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Characters / MCU: Hela

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Hela Odinsdottir
"Darling, you have no idea what's possible."
Click here to see Hela unadorned 

Species: Asgardian

Citizenship: Asgardian

Affiliation(s): Asgard

Portrayed By: Cate Blanchett

Voiced By: Kerygma Flores (Latin-American Spanish dub), Yūki Amami (Japanese dub), Marie-Andrée Corneille (Canadian French dub), Carla Pompilio (Brazilian Portuguese dub)

Appearances: Thor: Ragnarok

"I'm not a queen, or a monster. I'm the goddess of death. What were you the god of again?"

The ruthlessly ambitious and supremely powerful Goddess of Death whom Odin locked away thousands of years ago and, upon finally escaping from her prison, brings unprecedented levels of chaos and destruction to Asgard.

Unbeknown to Thor and the rest of Asgard, Hela is Odin's first born child and therefore Thor's long-lost half-sister and the true heir to the throne.

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  • 0% Approval Rating: The Asgardians aren't exactly overjoyed to meet their new queen, understandably so when her method of introduction is slaughtering their entire army single-handedly. They'd rather die than serve her. Some even try to raise a rebellion against her and storm the castle, to absolutely no avail.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the comics Hela's good looks are maintained by her enchanted cape. Without it, the right half of her body will become dead and rotted. This version of Hela has no such problems.
  • Adaptational Badass: Comics Hela is still very much a Dark Action Girl, but she isn't anywhere near as fearsome a physical opponent as MCU Hela, who appears to be the most dangerous and ruthlessly effective warrior in Asgard's history. For instance, comics Hela could never take out an entire legion of Einharjar single-handedly without even breaking a sweat like this version of Hela can. Comics Hela is also usually written as being of a similar strength and endurance level as Thor (she can fight him to a stalemate but fights between them can go either way), whereas MCU Hela is clearly both much stronger and more resilient than MCU Thor.
  • Adaptation Species Change: ... Possibly, due to comics Hela's hideously complicated backstory. She began as a Jotun, being the daughter of Loki and Angerboda, a Jotun Lady of Black Magic. The Gillen run on Journey into Mystery cast this into doubt, instead more or less stating that she was Leah of Hel all grown up after having been marooned in the past, and having been essentially created by Loki, she was technically his daughter. Sort of. In the MCU however, she is a member of the Asgardian royal family.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: In the comics, Hela is the literal goddess of the dead, and she rules Hel, the place where people's souls go after they die. In here, while Hela does resurrect some fallen warriors, her "goddess of death" moniker seems to refer to her murderous ways rather than any kind of power over all dead souls. Also, the comic book Hela's most notable superpower, her touch that rots the flesh of the living, has been replaced with the ability to produce an endless amount of deadly blades out of thin air.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the comics, Skurge is described as "the one to whom even Hela bows her head" for his last stand at Gjallerbru, and his stand against her was a result of having finally grown fed up with being openly treated as Amora the Enchantress' dumb muscle. In the film... he joins her because he's too scared to challenge her, and she kills him when he finally does.
    • Comparing the movies and the original myths, Hela was just a bloodthirsty megalomaniac and was imprisoned because she had been so brutal in war. Hel on the other hand, was sealed away when she was a child and not because she had done anything, it's just that the Aesir didn't know what she'd grow up to be so they banished her to the realm Hel to be sure.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • She takes over Asgard by killing everyone who would oppose her and claims the royal palace for herself.
    • Hela and Skurge (along with some resurrected Asgardian warriors) invade the ancient stronghold where the Asgardian refugees are hiding. Luckily, Heimdall and the refugees are already on their way to the Rainbow Bridge.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: She single-handedly walks all over Asgard's army and tosses Thor around like a ragdoll, making her twice the threat to him and the rest of the universe that Loki or Malekith were. But even she has some cosmic figures who outrank her. Once Surtur is restored to full power, she can't do anything to him, while he is the one to kill her off with his giant flaming sword.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Thor: Ragnarok or it's tie-in merchandise never addresses at any point who Hela's mother is and indeed, whether she could be Frigga or whether Hela came from a time before Frigga was married to Odin. The hidden murals in Asgard's throne room only show Odin and Hela, there is no sign of Frigga or any other female figure who could be interpreted as being Hela's mother. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thor eventually refers to Hela as his half-sister, confirming that Frigga is not her mother.
