It feels like the entire Thor film franchise has been building up to a moment when it could use Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” as a trailer soundtrack (“hammer of the gods,” “Valhalla, I am coming,” et cetera), and got-dang, it was worth the wait. The first teaser for November’s third (Thord?) installment, Thor: Ragnarok, has just dropped, and it’s about as metal as a trailer can be. But what does it mean? What clues are in there? Who are these new characters? What’s the deal with Cate Blanchett’s hat?
Let’s drive our ships to new lands, fight the horde, sing and cry, and break down the clip.
We begin with one of those record-scratch/freeze-frame moments that Twitter users are so fond of. It appears that our golden-maned hero has gotten himself into a bit of a pickle — and if you’re into bondage, it’s a very sexy pickle. He’s narrating the situation for us — could it be that the whole movie features voice-over, like a basso profundo spin on Iron Man 3? Whatever the case, it appears that he’s in the Norse underworld, known to Thor’s fellow Asgardians as Hel [sic]. Who could have captured the Odinson? It is none other than …
… whoever’s legs and hips these are? And who might possess such glamorous gams? Surely, it must be …
… the person who is catching Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir! What a task it is to stop our favorite hunk’s hunk of mystic uru metal. Who could possibly do such a thing? It’s …
… Goth Cate Blanchett! The awesome Aussie* is playing the ruler of Hel, longtime Marvel villain Hela. Not the most creative name, but it beats Otto Octavius.
Astoundingly, Hela is able to not only catch Mjolnir, but destroy it in what looks like the streets of a major city. Presumably, this happens relatively early in the film, as it would explain why Thor is bereft of his weapon in the alien world we’re about to visit.
But first, let us gaze at the Tron-ified Marvel Studios logo. And you thought Guardians of the Galaxy was obsessed with the pop-culture detritus of days past!
Here’s Hela in the fascinator to end all fascinators. This looks to be Hel, or maybe Asgard after she messes it up. Speaking of which …
… here’s our grim and glorious goddess standing alone against the armies of Thor’s home, unfazed and murderous. She blows the dang place up with but a glance and a gesture.
Thor gets mightily whupped, presumably after losing to Hela in the unnamed city, and is tossed out of the sky. It looks like he’s coming out of one of those ominous portals up in the air.
He lands in a pile of junk that extends as far as the eye can see, one surveyed by curious airships. This is the planet Sakaar, a world where portals drop in the trash of the universe and the beings who show up often have a rough go of it afterward.
Some of the locals, whose masks save Disney a ton on CGI.
We get our second bondage scene of the trailer, in which Thor is trapped in a Planet of the Apes–esque net by …
… Space Tessa Thompson! The Creed, Westworld, and Dear White People alumna is playing the warrior Valkyrie, of whom there is already not enough. She’s traditionally portrayed in comics as an Asgardian, but it could be that her origin has been tweaked to make her an alien? Then again, the next shots might be a hint as to how an Asgardian could’ve ended up on Sakaar.
We see the Valkyries in flight, charging into battle against Hela.
It doesn’t go so well for them. Maybe this is a flashback showing Valkyrie’s journey to the far reaches of the universe?
We’re back to bondage, with Thor getting strapped in by some guards who just blue themselves.
Valkyrie saunters over with a can of red paint, which she’ll likely apply to Thor’s face. But that face paint pales in comparison to that of …
… Jean-Baptiste Zorg! No wait, I mean Jeff Goldblum’s the Grandmaster, ruler of Sakaar and a dude who enjoys pitting people against each other in battles to the death. Valkyrie seems to work for him and is pleased with herself for bringing him Thor.
Meanwhile, Idris Elba’s Heimdall is on the run after the fall of Asgard and has gone full X-Men: Days of Future Past Bishop on us.
Some ships fly toward a portal. Maybe the Asgardian remnant is trying to save their lost brother?
This here is Karl Urban’s Skurge, an Asgardian warrior who apparently becomes quite fond of Earthly automatic weapons.
And this here is … I mean, come on, if you’ve come this far in a detailed breakdown of a Thor trailer, you know who this is. Everyone’s favorite trickster is whistling his way through the graveyard of Asgard with some sweet blades. Maybe he’s fighting Hela? Or maybe he’s joined her? One never can tell with ol’ Loki.
Back on Sakaar, the situation seems to have deteriorated for Thor and he’s been (a) shorn of his locks, Samson-style; and (b) given a weapon and shield stolen from American Gladiators. Whom shall he face in his Sakaarian combat? Oh goody, it’s …
… the Infraggable Krunk! Er, I mean, the Incredible Hulk! He’s tricked out in the outfit he wore in the comics tale Planet Hulk, which also featured gladiatorial combat on Sakaar. (Much of Ragnarok seems likely to crib little ideas and visuals from that classic story.)
Up in the audience, the Grandmaster watches alongside … Loki!? Oh my, what have you done to your brother? Oh wait, you probably have some master scheme, right?
Hulk doesn’t seem to recognize Thor, or maybe he just hasn’t forgiven him for forgetting to flush the toilet back at Avengers HQ. I suppose we’ll find out in …
Thor: Ragnarok! Those titles make this movie so ‘80s, you almost wonder if they’ll add fur to Thor’s costume.
*This post originally misstated Cate Blanchett’s nationality. She is Australian.