Thor - Midgard Serpents

Midgard Serpents

Concept art also seemed to hint at the presence of Midgard serpents somewhere in the movie as well. In the comics, the Midgard serpent is a massive sentient animal that is actually the offspring of Loki and the Frost Giant descendant and sorceress Angerboda. Known by the name Jormungand, the creature was banished from Asgard by Odin, only to grow bigger and become so big that it could wrap itself around a planet. We’re not sure if we’ll see Midgard serpents used that way if they end up in the movie, but they could very well be a trick Hela has up her sleeve, especially since we’ve already seen Fenris Wolf fighting Hulk in the Thor: Ragnarok trailer, another one of Loki’s children that he had with Angerboda in the comics.

Thor - journey into Mystery

Which Comic Stories Are Influencing the Movie?

There are three primary comic influences on Thor: Ragnarok, as indicated by producer Brad Winderbaum.

First, there’s the Journey into Mystery comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby that first introduced Thor to the world. The influence of this particular comic book arc is mostly tied to the incredible artwork that Jack Kirby did for Thor’s stories. You can see his penchant for vibrant colors and trippy, detailed settings all over this production.

Next, there’s Walter Simonson’s Ragnarok storyline for obvious reasons. While it may not follow the storyline of the proposed destruction of Asgard strictly, they’re using it to cherry pick some of the more fun elements from that story to bring into the movie, both stylistically and narratively.

Finally, there’s Jason Aaron’s God of Thunder. Perhaps the largest influence from that particular book is the lifting of certain traits from the villain Gorr to be used with Hela. Gorr has the ability to manifest an infinite number of weapons, something that we’ve seen Hela do, both in flashbacks to battling Valkyrie and her female warriors riding on flying horses and in the final battle with Thor, Loki, Valkyrie and Hulk in Asgard.

Thor Ragnarok - Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster

There May Be Some Interesting Guardians of the Galaxy Connections

We’re not sure how extensive these next tidbits might be in the movie, but since we saw them among the wall of concept art and more in the Thor: Ragnarok production offices, we thought they were worth noting.

First of all, there was one piece of concept art that prominently featured the Milano, which is Star-Lord’s ship from Guardians of the Galaxy. Considering the Avengers: Infinity War footage shown at The D23 Expo and San Diego Comic-Con featured Thor crashing into the windshield of the Milano, it wouldn’t be a surprise for us to encounter the ship at some point in Thor: Ragnarok. In fact, we might even see that scene from the Infinity War footage play out in the movie, perhaps as a credits scene.

Another interesting Guardians of the Galaxy connection comes from The Grandmaster. One piece of concept art showed the Sakaar ruler meeting with The Broker (Christopher Fairbank), the prickly character who Star-Lord was trying to sell the mysterious MacGuffin orb to in the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Since The Grandmaster is the brother of The Collector (Benicio del Toro), and both are said to be celestials (just like Star-Lord’s father Ego), perhaps The Grandmaster is also in the hunt for Infinity Stones like The Collector was.

Speaking of which, a prop list in the production office listed one curious item of note: a Xandarian Cube. Is there a chance this item is something The Broker sells to The Grandmaster? We’ve already seen one cube that had an Infinity Stone in it, so it would stand to reason that a Xandarian Cube might have another one it it as well.

Thor Ragnarok - Cate Blanchett as Hela

Hela Has Some Kind of Secret, But What About Her Future?

Cate Blanchett is becoming the first major female villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, we can’t run any of her thoughts on the role because her interview is still under embargo by Marvel Studios and Disney. But Tom Hiddleston offered up an interesting tidbit about how Thor and Loki perceive her as a threat:

“I think she and every other character completely underestimates her power, and they underestimate the secret she has which blindsides them all, the idea that she has been lying in wait all this time for the stage to be set for her return. She is invincible, she is all powerful, and so everything about her is surprising to Loki and Thor.”

What could this secret be that blindsides everyone? Is Hela possibly not as evil as she seems to be? Could she have a good reason for taking on the mantle of the goddess of death? That’s something we’ll have to find out in Thor: Ragnarok.

As for Hela’s future, producer Brad Winderbaum wouldn’t confirm or deny whether she’ll be part of the role Thanos has to play in Avengers: Infinity War and The Avengers 4, but he tapdanced around the question by saying:

“Obviously we always think about the movies as standalones, even if they do set up a movie down the road or pay off something from a previous film. What we hope, if we do our jobs right, is that Hela is one of the best villains we’ve had, maybe the best, hopefully. Cate has been delivering an incredible performance. She’s really scary and really charming. She’s very easy to watch, very fun to be around. But very murderous and horrible at the same time. You’re right that those are things that Thanos values.  But when and how she plays into the future of the universe is uncertain now at this point.”

***

Those are the most important details we learned from the set of Thor: Ragnarok. Stay tuned for more coverage from the set, including our full interviews with director Taika Waititi and cast members Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchett.

Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters this fall on November 3, 2017.

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