NOTE: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Thor: Ragnarok
There's no question that Thor: Ragnarok will feel the wrath of Hela, but fans may need to prepare themselves for the death of one of Thor's closest friends. At least, that's what the film's marketing seems to heavily suggest so far. Even without specifics, it's already clear that Cate Blanchett's Hela will be one of Marvel's best villains, emerging in the wake of the prior Thor movie to take her revenge. While that may mean the last appearance of Thor's father, Odin, it isn't looking good for the other Asgardians brave enough to stand against her mission of murder and world-ending destruction. Specifically, one of the famous 'Warriors Three' that fought at Thor's side in his previous two movies.
When the trailers for Thor: Ragnarok first revealed Hela's return to Asgard, the hundreds of soldiers arrayed against her, and the acrobatic way in which she seemed to dispatch them with ease, we noticed a worrying detail. With the producers promising that Thor fans would hear the fate of the Warriors Three, if not see it for themselves, we held out hope that the figure standing up to Hela wasn't who we feared. But now that images have shed new light on the Hela/Asgard standoff, it seems guaranteed.
Things are about to get very bad for Hogun - and perhaps his compatriots not soon after.
Things Don't Look Good For Hogun
As fans can see for themselves, our fear that the lone Asgardians warrior standing apart from the rest when Hela makes her (presumed) entrance to Asgard has been confirmed. The costume worn by Hogun (Tadanobu Asano) is an obvious match, despite the fact that fans haven't actually gotten to see it much. Hogun played an equal role to the other three members of 'Lady Sif and the Warriors Three' in the first Thor, but The Dark World sidelined him in the opening scenes, leaving him with his own people on Vanaheim. It would seem that in Ragnarok, Hogun has once again taken up residence in Asgard... and is every bit as selfless and heroic as we remember.
The bad news, quite obviously, is that the other shots of what appear to be this sequence (and the ensuing battle) don't show too much resistance to Hela once she leaps into the fight. Donning her full headdress and leaping overhead as she tumbles, killing Asgardian soldiers left and right, it seems only a matter of time until the fighting is stopped. From the looks of this shot, Hogun may actually be the first person to try their luck against the returned 'Goddess of Death.' He's a skilled fighter, but if the slaughter continues, then he can't perform all that well.
There's still a chance we're missing one crucial detail, and Hogun manages to escape danger (while somehow leaving the rest of Asgard's forces to be killed and turned to Hela's side). But if it goes the way it seems doomed to go, it may set a dangerous precedent for the rest of Thor's friends in Ragnarok.
What Does It Mean For Sif, Volstagg & Fandral?
Technically, Hogun wouldn't need a specific reason to be on Asgard - and if he was present, it would only make sense to position himself on the front lines of a threat. That being said, what we've deduced from the movie's story may offer a practical reason for this Warrior's presence. Assuming the version of Hela that leaps gleefully into combat in this same Asgardian courtyard is the one with powers restored, having potentially killed Odin on Earth to get them, Thor and Loki are out of play. Loki's whereabouts are unknown once he's sent spinning into space (until he surfaces on Sakaar), and Thor winds up on the gladiator planet not long after he and his brother seem to have their first run-in with Hela. So with Asgard unprotected, ruled by an empty throne, with neither heir present to defend it... one of Thor's closest friends steps up.
We truly hate to think that Hogun would be killed before his character can truly be developed in a significant way, but his final scene could be the most memorable yet. Not only for the circumstances of his possible demise, but the impact it will have on the audience's faith in the heroes' survival. Specifically, Lady Sif, Volstagg, and Fandral. If they're not present to stand beside Hogun, then where are they? Are they on missions of their own away from home, or are they fulfilling kingly surveillance and defense, as well, merely off camera?
And most concerning: if Hogun is given a hero's death while Thor is trying to fight his way home and stop Ragnarok... will the same be coming to the rest of his closest allies? Not a glimpse has been offered of any of them in marketing, and no news may be good news. Yet Lady Sif and the Warriors Three are something of a package deal. So let's hope, for everyone but Hogun's sake, they decided to spend some time apart.
Fingers crossed, Thor fans.
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017