(Updated April 4: Singapore readers, scroll down to the bottom of this article for a chance to win awesome Thor: Ragnarok prizes!)
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok.
Like any Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok (now available on HOOQ.TV in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines) is stuffed with tantalising hidden references. Here’s everything we caught:
This storyline from the comics features heavily in the film, from Hulk’s presence on the planet of Sakaar and him competing in the Contest of Champions – the fighting competition run by Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster – to some of the characters that appeared in the storyline. Korg and Miek are pulled directly from the comic’s pages – although both characters are very definitely touched by the hand of eccentric New Zealand-born director Taika Waititi. Not least because he also appears in the film as Korg.
Skurge’s last stand on the bridge armed with his beloved M-16 rifles — those that he tells us at the start he got from Texas – is lifted directly from the comics. Hela also refers to him at one point as her “executioner” which is a reference to his comic nickname.
On the subject of the comics, Thor’s appearance, with his short hair and lack of hammer, is also pulled straight from the pages of the comics. The Unworthy Thor storyline to be precise.
Stan Lee Cameo
It wouldn’t be a Marvel movie if it didn’t feature a Stan Lee cameo. In Ragnarok, he works for Grandmaster – and he’s the person responsible for Thor’s shorn locks. Wielding a whirly whirring tool, he approaches Thor hellbent on trimming those blond tresses. Thor is strapped to a chair. “Please, kind sir, do not cut my hair,” says Thor, terrified. We all know who wins this one.
Thor later says to a freshly un-Hulked Banner: “Some creepy old man cut it off.”
One of the biggest delights in Thor: Ragnarok is the play Loki puts on, disguised as his father Odin. Called “A Tragedy of Loki of Asgard”, the actors aren’t just standard actors. Who’s playing Loki? Matt Damon. As for Odin, Sam Neill steps in, while Thor himself is played by Chris Hemsworth’s own brother, Luke Hemsworth. Very meta. But also, Loki would absolutely want some of the best and biggest profile actors in the universe in a play about him, wouldn’t he?
It may not be a surprise to see Doctor Strange pop up, since a post-credits sequence in the Doctor Strange film had Thor and the Master of the Mystic Arts meeting up on Earth and discussing Odin’s whereabouts. It was a direct link to Thor: Ragnarok. But, just like in that scene, when Strange pops up in Ragnarok he’s wearing the same yellow gloves — in a nod to the classic Doctor Strange costume.
Doctor Strange has been residing at the New York-based Sanctum Sanctorum at 177a Bleecker Street, and it’s here that the post-credits sequence from Doctor Strange is set. In Ragnarok, Strange ‘welcomes’ Thor and Loki through his door when they come to earth looking for their father, Odin. He fairly promptly delivers Thor to him on the proviso that he and his family return to Asgard tout-de-suite.
A fire demon, Surtur is hellbent on setting Ragnarok in motion, bringing about the end of days for Asgard. We first meet him in conversation with Thor, whom he has chained up and suspended from a great height in his fiery home, an extra-dimensional plane known as Muspelheim.
The Eternal Flame
Wanted by both Surtur and the film’s big bad, Hela, Goddess of Death, the Eternal Flame is key to Surtur’s plan. It’s also able to bring the dead back to life. Hela uses it to resurrect an army of the dead to help her vanquish the Asgardians and attempt to take over all the known realms. Odin has been keeping it in his trophy room.
Glimpsed in Odin’s trophy room, it’s especially significant that we see Loki walking through and eyeing the Tesseract, which holds the Space Stone. In the footage from Infinity War shown at D23 earlier this year, Loki is seen handing the Tesseract over to a very tall, shadowy figure. Thor: Ragnarok builds “directly into Infinity War”, according to Marvel boss Kevin Feige.
The Infinity Gauntlet
Also seen in Odin’s vault, Hela walks past what appears to be the Infinity Gauntlet when she storms in to use the Eternal Flame. However, she tips it over, labelling it fake.
Among Hela’s army of the dead is the massive Fenris Wolf, her one-time mount and beloved ‘pet’. In the comics, the wolf is said to be Loki’s son.
Not seen, Thor’s ex-girlfriend, Jane — played by Natalie Portman in the first two Thor films — is mentioned by a fan of Thor’s on earth. “Sorry to hear that Jane dumped you,” she says to the God of Thunder.
