THOR: THE DARK WORLD's mid-credits scene explained

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Yes, third story about the Thunder God for the day, and it’s not even Thors-day! Horrible puns aside, I have a feeling that if you stayed to watch the mid-credits scene for Thor: The Dark World, then your experience may have played out a bit like mine, where I watched the scene and damn near lost my mind at its implications, but Nick, sitting next to me, looked as confused as a chameleon on a floral dress.

So for you guys – and Nick – who don’t know what the fuss is about, let me explain (Obviously, MAJOR SPOILERS coming up next).

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Whosoever holds this SPOILER-hammer,

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if he be worthy of SPOILER,

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shall receiver the power of SPOILER!

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Before we get to the meat of the scene, here’s a little trivia: The mid-credits scene was actually directed by James Gunn, director of the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, and once you see the scene, it’s understandable why. So let’s get to it…

As the scene opens, we see Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) making their way through what appears to be some type of extraterrestrial menagerie or zoo, with all kinds of weird creatures and objects on display. The pair of Asgardians, escorted by an alien-looking female, carry the Aether, the powerful red substance that Malekith was trying to use to wipe out everything, and they’re bringing it to… *drum-roll*… Benicio Del Toro’s Collector, all sibilant tones and weird make-up.

…And interlude.

Collector

The Collector, if I can give you the Reader’s Digest version, is a member of a group of beings known as the Elders of the Universe. They are the last of their respective races (who were some of the first sentient beings in the universe) and have been a force of both good and bad, depending on their agenda. Although The Collector has some physical abilities, like energy manipulation and the like, he is most known for – as the name implies – his collection of powerful beings and artifacts.

And it looks like he’s about to get a new addition to said collection as the Asgardians explain that due to the fact that Asgard already houses the Tesseract – AKA the all-powerful Cosmic Cube first introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger and the used again by Loki in The Avengers –  they (and this is the kicker) can’t hold two Infinity Gems in such close proximity. They hand over the Aether, and once they’ve gone the Collector looks up and portentously utters, “One down. Five to go.”

Duhn duhn duuuuuuhhhhhnn!

And it’s Marvel history time! Back at the creation of the universe in the Marvel comics timeline, one of the earliest beings alive in the universe was an omnipotent god by the name of Nemesis (she’s actually a character from a different comic book universe, Malibu Comics’ Ultra Universe, but that’s a different story) who in a bout of eternal loneliness decides to commit suicide by separating her being and powers into six different coloured gems that would become known as the Infinity Gems or Infinity Stones.

These stones all grant their possessor the following respective powers (as per the Marvel Wiki)

  • Power Gem (Red) – Increased strength and durability, enhances virtually any known superhuman ability, energy manipulation.
  • Time Gem (Orange) – Time travel; stop, slow down or speed up flow of time; accelerate or slow down aging; see into past/future.
  • Space Gem (Purple) – Travel through space, mostly through teleportation. Able to interfere with the motion of other objects.
  • Soul Gem (Green) – Observe, attack or even steal a being’s soul or spirit. Also used to revert individuals to their natural state.
  • Reality Gem (Yellow) – Alters all of reality; similar to the effects of a Cosmic Cube, but much, much higher.
  • Mind Gem (Blue) – Near-limitless psionic/psychic abilities including empathy, telepathy and telekinesis.

And when one person possesses all of these Gems at the same time, well then he/she essentially has the power to completely rewrite reality to his/her every whim. Which is exactly what Thanos – you know, that purple guy at the end of The Avengers – tried to do on several occasions, when he combined them all together in his Infinity Gauntlet, which was not only glimpsed in the first Thor film, but which Marvel was showing off back at Comic Con 2010 already.

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The Aether clearly matches up with the Power Gem, both in colour and description, but the Tesseract is a bit harder to pigeonhole as while it is blue in colour, it didn’t grant the user any mind powers, or actually any of the other gems’ powers. Interestingly enough, Loki wields a staff in The Avengers, granted to him by one of Thanos’ lieutenants, which has a blue gem in it and which allows him to take over the minds of others, as he did Hawkeye and Dr Selvig. Could that actually have been the Mind Gem?

Who knows? What we do know though, is that all of this puts the Collector’s parting words in even more of an ominous light, as clearly he is referring to gathering the gems together – why five and not six though, is another mystery [EDIT: I either misheard or can’t count] which is more than likely what Guardians of the Galaxy‘s story will be about.

Director James Gunn recently confirmed that while the main villain will be Ronan the Accuser (played by Lee Pace), that the Kree warrior is actually working for Thanos. It seems to me that Thanos is essentially using all these people under his command to gather the Infinity Gems for him, and once he has them all we’ll more than likely see him try to lay the universal smack down on everything in The Avengers 3.

So now do you understand why I got so perversely excited during Thor: The Dark World?

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: November 11, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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