For the first time in a long time, a Thor movie has as much if not more excitement and hype around it than any other MCU movie. A lot of that is due to the radical change in tone and visual appeal set by Director Taika Waititi. The trailers for the film set a tone of darkness, war, and fun featuring Thor and Hulk as buddies taking on the evil entity known as Hela portrayed by Cate Blanchett. When it comes to MCU villains, there’s a certain stigma surrounding them and how they’re not written with any weight or real purpose. Blanchett’s performance seems to suggest that she will be the exception to that rule. All that being said, let’s take a look at Hela and see what’s in store for Thor and friends on November 3rd.
Goddess of the Dead
Hela is a character adapted from Norse mythology. First appearing in Journey into Mystery #102 in 1964, she was the daughter of Loki (not the Loki we know, a different incarnation that died during a previous Asgardian Ragnarok) and the giantess Angrboða. Odin assigned her to be the Goddes of the Dead, which gave her rulership of the dead in the realms of Hel and Niflheim. Hel and Niflheim are dark regions where the inhabitants of the Nine Realms go upon their deaths unless they die in heroic fashion, and in that case, they go to the palace Valhalla.
Force to be Reckoned With
Hela’s abilities are, as expected, that of a God/Goddess. She has superhuman strength, stamina, and durability. She has control over powerful black magic, astral projection, and telepathy. She has the ability of reincarnation and an ability called the Hand of Glory. This ability uses mystical energy to enhance the strength of her punch to kill even an Asgardian. She wears a magical cloak which enhances her strength and it also keeps her young and healthy. If she removes the cloak, she reverts to her true form which half of her body is healthy and beautiful but the other half is decaying. She’s also very weak and can barely move and has limited use of her powers without the cloak.
In the comics, Thanos is often seen pursuing his one true love Death (an actual character, not the end of his life). In the MCU, we’ve not really seen or heard of this relationship, however, it appears as though Death may come in the form of Hela. In the comics, Hela has made a pact with Death allowing her to claim the souls of any worshipper of the Asgardians and the Asgardians themselves and take them to Hel or Niflheim. There’s a small chance that after causing so much chaos and destruction in Thor: Ragnarok, she will ally herself with Thanos in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
We don’t know a whole lot about the full plot of Ragnarok but we do know that Hela is laying waste to Asgard, has destroyed Mjolnir and presumedly banished Thor to another planet. Hela means business and Cate Blanchett has essentially transformed like a chameleon for this role. Already a powerhouse actress, Blanchett adds so much to the cast and the MCU, making Hela a must-see character and hopefully someone who will be around for future films.