The other pronounced change to Ragnarok from its trailers is Thor's eye. The money shot of most promotional material since SDCC has been a lightning-sparking Thor flying down onto the rainbow bridge ready to do battle against Hela, both his eyes blue. This shot is in the movie, but with one notable difference: by this point he's lost an eye. During the start of their final confrontation, Hela violently (but bloodlessly) slices out Thor's right eye, essentially establishing his ascension to the throne as the new Loki in the film's final moments.
Because the trailer shot was so prominent, many will likely be wondering whether this was always set to happen or is just a knock-on effect of trying to make Odin's death more emotional. However, we can reveal it was always the plan. When Screen Rant visited the set of Ragnarok last year, Marvel revealed concept art for the change; becoming Odin was clearly always the end game, and this visual cue was a key part of it.
And you can see this just under the surface of the marketing. Thor always had marks around the eye in the trailers; practical elements of the clearly CGI wound. The Infinity War side of things show it even more; in the SDCC teaser he had both eyes, but it's not extreme enough to rule out alternate takes or editing to keep the secrets. The poster is more revealing. with Thor is in profile so his eye is just, oh-so-carefully hidden to avoid it being commented on.
The Other Missing Finale Footage
While we can feel safe in the lost eye always being part of the plan, there are still signs of some adjustments to the final action scenes. The teaser trailer featured the now-iconic shot of Loki walking in slow-motion along an Asgardian bridge flipping two knives. By the headdress and background, this is clearly during the final assault on Asgard, but at no point does Loki wind up in this sort of area (it looks to be from the evacuation of the populace). There's also the later trailer's shot of Thor, Loki, Hulk and Valkyrie standing to oppose Hela on the Bifrost. A neat summation of the final act it may be, but no such simple showdown happens; Loki arrives after the battle's started, then Hulk's distracted by Fenrir, then the realm's being brought down by Surtur.
This is slight but compelling evidence that some structural changes were made to the ending, or at least a four-on-one standoff was trimmed in favor of each character's individual arc resolution. There's not exactly any damage to the final act from this, nor does it really alter what happens, but it's a conspicuous change all the same.
It's abundantly clear that Taika Waititi's vision for Thor: Ragnarok has remained consistent throughout production, with little complaint from Marvel. These trailer changes, while remarkable, don't really offer much to alter that view - the New York-Norway switch is intended to make the film more emotional, but otherwise the shifts play into his vision for this film and the characters going forward.
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- 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