Warning: Mild spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok ahead. (If you're a Marvel fan hoping to go in completely clueless, now is the time to stop reading.) There are so many reasons to see Thor: Ragnarok, and gratuitously shirtless Chris Hemsworth is only a few of them. Fans have director Taika Waititi to thank for that, but also for the ways Thor: Ragnarok is just like Game of Thrones. At first glance, that wouldn't make a ton of sense; Game of Thrones draws heavily from Lord of the Rings and the actual War of the Roses, and Marvel's Thor series is loosely based on bonkers Norse mythology. Also, Thor: Ragnarok is already heralded as the funniest of the Thor films. The HBO series isn't exactly known for comedy, unless Tyrion Lannister is on screen. And, to be honest, Tyrion has been kind of a bummer lately.
Even so, Game of Thrones and Thor: Ragnarok have more in common than one might think. Charismatic, haircut-getting hotties with bodies are the de facto leaders. There's a sassy queen conducting a nightrain of death. It's all there; one just has to look a little more closely.
Here are all of the ways Thor: Ragnarok is just like Game of Thrones. Welcome to the jungle.
1. There's A Night Queen Bent On Armageddon
The film's antagonist is Hela, Thor's little-known older sister and the Norse Goddess of Death. She's icy and uncompromising, and her powers are straight terrifying. As explained in Thor: Ragnarok, Hela used to run Asgard with father Odin, abilities unchecked and unchallenged by him or anyone else. Once she grew too powerful to be controlled, she was cast out of her kingdom, forced to live in isolation and all but forgotten about by her family and people. Hela has an appetite for destruction that parallels the Night King's from Game of Thrones, as his rise to rule is equally (1) propelled by vengeance, and (2) means the end of days for everyone not on his team.
2. Said Queen Controls A Ruthless Army Of The Dead, Magical Creatures & All
Hela's drive for dominion over Asgard's nine realms (and beyond) is complicated by the fact that no one wants to join her in this quest. Her solution? Raise an army of dead soldiers to do her bidding, which she accomplishes with bone-chilling ease. It's all extremely Hardhome, with a hint of the Season 7 finale in there too. In this instance, though, the zombie bears of Game of Thrones have been replaced by the resurrected Fenris Wolf. In the comic books, this massive, horrifying wolf is the child of Loki and a female giant, but also the wolf of Little Red Riding Hood lore. Hela doesn't do anything halfway. Why would she stop at reanimating her murderous wolf-nephew?
3. The Heroes Are An Unlikely Band Of Allies That Includes Occasional Nemeses
By Season 7 of Game of Thrones, allegiances have shifted, been damaged, rebuilt, reborn, and undergone every other change imaginable. Former enemies have come together to request a temporary stay of war in the face of a larger, more immediate war: the one against the Night King. Without giving too much away, Thor: Ragnarok requires the same of its many characters, though their newly-forged allegiances are tenuous at best.
It's not just against Hela, though. The film's secondary antagonist is the Grandmaster, a lunatic that runs the fighting pits on Sakaar. His literal trash planet is as far from the paradise city of Asgard as could be — in every sense of the word. In fact, it more closely resembles the Earth of Disney-Pixar's WALL-E. Perhaps the Grandmaster could be thought of as Thor: Ragnarok's Cersei Lannister. He's certainly unhinged enough for the job.
4. Family Drama For Days
Game of Thrones is set in a world where literally everyone hates each other, even the siblings that are allies, and even the relatives that are sleeping together. If Westeros had a sigil like those of its highborn families, it would be "Trust No B*tch." Thor: Ragnarok has a similar setup, wherein family members should be trusted least of all. Brother goes against brother, sister goes against brothers, father against daughter, and on and on. There's always someone to root for and root against, and even the noblest of characters are keeping secrets from each other.
5. FIRE MONSTERS
In the opening scene of Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder goes up against a legitimate fire monster and its many minions. While the scene mostly serves as exposition for the concept of ragnarok, or the destruction of the realm Asgard, that's not the only time the fire-forged demons show up in the film. Game of Thrones might not have an identical parallel — that's the Lord of The Rings' Balrog you're likely picturing — but there are unstoppable, fire-breathing creatures that pose a threat to literally everything: dragons. Dany's dragon children are heart-stopping to behold, and their weaknesses unknowable. Much like the dragons, the fiery beasts of Thor: Ragnarok are large and in charge rocket queens. At least, until a formidable challenger arises.
So, is Thor: Ragnarok exactly like Game of Thrones? No. But enough similarities exist between the two that make them worth noting. Game of Thrones might not return until 2019 (eek!), but at least, for now, fans have Thor: Ragnarok.