Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe united in 2012 for The Avengers, the endgame has been an all-out war. Next year in Avengers: Infinity War, the big bad Thanos (Josh Brolin) will collect the six Infinity Stones to wield ultimate power over all reality. Although all the Infinity Stones are scattered throughout different realms, almost all of them have been accounted for — except one. The Soul Stone, which has the power to revive the dead and control the living, is the last Infinity Stone left to uncover in the MCU. But with Hela (Cate Blanchett) primed to tear shit up in Thor: Ragnarok, there’s a strong possibility that Hela may actually posses the Soul Stone.
In Norse mythology, “Ragnarök” is the twilight of the gods that foretell the death of Thor, Loki, Odin, and more. As the Earth crumbles and resurfaces, it begins anew. Essentially, it’s the Asgardian apocalypse, and it is a pretty big deal.
But in Marvel comics, Hela kicked off Ragnarok (without the umlaut), which compelled Thor and his buds to storm into Hela’s domain: the underworld, Hel. While at Gjallerbru, the bridge between the land of the dead and the living, Thor and his party were saved by Skurge the Executioner, who wanted his sacrifice to redeem his name and honor. Armed with two assault rifles, Skurge held off the dead so Thor could survive and fight Hela. All of this happened in Walt Simonson’s defining Thor run from the ‘80s, and Thor: Ragnarok looks like it will recreate that moment based on the trailer.
As Queen of Hel, Hela is naturally capable of manipulating the dead. But does she also have that power in the MCU? Or does she have that power because of the Soul Stone? If she does, it’s hard to know now, months before the film’s release.
It’s all very tricky because of Marvel’s often liberal interpretation of the source material. For example, in the comics Vision isn’t a version of J.A.R.V.I.S. powered by the Mind Stone. Heck, in the comics, “Jarvis” isn’t an A.I. program at all. He’s actually Tony Stark’s Alfred Pennyworth-esque human butler. The Infinity Stones are no different; originally “Infinity Gems” in the comics, the Infinity Stones have taken on unrelated forms that bear resemblance to other powerful but unrelated items in comics, like the Cosmic Cube and Doctor Strange’s Eye of Agamotto.
This leaves room for Hela to draw her power from the Soul Stone, rather than it being a superhuman power she has as the Queen of Asgard’s underworld. Her right to rule Hel may be because of her possession of an Infinity Stone, and there’s precedent for such drastic changes.
Plus, if we’re to assume that the final Infinity Stone is going to be introduced before Infinity War (which seems like a safe but not definite bet), Ragnarok seems like a much more likely contender than Spider-Man: Homecoming or Black Panther, both of which seem a little more grounded.
Thor: Ragnarok will be released on November 3.