All The Easter Eggs and References Hiding in Thor: Ragnarok

By Tom Pritchard on at

Thor: Ragnarok is out today, and seeing as how it's a comic book adaption (and one made by Marvel at that) we went in looking to hunt down all the easter eggs and references we knew this film was going to be full of. Full isn't the right word, though, because Ragnarok is absolutely teaming with easter eggs. So many that it's just over 3,000 words to include them all.

Here's every single one we spotted.

Planet Hulk

This film is littered with references to Planet Hulk, the 2006 series that saw Hulk get blasted into space and forced to fight in the gladiatorial pits of Sakaar. Something similar happens in Ragnarok, though the difference is who's in charge - and the fact Hulk actually seems to enjoy all the glory fighting has to offer.

Sakaaran soldiers also appears in Guardians of the Galaxy, as part of Ronan's army. None of these soldiers seem to be in the film, however.

Both Korg (Taika Waititi) and Miek are adapted from counterparts in the Planet Hulk comic, though Meek is a lot more talkative and Korg is a bit less friendly and upbeat.

The Grandmaster

Speaking of who's in charge, in the comic Sakaar is ruled by a royal family who uses gladiators to entertain the civilian population. In the film Sakaar is controlled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). In the comics the Grandmaster is one of the elders of the universe, a group that also includes the Collector - previously seen in Guardians of the Galaxy played by Benicio Del Toro.

The Elders are immortal and have existed for millions of years, something alluded to by the Grandmaster briefly. Because of this they often find themselves bored with existence, and seek new ways to entertain themselves. The Collector obsessively collects things (naturally), and the Grandmaster enjoys starting fights to watch the outcome.

Contest of Champions

In the film the gladiator fights are referred to as 'The Contest of Champions', a name that's lifted straight out of the comics. In the comics the Contest of Champions involved the Grandmaster and Death abducting heroes and forcing them to fight for their own amusement.

Also released was Contest of Champions II, which was unrelated to the original series and instigated by the Brood Queen hoping to use it to launch a new invasion of Earth. A more recent revival of the name was closer to the original series, however, featuring both the Grandmaster and Collector building their own teams to fight, and betting on the outcome.

Surtur

The fire demon Surtur plays a very important role in the film, lifted straight out of the comics. Surtur is meant to play an important role in Ragnarok, and the eventual destruction of Asgard, something that directly transferred to the film. This is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the Ragnarok myth, with Sutr (as the mythological being is known) destined to be responsible for setting the Earth ablaze .

Surtur is voice by Clancy Brown, who is best known for playing the Kurgan in Highlander, Mr Krabs in Spongebob, Lex Luthor in the DC Animated Universe, Dr Cortex and Uka Uka in Crash Bandicoot, and Captain Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption.

One final little link is the fact that Surtur is responsible for the near-extinction of the Korbinites - the race that then engineered Beta Ray Bill to protect them and lead them to a new homeworld.

Sibling Rivalry

Early on in the film it's revealed that Hela is actually Odin's daughter, and thus Thor and Loki's sister, imprisoned thousands of years ago when her ambitions of conquests grew too high. Not only does this make Ragnarok another film involving sibling rivalries and arguments about who should be on the throne, it's a reference to Thor's secret sister from the comics.

In the comics Thor's sister is Angela, who has been presumed dead for millennia. It was believed she was killed when Asgard went to war with the 10th realm of Heven (yes, really) which is populated by Angels (I'm really not making this up). While it appeared as though the angels had killed Odin's daughter, they had actually stolen her away to raise as their own - not returning until the seals keeping Heven separate from the rest of the universe were broken.

Hela is actually supposed to be Loki's daughter, much like her counterpart (Hel) in mythology. In the comics she rules over Hel, the realm of the dead. Presumably this is where Odin imprisoned her in the MCU.

