Thor Ragnarok, the beginning of the end of the MCU
Guest Blog by Robert Mills
Marvel has a long history of ‘playing it safe’. This time out Thor: Ragnarok brings an explosive conclusion to the Thor trilogy. The MCU seems to be building itself around the trilogy format. There were only 3 Iron Man movies, and the third chapter closed up the arc nicely and positioned Iron Man to appear only in other films from that point forward. Captain America, just a trilogy so far. Thor: Ragnarok does the same thing here.
All of the MCU's original big guns have now completed their trilogies heading into Infinity War. None of these trilogies have their main character's arch left open ended. Tony Stark overcame his fears set on by the events in Avengers. Captain America stayed true to his iron sense of right of and wrong fracturing the Avengers along the way. Thor learned what it is to be his own hero without Mjolnir as he set in motion Ragnarok destroying Asgard.
The stage is now set for Infinity War and as Kevin Feige has at times explained it, the end of the MCU as we know it. Infinity War seems to certainly be setting the stage for the possible end to this set of core heroes, and a new phase filled with new heroes and a new Avengers.
God Mode Activated
Yes, this was spelled out in the trailers. Everybody got to see Mjolnir get destroyed. The fact that Thor was going to lose his hammer wasn’t a surprise, but the way that the loss of the hammer signified a change in Thor was the unexpected part. The evolution of Thor, not only through this movie but through the entire trilogy of Thor films, makes Mjolnir unnecessary. By the end of the movie, Thor has finally unlocked his “god mode” and is harnessing more power than he ever was before. In much the same way the Tony Stark lost the Arc Reactor in his chest by the end of Iron Man 3, Thor isn’t the same character he was in the earlier films. He has fully ascended to his place as the King Of Asgard and has become powerful enough that he doesn’t need his hammer any longer. So, now we have a Thor that is ready to take his place in fighting off Thanos.
No more Asgard
This actually was a bit of a surprise. The good guys don’t ‘save the day’ this time out. Hela isn’t stopped. Hela isn’t destroyed by Thor and his Revengers. Asgard isn’t saved. Surtur isn’t defeated. In an interesting twist, Thor and Loki use Surtur to destroy Asgard and, by extension, destroy Hela as well. This will have implications for the future of the MCU. This is the first major location to be destroyed. This means there is no more Asgard and no more Bifrost. Odin is all but off the board so there will be no one to step in and save Thor and Loki. The destruction of Asgard flies in the face of the Marvel critics who have said that Marvel films seem to be bereft of consequences. It was always a lame argument. Tying back to the evolution of Thor as a character and the closing of his standalone trilogy, Asgard bites the dust in spectacular fashion in the closing moments of Ragnarok.
Loki The Hero?
Don’t be so sure that Loki has actually turned good in this movie. Thor spells out that Loki has never changed as a person, though he seems to think maybe he was wrong by the end of Ragnarok. Loki has always been plotting and scheming to betray Thor. Of course, Thor has learned and he turns the tables on Loki by planting the taser device on him on Sakaar. After Thor’s speech to Loki about how he has never changed, Loki appears to change, but did he really?
If you pay very close attention in the closing moments on Asgard, Loki appears to steal the Tesseract from Odin’s/Hela’s Vault. He stops and gives it a long hard look. That wasn't for nothing. Did he steal it? It makes sense that he would. And now the question is why would he? Was Loki trying to save the Tesseract? Was Loki trying to make sure that he was in control of one of the Infinity Stones? Surely, Loki isn’t still working with Thanos, is he? Well, about that...billbuster95 has always thought Loki would be Thanos's double agent (even though his theory about Loki playing Thor didn't pan out).
The Infinity War Begins
In the post credits sequence, Thor and Loki have decided to go to Earth. Loki obviously has some hesitant feelings about this because of his last long trip to Earth (The Avengers). Thor assures him it will probably be okay. Right as they are talking, they are beset by a large spaceship.
Who is on this ship? Even though he hasn’t been seen in Thor Ragnarok, Kevin Feige has confirmed that the ship is the Sanctuary II, which is the ship that Thanos uses as his mobile command center. This mid-credit sequence is one of the first moments of The Infinity War that we have seen. Thor, Hulk, and Loki have been cornered by Thanos. And they just might have the Space Stone on board with them (although Thor probably doesn’t know this yet). So, how did Thanos know how to find them? Is this a clue that Loki actually is still working with Thanos?
There are some clues in the Infinity War trailer, soon to officially come out so hold on to your hats. Marvel's 2018 is going to be wild!