Although it’s not an Avengers movie, there is a heck of a lot going on in Thor: Ragnarok. In the Taika Waititi-directed Marvel movie, the Asgardian apocalypse begins as Hela, the Goddess of Death, ushers in her army of the dead and mows down the noble armies of Odin. Meanwhile, Thor, the only one who can stop her, is too busy fighting the Hulk in gladiatorial combat.
Without spoiling too much, let’s just say that things are miraculously set up for Avengers: Infinity War, which will pit the entire Marvel Universe against the all-powerful Thanos. However, for those who have seen the Comic-Con footage of Infinity War (which, let’s face it, is all of you), the way things are in that movie doesn’t quite match up to how Thor: Ragnarok ends.
Major Spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok are below.
In the end of Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder fulfills his destiny to become King Thor, as initially envisioned in the pages of Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron in 2013. That means Thor, in addition to gaining rightful rule, has also lost his right eye — a brutal wound he suffers in the movie when he fights Hela on Bifröst, the bridge between Asgard and the other realms. Like his father, Thor now wears a gold metal eye patch over his wounded eye.
But Thor’s changes in Thor: Ragnarok, with the exception of his shaved head, aren’t reflected in Avengers: Infinity War. As it was shown at San Diego Comic-Con in July, Thor ends up on the windshield of the Guardians of the Galaxy, looking pretty much exactly how he did before the events of Ragnarok. Right down to his eye, still intact! In another memorable shot, where Thanos crushes Thor’s head, his eye is still unwounded. So what gives?
One easy explanation is that when Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy, that scene takes place before Ragnarok while the rest of the movie picks up after Hela’s defeat. The timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting less and less linear with each installment, so it’s possible Infinity War will use flashbacks to free up the plot from being so linear.
Then again, how does Thor still have his eye when he’s getting crushed by Thanos? Also, Thor and Loki are introduced to Thanos when Thanos’ gigantic ship arrives in the post-credits scene of Ragnarok. So Thor couldn’t have already known about Thanos when he meets the Guardians if that scene happened before Ragnarok. There goes that theory.
The likely scenario is that the Infinity War scenes shown at Comic-Con didn’t have the final VFX drafts, which is common for movies of this caliber. In fact, Thor: Ragnarok also had some of the most glaring VFX changes; when Hela crushes Mjolnir, it takes place in a beautiful beach cliff in Norway, not in a New York City alley as the trailers initially showed.
If Marvel can digitally teleport Cate Blanchett to Norway, and if Warner Bros./DC are willing to zap Henry Cavill’s beard for Justice League, then Disney’s artists can give Thor an eye patch without Chris Hemsworth reshooting his scenes. He may be the God of Thunder, but he’s also only human.
Thor: Ragnarok will be released in theaters in the U.S. on November 3. It is out in wide release globally now. Avengers: Infinity War will be released on May 4, 2018.