Thor Ragnarok - Hulk, Thor, Valkyrie and Loki

Back on September 14, 2016, myself and a group of online reporters found themselves hopping through space from the golden realm of Asgard to the vibrant, space trash city called Sakaar. No, we didn’t figure out how to traverse the galaxy, but we did make quite the long journey down to Brisbane, Australia to visit the set of the Marvel Studios sequel Thor: Ragnarok.

As we’ve seen in the trailers for the latest adventure following the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth), this time we find Thor a little out of his element. First, his trusty hammer Mjolnir isĀ broken by Hela the goddess of death (Cate Blanchett), who has also started a reign of terror and destruction throughout Asgard. ThenĀ he’s been captured by a bounty hunter named Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) on a strange planet called Sakaar, given a haircut and forced to compete in gladiatorial combat against Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), which is controlled by a man called The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who’s hanging around with his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). That’s the gist of what we already know about the movie. Would you like to know more?

Below, read out full Thor Ragnarok set visit report with tons of new details about the movie, but beware of potential spoilers.

Thor Ragnarok - Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Thor Has Been a Lone Gunslinger for Two Years

For all the fans who have been wondering why Thor wasn’t around to get involved with the skirmish in Captain America: Civil War, the events of Thor: Ragnarok hold the answer. When we catch up with Thor at the beginning of the movie, he’s been away on his own for two years, but he hasn’t been sulking. Instead, he’s been trying to track down the puppet master behind some of the recent near-world-ending events, and looking for the Infinity Stones in order to prevent the doomed future he saw for Asgard and his people in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This has sent him across the cosmos on a number of adventures that have branched off from his original quest.

Unfortunately for Thor, despite these adventures making him a much more confident traveler of the galaxy, with Earthly sarcasm to spare, his latest endeavor has found him captured in Muspelheim, one of the Nine Realms of the universe, ruled by the fire god called Surtur. We’ve seen Surtur in a quick shot from the end of the most recent Thor: Ragnarok trailer with Hulk jumping toward the massive, fiery, horned god, but that’s a sequence that isn’t part of Thor’s entanglement in Muspelheim early on in the movie, and is likely part of the climax in some capacity.

Thor Ragnarok - Chris Hemsworth as Thor

What is Muspelheim?

As glimpsed in the Thor: Ragnarok trailer, Muspelheim is very fiery and dark, looking very much like Mount Doom. Production designer Dan Hennah explained even more about the design of the realm, saying that it was essentially a Dyson sphere, a cosmic entity that completely encompasses a star and captures most or all of its power output. Muspelheim has been drawing power out of a dying star for a long time now, and that’s what keeps the dragons and demons who live in this realm energized.

Somehow, Thor makes it out of this nightmare realm.

Thor Ragnarok - Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Thor Returns to Asgard, Where Loki Has Been Living it Up

Without learning too many specifics, we found out that after being stuck in Muspelheim, Thor finally makes it back to Asgard and is reunited with Odin. However, as we know, the Odin in Asgard is not the real king of the realm that we know. Loki dispatched with Odin, and the god of mischief impersonated his adoptive father in the final scene of Thor: The Dark World, sending Thor on his way after he turned down the chance to inherit the mantle of king.

Producer Brad Winderbaum revealed that Loki has been living it up since then as the ruler of Asgard. However, Loki soon discovers that there are things he was not prepared to deal with. It turns out that Odin was doing more than anyone had thought to keep certain threats at bay. Very quickly we see that Asgard cannot stay safe while Odin is away, and that opens up a window for Hela to wreak havoc on the realm.

We were told something spoilery happens in Asgard, and I feel like it might be Thor discovering Loki’s deception and promptly forcing the mischievous brother to accompany him down to Earth so they might find their displaced father. That would leave Asgard open for the taking. But there’s also a chance that the spoilery event could be Hela’s arrival in Asgard, thereby putting the two brothers on a path to find their father to restore order. Either way, the gods of mischief and thunder are going to the Big Apple.

Thor Ragnarok

Thor and Loki Hit the Road

Set photos from awhile back revealed Thor and Loki wandering the streets of New York City, or rather the streets of Brisbane, Australia standing in for New York City, and our set visit confirmed that Thor and Loki end up here after reuniting in Asgard. In fact, Thor was seen on set wearing the exact same clothes as he was in the Doctor Strange credits scene, where the god of thunder has an exchange with the Sorcerer Supreme about his brother Loki. But more importantly, that scene ended with Doctor Strange offering to help Thor find his father Odin so that they can all go back to Asgard.

Another set photo glimpsed previously showed Anthony Hopkins as Odin looking like a hobo on the streets of New York City, so whenever we find the king of Asgard, he’s probably not in the best shape. At some point, the two brothers will surely find their father, but I’m betting that getting back to Asgard won’t be easy. This could be when Hela shows up on Earth. After all, we saw a piece of concept art awhile back featuring Hela in a city alley with Thor and Loki, still in Asgardian garb, looking up at her with trepidation, not to mention the fact that the scene where Hela destroys Mjolnir appears to be happening in a city alley.

Perhaps just as Thor, Loki and Odin are about to head back to Asgard by way of the Bifrost Bridge, Hela arrives to stop them and destroys Mjolnir. Somehow they still end up making a run for it back to Asgard by way of the Bifrost Bridge, but end up knocked off their path (as we glimpsed in the most recent trailer) and stranded on the planet Sakaar. Again, there’s a lot of speculation here, but all this comes from trying to piece together little tidbits we learned on the set and details that have surfaced elsewhere.

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