Biggest unanswered questions in Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is already a huge hit, both financially and critically. It sends its titular hero off on a bold new adventure, one with long-term ramifications for him, his friends, and for Asgard. It also sets up a new three-film trilogy arc for the Hulk, who plays a major role. Naturally it leaves some plot threads dangling, including questions touching on everything from Loki's allegiance to how Ragnarok will affect the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Many of these stories will be picked up in future Marvel films, but some are a bit more nebulous and may not be answered for quite some time—if ever. (It should go without saying, but look out for spoilers ahead!)

Did Loki steal the Tesseract?

Oh, Loki. Will you ever change? When the literal God of Mischief looks like he's going to do something, well, mischievous, it's probably safe to assume he's gonna go through with it. But so much of the first two Thor films have functioned as a sort of up-and-down redemption arc for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most prolific villain. Ragnarok has him skirting as close to certified Good Guy as we've ever seen—he pals around with Thor, helps the Revengers escape Sakaar, and even fights alongside his brother in the film's climactic battle. 

But then there's that scene in Odin's treasure chamber that calls all of it into question. While looking for Surtur's crown, he comes across his old pal the Tesseract, something he used with great success to wreak havoc on Midgard in the first Avengers. He gives the cube a knowing look…and then the film cuts away. Taking it would put him at odds with everyone from his brother to the rest of the Avengers to the Mad Titan himself, Thanos, who needs the Tesseract to complete the Infinity Gauntlet—but while Loki may have learned to love being a hero, there's no way he loves it more than being the center of attention. Thor: Ragnarok leaves the question of whether Loki actually stole the Tesseract up in the air, but—spoiler alert!leaked footage from Avengers: Infinity War makes it pretty clear he's still got sticky fingers.

Will the Hulk turn back into Bruce Banner?

We find out in Ragnarok's second act that Bruce Banner has been in his Hulk form for two whole years, and he later describes this particular transformation as different from any other, saying his consciousness was completely absent—there was only the Hulk, no Banner. He's afraid that if he transforms again, he may never be able to revert back to Banner—but when Thor's ragtag Revengers find themselves in desperate need, Banner makes a potentially massive sacrifice and transforms, unleashing the Hulk on Hela and her forces, as well as the giant demon Surtur. 

The question left at the end of the film is whether we'll ever see Banner again. We see the Hulk on the escape ship behind Thor, so at the very least, the big green guy will be back, but Banner's fate is decidedly uncertain. Of course, with Thanos on the horizon for Avengers: Infinity War, having Hulk around should come in very handy.

Where's Sif?

Sif really dodged a bullet in Thor: Ragnarok's first act by not being available to charge against Hela with her cohorts in the Warriors Three. That being said, where is she? Sif gets nary a mention throughout the entirety of Ragnarok, which is strange considering her prominence in the prior two films in the series. 

Admittedly we know her absence is due to actress Jaimie Alexander filming her TV show Blindspot, but that doesn't quite explain the decision not to mention her at all. You'd think a throwaway line explaining she was off-world might have been warranted (she's appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., after all!). If you're feeling optimistic, there's a chance she's being kept hidden away for a future appearance (how cool would it be to see her team up with new fan favorite Valkyrie?), but at this point, it's anybody's guess where she is. Here's hoping we get the answer to that riddle in Avengers: Infinity War.

Has Loki turned good for good?

Admittedly the answer to this question kind of hinges on whether or not he took the Tesseract and, if he did, why he took it. Still, we can't help but wonder if the God of Mischief has permanently turned over a new leaf. At the end of Ragnarok we see him seemingly having established a tepid peace with his brother and the people of Asgard. He fights valiantly in the battle of Ragnarok and shares a quiet, friendly moment with Thor in its aftermath, seeming to confirm that he wants their relationship to heal. He even seems to support Thor taking his rightful place on the throne as king of Asgard. 

But as Marvel fans know all too well, nothing with Loki is as it seems. Even if his aiding Thor's cause in Ragnarok comes from a sincere place, there's a very good chance that it also serves as a stepping stone on Loki's path to retaking the throne and doing away with his brother. Or perhaps he knows Thanos is coming and is positioning himself to team up with him. It may take us a while to know for sure. For now, all we can do is wonder whether or not this is the end of Loki's redemption arc or if it's the beginning of his next evil plan.

Where will New Asgard be?

Perhaps the most shocking moment in Thor: Ragnarok comes at its end, when the realm of Asgard is destroyed by Surtur. Asgard was the MCU's first foray into the cosmic side of the Marvel universe and has served a crucial role in the movies' world-building over the last few years—and just like that, it's gone. Fortunately, Thor and the Revengers successfully evacuate the realm's citizens, so the casualty count is low, but the film still ends with an entire population adrift in space. 

