No, of course not. Stop being ridiculous.
But since it was just announced by Variety that the stunning, Nordic-looking actress who portrayed Galadriel in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is now joining the cast of Thor’s newest outing, I can’t help but wonder who she’s slated to play. The role is currently unspecified and the movie doesn’t release for another two years, so there’s no telling what the future may hold. And while Thor: Ragnarok’s apocalyptic storyline is bound to make it one of the darkest Marvel movies to date, the fact that comedic director Taika Waiti has been slated to direct will open the door for major rewrites. For all anyone knows, Blanchett’s character isn’t even in the current script.
Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to speculate on this one. An actress like Blanchett won’t likely be playing a third-rate character, and Thor only shares his universe with a limited number of truly remarkable women. But since almost none of these women have made it into the MCU to date, I’ll have to cast a pretty wide net if I wish to stand any hope of guessing her character. Below are some of my best (and a few of my worst) guesses for Blanchett’s new role in Thor: Ragnarok.
This is based on a year-old rumor by Cinema Blend that almost definitely isn’t true. Still, I felt like I had to include it since the idea was actually proposed by Loki himself:
“In the myth, he has a wife called Sigyn who protects him from a poison serpent who is dripping venom into his mouth. And she has a bowl over his mouth and of course the bowl keeps filling up and she has to empty it, and so his damnation could be interesting.”
Tom Hiddleston must be doing some reading in preparation for this movie, because this is spot-on. In the original myth, Sigyn (whose name humorously means “victorious girlfriend”) is a goddess with pretty much no power whatsoever. All she does is save Loki from that snake venom, occasionally moving the bowl so that the venom hits him. The pain from the venom was actually said to burn so badly that Loki’s convulsions would shake the entire planet. In the myth, this actually preceded Ragnarok. But the Thor movies don’t exactly adhere to Norse mythology, so they could easily flip the script and have this be Loki’s punishment for causing it. And she actually did appear in the comics, although she hasn’t had a major appearance since the 1990s.
The problem is that Loki didn’t have a wife in the original movies. Plus, he’s tied up in pretending to be Odin. So unless some crazy storyline has him remarrying after the death of Frigga in Thor: The Dark World, the chances of Cate Blanchett playing Sigyn are pretty slim. It’s not impossible, but it would be a lot of extra story to include for the sole purpose of having Loki get drooled on by a snake.
This is another one that doesn’t quite fit the timeline, but would still be interesting to see. After the comic book version of Ragnarok finished up, Loki became a woman. Including this version of Loki in the movies would likely mean they’d have to adjust the timeline a bit, but it’s easy to see how they might do it.
Loki only became a woman in the comics by possessing another woman’s body. When the last movie ended and everyone saw Loki disguised as Odin, everyone questioned Odin’s whereabouts. But what if Loki isn’t pretending to be Odin? The common assumption is that his death at the hands of Algrim was a trick, but we don’t know that for sure. It could have been real, leaving him a bodiless entity that must resort to possession in order to survive. If so, a plot point in Thor: Ragnarok could have someone discovering the nature of his undercover status as Odin, forcing him to find a body.
This would be interesting, but there are three reasons you probably can’t count on seeing Cate Blanchett as Loki. First, it’s crazy how stupid that story would look in a movie that’s trying to take itself seriously. Second, she’d still have to be established as a character that he would want to possess for one reason or another. And third, Marvel would never give us this storyline unless they were trying to appeal to a very select population of fans who enjoyed the original design of Loki as a woman. And that design was based on Sif, the woman he possessed when this happened in the comics. So even if it does happen, Cate Blanchett likely wouldn’t be involved. Even Hiddleston agrees that Marvel should stick to the comic books if this storyline were ever used:
“We know that in the comics he comes back in the body of Sif. So I say the first obvious port of call is Jaimie Alexander.”
Amora the Enchantress
Hey, this is the first one that has a snowball’s chance in Hel of actually happening. I was thinking we’d never get around to one of those. What’s more, this one probably should happen. Amora has always been one of Loki’s greatest allies in the comics, even making the occasional video game appearance. Many fans have been waiting for her to show up, and Hiddleston has even pitched her himself:
“When I was first reading the comics, the relationship with the Enchantress was one of the really fun things I thought would be good to explore and may have even pitched it to Kevin Feige at some point.”
