Theory: Thor Has Given Up The Fight & Is Looking For Asgardian Survivors
There's one obvious solution to the mystery; Thor and Rocket are scouring the galaxy looking for the surviving Asgardian refugees. It's easy to forget that Thor isn't the last Asgardian; their numbers were depleted in Thor: Ragnarok, and half the refugees were killed by Thanos in the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, but Thanos did allow the rest to flee in pods. The Russos have confirmed that Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie survived Thanos' wrath, although they were unwilling to confirm the fate of Thor's friends, Korg and Miek. But here's the catch - Thanos' snap means those Asgardian survivors would have suffered even more, as half again crumbled to dust before the horrified eyes of their friends and family. So there are some Asgardians still out there, but there aren't many, and they're frankly on the verge of extinction - in spite of their long lifespans.
Thor is King of the surviving Asgardians, and his responsibility is to find his people. Rocket doesn't belong on Earth, and he and Thor seem to have become friends, so it would make sense for him to stick around the Thunder God and help him look for the last of the Asgardians. What's more, it seems highly likely that Thor will track down these Asgardian survivors, given Tessa Thompson was seen on set during filming of the two Avengers blockbusters, and even returned for reshoots with Chris Hemsworth in September.
This theory makes sense of the two images in the TV Spot. It's possible that Thor and Rocket have arrived on an alien world, and found an escape pod; in fact, the very structure Thor is standing in could well be one of the pods. Thor checks it out, finds it completely empty, and then turns to look at the barren landscape, wondering if anyone is still alive. After all, for all he knows the pod landed safely but everyone aboard it was turned to ash in the Decimation. Then, as the two explore, Rocket could find a ramshackle shed with signs of recent activity. The last of the Asgardians are desperately attempting to eke out a life in this remote location, and Thor and Rocket have found them at last.
The Team Will Come Back Together... Once Ant-Man Provides Hope
When Avengers: Endgame opens, it seems the Avengers will have effectively disbanded. That's not an unreasonable decision, given the world is in utter chaos, and several of the Avengers will be holding themselves responsible. Thanos' victory has broken the Avengers' spirit; Steve Rogers will most likely be blaming himself for making the wrong tactical decisions, Thor will be remembering how he failed to kill Thanos, and Hawkeye will probably be grieving the deaths of his family. The future seems bleak, bereft of hope, and the world doesn't need a band of broken superheroes any more. Furthermore, Black Widow, Steve Rogers, and Bruce Banner appear to have all settled in the Avengers Compound in New York, while Thor and Rocket have gone on their journey, and Hawkeye is in Japan now operating under the Ronin identity.
The arrival of Scott Lang will change everything, though, which is why his return was given a place of prominence in the first Avengers: Endgame trailer. Lang was trapped in the Quantum Realm when Thanos snapped his fingers and everybody who could have gotten him out was erased from existence; he was numbered among the missing, believed to be dead. But the post-credits scene of Ant-Man & the Wasp established that the Quantum Realm contains mysterious time vortexes, which could potentially be used to travel in time. And when Lang escapes the Quantum Realm, bringing news of these time vortexes, he may just provide hope - because he's inadvertently proven that time travel is possible, and that history could potentially be rewritten.
Avengers: Endgame opens with the Avengers broken, but they will come back together - once Ant-Man gives the team a reason to hope. The driving force for this appears to be Black Widow; the trailers have shown her running a debriefing, attempting to encourage Steve Rogers that their desperate plan will work, and heading to Japan to seek out Ronin. Presumably Thor and Rocket will return to Earth, perhaps to tell the Avengers they've succeeded in their mission or perhaps to bring the Asgardians to a place that has a few more amenities, and Black Widow will draw them both into her last-ditch attempt to save the universe.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019