Thor: Ragnarok is about to set the stage for what Marvel calls as “Phase 3” of its Marvel Cinematic Universe, reaching a crescendo to the much anticipated Infinity War climax. Similar to how Captain America: Winter Soldier jump-started Phase 2, this sequel has the promise of being a game-changer in the entire MCU continuity. Led by “What We Do in the Shadows” director Taika Waititi, the Norse God of Thunder will be joined by The Incredible Hulk’s Mark Ruffalo. If this is not interesting enough, the film’s storyline also suggest what could be Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) ultimate fate and the introduction of an unnamed villainous character to be played by Lord of the Ring’s Cate Blanchett.
Blanchett’s character is expected not just to be the main antagonist in Thor: Ragnarok but also one of the lead characters in the larger scheme of things in MCU. Geek.com shared some leaks on what could be in the works with regards to the character that the celebrated Lord of the Rings heroine will portray in this apocalyptic version of Norse mythology. Taking the role of Hela, the Norse goddess of death, Blanchett will play the role of the enigmatic Asgardian ruler of the realm of Hel and keeper of the dead souls from all Nine Worlds. In the Marvel comic book version, she is often seen to plot schemes against the rulers of Asgard in cooperation with or at the request of Loki. As the keeper of the realm of the dead, Asgardian heroes often traverse into her domain in an attempt to rescue their fallen comrades from her clutches. Further sources cited that Blanchett’s Hela will be the usual comic book character complete with her cloak and power over the dead (I guess similar to what Hades wields in the modern retelling of ‘The Wrath of the Titans’), forcing her way to Asgard side by side with Loki. If you want to push your imagination further, just imagine the power that Blanchett has when she was Galadriel confronting Sauron, and as she was tempted by the Ring of Power to yield to its ominous desires. It’s not the usual fair of evil, shrieking laugh. Geek.com’s sources further elaborated that Hela is so formidable that things didn’t go well when she was confronted by Thor. Not only does she banish Thor from Asgard, she destroys Mjolnir as well.
The presence of Hela was already suggested in the previous Avengers: Age of Ultron when Thor had a bizarre vision of his friends trapped in Hel, leading to rumors that the presence of the villainess will be inevitable in Thor: Ragnarok. Hela’s introduction to the MCU franchise is seen as an important cog in keeping things moving considering the gradual progression of the master villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his central role in the climax of The Infinity Wars. In Marvel comics, Thanos is seen as having a romantic ‘love-hate’ affair with Lady Death, often going to grand lengths such as murdering the whole universe through the use of the Infinity Stones, just to prove his love for her. Lady Death is the embodiment of death at a cosmic level and is portrayed by Marvel as a female-figured grim reaper.
According to ScreenRant.com, some fans have suggested that Lady Death and Hela might be one and the same in the movie version as being the potential object of Thanos’ affection. This is most likely since people might be confused with the presence of two female personas, preoccupied with the eventual death of the entire universe. It was also speculated that she might have an influence on the movie plot of ‘Doctor Strange’ considering the latter’s frequent sojourn in her realm.
Thor: Ragnarok is set to hit the big screens on July 28, 2017.