face on the other side of the universe is short lived. This is Hulk, not Bruce Banner. And Hulk is known to have one biological imperative that supersedes all others: smash.
3. Grandmaster & Loki Enjoy The Fight
Obviously, the Grandmaster wasn’t expecting the reveal of a massive, unbeatable green juggernaut to elicit joy from his latest “contender,” as his reaction is one of stunned surprise. He’s not alone in that shock, either… we’re assuming his guest is more than surprised to see the Incredible Hulk, considering their last encounter was less than friendly. That’s right, Loki himself takes a seat in Grandmaster’s (presumed) private box. Which means the larger plot that leads Thor to Sakaar, and out of it a lot more interesting.
Again, the simplest explanation is that Loki has found a new ally to leverage some power over his brother, and used Valkyrie as his go-between. But if you’re of the mind that all of this Sakaar action is set after the rise of Hela, and Thor and Loki’s sojourn to New York City, he may be arriving to rescue– scratch that, negotiate a way out of this situation that benefits himself as much as anyone. Whatever the reason for their meeting – and Grandmaster’s insistence on their seating arrangements – fans can look forward to at least part of a scene between Goldblum and Hiddleston… which may be worth the price of admission alone.
2. A More Ruffalo Hulk
The relationship between Thor and Hulk in Ragnarok has been discussed at length, with the stars themselves referring to it as a variation on a “buddy road movie” between the former Avengers. Given that, it’s a bit surprising to see them come to blows when they actually meet millions of miles from their home. But this shot may reveal an answer, since the ever-increasing efforts to fuse the Hulk with Mark Ruffalo’s emotions and performance have clearly reached their zenith. As a result, we can read the emotion just fine: Thor recognizes Hulk, but Hulk recognizes Thor, too… and from the looks of it, he didn’t want to be found.
It’s a credit to the animators, digital artists, and Ruffalo that Hulk can visibly be seen thinking about how his situation has changed. This isn’t the raging, or confused Hulk of yesterday, either. Ruffalo has previously hinted that the Hulk/Banner identity has changed by the time we meet him in Ragnarok, so it may be Hulk in the driver’s seat, and not the brilliant scientist everyone knows and loves. It’s obviously hard to know if this expression from Hulk actually takes place as a response to that realization, but whatever the case, Hulk is thinking for himself, these days. And if he’s looking for a fight… well, let’s just hope Thor isn’t expecting a rematch of their rage-fueled Avengers bout.
1. The Main Event
It’s clear that this fight between Thor and Hulk has become the highly-marketed, much-anticipated ‘main event’ of Ragnarok early on. So it makes sense that the former allies rushing towards eachother to test their strength should be used to punctuate the trailer’s final moment. But in the end, it seems unlikely that Thor and Hulk’s opposition will actually be a key conflict of the story. Both Ruffalo and Hemsworth have implied or suggested that Thor and Hulk will have a new relationship this time around, and not just a punching match. So the real question isn’t who wins or loses, but what happens when the match ends? Where is Hulk mentally, emotionally, and most of all, how did he even get to Sakaar?
For Thor, this sudden arrival of a former friend could be seen as a prayer answered, or one too many catastrophes to handle. It’s unclear if this story is even intended to return Hulk to the MCU fold, or send him away on a journey all his own, to be picked up when Marvel’s plan for the superhero is more firmly in place. All we know is that Thor and Hulk will cross blades in Ragnarok. But the details of how their paths get crossed is the real breeding ground for speculation, theorizing, and excited imagination.
So there you have it, Thor fans: every single detail, easter egg, plot hint, secret character reveal, and wild theory we could pull from the first teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok. The trailer now marks the beginning of the official marketing campaign, meaning these questions may be answered or replaced by even stranger mysteries in the weeks and months to come. For now, we welcome any and all secret, theories, or questions fans may have to add, so be sure to leave them in the comments.
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