Anyone who knows the original Norse Mythology knows that "Ragnarok" would mark The End of the World as We Know It for Thor. Despite its liberties with the original myths, one can tell that this is definitively a downer for Thor.
- While it's obviously Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue", the play reenactment of Loki's "death" by Dark Elf is still sobering. Loki's actor apologizes to Thor's actor for his List of Transgressions, which he takes care to detail. Not a single one is left out, including the Chitauri invasion. Even though Loki was trying to make himself look better to the Asgardians, he doesn't erase all the terrible things he did. Loki also details that Odin loved him, and rescued an abandoned Frost Giant baby. That wasn't a lie.
- Thor and Loki finally find Odin, only for him to die of old age after sharing one last tender moment with his sons. When they approach him, Loki does so slowly, eyes lowered, as if he expects to be scolded. He likely assumed Odin hated him even more now than in The Dark World where Loki was disowned and would've been executed if it weren't for Frigga's influence, and Loki's expression when Odin expresses his love and reclaims him as a son is heart-breaking.
- Especially poignant is the moment when Odin tells Loki that Frigga would be proud of him because it took Odin so long to break free from Loki's spell. Loki's expression says it all, as he most likely still blames himself for her death, and hearing that must mean a lot to him.
- When Thor and Loki approach their father, Odin gently remarks on the view of the cliffs before him, as though not noticing his two sons beside him. Thor tells Loki he can remove his spell now. Loki shakes his head, wordlessly telling Thor "I'm not doing this." He's visibly concerned, as if perhaps Odin is showing onset signs of Alzheimer's Disease.
- For added sadness, as he's dying, Odin tells his sons that he can hear Frigga calling to him from the afterlife. He's looking directly at Loki, knowing that his adoptive son adored Frigga the most in the family, and asks him, "Do you hear it?" Loki then glances towards the horizon and tries to listen for his mother's voice.◊ Loki misses her so much that for a split second, he wanted to believe that he might be able to hear her, too.
- What follows seems to be the moment Thor completely gave up on trying to redeem or love Loki: after Odin dies, Thor, hyperventilating and sparks of lightning on his hand, gives Loki a very furious Death Glare and snarls that it's his fault this all happened.
- If you think this whole scene is sad, then the Junior Novel is far less kind to Odin. Instead of putting him in a retirement home where he could at least be safe and warm and live in dignity, Loki just dumped Odin in the streets of New York and wiped his memory to live as a homeless old man. When Thor and Loki approach him, he cringes from them in fear for a moment. It's a far cry from the final version we see in the movie.
- This was actually how the scene was filmed originally, as seen from on-set photos. It was then changed in reshoots.
- The first half of the film is one long Kick the Dog for Thor, with almost everything he holds dear being taken from him or destroyed by Hela.
- Hela shattering Mjölnir, Thor's iconic and trustworthy weapon, basically a part of himself. Given how devastated Thor was when he wasn't able to lift it in his first film, one can only imagine how he must feel now that it's been destroyed.
- Worse? Mjolnir never comes back. It doesn't get magically restored or anything. From how things look, that trusty hammer is not only destroyed, it's finished, forever. No Status Quo Is God this time, folks.
- Thor's oldest friends, the Warriors Three, are all brutally killed by Hela as soon as she arrives on Asgard. Thor likely doesn't discover this until after the events of the film. Sif is the only survivor because she was never in Asgard.
- The look of rage on Hogun's face when Hela tells him that Odin, Thor and Loki are dead. He never finds out that half of it is not true. And the last thing he saw before his death was seeing the entire army of Einherjar being slaughtered, leaving no hope for Asgard left.
- Really, Hela's backstory is rather tragic, even if she is completely deranged. She fought at her father's side to build his empire, only for him to abruptly change his mind. From her perspective, Odin used her as a weapon to win his wars and then tossed her aside when he decided to try peace. Adding to that, while she despises Odin for what he had done to her, she clearly misses how it used to be and tries to bring the old times back.
- Even her line "I thought you'd be happy to see me" is kind of sad in context. In the trailer, it comes off as smug and domineering but in the movie itself it sounds like she genuinely thought the people of Asgard would welcome her back and, well, actually be glad to see her. Hela may be ruthless and evil, but even she's not heartless.
- Before she revives her army with the Eternal Flame, Hela is crestfallen at seeing her giant pet wolf Fenris amongst the dead in the crypt.
- For as evil as Hela is, you can't help but sympathize with her bitterness at how Odin basically rewrote history after casting her out. Imagine returning home after years in exile, only to discover that your own parents have covered up your entire existence and your younger siblings have no idea who you are.
