‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Trailer Breakdown: A Haircut, a Hammer, and a Hulk

Thor: Ragnarok has been hyped up for months as a departure from Marvel’s typical tone, buoyed by the creative vision of director Taika Waititi. Now we have proof of that, coming to us in the form of the first teaser for the film. Running almost two minutes, it gives fans all sorts of details on the basic story, the fate of some of our favorite characters, and a look at a handful of newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s also filled with subtle references to various comics, so let’s dive in and see what we have here.

1. Things are not going well for our hero

Thor parallel to the ground, wrapped in chains

Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

The teaser kicks off by showing Thor wrapped up in chains, and not at all happy with where he is. When we last saw him (outside of Doctor Strange‘s post-credits scene), he was out searching for answers concerning the Infinity Stones. Now, he’s gotten himself into a spot of trouble, and things only get worse as the trailer continues on.

2. Hela has arrived, and she’s not messing around

Hela holds Thor's hammer out in front, looking to the left of the frame

Cate Blanchett as Hela in Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

In Marvel’s comics, Hela rules over the underworld, based loosely off the Norse goddess Hel. Cate Blanchett assumes the role in Thor: Ragnarok, and it’s immediately clear that she’s one of the most potent foes we’ve ever seen in the MCU. Right off the bat, she catches Thor’s hammer on the fly, and subsequently blows it the hell up.

2. The end of Mjolnir

A shattered hammer on the ground in Thor: Ragnarok

Thor’s shattered hammer | Marvel

In Marvel lore, Mjolnir numbers itself among some of the most powerful weapons in existence. That makes it that much more terrifying to see it shattered in one fell swoop by our villain, Hela. We saw what happens to Thor when he’s hammer-less in his first film, so odds are things won’t be going much better this time around. Given that a showdown with Thanos is on the horizon, reassembling Mjolnir is probably going to be a priority for our hero.

3. The fall of Asgard, a little more background on Hela, and a huge hint at what’s to come in the MCU

Hela with her left hand up, and her antler-helmet on

Hela in Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

Traditionally, Hela’s main motivation as a villain has been to merge the souls in Valhalla with the ones she presides over in the underworld. Ragnarok will show her taking the fight to Asgard, along with an intriguing origin described by Cate Blanchett in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “She’s been locked away for millennia getting more and more cross,” Blanchett says, “and then, with a mistake, she gets unleashed and she ain’t getting back in that box.” Above we see her donning a look reminiscent of her comic book appearance, one of two she’ll be sporting in Ragnarok.

There are also massive implications to the main Marvel story thread here. Thanos is commonly known for his obsession with the physical embodiment of death, gathering together the Infinity Stones in an attempt to court her affections. Hela, the goddess of death and ruler of the underworld, fits that mold perfectly, leading us to wonder: Will her presence play heavily into the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War saga?

4. Thor is banished to the remote planet of Sakaar

Thor in an alien junkyard, with various ships in the background

Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

Fans of the comics may recognize Sakaar as none other than the setting for the Planet Hulk series. Here, we see Thor end up on the gladiator-centric planet himself, tracked down in what appears to be a junkyard of sorts. Ragnarok looks to be borrowing elements from a few different comic book series, hinted at by the wide scope of the story we’ve already been treated to in the teaser.

5. Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie

Tessa Thompson wearing armor, with her right hand out

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie | Marvel

Valkyrie’s character is usually cast as a hero in the comics, with the ability to transport dead spirits to the afterlife (as well as possessing considerable combat abilities). In Ragnarok, we see her capturing Thor and delivering him to the Grandmaster (more on him soon). A little later on, she’s shown going to war against Hela in a flashback sequence. That seemingly makes Thor’s own goals align with her own, although we’ll see how that plays into her current employment on Sakaar.

6. Jeff Goldblum makes his MCU debut as the Grandmaster

A close-up on the Grandmaster, as he looks off to his left

Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster | Marvel

Jeff Goldblum was nothing short of an inspired addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here, he’s shown ruling over Sakaar, and conscripting Thor into his gladiatorial arena. Thor will have to escape his clutches if he wants to vanquish Hela and save Asgard, and he might just get some help from an old friend along the way…

7. Heimdall on the lam

Heimdall looking to his left, holding his sword

Heimdall in Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

With Hela having taken over Asgard, the former rulers of that realm have been forced out en masse. Above, it looks as though Heimdall (Idris Elba) is on the run, as he defeats one of Hela’s minions in a forest setting. His ability to see between realms is likely to come in handy at some point in this story, but first, he’ll have to fight for his survival.

8. Loki’s back (and as usual, is up to something)

Loki with his horn helmet, looking directly at the camera

Loki in Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

Loki first appears in the teaser during a battle between Hela’s forces and the armies of Asgard. What’s not clear is what side he’s fighting for. He has Hela’s army at his back, which seems to hint at him helping her. That said, he’s also been ruling over Asgard, so perhaps he simply got in over his head with a power he didn’t truly understand. Whatever side he’s fighting on, it’s clear he’s up to his old tricks either way.

9. Thor sporting a haircut, as well as his iconic winged helmet

Thor looking to the right of the frame wearing his winged helmet

Thor with his winged helmet | Marvel

Forced to fight in Sakaar’s gladiatorial arena, Thor is no longer sporting the long hair he’s donned in previous films. He’s also shown with the iconic winged helmet from the comics, completing his full, updated movie look. Worth noting as well: In the Doctor Strange post-credit scene, he doesn’t have his new haircut yet, meaning that interaction either took place before the events of Ragnarok, or sometime well after, when he’s regrown his hair.

10. Welcome to Planet Hulk

The Hulk holding weapons in either hand, yelling and wearing gladiator armor

Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

We see elements of the Planet Hulk series once again, this time with the big green guy himself. It’s clear he’s been on Sakaar for awhile now, although it’s not entirely obvious how Bruce Banner got there in the first place. Regardless, he looks to be a seasoned arena fighter, replete with a full suit of gladiator armor, and giant hammers in either hand.

11. A taste of Taika Waititi’s humor

Thor smiling and yelling

Thor: Ragnarok | Marvel

It’s not all doom and gloom, evidenced by a decidedly offbeat moment in the closing seconds of the teaser. After Hulk emerges from the tunnel, Thor gleefully smiles at the sight of his old friend, exclaiming, “YES! We know each other! He’s a friend from work!” That doesn’t seem to slow Hulk down in the slightest though, as the two clash in the arena shortly after that introduction.

12. Another clue about Loki’s motivations

Grandmaster and Loki sitting on either side a long white couch

Grandmaster and Loki | Marvel

In the above frame, Loki is shown sitting with the Grandmaster, as he presides over Thor and Hulk’s imminent battle. This could indicate one of two possibilities: That Loki has been exiled from Asgard by Hela as well, or that he’s working with Hela, and ensuring that Thor is kept busy on Sakaar. If you’re asking us, we’re leaning toward the latter two of those options.

Thor: Ragnarok releases nationwide November 3, 2017

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