Infinity Stones

We learn at the start of the film that Thor has spent the past two years since the end of Age of Ultron searching for the remaining Infinity Stones (rather than living with Daryl in Australia). Unfortunately he hasn't found any, probably because they're safely hidden elsewhere

  • The Space Stone (or Tesseract) is/was safely stored inside Odin's Vault - and was presumably pinched by Loki at the end of the film before Asgard was destroyed
  • The Reality Stone is in the hands of The Collector, after being delivered to him by Siff and Hogun after the events of Thor: The Dark World
  • The Power Stone is on Xandar, locked away at the Nova Corps headquarters
  • The Mind Stone is on Earth in The Vision's head
  • The Time Stone is inside the Eye of Agamotto, which lives round Dr Strange's neck
  • The Soul Stone's whereabouts are still unknown. My guess is that Thanos has it

How ironic that Thor spent two years searching for Infinity Stones and briefly came across one when he finally returned to Earth. He also could have been close to a second one, had he returned to Asgard via Xandar as Valkyrie suggested.

Xandar was, as most people will remember, prominently featured in the first Guardians of the Galaxy.

Skurge

Skurge shows off his collection of stuff that he's collected from across the universe, and mentions how he's particularly fond of two MP4 rifles he picked up in Tex-arse. In the comics Skurge's weapons of choice tend to be two MP4s, provided he's not using his enchanted double-bladed axe - something that was also alluded to when Hela names him her executioner. That is itself a reference to his comic nickname.

Skurge is often on the wrong side of the fight, regularly being used as a pawn by Loki and the Enchantress (Amora) who he is in love with. Here he pledges himself to Hela in a similar role, but he's clearly conflicted about it.

Loki's Play

When Thor returns to Asgard he sees a reenactment of Loki's 'death' in the previous film, with an exaggerated version of the events that paint Loki in a heroic light. In it Loki is played by Matt Damon, and Odin by Sam Neil. I couldn't recognise the guy playing Thor if anyone knows. Thor was played by Chris Hemsworth's older brother Luke. That's the one that was in Westworld not the one from The Hunger Games.

Heimdall the Traitor

In a repeat of events from the first film, Heimdall has been declared a traitor, and Skurge was put in charge of the Bifrost for at least some of the time. No doubt this was due to his powers letting him see through Loki's disguise and he refused to serve anyone but the rightful king.

Frog Thor

Loki mentions having turned Thor into a frog at one point in the past, which actually happened in the comics. There's also another Frog that has the same powerset as Thor and his own miniature version of Mjolnir.

Dr Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch has his extended cameo as Doctor Strange, complete with all the magic he had in his solo movie. That includes the aforementioned Eye of Agamotto, and the cloak of levitation. It seems as though he's continued to master his abilities, and has moved into the New York Sanctum Santorum full time.

Mjolnir

Speaking of Dr Strange, when Thor visits him Mjolnir is disguised as an umbrella. In the classic comics, when Thor was also Donald Blake, Mjolnir would disguise itself as a walking stick in the civilian world. Blake would also transform into Thor by slamming the stick against the round, which Thor does in the film during the initial fight with Hela.

It's also revealed that Hela was the initial owner of the hammer, which likely means it's bestowed upon Asgard's Crown Prince(ess). It's worth noting that she carried it before Odin enchanted it with the 'worthiness' spell, which we saw in the first Thor film.

Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

This one is pretty obvious, but in case you missed it the song playing when Thor is on the Contest of Champions 'ride' is Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The chair Thor is on isn't that dissimilar from the tunnel ride in the same film.

Odin's Vault

Remember the Infinity Gauntlet easter egg from the first Thor film? And how everyone is wondering why it's there, when Thanos has the actual Gauntlet? There aren't two, because Hela reveals that Odin's gauntlet is a fake. She also says most of what's in the vault is fake, meaning the Orb of Agamotto, Warlock's Eye, and Tablet of Life may well be fake as well.

The Eternal Flame is real though, since Hela uses it to reanimate dead Asgardians and her mount/pet Fenris Wolf. It's also necessary for Surtur to reach his full power, which is necessary to enact Ragnarok. Why Thor thought it was a good idea to keep his crown/skull in the same place as the Flame is beyond me.

