What you need to know going into Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok opens tomorrow and has had some very awesome trailers, one of the best movie posters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, and is being received well in the pre-screenings.  Its been a minute since we’ve seen Thor and the Hulk which means its time for a stroll down memory lane to recap when we saw these two heroes along with the comic arcs that inspired the upcoming film.

The last time we were in Asgard was in 2014 for Thor: The Dark World, which introduced The Dark Elves led by Malekith the Accursed who is in pursuit of an ancient weapon that was hidden away from them, the Aether.  This weapon ends up being the second Infinity Stone which we see Lady Sif & Volstagg deliver to The Collector in the films post credit scene.  Through the corse of the film the all mother Freya is killed while Loki is believed dead though he ends up on the throne as Odin in disguise.

The next time we see Thor is during the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015 where the team ties all the loose ends from the Chitauri invasion during Avengers by procuring Loki’s Staff, which houses another Infinity Stone that Tony Stark uses to make an artificial intelligence that could be a shield around the world allowing the Avengers to retire.  Things backfire creating Ultron who believes with his creators arrogance that the only way to save Earth is to cleanse it of humans.  Thor takes off and has a vision about the Infinity Stones and Ragnarok.  After Ultron is defeated, Banner takes a Quinjet and goes off the grid.

Captain America: Civil War featured almost all of the Avengers split down the middle over The Sokovia Accords, a document that would essentially remove the heroes anonymity and ability to act independently.  While both Thor and Hulk were left out, we still got some funny clips that show us just what these two were up to during the superhero showdown.  Thor has moved to Austrailia and has a roommate as he’s taking a break and trying out what its like to hang aroung average normal everyday people.  While having coffe with Thor, Banner recieves a call from Tony Stark who wants help from him yet doesn’t have time to talk to Thor.  Additionally, there’s a cool Avengers: Infinity War promo that features Hemsworth in psudo-character as he happens upon a table of Avengers action figures, except there is no Thor.  He summons Mjolnir and bashes most of them and takes the Hulk toy because they’re buddies now.

The very last time we have seen Thor was 2016 in a post credit scene from Doctor Strange asking the good doctor for help while drinking mead from a mug that magically refills itself.  He’s apparently brough his brother Loki back to Earth with him in search of their father Odin.  Strange decides to help, especially if it means that they will leave and return to Asgard.  This means that Loki didn’t exactly kill his father and replace him at the end of Thor: The Dark World.  He likely banished him and is needed to repair Mjolnir and/or help against the threat Hela poses Asgard.

As far the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok goes, it seems like the film is a mash-up of the Ragnarok and Planet Hulk arcs from the comics.  Marvel shares the rights of the Hulk with Universal Studios, so its not easy to make a Hulk film but they can do an arc across a few films which is exactly the plan.  There are two different Ragnarok’s in Marvel Comics.  One being a cyborg/clone of Thor made by Tony Stark, Hank Pym, and Reed Richards during his absence and apparant death while Civil War was going on.  The other, more film related, is the apocalyptic cycle Asgard goes through where their relm is ravaged by war and ultimately burned asunder by Surtur, the big fire demon we see the Hulk jumping towards at the end of the trailer.  In the comics, a number of gods are reborn after Ragnark to reshape Asgard and start the cycle over.

Planet Hulk started when the Illuminati, the smartest heroes on Earth, reluctantly decide that the Hulk is too dangerous to be allowed on Earth any longer.  They trick him into orbit and send his shuttle out of the soloar system where he lands on Sakaar.  There, he is enslaved and forced to fight in gladitoral combat.  He eventually overthrows his enslaver, The Red King, rules Sakaar, and starts a family.  After his shuttle explodes, killing many including his family, he returns to Earth with his Warbound for revenge against the Avengers in the World War Hulk arc.

The film itself looks to feature Hela, god of death, bringing Ragnarok to Asgard with the help of Surtur and possibly Thanos himself as I believe Hela will also hold another role as Thanos’ love interest as the entity Death.  Sakaar’s gladitorial battles headed by The Collectors brother Grandmaster seems to be the middle chunk as we see the Asgardian Valkyrie in his service along with a captured Loki, Thor, & Hulk who must break free of their bonds to stop Ragnarok.  Now this is where they maybe need to find Odin, or the search for Odin leads them to Sakaar in the first place.  I also think that the final Infinity Stone is held by Heimdall, which is taken from him by Hela.  At this point your guess is as good as mine.  However, it’s rumored that the end of the film will lead right into Avengers: Infinity War.

Staring Chis Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Karl Urban (Skurge), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange), Taika Waititi (Korg), Rachel House (Topaz), Clancy Brown (Surtur Voice), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun), Ray Tephenson (Volstagg), Zachary Levi (Fandral), & Stan Lee (Watchers Informant), Thor: Ragnarok opens Friday November 3rd.