  • Ambition Is Evil: She was once Odin's greatest weapon, leading his armies to subdue the Nine Realms, but Odin eventually turned against Hela and imprisoned her when he realised her appetite for conquest and domination was insatiable.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: She's Odin's daughter, who fought on his side during his days as a warlord and later turned against her father for abandoning his ambitions.
  • Archnemesis Dad: In Hela's eyes at least. She paints a picture of herself as being Asgard's noble savior who will lead the realm back to universal supremacy, and dad Odin as the foolish old man who locked her away merely because he was threatened by her growing power.
  • Ascended Extra: In the original Ragnarok comic story-line Hela only appeared for 3 pages without making much impact on the plot, whereas in Thor: Ragnarok she's the main antagonist.
  • At Least I Admit It: She seems to think of this as a selling point between herself and her old man, claiming that while both of them were bloodthirsty, war-hungry monsters, she openly extols her actions and takes pride in them. She cannot understand what sort of emotions would have pushed Odin to feel shame or try to keep his past hidden from his other children.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Following Odin's death, Hela (as his eldest child) is the true heir to the throne of Asgard, and she is also clearly presented as being by far the strongest Asgardian. Thor can somewhat compete with his new Super Mode, but Hela is still stronger due to her ties of Asgard.
  • Ax-Crazy: She is incredibly violent and bloodthirsty and kills en masse whilst showing absolutely no empathy for her victims or remorse for her actions. By contrast, she seems to actually revel in her own carnage, gleefully exclaiming "Oh, I missed this!" after slaughtering the entire Asgardian army. And then a few minutes later she's being buddy-buddy with her hand-chosen dragon, Skurge.
  • Badass Boast: She seems particularly fond of these. After all, she's not a queen or a monster, she's the goddess of death!
    Hela: Whatever game you're playing, it won't work. You can't defeat me!
  • Badass Cape: She sports an awesome dark green shiny cape.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: She's one hell of a melee opponent, and attacking her with sharp weapons seems pointless. For instance, she blocks a spear attack by Thor by nonchalantly crossing her arms in what is basically a provocative gesture intended to show that Thor is no match for her. She also blocks a sword attack by Valkyrie with her forearm with ease.
  • The Baroness: She is an aloof, sadistic and dominant villainess.
  • Berserk Button: If someone does as much as even think of standing in her way, she will kill that someone without thought.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Actually a Justified Trope considering Hela is portrayed as being pretty much Nigh-Invulnerable. She fights an entire army single-handedly, gets stabbed right through the chest and blasted with 'the biggest lightning bolt in the history of lightning' at different points of Ragnarok, and comes out of all three without so much as a scratch or even a broken nail.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Mjölnir was forged in the heart of a dying star, and imbued with magic so that only the most worthy of heroes could make it move in any way. Hela catches and then crushes it with just one hand.
    Thor: This is not possible!
    Hela: Darling, you have no idea what's possible.
  • Big Bad: She's the main antagonist of Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Big Brother Bully: Or sister in her case. She is Odin's firstborn, older than both Thor and Loki and not only threatens their kingdom, but mocks and belittles them at every turn.
    Hela: [addressing Thor] Odin and I drowned entire civilisations in blood and tears...And then one day, he decided to become a benevolent king. To foster peace, to protect life. [Her lip curls in disgust] To have you.
  • Blood Knight: The most bloodthirsty Asgardian to have ever lived, she relishes in the slaughter of her victims and is willing to kill anyone in her conquest beyond the Nine Realms, even her fellow Asgardians.
  • Blue Blood: As Odin's firstborn, she is the princess and the true heir to the throne of Asgard.
  • Born Winner: Just like her father and brother, Hela was born with immense innate powers.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: She treats the act of single-handedly slaughtering the entire Asgardian army as routine in a testament to her love of violence and conquest.
  • Butt-Monkey: She seems ready for a glorious return to Asgard before discovering that nobody even knows who she is despite listing her titles, accomplishments and status as Odin's firstborn, which is turned into a constant source of jokes at Hela's expense.
    Hogun: Whoever you are, whatever you'd done, surrender now or we will show you no mercy!
    Hela: [sounding incredibly put out] Whoever I am?! Did you listen to a word I said?!
