Thor: Ragnarok might not be on the same level as other Marvel releases, but it ranks among the most fun offerings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and audiences connected with it. Also, Thor: Ragnarok made $121 million during its US debut weekend, raising its worldwide box office take to $427 million.
Thor: Ragnarok is quite an achievement for Taika Waititi, who made his blockbuster debut with this movie (he’s otherwise known for making low-budget films). Ragnarok is filled with action, humor, and dramatic moments (which, arguably, don't always fall flat). But most importantly, it’s an MCU story.
There are tons of Easter-Eggs and references to comic book, the larger shared universe, and other movies.
If you’ve seen Thor: Ragnarok check it out. And, if we’ve missed anything, do let us know!
We already knew Doctor Strange would appear in the movie, but his role was smaller than expected. Nevertheless, the cameo revealed how powerful the Sorcerer Supreme has become, as he holds his ground in the presence of literal gods, and even seems to find Loki – the shared universe’s most powerful practitioner of magic - rather annoying.
Of course, Stan Lee has a cameo, and it’s an important one. In previous films, he’s been a bystander, but in Thor: Ragnarok, he’s vital to the plot as he cuts Thor's hair.
And then there’s the Loki play, which comes out of nowhere. Staged by the God of Mischief in an Odin costume, the play features three actors with no previous connections with the shared universe. Sam Neill - who was rumored to be another Elder of the Universe (making him Collector and Grandmaster’s brother) – portrays Odin, and Luke Hemsworth (Chris' brother) plays Thor. But Matt Damon's cameo as Loki is the biggest surprise.
Of course, given how the movie ends, the most pertinent question is this: Did these three guys survive the final battle, and will they appear in future MCU flicks? What do you think?
The Odin’s Vault scene must have been the most paused in the first Thor movie. What else could we do, given its many Easter-Eggs?
In Thor: Ragnarok, Hela enters Odin’s Vault in a scene that reveals how there can be two Infinity Gauntlets in the MCU. The answer is that Odin may have lied about his and the Asgardians’ past to a greater extent than we thought possible, since we really didn't believe he was capable of lying.
Quite comically, it’s revealed that the Infinity Gauntlet from the first Thor flick was a fake. Also, Hela says that the Tesseract (the Space Stone) is not bad at all, and she hints at its power.
Of course, Hela mentions the Eternal Flame, but more on that later.
It’s further revealed that Odin's Vault was created to hide the real history of Asgard, during which bloodshed brought peace to the nine realms. Besides Hela's role as Odin's Executioner, an army and the Fenris Wolf (in the comics, he’s Hela's brother and the spawn of Loki) are buried beneath the Vault.
The Totem Pole
In the comics, the Grandmaster organizes the Contest of Champions. Of course, we haven't seen this in the MCU, since the Grandmaster seems to be content with arranging battles on Sakaar. But in the trailers, the Totem Pole indicates that the Grandmaster has his champions, and the latest is the Savage, Incredible Hulk.
We could assume that Hulk killed Grandmaster’s previous favorites. But Kevin Feige said that we shouldn't bet on it, because Beta Ray Bill, who is on the totem, is going to make an appearance sometime in the shared universe’s future.
Might this mean that the other champions are alive, too? Maybe we'll see Bi-Beast and Man Thing in a future Marvel film.
Most interestingly, Ares is among the former champions, which means that the Olympians exist in the MCU. If that’s the case, Thor: Ragnarok could be even more important to the MCU’s future than we previously believed.
Valkyrie and Brunnhilde
Thor: Ragnarok reveals that the Valkyrie are the Asgardian Special Forces. Odin sends them after Hela in the most exquisite flashback sequence of any Marvel movie.
This differs from the comics, in which the name Valkyrie is taken by Brunnhilde, an Asgardian chosen by Odin to lead the Valkyrior, a team tasked with bringing the souls of fallen heroes to Valhalla. So in the comics, they weren’t necessarily Odin’s Special Forces team.
So Thor: Ragnarok’s Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) isn't the same character as the one in the comics, although Brunnhilde saves Thompson's character from Hela in the flashback sequence.
In the movie, Grandmaster refers to Valkyrie as Scrapper 142. This is no random number, since Valkyrie first appeared in Incredible Hulk #142 (Enchantress’ impersonation doesn’t count).
The DC Connection
This might be Taika Waititi’s best-hidden reference, and it’s possible that no one would have noticed it if the director hadn't pointed it out. The nod to Green Lantern (in which Taika portrayed Hal's friend) comes as Skurge tries to woo two female Asgardians with what he’s brought from Earth. One of the mementos is a Shake Weight.
How does this connect to Green Lantern? It’s Taika’s Shake Weight that he bought during filming. He said that he didn’t have much to do at night, so he bought things he saw in infomercials.