“She didn’t dump me, you know,” says Thor after posing for a photo. “I dumped her. It was a mutual dumping”.
Sakaar and the Contest of Champions
Sakaar is the planet Thor ends up on where he’s forced to fight in the Contest of Champions. It first appeared in comic form in The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #92 in 2006. On Sakaar, Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster presides over the Contest of Champions, a gladiatorial competition where the universe’s biggest and most powerful superheroes and villains are pitted against one another.
As Thor is transported to the Grandmaster’s palace, he’s told: “Surrounded by cosmic gateways, Sakaar lives on the edge of the known and unknown. It is the collection point for all lost and unloved things.”
He’s also told that the Grandmaster “is the original, the first lost and the first found, the creator of Sakaar and father of the Contest of Champions”.
The Palace Sculptures
The faces of a handful of historic champs from the Contest of Champions are carved into the exterior of the Grandmaster’s palace. Alongside the latest of Hulk, we see swamp creature Man-Thing, two-headed android Bi-Beast, Olympian God of War Ares and cybernetic Korbinite champion Beta Ray Bill, all of whom fought in the Sakaarian competition. Director Taika Waititi confirmed the identities of the sculptures exclusively to FANDOM.
Valkyrie has fled to Sakaar to keep a low profile as Scrapper #142. The number is significant. In The Incredible Hulk #142 from 1971, the character’s persona is placed into a mortal called Samantha Parrington as an adversary for the Hulk.
On Sakaar, Thor meets a character called Miek, Korg’s buddy. Korg, a Kronan made of perishable rocks, and Miek, are gladiators fighting in the Contest of Champions. In the comics, Miek has quite a backstory but here he plays the straight man to Korg’s comedian. In the comics, we learn Miek is a member of an insectoid race native to Sakaar. Via Korg, we learn that the film version of Miek has knives for hands and that he secretes a substance that is either “protoplasm” or “eggs.”
Also on Sakaar, we meet the Grandmaster’s cousin, Carlo, who meets a swift demise at the business end of a “melt stick”. Carlo could be a reference to artist Carlo Pagulayan who created the character of Korg and played a key role in shaping the Incredible Hulk comics of 2006-7.
The Quinjet that brought Hulk to Sakaar is still on the planet – and it’s the same one that he left in at the end of Age of Ultron. Unsurprisingly, Thor makes a beeline for the ship when he discovers it. On board, they find Tony Stark’s clothes which Banner wears after he transforms from the Hulk back to human form. One of those items is a Duran Duran ‘Rio’ T-shirt.
The password to get into the Quinjet’s controls is ‘Point Break’. It’s a reference to Tony Stark’s nickname for Thor from The Avengers.
She appears onscreen once Thor unlocks the Quinjet controls, speaking her message from the end of Age of Ultron.
“Nice work, big guy,” she says “We don’t know where Ultron’s headed but you’re going very high very fast so I need you to turn this bird around, ok? We can’t track you in stealth mode, so… I need you to help me out, ok?”
Then, as Hulk is changing into Banner, Thor repeats the words: “Sun’s going down, Sun’s going down”, referencing the poem that is used to calm the Hulk.
The location of the headquarters of the Nova Corps, Valkyrie mentions Xandar as a possible route back to Asgard. It’s also where the Power Stone is located.
The ship Thor and co. use to escape Sakaar is called The Commodore — named after the car made by Holden, an Australian car manufacturer. But it has another nod to Australia, as Taika Waititi explained in an interview with FANDOM.
“The spaceship that they escaped from Sakaar on had the Aboriginal flag rearranged into a pattern on the spaceship,” he said. “We shot in Australia and I thought it would just be a nice thing for the heroes of the film for their hero ship to be an indigenous symbol.”
Stream Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok now on HOOQ.TV in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Singapore readers: As promised, here are the details of the contest available just for you. FANDOM has partnered with Marvel to give away 10 Thor: Ragnarok prize packages that include: 1 Thor: Ragnarok hoodie (size L), 1 Thor: Ragnarok snap-back baseball cap, and 1 set of Thor: Ragnarok character emblem wristbands. To enter, simply fill out the form below. See the bottom of this article for all terms and conditions.
Thor: Ragnarok is available for download now on HOOQ in Indonesia and Singapore.
FANDOM Thor: Ragnarok Sweepstakes
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