Not only is she a master of sorcery (making her an excellent ally to Loki), but the Enchantress is also a temptress of men. She has frequently played the role of seductress to Thor, which could make for an interesting love triangle between her, Thor, and Loki. And since her younger sister Lorelai has appeared in two episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., her existence in the MCU seems like a given. If they decided to include Loki’s damnation as discussed above, she could even fill the role of Sigyn. It wouldn’t seem like much of a punishment for helping him spur the onset of Ragnarok, but being bound to one of the biggest jerks in the universe doesn’t exactly sound like a vacation. And besides, the MCU is kind of lacking in female villains right now. She’d be a big one.
But remember, we’re here to discuss Cate Blanchett. And while all of the above could technically take place, it’s hard to see Blanchett playing the role of Amora. The love triangle would seem like a stretch, since both Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth are both in their 30s while Cate Blanchett is currently 46. I have no problem with that, but Hollywood might. They’d be more likely to cast a younger actress in the role of Enchantress, assuming she’s included at all. But whether she’s played by Blanchett or not, it’s due time for Amora to make her silver screen debut.
Karnilla the Norn Queen
Even if we rule out Cate Blanchett as the Enchantress due to her age, there’s a good chance that Karnilla could play at least a small role in the movie. As a powerful sorceress, she’s been a recurring villain in the Marvel universe for many years. And she actually has some big ties to Amora, having trained the Enchantress before ultimately deciding that the youngster was too much of a loose cannon to teach. If Amora were to appear in the movie, it could be an excellent demonstration of her power to see that even experienced villains find her to be dangerous.
The Norn Queen could also play into the mythological side of Thor: Ragnarok. In mythology, the Norns were goddesses of destiny and time. While Karnilla doesn’t necessarily control the Norns in the comics (her alias is more of a reference to her monarchy in the land of Nornheim), Marvel could easily decide to give her alias a bit more weight in the movie.
Not only would it make sense to include the Norns in a movie about the Asgardian apocalypse, but they could easily be used as catalysts to advance the MCU in a big way. Remember that the only Infinity Stones we have not seen to date are the Soul Stone and the Time Stone. Also bear in mind that each stone (with the arguable exception of the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy) has been part of some other powerful entity—the Tesseract, the Aether, and most recently, Loki’s Scepter. Even Guardians included a containment unit for the Power Stone in the form of the Orb. Since the Norns weave destiny through the Threads of Fate, it could easily be revealed that the Threads are somehow powered by the Time Stone. This would also give Thor a way of reversing Ragnarok, although undoing the events of a movie presumably meant to change the landscape of Asgard within the MCU would be something of a wuss move.
This all seems a bit extreme, but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. And while Cate Blanchett may not look much like Karnilla, she’s proven through her role as Galadriel that she has what it takes to fill the shoes of a queen. I don’t think this outcome is likely, but it’s at least plausible.
Brunnhilde the Valkyrie
The most common speculation right now seems to be that Cate Blanchett will be filling the shiny metal shoes of Valkyrie, a well-known character from the Marvel universe who will almost certainly be included in Thor: Ragnarok to fulfill her role as leader of the Valkyrior, Choosers of the Slain. True to the Valkyries of Nordic mythology, Brunnhilde and her warriors scour the battlefield for slain heroes, transporting the honored fallen to the realm of Valhalla upon death. And if you look closely at the above picture, you’ll notice that she was originally meant to appear in Thor: The Dark World.
If there’s one problem with the idea of Cate Blanchett playing Valkyrie, it’s that she doesn’t quite look like her comic book counterpart. Brunnhilde is often depicted with a rather young face, and in many cases looks more like the type of character Jennifer Lawrence would play. I’m not saying that J-Law is about to make an appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, but the point is that Marvel might opt for someone a bit younger than Cate if they decide to include this character.
There’s another reason I think Valkyrie will likely go to a younger actress, although you might not want to hear it. I won’t get into a big thing about whether or not comic books are sexist, because I believe the debate is tired and I’m not really in the mood for sparking controversy in an article on casting speculations. But whether or not they’re sexist, they do often strive for sex appeal. And casting an older (albeit gorgeous) woman in the role of a generally younger-looking warrior with all of the same toothsome qualities of other comic book femme fatales such as Scarlet Witch and Black Widow might not be their best move here.
