Thor: Ragnarok is a perfect example of how superhero films should be done. It maintained the perfect balance of humor and horror, keeping us on the edge of our seat without dragging us down. But when I was walking out of the theater, I couldn’t help but ask myself one question. Did we really see enough of Hela?
I was quite excited about Hela. As the literal Goddess of Death, she’s one of the most powerful villains, not to mention the fact that she is the first female villain ever to be featured in the MCU! She was monumental, and the casting choice could not have been better. Let me be clear, my feelings of dissatisfaction had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Cate Blanchett. She is a visionary. I couldn’t have been happier with her portrayal. But the truth is that I expected to see a lot more of her.
The film’s pacing was beautifully done, and it wasn’t like there were scenes that felt rushed or dragged out. Hela wasn’t exactly the main focus of the movie like many fans thought she might be, but she certainly should have played a bigger role. My biggest, and quite frankly, one of my only problems with Ragnarok was that it felt like it wasted Hela. There was so much potential with the Goddess of Death, and I was half-hoping that they would end the film with her escaping. Truthfully, I still am holding out hope for that. Because Hela deserved a lot more screen time than she was given.
Hela is power-hungry, like many Marvel villains, but she’s more than just that. She’s bloodthirsty. Mixed with her raw talent when it comes to death and destruction, there was so much more that she could have done and so much more that could have been covered. With the plot used in Ragnarok, there are quite a few villains that could’ve done the same thing that Hela did. Hela is far from an empty character, but she wasn’t developed nearly as much as she could have been.
This tends be a big problem in the MCU. Their heroes are incredible, truly. But their villains are often underdeveloped and this is where they’re really losing out, especially with someone as strong and powerful as Hela. People often are drawn to a hero based on the villain. The more formidable the villain, the more likely the audience will form an attachment to the hero. The more likely the audience will feel an emotional connection to the story itself. And yes, the emotion was definitely present in Ragnarok…but it could have been even stronger.
Hela deserved a greater purpose. We saw some of what she was capable of, but not nearly enough. Hela had enough potential to be one of the final villains, especially with the amazing Cate Blanchett portraying her. Terrifyingly believable, we needed more of her. But is there a chance we will see her return? Stranger things have happened, but it isn’t looking likely. But though she may not have survived Ragnarok, if the Gods are good, we may get a prequel/spin-off featuring the Valkyries and, if we’re lucky, their epic battle against Hela. And with Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson at the helm, a Valkyrie prequel would be an unquestionable success.
Hela is an amazing villain and Cate Blanchett did her justice. Of that, there is no doubt. But it almost feels as if Marvel used the character’s name and status to up the ante. And the Goddess of Death deserved a lot more than that. Ragnarok was a success, but I’m sad to say that they failed Hela.
Thor: Ragnarok Is In Theaters Now.