It seems inevitable that Thor will defeat Hela, goddess of death, in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok after she destroys Mjolnir and banishes him to Sakaar, but the villain might live to make an appearance in Avengers: Infinity War as well.
Trailers for the film reveal how Hela (Cate Blanchett) emerges from captivity after millennia and manages to quickly defeat Thor and take over Asgard. She wants to burn it to the ground and rebuild a new empire, bringing about the apocalyptic Ragnarok for the Asgardians.
In an interview with Screen Rant published Sunday, Ragnarok producer Brad Winderbaum offered some cryptic comments about how Hela might factor into the MCU going forward, and it has everything to do with Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Winderbaum said that everyone prefers to “think about the movies as standalones” but that they do often “set up a movie down the road or pay off something from a previous film.” Winderbaum describes Hela as “really scary and really charming. She’s very easy to watch, very fun to be around. But very murderous and horrible at the same time.”
Even more importantly, Winderbaum said, “You’re right that those are things that Thanos values. But when and how she plays into the future of the universe is uncertain now.”
Winderbaum spoke about his uncertainty late last year. By now, Hela’s role has no doubt been solidified, but if it’s anything like Death in the comics, then Infinity War could get very interesting.
In Marvel Comics, Thanos’ pursuit of the Infinity Gems (only the MCU calls them Stones) has everything to do with him trying to woo the physical manifestation of Death. Now, the comics version of Death is a totally different character than Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death. But it’s entirely possible that the two characters have merged into one for the MCU.
Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and de facto director of the entire MCU, said back in April, “[Thanos’s reasons] will be similar to what they were in The Infinity Gauntlet in various ways.” The Infinity Gauntlet storyline is the story that sees Thanos try to woo Death with the power of the Infinity Gems/Stones.
Rumors have been swirling for months, but if Hela does survive Thor: Ragnarok, then she might come to have supporting villain duties in Infinity War and beyond.
Is the goddess of death even capable of dying? We’ll probably find out when Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3, 2017.