Similar events have taken place in the continuity of the comics, with the most famous example being Thor resurrecting Asgard on Earth right in the middle of Oklahoma. In order to bring Thor and his friends closer to the action for the next few Marvel films, it would make sense for this to be the story Marvel draws from in terms of finding a new location for Asgard. But they also could take a totally different route, with Asgard being repositioned in any of the other eight realms across the galaxy. As Odin teases in Thor: Ragnarok, Asgard could even end up in Norway next. It's anybody's guess at this point. We just know that all of those Asgardians have to go somewhere, and their newly crowned King Thor needs a kingdom.

Whose ship appeared in the post-credit scene?

In the first of two post-credits sequences, the Asgardian refuge ship is shown being confronted by a massive spaceship of unknown origin. We're never shown who's piloting it or what happens next. All we can tell for sure is that it looks threatening. So who's at the helm? 

The smart money is on Thanos, as the impending Infinity War is getting closer. It would make sense for him to battle the Asgardians, giving Thor something to warn his Avengers comrades about in Avengers: Infinity War. Just going by the movie, it's impossible to say for sure—the ship seen in that brief glimpse could belong to the Skrulls, recently confirmed to be making their debut in the upcoming Captain Marvel film, or it could be the Kree, as they were established in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. Fortunately for those who just can't wait to find out what's on the horizon for our heroes, Marvel chief Kevin Feige has confirmed that the spacecraft in question is called "the Sanctuary II"—and it does indeed belong to Thanos.

Is Surtur dead?

Surtur, a hellish monster prophesied to bring about the titular end of days, makes his debut in Thor: Ragnarok—and, sure enough, he does just that. The film ends with his ultimate destruction of Asgard, and with it, his apparent death. But it's crucial to note that the death is just that while we see Surtur and Asgard seemingly vanish in a blast of light, we can only assume he perished along with the realm—along with Hela, the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett). 

We don't actually see anyone die, however. We only see them disappear. As Ragnarok is an event that functions cyclically, having happened before and almost definitely happening again someday, who can say for sure that Surtur is dead? Perhaps he's simply gone back underground to start the cycle over again. It may be a long, long time before we see his return, but don't count Surtur out quite yet. There's a very good chance he's still out there somewhere. And if he is, who can say Hela and the original realm of Asgard aren't as well?

Will Beta Ray Bill and Ares appear in the next one?

Thor: Ragnarok is chock full of Easter eggs for observant viewers. These little homages point to everything from comics lore to director Taika Waititi's past films, and one that's particularly noticeable comes in the form of the giant metal statues of great warriors on the Grandmaster's palace on Sakaar. We're meant to notice the Hulk's head being added, but if you look further down the building, you'll notice a few faces comics fans are sure to recognize, including Beta Ray Bill and Ares. 

In the comics, Beta Ray Bill is an alien also recognized by Mjolnir as being worthy of the hammer. His rivalry with Thor quickly gives way to a strong friendship, and he soon gets his own hammer, dubbed Stormbreaker. Ares is also a stalwart Marvel Comics character, most notably appearing as a member of Norman Osborne's Dark Avengers as a Thor substitute. He perished at the hands of the Sentry in the crossover event Siege, but died a hero. The faces of these two characters on Sakaar seems to imply that they're former champions of the Grandmaster. With the Warriors Three out of the picture, Thor will need some new friends to fight alongside in the next film. Who better than a fellow hammer wielder and a god of war? Nothing has been confirmed, but the seeds for future appearances from the two have officially been planted.

Will Thor get Mjolnir back?

One of the more shocking moments in Thor: Ragnarok comes in its first act, when Hela crushes Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, with her bare hand. It's a huge moment, as Mjolnir is thought to be indestructible; perhaps even more surprising is the fact that he doesn't get Mjolnir back by the time the film is over. Admittedly, part of the character's arc is coming into his own as the rightful king of Asgard and the God of Thunder—as Odin reminds him, Mjolnir only helps him channel his powers. It isn't their source.

Still, a Thor without a hammer seems somewhat naked, and we can't help but wonder if he'll be getting his favorite toy back. Mjolnir looked pretty busted after Hela had her way with it, but when dealing with Norse mythology and comic book characters, practicality isn't really a priority. Don't be surprised if these two find a way back together.

Is the Infinity Gauntlet really fake?

It sounded like a throwaway line, but it may have held huge implications for the MCU: while strolling through Odin's treasure chamber, Hela gestured to the Infinity Gauntlet—first glimpsed in the first Thor film—and sneeringly dismissed it as a fake. It's pretty funny, but if she was telling the truth, it ties up a major plot thread that's been left dangling for years. 

We saw Thanos wielding an Infinity Gauntlet in the post-credits scene after Avengers: Age of Ultron, but we've never seen him use it—and it raised the question of how the Mad Titan managed to have something we'd seen locked up in Odin's vault. Maybe this line was just thrown into the film to clear all that up, but there's always a chance it's there for a greater reason—to set up even more significant future story beats. Whatever the answer may be, Infinity War is sure to bring it.