Thor: Ragnarok comes out on November third in the U.S. This movie promises Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo reprising their roles, but another classic Thor character is joining the mix as well. Cate Blanchett, famous for her portrayal of Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, will become Hela, the goddess of death.
Hela: Goddess of the dead
In the original Norse mythology, Hel was a being who presided over a realm of the same name and received a portion of the undead, yet was not allowed to rule the honored dead. She ruled Hel and Niflheim. Niflheim is where the dishonored dead are sent, whereas Hel contains souls neither specially honored nor dishonored. The final place of eternal rest was Valhalla, the place of the victorious or courageous dead. In the Marvel universe, Hela is Loki’s daughter (more on that in a bit), who looks to expand her influence to Valhalla, usually through open conflict with Odin and Thor.
Hela, is not the current Loki’s daughter. Yes, it is confusing. The idea of Ragnarok is one of cycles and incarnations—she is the daughter of a previous incarnation of Loki. When she came of age (unsure how one can survive the entire rewriting of the universe) Odin appointed her goddess of two of the three realms of the dead. As a result she ended up turning into a villain powerful enough to not only kill Thor, but Odin as well.
In addition, her parenthood may give us a clue as to her part in the new movie. As she is from a previous cycle of Ragnarok, she may be aware of its implications. She could have a desire to bring it about, prevent it, or simply survive. Either one of those, or she could also look to expand her power over Valhalla and Asgard. We will know it due time.
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