The latest movie from Marvel Studios introduced many new threats into the universe of superheroes. Thor and his allies had to deal with villains such as Hela, the Grandmaster, and Surtur, but there was always a more sinister threat lurking in the background.
The Ragnarok prophecy promises the end of Asgard, but it's surprising to find out who helps make it into reality.
Warning: Major spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok below.
The end of Asgard is mentioned early on in Thor: Ragnarok, with the fiery demon god Surtur explaining Chekov's Prophecy in no uncertain terms. And even though Hela is positioned as the film's big bad, she doesn't have anything to do with Asgard's prophesized destruction.
In fact, it's Surtur who is promised to destroy the planet, an act he very much wants to make good on after harboring a millennia-long grudge against the All-Father Odin.
As Surtur tells Thor early on, Odin's absence from the throne makes Asgard vulnerable to other threats from the Nine Realms, and the flaming deity plans to seize the planet with his army and enact the prophecy.
The prophecy simply states that Surtur must place his crown in the Eternal Flame, which is contained in Odin's vault, and then he will gain enough power to destroy the planet. The threat, though, seems to be quelled moments later when Thor knocks Surtur's head off and takes the crown himself.
Surtur's revelation about Odin leads to Thor returning home to Asgard, finding his brother Loki alive and well after the events of Thor: The Dark World and impersonating their father.
They don't realize that Odin's disappearance doesn't just leave Asgard open to Ragnarok prophecy, but it also allows Hela to escape her imprisonment. As Odin's daughter, she wants what she thinks belongs to her — the throne of Asgard — and plans to conquer the universe beyond the Nine Realms.
She quickly dispatches Thor and Loki, killing off many beloved Asgardians such as the Warriors Three, and stirs up civil unrest on the planet.
Thor and Loki return with allies like Valkyrie and the Hulk, but they still aren't powerful enough to stop Hela from achieving her goals. Odin stated that her power, just like Thor's, is directly tied to Asgard the planet, and the more time passes the stronger her connection becomes.
But Odin's words also tell Thor that the true Asgard is not really the planet itself, but the people who make up the kingdom. And thus, Thor makes a very hard choice in the face of defeat at his scorned sister's hands.
So Thor sends Loki to retrieve Surtur's skull in Odin's vault and place it in the Eternal Flame, bringing about the Ragnarok prophecy. The God of Thunder stays behind to distract Hela and give the Asgardians time to load onto a transport ship and escape.
Loki places the crown in the flames, and the gigantic Surtur rises up and destroys the palace. Hela, who wanted nothing more than to rule, immediately turns her attention to the behemoth laying waste to her kingdom.
Thor leads the escape of the Asgardians, watching on as Hela attempts to go up against Surtur. But even though she's very powerful, she's still not strong enough to stop the prophecy. Surtur stabs through to the planet's core, covering Asgard's surface in flames.
On the transport ship, new ally Korg comically comments on how they can rebuild after all of the destruction — only for the planet to explode before their eyes.
Thor and Loki, who made the hard decision to destroy their home and fulfill the awful prophecy, both realize that Asgard won't ever truly be destroyed so long as the people live on. And with no where else to go, the new King of Asgard decides to return to Earth.
That is, if Thanos lets them.
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters now.