Fenris Wolf

Fenris is lifted from Norse mythology, where he's known as Fenrir. In both the wolf is Loki's son (and Hel/Hela's sister) and is destined to kill Odin during Ragnarok. Obviously that doesn't happen here.

Vampires

One of the weapons Korg suggests to Thor in the arena is a three-pronged wooden stick. He then admits it's pretty rubbish unless you're fighting "three vampires standing fairly close together". It could be coincidence, but this could be a subtle reference to What We Do in the Shadows. 

The mockumentary was co-directed by Ragnarok director Taika Waititi (with Jermaine Clement) and focuses on a group of vampires in a New Zealand house share. While numerous vampires appear in the film, the main focus is on just three of them.

Hulk vs Loki

Given how Loki is coming face to face with Hulk for the first time since he smashed him around like a rag doll in The Avengers, there are a lot of references about their previous encounter. As soon as Hulk reveals himself Loki's attitude is completely the opposite of Thor's, with him declaring that he has to "get off this planet". That's after previously declaring how much he liked it there.

Hulk also uses the same move in the fight against Thor, grabbing him by the legs and smashing him around into the ground. And when he does Loki can't help but scream "that's how it feels!"

 

Jane Foster

One of Thor's adoring fans mentions that Jane dumped him, which explains her absence from this film. Also because Natalie Portman doesn't seem to want to be in Marvel movies anymore.

Age of Ultron

There are a lot of references to Age of Ultron which is where we last saw both Thor and Hulk. Obviously during the big fight, Thor refers to Hulk as his friend from work and proceeds to recount all the things that have happened to him since they last saw each other.

The end of that film also saw Hulk flying off into the Quinjet which is sitting around in Sakaar unused. Hulk also references the fact that the jet apparently went down in the sea (Nick Fury said it was near Fiji) when he makes the plane motion in the bath.

Inside the Quinjet we get to see a bit of how it happened. We know Hulk ended up going through a wormhole (somehow), and there's is CCTV footage of him being thrown around the cockpit. That same video screen also cuts to a video of video of Black Widow, showing off what Hulk saw before he turned off the monitor in the previous film.

It seems to me as though there's more footage, though, so it might be that Widow recorded a message rather than live streaming to the jet. Widow is, as in the last film, the thing that finally gets the Hulk to revert back into Banner - something Thor had failed to do multiple times before using Widow's lullaby.

When Banner does wake up he panics about Ultron and the fate of Sokovia, because he's basically been in a coma for two years and that's the last thing he remembers. He also only has a selection of Tony Stark's clothes to wear, because that's all the Quinjet has.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The final reference to a past film is Banner jumping from the ship in an attempt to force out the Hulk. This happened before in 2008's The Incredible Hulk, and like here it looked as though Banner failed to turn before he hit the ground.

Point Break

When Tony and Thor finally end up on the same team in The Avengers, Tony slaps Thor on the shoulder and says "No hard feelings, Point Break, you've got a mean swing. This is a reference to Patrick Swayze's hair in Point Break which is similar to Thor's. That reference comes up again when Thor is trying to get passed the Quinjet's authentication. Damn you, Stark.

He's Adopted

When Thor reveals to the Grandmaster that Loki is his brother, Loki emphasises the fact that he was adopted and isn't technically Thor's blood relative. The same thing happened in the Avengers, when Black Widow reveals Loki killed 80 people within the space of two days, though in that case it was Thor emphasising that fact.

Jekyl & Hyde

Hulk and Banner is very much like a modern take on Jekyl & Hyde, with the two personas fighting for control over the same body. This is most apparent in Ragnarok with Hulk actively fighting as he changes back into Banner, and Banner getting distressed over the fact he had so little control for so long. To the point where he fears the Hulk persona may take over forever - similar to the end of the book.

The Valkyrie

When Thor discovers who Valkyrie is, he awkwardly talks about how they were basically Asgard's answer to the SAS before mentioning that it's "about time" there was an elite group of female warriors. Possible a reference to the fact action roles tend to go to men in Hollywood, or the fact that female-led superheroes have been left behind thanks to bombs like Catwoman.