- Also alluded to in Thor's comments just before their final battle. He recognizes that his sister is an evil lunatic that has to be killed, but he also sympathizes with how she was treated.
Hela: It seems our father's solution to every problem was to cover it up.
Thor: Or to cast it out. He told you you were worthy. He said the same to me.
- When Thor arrives in Sakaar and is approached by the bounty hunters, he reflexively stretches out his hand to summon Mjölnir, but then his expression falls when he remembers that it's never going to work again.
- When Thor has been imprisoned by the Grandmaster after Loki refused to help him for fear of jeopardising his position, Loki comes to see him in the cells. Thor tosses an object at him, confirming that, yes, he's not actually there in person, what a surprise. Loki goes on about how they should forget about Asgard and rule Sakaar together, but Thor refuses to reply or play Loki's game any longer; he's just too full of quiet anger and disappointment and he has had enough.
- Loki's first words when he appears behind Thor:
Loki: Hurts, doesn't it? Being lied to. Being told you're one thing and then learning it's all just a fiction.
- When Loki tries to get him to say something, Thor simply asks Loki what he wants him to say, before recapping about how the Nine Realms are in chaos, their father is dead, Hela is on Asgard and planning on taking over everything and they're trapped in the middle of nowhere with little chance of escape and it's essentially all Loki's fault.
Thor: Have I said enough, or do you want me to go further back than the past two days?
- Loki, equally hurt, then snaps back and basically tells Thor that he has bet on him to die against the champion and to not "disappoint him," which enrages Thor to the point that he throws another object at his illusion in rage. While Odin loved them both dearly, the brothers just can't seem to find a way to get along anymore.
- There's also the look of suppressed fear on Thor's face when Loki tells him that the Grandmaster's champion is said to be "astonishingly savage". Everyone tells him that he basically doesn't stand a chance and he has no way out of this situation. No wonder that he's overjoyed when he finds out that the feared champion is actually his friend.
- Loki's first words when he appears behind Thor:
- As Thor steps into the arena, everyone in the arena filed with hundreds of thousand people starts to boo him.
- When Thor awakes in Hulk's room, he tries to convince Hulk to help him save Asgard and then he can get Hulk back to Earth. Hulk refuses, claiming that everyone on Earth hates him and dismissively claiming that Thor is not his friend, but Banner's. Thor tries to convince him otherwise, but Hulk doesn't listen. It's when Hulk says this that Thor finally understands that Hulk and Banner are two completely different people, seemingly the first time any of his — or rather, their — friends have realized this. This puts Hulk's lot in life in the MCU — bring out the Hulk when there's a fight, then turn him back into Banner once it's over — into pretty sharp perspective. As much as the Hulk loves to fight, on Sakaar he has a chance to relax and socialize which he never had in his life before landing on the planet. No wonder he doesn't want to change back into Banner or accompany Thor away from Sakaar.
- Thor's increasing frustration with being trapped in Hulk's room and urgently needing to get home, while Hulk is dismissive, leads him to lash out and tell Hulk he's being a bad friend, to which Hulk gives a No, You retort, both of them sounding just as sad as they are angry. This starts a heated argument and eventually Thor yells at the Hulk that, yes, everyone on Earth does hate him. The Hulk is clearly taken aback at this and solemnly moves over to his bed. The scene transitions to Heartwarming however, as Thor realises his mistake and the two sit down to have a heart-to-heart talk. The poor Hulk sounds so ashamed of his burning rage. This is normally the sort of thing we expect to see from Bruce Banner.
- The reason for the Hulk's increased vocabulary in this scene is that it's been two years since he turned back into Bruce, refusing to change back since he is as afraid of being replaced by Banner as Banner is afraid of being replaced by him.
- The way that Hulk chases after Thor when the latter tries to set up the Quinjet so that he can flee Sakaar, crying out for his friend to stay. You get the feeling that Hulk, for all his rage and want to be left alone, is incredibly lonely and really just wants a friend. The moment he catches up to Thor, he tears the hatch open and starts wrecking the Quinjet, crying, "Friend stay! Stay! Don't go!"
- Natasha's video recording popping up, and as soon as the Hulk spots it, Banner begins to resurface, however much the Hulk tries fights him down in panic.
- It's very clear that, even though Banner hates having the Hulk in charge, Hulk hates having Banner in charge just as much. When Hulk starts to feel Banner reasserting control, he sounds terrified, to the point he starts hitting himself in the head and screaming "No! No, Banner!" in a vain effort to stay angry. Each of them is so scared that the other won't let them out that they try their hardest to never let the other out.
