Cate Blanchett's Hela Is Fierce In The New 'Thor: Ragnarok' Trailer

by Mary Kate McGrath

Thor has faced villains in the past, but the next installment in the series will pit the hero against the most formidable opponent yet. On Saturday, San Diego Comic-Con premiered the latest trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, and Cate Blanchett's Hela is sure to be a powerful enemy. The sneak peak was filled with surprises, including a reunion (and Gladiator-style battle) between the Hulk and Thor, and the threatening Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldblum. The teaser is so filled with new opponents, allies, and obstacles, it's almost easy to forget about the once threatening Loki, who appears to be joining forces with his nemesis.

In Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder will also team up with fellow Asgardians, like warrior Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, and fellow Avengers, like the Hulk (a returning Mark Ruffalo). The heroes are going to need to join forces to take on Hela, the Goddess of Death. In the new trailer, Cate Blanchett's villain isn't trying to take a throne. Her ambitions are much bigger, and more devastating: she wants to destroy Asgard, and the surrounding worlds, once and for all. The character might be the most enormous threat Thor has faced to date, and it's clear from the new trailer that Blanchett will play her to evil perfection.

Despite the looming threat of world-wide destruction, the film will have plenty of humor to lighten the mood. Director Taika Waititi is well-versed in comedy, and is behind funny films like What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For Wilderpeople. Waititi is certain to bring a new voice to Thor's story, diverging from Kenneth Branagh's Shakespearian storytelling and Alan Taylor's dark vision. For example, in the teaser, Thor and Hulk banter, and Jeff Goldblum's odd, glitter-clad character seems sure to bring some laughs.

The audience is going to need these moments of levity, because Hela is determined to take down Asgard. As seen in the clip, the Goddess of Death appears among the rubble, and seems to revel in the destruction. "I've missed this," she says, and with her antler-like headdress and threatening manner, viewers know that she's not likely to be forgiving. As she gets ready to single-handedly face an army, she says: "Asgard is dead, and it will be reborn in my image."

This is the kind of super villain that Thor is worthy of, and it will be exciting to see how far she gets on her path to destruction. Blanchett will have a lot of Marvel fans to answer to for her characterization of the Hela, and according to EW, she did plenty of research for the role. This included watching Hela make-up tutorials and other fan YouTube clips for inspiration. “The fan base for these things, it’s huge — it’s kind of terrifying,” the star told an audience at EW’s Comic-Con video studio. “So you kind of go to the fan base, and there’s so much to draw on there."

Fans aren't likely to be disappointed in Blanchett's performance. The Oscar-Winner seems to be reveling in her malevolent role, and even from small glimpse the trailer offers, she's going to lend some needed intrigue to the Thor series. While the Norse god's story has devoted fans, Thor isn't Marvel's most popular franchise to date. However, the teaser trailer was Marvel's most watched ever, so that could soon change. With Hela's unwavering evilness, and director Waititi's eye for camp, the future of Thor is exciting to say the least.