  • Cain and Abel: To her younger brothers, Thor and Loki, whom she tries to kill. This is after a bloody conflict with their father.
  • Cain and Abel and Seth: She was introduced long after Thor and Loki made their debut in the MCU. Justified since Odin sealed her away and made her an Unperson.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Most of the time she just refers to her father Odin by his name.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In The Avengers, Iron Man mockingly calls Hawkeye Legolas, suggesting that the The Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit movies exist in the MCU. Hela's actress Blanchett played Galadriel in those movies — and her minion, Skurge, is played by Karl Urban, who played Eomer in the same films.
  • Clothing Damage: When introduced, her outfit is tattered and full of holes, likely due to her long imprisonment. Once she replenishes her power by returning to Asgard, her outfit repairs itself.
  • Contralto of Danger: She has a rather deep, powerful voice for a woman, courtesy of Cate Blanchett, which fits the character's Authority Equals Asskicking status.
  • Cool Helmet: She wears her iconic and elaborate antler-style headdress from the comics, and it can also double as a weapon.
  • Cool Sword: She wields wicked looking short swords with spiked blades that she seems to be able to materialize out of thin air. In fact, in her battle against the Valkyrior, she summons hundreds of them to use as a Storm of Blades on them.
  • The Comically Serious: Her imperious demands for respect bely the hamminess that seems to run in her family.
  • Composite Character:
    • Hela's backstory of having been imprisoned many years ago and freed during the present day is taken from Cul, Odin's brother from Fear Itself. She also catches and shatters Thor's hammer like Cul did to Captain America's shield.
    • Skurge the Executioner being subservient to her comes from Amora the Enchantress.
    • According to producer Brad Winderbaum, her ability to manifest weapons was taken from Gorr the God Butcher, and the weapon she wields is even the Necrosword.
    • The twist of the character being Thor and Loki's long-lost sister is taken from Angela.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: She's the first Big Bad of the Thor films to present a serious physical threat to the title character without outside help; Loki needed a weapon to fight Thor evenly, and even then, he wasn't much of a match for his brother one-on-one, while Malekith needed the Aether to present a real threat to Thor in a fight. Hela, by contrast, is a nigh-unstoppable one-woman army who can not only handle herself in a fight with Thor, but come out on top without a great deal of trouble. In the same vein, both Loki and Malekith were vulnerable to Mjölnir (Loki couldn't lift it and Thor used it to first disfigure Malekith, then defeat him), whereas Hela destroys the hammer with one hand.
  • The Coup: According to Valkyrie, when Odin turned against her, Hela attempted one of these; she massacred everyone in the palace of Asgard and tried to seize the throne by force. It took the entirety of the Valkyrior (who, except for one, sacrificed their lives to stop Hela) and the intervention of Odin to defeat and imprison her.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Hela vs. well, pretty much anyone (bar Surtur at his full strength) is a curb stomp battle of epic proportions. Even after Thor got access to his full set of lightning powers, she still easily dominated him while he was being helped by Valkyrie.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: She had a grand time with her old man as a Galactic Conqueror, drenching entire civilizations in "blood and tears". Then he turned good and they had a falling out.
  • Dance Battler: Cate Blanchett trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira for Hela's fight scenes.
  • Dark Action Girl: She isn't just your average Dark Action Girl, she's a one-woman army who can slaughter hundreds if not thousands of soldiers in one go. She's so strong and durable that not even the Mighty Thor can put a dent in her using his strongest lightning powers.
  • Dark Is Evil: Hela is raven-haired and wears dark clothing and makeup.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When giving her Badass Boast to Thor about being the goddess of death itself, she sarcastically punctuates it with "what were you the god of again?" Considering what happens next, this was perhaps Tempting Fate — though it doesn't slow her down for long.
  • Defiant to the End: Her last moments are a final, futile battle with Surtur.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Hela craves absolute power in the cosmos and cares not whether she will make it a better or worse place — all she wants is to rule over others.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: If you refuse to immediately comply with Hela's demands, you'll likely find yourself Impaled with Extreme Prejudice without a moment's notice.
  • Doing In the Wizard: In the comics and Norse myth, Hela is Goddess of the Dead and ruler of the land of the dead aka the afterlife. Here though, she is specifically the Goddess of Death which, despite chucking the previous movies' motif that Asgardians are "just" Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, transforms her into something closer to a Physical God Blood Knight who makes zombies.