- Even more so, it's reminiscent of those rare moments from the 70s TV series in which the Hulk, calming down but not yet reverting, would wordlessly rescue someone and appear to want to stay with them, only to have to run away when his pursuers appeared.
- Really, just Hulk in general. He basically is a two-year-old kid. One gets the feeling that if he and Banner had a less adversarial relationship and if he got out more he could be something so much more than a monster one points at things that need smashing.
- Bruce calls up the log of the ship crashing. It shows the Hulk being terrified as something (probably decompression) is pulling him out of the ship. Then the camera shifts so Hulk is terrified and looking at the camera, and it's covering Bruce so we see it instead of him.
- Bruce freaking out so much that green veins start to throb on his head.
- Valkyrie's backstory: she and her fellow warriors were all defeated by Hela, with Valkyrie (the one we follow) being the sole survivor. She left Asgard and is now a bitter drunk.
- How drunk? Asgardians have an extraordinarily high tolerance for alcohol and yet she staggers off her ship's ramp. She is in so much pain that she regularly drinks a liver-obliterating amount of alcohol.
- Word of God is that Valkyrie is bi, like in the comics. During a flashback to her and the other Valkyrie's battle with Hela, we see her devastated reaction after another woman pushes her out of the way of a fatal attack and gets killed in turn. Tessa Thompson later confirmed in an interview that the woman wasn't just a fellow Valkyrie, but her lover.
- In the past, Thor constantly tried to reach out for Loki, but now finally seems to have reached a point where he has simply given up on him. When the two are riding in an elevator, Thor in a matter-of-fact tone tells Loki that he once thought the world of him, and thought they would fight side by side forever before Loki betrayed him, but doesn't believe that they can ever again because they have just become too different. It is clear that Thor is anything but happy, but he just can't afford to care anymore.
Thor: I don't know, maybe there's still good in you. But let's be honest, our paths diverged a long time ago.
Loki: [taken aback]...Yeah. It's probably for the best that we never see each other again.
Thor: That's what you always wanted. [pats Loki on the back]
- In this scene, Loki pretends that he considers staying on Sakaar, expecting Thor to object. He looks absolutely heartbroken when Thor not only agrees, but claims that he actually wanted to suggest the same thing.
- When Loki attempts to betray Thor once again, he's shocked to see that Thor was one step ahead of him, sticking the chip on his back and shocking him into submission. Thor then tells Loki that he is the God of Mischief and always will be; he'll always do the same old thing and never change. The expression on Loki's face when Thor leaves him lying there on the floor, writhing in pain, is heart-breaking. This moment becomes heartwarming when you realize at the end that Thor's speech is what finally convinced Loki to pull a long-awaited Heel–Face Turn.
- It's a minor scene (though very important for his Character Development), but after having been made Hela's Executioner, Skurge is ordered to begin killing Asgardian citizens until they will reveal to her where Heimdall's sword is. A young woman is brought forward and shoved down to collapse on the ground at his feet, and as she kneels there crying in terror, Hela merely stares at Skurge and says, "Well?" The look on his face as he readies his axe is heartbreaking. Luckily for him one of the citizens confesses before he has to do the deed and this surely contributes to his Heel–Face Turn and Heroic Sacrifice during the climax, a moment that is also a tear-jerker but a more positive one since he died as a brave hero rather than live as a disgraceful coward.
- Thor talking to the spirit of his father when all seems lost during the fight. He sounds so scared and has tears in his eyes when he tells Odin that he isn't strong enough to fight Hela without his hammer. It's heartbreaking to see Thor like this, who usually never looses hope and always believes that there's a way out.
- Odin then manages to give Thor new hope and the camera pans out, revealing Thor kneeling on the field alone, implying that Odin's soul has moved on for good.
- Surtur eventually carries out Ragnarok and destroys Asgard. The people of Asgard have survived, and Odin pointed out that "Asgard is its people", but they have still lost their home and pretty much everything.
- When you compare the amount of survivors that escaped Asgard compared to the city full of Asgardians seen in the first movie. Or the vibrant and joyful people seen in the second film. It becomes sobering to think all that's left is barely one-tenth of the population. That the Asgardians have gone from one of the most respected and powerful races in the Universe to a ship full of homeless refugees that have become an endangered species.
- Other than Thor and Loki, the only named Asgardians still alive at the end of the film are Heimdall and maybe Lady Sif. Ouch.
- The after-credits scene. The citizens of Asgard have escaped death, only to be faced with oblivion. There's Happy Ending Override, and then there's dropping Thanos into the middle of everything after the ending.