To recap, the Asgardian apocalypse began in Thor: Ragnarok. In order to defeat Hela, Surtur was summoned to destroy the physical realm of Asgard, thus sapping away Hela’s power. Hela was forced to turn her attention towards Surtur and presumably died in Asgard’s final destruction while Thor and the Asgardian refugees fled in ships that Loki stole from the Grandmaster on Sakaar.
There are some problems with this theory. For one thing, more than two gods survive Ragnarok. Odin’s children Víðarr and Váli survive Surtur’s fire. Baldr and Höðr return from Hel. Thor’s sons, Móði and Magn, also survive and come into possession of their father’s hammer, Mjolnir. According to the Prose Edda, the six surviving gods will meet in the field of Iðavöllr, the same field where Asgard once stood. The Poetic Edda tells the story slightly differently, but the gist is still the same. It is possible the user was thinking of Líf and Lífþrasir, the only two humans who survive Ragnarok and whose descendants then repopulate the Earth.
As you can see, there’s another difference in the fact that Thor does not have children in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the Ragnarok tales, Thor dies while fighting Jörmungandr, the World Serpent, not a purple alien eco-terrorist. Also, Thanos did not kill “most” of the surviving Asgardians. He killed half of them, as is his gimmick.
With all of that in mind, the reason the theory seems questionable can be summed by pointing out that Marvel, both in its comics and movies, has used Norse mythology only as loose inspiration for its Thor stories, reinterpreting it to the point that it is barely recognizable. The very concept of Marvel’s Thor as imagined by Jack Kirby and played by Chris Hemsworth has more in common with an Arthurian knight than the overgrown, dim-witted, red-headed and bearded (Sif was the one with the “golden hair” in mythology) Thor from Norse mythology.
Even Mjolnir is different. In mythology, it is quite powerful, but it is also half-sized, making it look ridiculous and silly in Thor's hands, all part of one of Loki's many schemes to mock his brutish brother. That's hardly comparable to the powerful weapon seen in the Marvel and Marvel Cinematic Universes.
Considering all of that, fans have little reason to believe that Marvel would go so out of its way to cling to this one mythological footnote about Thor dying in Ragnarok. Even if it is the case, what difference does that really make? At best, figuring this out would foreshadow Thor’s death, but since that foreshadowing doesn’t actually show up in the movies it is irrelevant. Whether Ragnarok is technically still ongoing or not seems like it would have little impact on how the story of Avengers 4 unfolds. Maybe Thor does die, and maybe Asgard is reborn anew in that field where Thor and Loki spoke to Odin for the last time, but the Ragnarok angle doesn't seem necessary to tell that story.
What do you think of the theory? Let us know in the comments.
Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War are both now available on home media.
Avengers 4 opens in theaters on May 3, 2019.
Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5th, 2019.