  • Domain Holder: She is practically all-powerful as long as she's within Asgard. The only way the heroes can stop her is to summon Surtur to bring about the titular Ragnarok, destroying Asgard entirely.
  • The Dragon: Before Thor was born, she served Odin, her father, as his 'executioner'. The murals on Asgard show her at her father's side as an equal.
  • The Dreaded: Initially subverted to her immense annoyance when she discovers that Odin erased her from history and nobody even knows who she is. She makes up for it almost immediately with her Establishing Character Moment where she catches and destroys Mjölnir and single-handedly wipes out the Asgardian army, showing how terrifyingly powerful she is.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: She wears a black catsuit with green elements and high-heeled boots.
  • Drop the Hammer: She was the first wielder of Mjölnir.
  • Dual Wielding: When going into battle, she wields a wicked-looking spiked short sword in each hand.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: From her perspective, her violence, and the conquests she wholeheartedly participated in during Odin's early years, is the very foundation on which Asgard is built. She tells Thor that the gold in the throne room of Asgard came from conquests. And in the end, she was merely cast aside and sealed away, while Odin decided to stop his conquests at Nine Realms, and consolidate his empire. Hela also laments how the warriors who fought and died for Asgard were once honored in the throne room, whereas now Odin buries them deep underground and pretends that it never happened.
    Hela: Whoever I am? Did you listen to a word I said!?
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: She is a very gothic-looking pale-skinned and dark-haired villainess.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Right after returning from the purgatory prison where Odin imprisoned her, she destroys Mjölnir with one hand. Mjölnir had at this point been considered one of the most — if not The Most — powerful weapon in all the MCU outside an Infinity Stone. Hela's action immediately demonstrates how powerful she is.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: In Norse mythology, the goddess Hel was a neutral deity who was charged with caring for the dead. In the comics, she's more Ambiguously Evil, but rarely an overt supervillain. Here, she is an evil villainess who is bent upon chaos and domination.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Loki. She's what Loki would become if he lacked or rejected his redeeming qualities and allowed his selfish ambitions to consume him. Had Loki succeeded in invading New York, he would likely turn into her copy. Which probably explains why Odin reacted so spectacularly badly to him doing that -- it would have brought up some bad memories.
    • To Thor, as well. As a former Blood Knight who once grinned when a Frost Giant gave him a very flimsy excuse to attack, then proceeded to kill him and dozens more Frost Giants in the space of five minutes, he could have likely become much like her if he had stayed on that path — and, as above, explains why Odin completely lost it with him as a result. Fortunately, he learned to value life when he was banished briefly and turned into a mortal, and had enough good traits for the lessons he learned then to stick.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • She genuinely acts like she's doing the Asgardians a favor by killing (so she thought) Thor and Loki and pledging to plunge Asgard to another era of blood-soaked conquest. As a result she's confused and annoyed at their hostile reception to her.
    • She also cannot understand why Odin would want to stop their bloody conquest and peacefully rule over what they conquered. Her response was the usual – violence.
  • Evil Gloating: This pretty much makes up a majority of her dialogue.
    Hela: Do you know the difference between us? I am Odin's firstborn, the true heir to the throne and the savior of Asgard! And you? Are nothing!
  • Evil Is Hammy: She is prone to Badass Boasts and Evil Gloating, and likes to announce to everyone within earshot that she is the Goddess of Death. She saunters around Asgard acting like everywhere is her own personal catwalk. Even her fighting style has an inherent and entertaining flair for the dramatic.
  • Evil Overlord: Once she is freed from her prison, she becomes the tyrannical dark queen of Asgard with her army of undead Berserkers at her beck and call.
  • Evil Overlooker: She's commonly depicted using this trope in the movie's posters, such as the international poster and more prominently in the Japanese poster.
  • Evil Plan: Hela's is to firstly conquer Asgard (which she does with ease), then raise an undead army and go on to conquer firstly the other Nine Realms and then the rest of the cosmos in a bid for ultimate supremacy.
  • The Evil Princess: During her warmongering days with Odin, her ambition grew big and she planned to usurp the throne from Odin when he decided to seek peace, but Odin managed to seal her away before her plans came to fruition.