The Shake Weight was the only thing he held onto afterward, and the rest is history.
Taika Waititi referenced several non-MCU movies besides Green Lantern. For example, 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was a source of inspiration for the Grandmaster's eccentricities and introduction.
The movie Point Break comes up when Thor tries to gain access to the Quinjet. When all voice recognition commands fail (including Strongest Avenger), Point Break works. It was also Tony Stark’s nickname for Thor in the first Avengers flick, because the Asgardian bore a resemblance to Patrick Swayze.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (or South Park) shows up when Loki admits that he left his father at the Shady Acres retirement home (demolished by the time Thor discovers Loki’s treachery). In Ace Ventura, Shady Acres was a psychiatric hospital; in South Park, it was a retirement home.
Thor: Ragnarok also sends What We Do in the Shadows a nod. Before his fight with Grandmaster’s champion, Thor chooses a weapon, and Korg (voiced by Taika Waititi) asks the God of Hammers if his weapon of choice is a big wooden fork. When Thor declines the offer, Korg says that the fork would be useful, but only against three vampires huddled together.
This could also confirm the existence of vampires in the MCU.
Given these references, choosing to cast Matt Damon as an Asgardian actor portraying Loki actually makes sense, because Damon appeared as Loki in Kevin Smith's Dogma in 1999.
Loki and The Avengers
As always, Tom Hiddleston shines as Loki, the MCU's best villain. Unfortunately, Hela doesn’t hold a candle to him. Hela asks him to kneel, just as he did when he revealed himself to the humans of Earth in the first Avengers movie.
Speaking of the Avengers, there was a moment in that movie in which Thor denied that Loki was his blood brother as he defended himself. The scene is repeated in Thor: Ragnarok, but this time, Loki says he’s adopted.
In another instance, Loki glances at the Tesseract as he’s on his way to begin Ragnarok. Given his past allegiance, we wonder whether he took the Infinity Stone before he freed Surtur.
Lastly, we should mention Loki's joy when Hulk smashes Thor like a doll in a scene that clearly mirrors the first Avengers movie’s finale, even as it begins similarly to a particular scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Comic Book Easter Eggs
When it comes to Easter eggs and references, Thor: Ragnarok already feels like an extremely dense movie. Let's mention just a couple of the movie’s comic book Easter eggs without going into too much detail. This would include the influence of Jack Kirby's art, which can be seen all over the place.
There’s the obvious Planet Hulk reference, and Thor: Ragnarok is likely to be the closest we'll ever get to seeing this beloved comic book adapted.
We should mention the movie’s nod to the comic books’ Thor and his reveal of Mjolnir when he was disguised as Donald Blake. Rather than carrying the hammer disguised as a cane, the MCU’s Thor has an umbrella, but he’s revealed as the God of Thunder with the same tap on the ground.
In a Silver Surfer Easter egg, Thor realizes the identity of the Grandmaster's champion. The line, He's a friend from work shows up in the Planet Hulk storyline, but in the comics the Hulk faces the champion, the Silver Surfer. When he recognizes him, the Jade Giant says, “He's the Silver Surfer"¦He's my friend.”
Of course, The Revengers is an actual team from the comics, led by Wonder Man. This isn't the only team from the comics to bear this name; there’s also the undead Avengers team in the Cancerverse.
There are so many Easter eggs in Thor:Ragnarok that we’re sure that we've missed some. Do tell us if you spot more!
The Soul Stone
Prior to its release, the biggest rumor was that Thor: Ragnarok would reveal the Soul Stone. It was suspected that the Stone was hidden behind Odin's eyepatch, and was the source of the power that kept Hela at bay. That wasn’t the case.
Returning to the Eternal Flame thread, Hela says that it’s true power. That’s quite surprising, especially since she also says that the Tesseract is not bad. So Thor: Ragnarok may have debunked the Odin rumor, but it also opened up another conversation.
Is the Eternal Flame the Soul Stone? It could be, but if it isn't, we can bet that the last of the Infinity Stones will turn up in Black Panther.
The Mid-Credits Scene
Lastly – and this is the biggest connection of all – the mid-credits scene sees Thor and the remaining Asgardians flying to Earth on Korg's ship. However, a larger spaceship blocks their path. Obviously, we don’t see who’s at the helm, but we’re all assuming that it’s Thanos!
Kevin Feige said that the name of the ship is Sanctuary II.
So we already know how Thor ends up floating unconscious in space. But the bigger question is this: If Thanos defeats the God of Thunder, what happens to the rest of the Asgardians? It seems unlikely that they’d all be killed, since genocide isn't exactly the path Disney would take with such a family-friendly franchise.
So maybe the remaining Asgardians (and Hulk) will be kept as prisoners. Who knows, maybe they’ll even turn evil. Maybe Thanos will find his Black Order among Thor's companions, as this theory says.