The Valkyrie that sacrificed herself to save the one we see in the film also looks a lot like Brunnhilde, the hero who leads the Valkyrior in the comics and goes by the hero name Valkyrie.

Stan Lee

Stan Lee seems to be Sakaar's resident barber, cutting off Thor's hair ahead of his battle against the Hulk. He's also refereed to later as the "creepy old man who cut of [Thor's] hair".

Grandmaster's Palace

As seen in the trailer, The Grandmaster's palace is adorned with large heads of what are presumably former champions. There's a giant Hulk head in construction at the top, Beta Ray Bill, Ares, Man Thing, and long-time Hulk rogue Bi-Beast.

The Revengers

While not going by Asgardians of the Galaxy, which would have been so much better, the team made up of Thor, Valkyrie, Hulk, and (sort of) Loki settle on a nickname direct from the comics. They decide on 'The Revengers' because they're all looking for revenge rather than avenging something.

In the comics there are multiple groups known as the Revengers. One is a short-lived group of former Avengers disillusioned with the team, led by Wonder Man/ Simon Williams. Revengers were also an evil team from the alternate future known as MC-2, made up of children of former heroes and led by Hope Pym/Red Queen.

The best known Revengers are probably corrupted versions of The Avengers from the Cancerverse, an alternate universe where life was able to overcome Death - but as a consequence all life was effectively a living corpse.

The Immigrant Song

One of the songs heavily featured in the film and it's marketing is Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. It's not entirely clear why, and could be a combination of the riff and film's retro aesthetic. But if you listen to the song (particularly the first verse) there are some things that line up quite nicely. Emphasis mine:

We come from the land of the ice and snow
From the midnight sun, where the hot springs flow
The hammer of the gods
We'll drive our ships to new lands
To fight the horde, and sing and cry
Valhalla, I am coming

Hammer of the gods is fairly obvious, given Thor's weapon of choice. Driving the ships to new lands can be attributed to the finale. Thor and his comrades fight two hordes while the song is playing (Hela's undead, and Surtur's fire demons). Death is a very common theme in the film as well, so references to Valhalla are not unexpected. It could be a coincidence, and I'm certainly not suggesting the film has anything to do with the production of this 47-year old song, but they do both fit together quite well.

According to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige director Taika Waititi used the song in his initial pitch for the film, and that helped him get the job:

“Filmmakers sometimes will say, using clips of other movies, ‘Here’s what I have in mind.’ And sometimes they’re not good. Most of the times, they’re okay. His was amazing, and was scored to that Led Zeppelin song. So from the beginning, that song kind of defined what Taika was going to do with this. That it’s in the trailer, that it’s in the film – all from that first meeting, and from one of his first instincts of this movie, is very impressive.”

The heavy usage also shows that Led Zeppelin is getting softer in their old age, since they're infamous for refusing to let their songs be used in this way. Jack Black literally begged them to let this song be (briefly) featured in School of Rock. 14 years later and things are quite different.

Where are you from, Miek?

The answer is Sakaar. Or at least, he was in the comics. Miek's insectoid race made up one of four sentient species on Sakaar, tough obviously that particular attribute has been ignored for this film.

Post Credit Scenes

The first post-credit scene is a bit of an enigma, featuring the Asgardian refugee ship travelling through space and coming across a very large ship of unknown origin. It's not clear who this is, though given our close proximity to Infinity War it's likely Thanos and the Black Order. Thanos likely knew that Odin has the Tesseract (aka the space stone), which he craves for the Infinity Gauntlet. With Asgard gone he likely sought out the ship to find out what happened to it, or he simple wanted revenge against Loki for failing him in The Avengers.

Given how the footage seen at Comic Con showed Loki giving the Tesseract to an unseen figure, it's likely that something like this is going to take place - and seems to confirm that he did pinch it from Odin's vault.

The final post credit scene is the Grandmaster coming face to face with revolutionaries, and being the narcissist that he is he thanks everyone involved for putting on a great show - especially him for being the person they had to revolt against. His final fate is unclear.