  • Evil Reactionary: Her Evil Plan is to revert Asgard to its dark, blood-soaked, galactic-conquering, imperialistic past and continue its reign of terror on the rest of the universe, no matter how many of her own people she has to slaughter to do it.
  • Evil Versus Evil: As the heroes leave Asgard, Hela ends up fighting a reborn Surtur, who aims to destroy the realm.
  • Evil Wears Black: Her outfit is a combination of black with green patterns. Even without her pitch-black helmet on she looks remarkably gothic.
  • Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: All part of her evil, sexy goth aesthetic.
  • The Executioner: Hela was Odin's executioner before he had a change of heart and imprisoned her.
    Hela: When I was young every great king had an executioner. Not just to execute people but to also execute their vision. But mainly to execute people. Still, it was a great honor. I was Odin's executioner.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: She attempts a gloriously dramatic speech to the Asgardian army as she prepares to take her position as Asgard's new ruler. When it becomes clear that nobody remembers her she becomes incredibly irritated and drops the hammy speech.
  • Fatal Flaw: Arrogance. She was so convinced of her own overwhelming superiority (and frankly for good reason) that she didn't even bother killing Thor the first chance she got when it would have taken her a few extra seconds to do so. She then continued to waste her time trying to make him serve her despite how clear he made it that he would never bow to her will, and also ignored his many indications that he would stop at nothing to overthrow her because she simply didn't think he was capable of being a serious threat to her.
  • Femme Fatalons: She has her long nails painted black, as a true fashionable villainess should.
  • Fisher King: All Asgardians are incredibly strong, durable, and long-lived compared to humans, but the royal family has a much stronger link to Asgard itself, as demonstrated by Odin's immense power (which adopted son Loki doesn't gain even when wielding Gungnir, Odin's spear), Hela's own nigh-unstoppability, and Thor's transformation into his own One-Man Army once he finally understands Odin's last, posthumous lessons. To complete the trope, Asgard flourishes under a good ruler like post-Hela Odin and Thor himself and suffers under an incompetent or evil ruler like Loki or Hela.
  • Flechette Storm: Her primary form of offense, summoning innumerable spikes, knifes, swords, and anything else sharp and pointy to throw at her opponents.
  • Foil:
    • To Loki. Both are ambitious children of Odin who feel betrayed by their father and committed atrocities as retribution for being wronged. They have the same fashion sense and flair for the dramatic. But Hela takes over Asgard by force and ruthlessly kills everyone who openly opposes her, while Loki becomes a Fake King through trickery, exiles those suspicious of him and tries to get good publicity with overacted plays. Hela would conquer countless worlds, while Loki doesn't bother even with the Nine Realms. Hela never learns to care for others, while Loki eventually redeems himself.
    • To Thor. Both are incredibly hot-headed children of Odin who have incredible power and a violent side that frightened their father. Both wielded Mjölnir, possibly in an attempt by Odin to curb their darker urges and limit their power. Both claim the throne of Asgard during Ragnarok, except Thor listens to others while Hela only uses or kills them. Both spent their lives fighting in service of their father. But while Thor learned humility from the lessons Odin taught him, Hela only knew how to be a warrior because that was all Odin taught her and so could not adapt to peace.
  • Frontline General: She was the commander of the forces of Asgard and is shown (astride Fenris) leading an army of Einharjar into battle in the hidden murals in Odin's throne room.
  • A God Am I: Refers to herself as the goddess of death. The film implies there is some truth to this and not merely self-aggrandizing.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She not only crowns herself Queen through a violent takeover of Asgard, terrifying the populace into submission, she also aims to lead a bloody campaign of conquest on every other realm in existence.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Crosses it so much that Thor decides destroying all of Asgard is the only way to take her down.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Implied. She was undoubtedly already a vicious warmonger before her banishment, but thousands of years of being imprisoned against her will seems to have made her even more twisted and vengeful.
  • Goth: In dress sense and personal stylings, if not necessarily in demeanour.
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: To complement her excessive dark makeup and black bodysuit she can magically manifest black blades and use necromancy to resurrect the corpses of soldiers to serve as her personal army.
  • Green and Mean: Like Loki and her comics counterpart, Hela has an affinity for the color green.

