Avengers: Infinity War set a precedent for comic book movies. It went where no comic book movie has ever dared to go. It delved into the realm of defeat and desolation. Infinity War let the bad guy win (maybe only to let him fall in the sequel), but it was a deviation from the standard protocol of the movies we are so accustomed to seeing. Infinity War was different but in classic Marvel style.
We saw Thanos come down on the earth’s mightiest heroes in all his vigour and we saw every one of the so-called ‘heroes’ fail in their endeavour to stop him. The Mad Titan proved unstoppable, to the point that the entire Marvel universe’s combined intellect and strength was not enough to overcome his tyranny.
Even the weapon fit for only a King of Gods vis-à-vis Stormbreaker (the new axe of Thor) failed in its quest to put a stop to Thanos’ evil. Instead of victorious heroes, by the end of Infinity War, we were left with a solemn sadness exponentially increased by the sudden loneliness.
For the first time in the decade of movies that have been the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we saw the advent of true loss and defeat in the MCU. But the severity of this incident makes us question why this event was so prominent when all the others were just little side notes in history. The Avengers have gone up against gods and even Thanos before but what was different this time.
Why was the Infinity War more important than anything else that has transpired in the MCU up until now? The answer is simple, but it does not lie in the latest Avengers movie, no sir, it lies in Ragnarok. What am I talking about, you ask? Does this even make any sense? Are you just trying to spin circles around a straightforward storyline, you ask? Well, why don’t you read on to find out!
In Norse Mythos (from which the Marvel characters of Thor, Loki, Odin, Sif etc. come from) the concept of Ragnarok symbolises the end of all things. As per Asgardian (Norse Lore) understanding, there are two primordial wolves in the sky, one that represents the moon and the other that represents the sun. According to ancient lore, Ragnarok begins when the chase ends.
The Norse Mythos dictates that when such a moment is upon us, it will entail the death of all living creatures and bring about a dark and desolate time which will dictate the end of Asgard. Surtur (the hellish creature composed of fire) will be reborn of the eternal flame and he will then bring down death and destruction on all of Asgard.
Ragnarok does not end until Asgard is ashes and once it does (according to the Old Norse Mythos), the world is reborn like a phoenix and basically the timeline of the events of Ragnarok is reset.
The ancient Norse texts are limited and vague and the majority of information available on this mythology comes from stories passed down through vocation. Now, this is all speculation but if we consider the old lore and compare it with the current timeline of the MCU, certain very interesting parallels can be drawn.
The first of these conclusions is that Thor and Loki constantly say that, “Asgard is not a place, it’s a people” so this means that Asgard is not ashes until every Asgardian (including Thor is dead). Moreover, there is the fact that Thanos only set out to acquire all of the Infinity Stones once Ragnarok had begun and the end of Thor 3 entailed the destruction of Thor’s refugee ship at the hands of the Mad Titan.
Was this also a part of Ragnarok or perhaps the events of Infinity War are just an extension to the events of the Norse apocalypse. We cannot be sure, but the facts are right there and this time they are too strong and pertinent to be ignored.
But if this conjecture does make any kind of sense then it means that Infinity Wars only ends one way, with the death of the mighty God of Thunder to put an end to Ragnarok and make way for the soft reboot.
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