Yesterday’s trailer for Thor: Ragnarok wasn’t just a ripping good use of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant song. It was also packed to the rafters with nods and clues to the film. The kind of clues that only an obsessive freak would spend hours rewatching a two minute trailer for so that he could discover all of them. Well as Odin is my witness, I am that obsessive freak. Here’s everything that we discovered so far in the first trailer, so get ready to Ragnarok and roll.
Stripped of his hammer, beaten down and bound to rot in the depths of Nifleheim: Thor is having a bad day so far. Set in the Asgardian Realm of the dead, this scene clearly takes place shortly after the Odinson get served the mother of all butt-whippings by Hela that leaves the Thunder god in such a precarious state.
“Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘How did this happen?’ Well, it’s a long story.” At least Thor has a sunnier disposition this time around, which is a hell of an improvement from his previous solo flick, the Dark World. Thor isn’t meant to be a brooding demigod who barely cracks a smile, something that director Taika Waititi clearly understands from the opening moments of this teaser.
Flashback to New York, as we’re about to receive our first look at Cate Blanchett’s Hela. In the comics, she’s a death-goddess bound to Hel. She’s also the absolute ruler of that realm, the ultimate power within its confines and she commands the dead as her own personal army. Hela’s plots usually revolve around her wanting to annex the realm of Valhalla and add the chosen dead of that warrior heaven to her kingdom, a plot that Thor has thwarted several times over already.
Thing is Hela is in a totally different league to Thor. Her power within her realm is enough to challenge Odin himself, as she commands the forces of life and death. Power that often extends outside of Hel. So how do you establish Hela as a force to be reckoned with from the start?
By having her break that which was thought unbreakable. Thor’s Uru hammer Mjolnir has been broken several times in the comics before, but this is the first time we get to see the Thunder God’s signature weapon torn asunder like this in the movies. Hela is not messing around now that she has managed to escape Hel.
Who’s that next to Thor? Doctor Strange? I’d wager that’s actually Loki, as the two attempt to track down their missing father Odin and instead run afoul of Hela.
Sweet Valhalla, this movie is somehow managing to draw more from its source material than anything else in the Marvel library. Hela’s entire look is ripped straight from the Silver Age here, massive horns and all. It’s worth noting that Hela is Loki’s daughter in the original mythology of Asgard, although I doubt that’ll be the case in Ragnarok. What is intriguing however, is that Hela’s costume shares many design ideas with what Loki usually wears: Black, gold and green accents. There’s definitely a connection here between the two.
Back to Asgard, which is looking better than ever. I see the Rainbow bridge to Midgard and the other realms has been properly restored once again. What a beautiful day.
Ah crap. “Asgard is dead” says Hela, and she’s ready to kickstart Ragnarok herself, with or without several realm-destroying monsters at her side.
Thing is, there happens to be a lot of explosive fire at this point. Fire, which happens to be a trademark of the Muspelheim demon Surtur, who also happens to be a crucial part of the Ragnarok cycle. Is Marvel keeping his appearance a secret for the time being? I certainly hope so, as that’s the kind of enemy that you keep in reserve as an ace up your sleeve.
Surtur also wields the Twilight Sword, a weapon capable of untold devastation and easily able to kill gods. The kind of devastation that we’re seeing play out here in the following scenes of Asgard being torn asunder. Again, I’m just guessing here. This could also be Hela unleashing the fires of Niflheim on Asgard, so who knows really.
One fall from grace later…
…And we’re on Sakaar! First seen during the Planet Hulk comic book storyline, Sakaar is a planet with a very distinct division between the haves and have-nots. Marvel’s version of the planet is clearly blending several storylines into one digestible experience, as Thor finds himself far from home and trapped in the scrapyards of the planet.
At least the locals are friendly, right?
I may have spoken too soon.
Here we have Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, one of the legendary warriors who ferries souls from the battlefields of the realms to their eternal reward in Valhalla. It’s worth noting that Valkyrie’s looks is very very different here in this scene, but it still retains some Asgardian elements. So what’s she doing hanging around as a scavenger on Sakaar?
It looks like Thor isn’t the only warrior who fell from grace. In a scene that very much looks like it took place from inside of Hel, the Valkyries lead a charge against Hela, presumably in an attempt to stop her poaching souls meant for Valhalla. It’s an utterly gorgeous scene here, like a slow motion fresco painting come to life.
But also a futile act, as Valkyrie and her fellow warrior-sisters find themselves utterly outclassed and broken at the hands of Hela. Valkyrie’s costume has a few more signature traits from the comic book source material here, most notably a blue cape. I still can’t get over just how artistic this entire flashback is.
No hammer, no hair. Thor’s about to receive a buzz-cut that resembles his current comic book appearance.
You know what I love about Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster? It’s that even with the power as an Elder of the universe, he’s still… Jeff Goldblum. No over the top delivery of his lines here, no eating of the scenery that Benecio Del Toro engaged in as the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy. Just pure Goldblum. Remember kids, Goldblum always finds a way.
Hey, it’s Idris Elba as Heimdall! I bet Marvel offered him something that none of the previous two films could: A chance to appear on the big screen without having to wear that stupidly massive helmet again. Jokes aside, it looks like Heimdall is facing the Ragnarok on his own as Hela sends her undead army to break the all-seeing god before he can ruin her plans.
JUDGEMENT TIME! That’s best Dredd Karl Urban up there, playing Skurge. Usually an ally of the Enchantress, the mostly mute Skurge is an executioner. Mostly a villain and sometimes a hero, Skurge is clearly holding back the forces of one of the antagonists here, and he’s not afraid to make use of Midgard weaponry to do so. Another pitch perfect translation from the comics.
Remember, Thor: The Dark World ended with Loki triumphant. Odin was missing in action, Loki had stolen his throne and everyone thought that he was dead. The greatest trick the god of mischief had ever pulled, you could say. So how does Hela impact on Loki’s reign? You’d imagine that he’s working with Hela here, or he has realized that Earth might be the only safe refuge for him as he clearly doesn’t have the power needed to keep a death goddess from his doors.
Key point though, is that the only side that Loki is usually on, is his own.
There’s a lot of Al Williamson’s influence in the visual design of Ragnarok so far. For the uninitiated, Williamson was an artist who made Thor look like a cosmic romp of joy in the 1980s. His art was easily on par with the greats and was instantly recognizable for being so bombastic and colourful. Influences which I’m seeing plenty of here as the Odinson finally dons a signature helmet once again.
Did I mention those Planet Hulk references yet? Because I really should do that more often. The Hulk is back, and his gladiator armour looks like it was ripped straight from the comics.
I like to imagine that Thor is channeling everyone who saw this trailer for the first time at this exact moment.
The Grandmaster is honestly confused at this point, unlike Loki who clearly expected this move from his brother. Take notice of the everything and everyone behind the pair again: That’s the Al Williamson art influence at play here again. Also, is that one guest in red to the right of the Grandmaster dressed as a Sleeping Celestial? He certainly looks the part.
And that’s it folks! Thor has to knock some sense into the Hulk, get home to save Asgard and stop Hela for good. Thor: Ragnarok drops in November.