Top 3 Reasons ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Is One of the Most Integral MCU Films

Though, according to Director Taika Waititi, 80% of Thor: Ragnarok was unscripted, the movie came out on top, managing to snag a whopping 93% critics’ score and an 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was funny, but not flimsy. 

A cosmic adventure unbounded by earthly restrictions, Ragnarok presented an action-packed and visually stunning spectacle that soared beyond its predecessors and set a new standard for the God of Thunder

Thor: Ragnarok
Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo attend the ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Sydney Screening Event on October 15, 2017, in Sydney, Australia | Scott Ehler for Disney

Paving the way for vast character and narrative advancements, Thor: Ragnarok may be light-hearted, but that doesn’t make the film any less integral to the overarching Infinity saga. Below, please find the top three reasons that, without Thor: Ragnarok, nothing would have ever been the same. 

3. Valkyrie’s Introduction 

Thor: Ragnarok introduced the one and only Valkyrie, whose presence will likely extend far beyond her connection to the God of Thunder himself. The chemistry between Thor and Valkyrie – friendly, built on loyalty and trust, not a romance — was palpable, and the foundation for her future as King of Asgard began to cement. 

Rumor has it that Valkyrie will go on to pick a Queen in Love and Thunder. And, based on her combat prowess witnessed in Endgame, she will likely be recruited for Captain Marvel’s A-Force (when that movie finally rolls around). Without Love and Thunder, Asgard would lack a King who desires to hold the throne, and the upcoming A-Force would be minus one vital ingredient. 

Thor: Ragnarok set the stage for the future of Asgard, yet also helped contribute to a story that will likely come into play sometime in Phase 5 or Phase 6. 

2. Foundation for the conflict between Hulk and Bruce Banner 

Hulk took a beating at the beginning of Infinity War — and shock traveled across his face with each blow Thanos delivered — and he later refused to take the stage. His adolescent confidence took a mighty hit (literally and figuratively speaking). However, the conflict between Bruce Banner and Hulk had already established a basis in Ragnarok. 

Hulk told Thor that “Earth hates Hulk” and likes Bruce Banner, which is why he didn’t wish to return to Earth after spending so much time on Sakaar, where people cheered for the Hulk and worshipped the Hulk. People still resented the Hulk, or so he believed, back on earth for the destruction he caused during Ultron.

Why would Hulk wish to return to Earth and protect those who despised him? Why would he wish to come out and help those who, he believed, never desired his presence? 

Thor: Ragnarok began to lay the foundation for Hulk’s long-gestating arc to Professor Hulk seen in Endgame. Without Ragnarok, there would have been less of a reason for Hulk to behave the way he did in Infinity War. He needed to discover a way for the two to peacefully coexist, and the demand for that discovery process began to take shape in Ragnarok.

1. Thor meshes better with his fellow Avengers in and after ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

From a Shakespearean-type man lacking a sense of humor to a dark and personality-lacking, generic superhero in Dark World, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor lacked a likable and strong illustration prior to Ragnarok.  

Fans do not receive a Thor that actually meshes seamlessly with the Avengers until Ragnarok. The dynamics witnessed between the characters in Infinity War and Endgame would have never been possible without Taika Waititi’s genius hand in the mixing bowl.