Of course, they could always surprise us by bucking the Hollywood trends. But fans of the comics already know that Valkyrie is more than just a Viking psychopomp. At her best, Valkyrie will be a physically demanding role requiring a younger actress as she terrorizes the battlefield with her deadly spear and her enchanted sword, Dragonfang, all from the back of her winged horse, Aragorn. Wait, why does that name sound familiar?
Okay, you know what? Casting Galadriel in the role of Valkyrie might be awesome, just for the sake of that Aragorn reference. I don’t see Marvel casting Cate Blanchett for the sole purpose of turning her into an Easter egg, but the fans would certainly eat it up.
Nah, just joking. This is a role that almost definitely has to go to someone else, with most fans singing the praises of Vikings star Katheryn Winnick. It does seem like Carol Danvers could make an appearance in this movie, though. While Captain Marvel isn’t scheduled until March 8 of 2019, it seems like Marvel could consider revealing the character in an earlier movie. It’s the same approach they’re taking with Spider-Man and Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, and that they’ve already taken with Luke Cage in Jessica Jones. And since James Gunn has no plans to include her in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, this might be the best bet for our intergalactic heroine.
Still, I see Cate Blanchett playing a character more suitable to the Thor universe itself. That’s why my best guess for her new role in Thor: Ragnarok is….
Hela is the Asgardian goddess of death, ruler of Hel and the ice world Nifleheim. In the comics, she is the daughter left behind after Loki’s death during the first Ragnarok. She also teamed up with her father to bring about a subsequent Ragnarok, the one with which most comic books fans are more familiar. In the movie, however, there is a good chance that Hela may be included as a character with more resemblance to Hel, the Norse goddess presiding over the underworld bearing her own name. Not everyone can make it to Valhalla, so it’s reasonable to expect that Hela and her eponymous land of the dead might be making an appearance.
There are numerous storylines in the comics that could provide excellent fodder for Hela’s involvement in the events of Thor: Ragnarok. One of them involved Hela transforming the Valkyries into evil fire demons while Odin was in the Odinsleep. Many have long suspected that the fire demon Surtur may play a role in the downfall of Asgard, and seeing him team up with a bunch of fiery lasses on flying steeds would certainly make for an excellent cinematic experience.
But this is not necessarily the role that Hela would play in this movie. As is the case with many Marvel villains, there are decades of storylines from which screenwriters Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost may have drawn inspiration. Newcomer Stephany Folsom may also have given the script a few more original touches. All we know is that, according to last week’s update by Variety, neither Earth nor Asgard will necessarily be the primary setting for this adventure. If Asgard falls early on, Hel would be a most suitable choice for the rest of the action, and Hela would therefore play a massive role. It’s also worth noting that the comic book version of Hela was born in Loki’s home world of Jotunheim, a setting that would bring the Thor trilogy full-circle.
Cate Blanchett would be perfect for the role of Hela, especially if the MCU decides to do away with her familial relationship to Loki. As I mentioned in my discussion of Karnilla, Blanchett’s work as Galadriel has more than prepared her for any role that casts her in the part of queen. It’s also interesting to note that the mythological version of the goddess was said to have bluish skin and something of a dark demeanor. We got to see something very similar from Galadriel in The Fellowship of the Ring, when she briefly went nutballs at the idea of taking the One Ring from Frodo.
Not that Hela has to be fully evil at all times. Her comic book counterpart is often a villain, but she is also a three-dimensional character who does her best at times to rule the land of the dead in the manner she believes is best for the balance of all things. If her character is to exhibit such depth in the movie, then a distinguished actress like Cate Blanchett would be one of the better possible casting choices.
In the end, we don’t know which of the above characters will be portrayed by Cate Blanchett. For all we know, her character will be completely unique to the MCU. Either way, it should be exciting to see the finished product when the movie finally hits theaters in 2017.
Thor: Ragnarok is scheduled for release on July 28, 2017. Until then, you can see Cate Blanchett tackle 13 different roles in the recently released Manifesto. She will also be lending her voice to the rock python Kaa in Jungle Book: Origins, slated for release on October 6, 2017.