By now, it’s tradition that at least one end credits scene in a Marvel movie will set the stage for the next movie (or movies). In the case of Thor: Ragnarok, that means laying a little groundwork for Avengers: Infinity War. And indeed, the end credits bit does just that. But if you pay attention, the movie is scattered with clues setting up Thor’s next appearance at the movies. Spoilers below!
For the spoiler-averse, have a lovely parting GIF:
That joke never gets old. So, yeah, anyway, it looks like Thanos is about to kill all the Asgardians, and it’s even more Loki’s fault than usual. But that’s set up all the way at the beginning of the movie.
At the opening of the film, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is having a chat with Surtur (a fire demon) and mentions that he’s spent the last few months having dreams of destruction and apocalypse. So Thor’s been going around and cleaning up the universe, and he casually puts it out there that he’s been hunting for the Infinity Stones… and hasn’t found any.
The Infinity Stones have been the MacGuffin driving the Marvel Universe, so far. Think of the Infinity Stones as really, really powerful fossils left over from creating the basic parts of our universe, like time and space. Anybody who holds a stone has power over its element, so whoever holds the Time Stone, for example, has control of time. There are six: Time, Space, Reality, Mind, Power, and Soul. If you have all six you essentially control the entire universe; you can warp reality, undo time, force anyone to do your bidding, you know, all the fun stuff supervillains like doing.
In the Marvel movies, generally, if it glows and gives you powers and/or destroys something, it’s an Infinity Stone. Loki had two in Avengers: the Mind Stone was in his scepter, which is why he took over minds by booping people on the chest with it; and the Tesseract, the Space Stone, which opened that giant portal in the sky. In Doctor Strange, we discovered that a bunch of monks have been hanging onto the Time Stone, which is part of what gives Strange his powers. In Guardians Of The Galaxy, the whole movie hinges on the Power Stone, contained inside an orb.
And they keep turning up in Thor: Ragnarok. Hela (Cate Blanchett) idly knocks over a model of Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet in Odin’s vault, mocking it as fake, meaning Odin doesn’t know where the Infinity Stones are. Also, we see the Tesseract in the vault, a fact the movie underscores by having Loki stare at it greedily as he’s rushing to save the day. So, what do we know before that end credits sequence? The Infinity Stones are incredibly well hidden. At least one of them is probably in Loki’s possession. Loki is a former (and possibly current!) employee of Thanos. And Thanos is looking for the Infinity Stones.
With all that in mind, the end credits sequence is fairly meaningful. Loki and Thor are bantering about heading to Earth with an enormous shipload of refugees when, suddenly, a massive, ominous spaceship blots out the light, making their massive freighter look like a Quinjet by comparison. The ship strongly resembles the other tech we’ve seen Thanos use, so it’s safe to assume that Thanos has decided to fire Loki in person, or at least lay claim to the Infinity Stone Loki’s probably hiding.
As to where the rest of the stones are:
- The Mind Stone is in the Vision’s forehead.
- The Power Stone is with the Nova Corps, which turn up in the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies.
- The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) has the Reality Stone.
- Doctor Strange holds the Time Stone in his brooch, the Eye of Agamotto.
- And nobody seems to know where the Soul Stone is, but it seems unlikely Thanos wouldn’t have secured that one.
In other words, for Thanos to get what he wants, he’ll need to rip out the Vision’s brain, strip Doctor Strange of his powers, completely destroy the galaxy’s main police force, and (probably) unleash whatever is in the Collector’s collection, which is a giant armory crossed with a toxic waste dump with a zoo of Godzillas thrown into the mix for good measure. So, yeah. Things are about to go very, very poorly for pretty much the entire universe. Should be fun!