On November 1 Marvel is releasing the third Thor movie, called Thor: Ragnarok. But what is Ragnarok? And how does it connect to religion?
Ragnarok is Old Norse for “The Doom of the Gods.” It is the end of the world in Norse mythology. The Gods fight their enemies and the world is destroyed, only for it to be rebirthed by two human survivors. Unlike the Christian end of the world, humans are merely collateral damage in the war and are not punished for their misdeeds. The cyclical nature also separates it from Judeo-Christian theology.
Thor is one of the gods from Norse mythology. While the Marvel Universe describes Thor as a member of the alien race, Asgardians, both the comic and influence for the characters in the stories from Norse myths.
That is even translating in the Marvel Universe. In the movie Spiderman: Homecoming it shows a poster for “Korean Church of Asgard.” This could mean Thor’s alien race is being worshipped on Earth now. There are still about 1,000 people in Denmark who worship the Norse religion. And there have been controversies.
These include individuals complaining of a black Asgardian violating the Norse religion and some claiming Ragnarok is occurring on Earth. In fact, that it started in 2014.
This probably does not mean the entire race is killed in the new movie. It has been well received and Thor is going to be in at least one more Avenger movie, so worst case its just one part of the cycle.