WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Thor: Ragnarok
Given the film’s title, Thor: Ragnarok was always going to end with some major destruction. And, sadly for Asgard, it was the main target; the third Thor movie saw the mythical kingdom decimated in the final act by the fire demon Surtur, allowing him to fulfill the Ragnarok prophecy and at the same time take out Hela, who drew her power from the home of the Gods. However, that doesn’t mean everything's over for the Asgardians.
In the Marvel Comics, Asgard’s inhabitants fared a lot worse than their cinematic counterparts. In 2004’s Thor Vol. 2, it was actually Loki that deviously enables the Ragnarok prophecy by obtaining the forge that was used to create Mjolnir and making replica hammers for his own troops. His army destroyed not just Asgard but the entire population in the ensuing battle and Thor was left adrift in the Void of Non-Existence until he was awakened by Donald Blake - the late physician who once wielded his godly powers.
In Ragnarok, Thor and Loki work together with Valkyrie, Heimdall, the Hulk, Korg and his pals to rescue the Asgardians from Hela’s grip and fly them away from Asgard before Surtur completely destroys the entire realm on the God of Thunder's decree. However, as Thor learns from Odin, Asgard is not a place but its the people; as long as they survive, then so will Asgard. The film ends with the New Asgard (The Grandmaster's escape ship) adrift, with the new King declaring they'll head to Earth.
The MCU Could Be Building To The Comics' Oklahoma Asgard
The X-Men franchise has a long history of dealing with socio-political subject matters, framing its depiction of racism, prejudice and ethnic cleansing through a mutant lens. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has typically been more light-hearted than Fox’s, although has still explored the moral and ethical choices of its heroes as well as the corruptive power of government, bureaucracy and being superhuman. As such, a refugee narrative concerning Asgard wouldn’t be out of place for Thor 4 or another entry in the MCU.
The question is: where on Earth will Thor take is people? In J. Michael Straczynski’s Thor Vol. 3, the God of Thunder rebuilds Asgard just outside of Broxton, Oklahoma. He had purchased the land using gold from the treasury and after completing construction raises the city up to float above the ground with the power of the Odin-Force. He then went about finding Asgardians who have been reincarnated into mortal human bodies.
Could this happen in the films? Possibly, but first there are some barriers to get past: obviously, the Asgardians are still alive at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, and they may not get to Earth if the post-credit scene is anything to go by.
In the mid-credits scene, as Thor and Loki discuss their future, a looming ship casts a shadow over theirs, implying that their journey to Midgard may suffer a detour. It’s not clear who is in charge of the ginormous vessel but its design suggests it's related Avengers: Infinity War big bad Thanos. The Mad Titan is on a mission to secure all the Infinity Stones for his Gauntlet and basically exert ultimate, maniacal rule over the universe. So, if it was indeed his ship that the Asgardians encountered, then he will certainly be putting a spanner in the works for their Earth-bound plans (especially if Loki does actually have the Tesseract)
Of course, if the Asgardians are wiped out, then that means Straczynski's Oklahoma storyline may see more life in the fourth Thor movie than first thought, with the character rebuilding the world in the wake of the Avengers 4. And, if he's in America, this could have greater connections to the rest of the MCU. Captain Marvel will be set in the 1990s and introduce elements from the Kree-Skrull War storyline. Bearing in mind that the 2008 Secret Invasion series saw Oklahoma Asgard targeted by the Skrulls and their leader Godkiller, Thor could potentially take on the Skrulls in his fourth solo movie too.
A New Asgard Could Explain Where Lady Sif Has Been
All that said, while Thor: Ragnarok implies that Earth is the final destination for the Asgardians, there’s of course always the chance that they end up somewhere else in the Nine Realms too. And that could very much explain Lady Sif’s absence from the movie.
When Screen Rant asked Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige why the Asgardian warrior was not in the film, he quoted Star Wars’ Maz Kanata and said "that is a good question for another time" hinting that her absence will be explored in future movies. Lady Sif has been pretty busy since she was last seen delivering the Aether to The Collector for safe-keeping in Thor: The Dark World's mid-credits scene; Jaimie Alexander later popped up in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to help Coulson and his team deal with their Lorelai problem as well as track down a rogue Kree, Vin-Tak. That latter incident could explain her absence from Thor: Ragnarok - Sif agreed to take Vin-Tak back to his homeworld, Hala, so it's possible the mission became more complicated than expected - but could also be a step towards a new home; we could see the people of Asgard make a detour to the capital of the Kree Empire if Earth is not an option.
While we can only speculate as to the future home of Asgard, one thing's for certain: whether it be on Earth, Hala or some other planet, after Thor: Ragnarok their story is still far from over.
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017