[Warning: Potential SPOILERS for Thor: Ragnarok ahead.]
Since helping to save the day (again) in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor of Asgard has been noticeably absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All is not well with the Nine Realms, though, especially with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) on the throne and the cataclysmic events of Thor: Ragnarok on the way. With filming wrapping up in Brisbane, Australia, which doubled for New York City, the Ragnarok cast and crew are moving back to the Gold Coast. No matter where production takes place on Earth, Thor and his adoptive brother are still a long ways from home.
The reason for Thor and Loki returning to Earth in Ragnarok is still unclear, although it may have something to do with Odin. Thus far, Thor and Loki have downplayed their royal garb in order to blend in with their New York surroundings – at least until now.
The latest Ragnarok set images to emerge (via CBM) give fans a look at Loki and Thor’s new duds in the film. While they don’t show off the Asgardians’ garb in all their glory, they do give a pretty good idea of what pretender to the throne Loki, in particular, will be wearing come next year. Thor’s heroic getup can also be seen from the waist down, although his torso remained covered by a sweatshirt.
Get a better look at the Nine Realm-dwellers below (via Instagram user markymark9999):
As exciting as the fresh superhero threads are, the prospect of new, unannounced character is even more intriguing. In one of the most recent set images. set in a Brisbane-for-NYC alleyway, a meeting took place between Thor, Loki, Odin, and an unknown woman. The mysterious figure tucks her black hair and unknown attire beneath a blue-purple cloak. Early reports from several sources claimed it was either Cate Blanchett as Hela or Jaimie Alexander’s reentry into the fray as Lady Sif. However, upon closer inspection, the enshrouded figure doesn’t resemble either actress.
One possible clue comes from a pair of curious fans. Initially, weepingangel013 posted a pair of set pics via Twitter, showing a Thor: Ragnarok staffer hauling several costume bags marked “Hi Dad” and “Hi Mum.” Another Twitter user later zoomed in, speculating about the markings:
先の写真は「Hi, DAD」の札ついてるけどMOMもあったよ pic.twitter.com/uQBKHOFCxZ
— Weeping angel (@weepingangel013) August 26, 2016
— b1gr1g (@Bigr1g) August 26, 2016
Although just a wild guess, the fatherly costume could refer to Anthony Hopkins hobo Odin costume. The “Mum” clothing, on the other hand, certainly can't be related to Thor’s cinematic mother Frigga (Renee Russo), since she was killed during Thor: The Dark World. Is it possible that this costume belongs to an entirely different mother figure, that of Gaea?
In the comics, Gaea is a primordial representation of the Earth – a blend of the Greek goddess Gaia and Joro from Norse mythology. An Elder God, she left her physical form behind and conjoined with the planet, though she returns to female form from time to time. She also happens to be the biological mother of Thor – at least in the printed Marvel Universe. Despite the MCU establishing Frigga as the matriarch of Asgard, is it possible she isn’t Thor’s birth mother? When asked what happens in the alleyway by Brisbane’s 9 News, Ragnarok location manager Duncan Jones hinted “There’s a few curveballs in this scene that will be well worth watching.” A major reveal about Thor’s past would certainly qualify as a “curveball.”
Keep in mind that the costume tags and Jones’ tease could be designed to throw off fans. The mysterious character may be yet another Asgardian come to aid her royal family. On the other hand, there is another cloaked woman who could play a role in Thor 3 – Death. With Thanos so close to his breakout role in Avengers: Infinity War, is it time to introduce his unrequited love? Being spurned (yet again) by Death certainly gave him a reason to take down the cosmos with the Infinity Gauntlet before, and could be further motivation for the upcoming superhero showdown. No matter who the mystery woman is, it certainly seems to be worth sticking around to find out.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.