  • Hammerspace: Aside from her powerful Asgardian physical abilities, her primary offensive power appears to be the ability to summon some kind of black matter from another realm, in any shape or size she pleases. This includes Skurge's axe and the spears she uses to kill her opponents, as well as a small mountain from which she raises out of the sea to battle Surtur.
  • Healing Factor: She's not invulnerable by any stretch, but any wound she does take seems to heal in seconds. Subtly shown at several points such as when Thor hits her with the "biggest lightning bolt in the history of lightning bolts" and she's temporarily disabled off-screen, but is fine a few minutes later when we see her. Or when he kicks her in the head at the beginning of the film which concusses and stuns her, which realistically would have drastic ill-effects and probably indicate an embolism, but leaves no lasting injury. More blatantly shown when Thor, Valkyrie, and one of the Asgardian soldiers respectively all put swords/spears through her chest, and the holes just get patched up in a flash of yellow. Coming back from her whole body being obliterated by Surtur is another story.
  • Hero Killer: She kills the Warriors Three once she's back to Asgard. In the past, she wiped out the entire order of Valkyrior, with only one survivor.
  • Home Field Advantage: Her powers increased the longer she stays in Asgard. Even without it, she's already strong enough to lift Mjölnir despite being unworthy and crush it. This is why Thor decides that having Surtur destroy Asgard is the only way to defeat her.
  • Horns of Villainy: Her headdress is decorated with an impressive multitude of horns. She uses them as projectiles in fight.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Uses Fenris, her giant wolf, as her mount when riding into battle rather than the normal horses that the rank and file soldiers ride.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Which the Excessive Evil Eyeshadow really brings out.
  • Immune to Bullets: At one point, she is shot at by the Asgardian army's flying ships, to which she wraps her Badass Cape around herself and the bullets bounce harmlessly off her body.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Her favored method of killing, although she gets a taste of it herself or rather, crushed with extreme prejudice) when she is at the bottom end of Surtur's blade as he impales it in Asgard's ground.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Comic Hela's Iconic Outfit (skin-tight black and green bodysuit, badass green cape and crazy, antler style headdress), one of Jack Kirby's most elaborate costume designs for Marvel Comics is lovingly and faithfully re-created here.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: It's made clear that her rule would mean bad news for Asgard and all other realms at large. As Odin believed in being ready for war but not seek it actively, Hela aims to do the complete opposite. Also an example of The Wrongful Heir to the Throne.
  • Insane Admiral: Why she was banished — according to her, something is in Asgard's empire, or it needs to be incorporated into it, pronto.
  • Invincible Villain: Nothing seems to even scratch her, be it being stabbed in the chest several times (one time by Gungnir) or being struck by "the strongest lightning bolt in the history of lightning". It comes to the point that the only way to kill her is to unleash Surtur to destroy Asgard.
  • It's All About Me: Hela is solely focused on herself and blaming everyone else. She wants to conquer the universe by pretty much killing everything else and cannot comprehend why Odin or other Asgardians oppose her. She also gets frustrated that no one remembers her.
  • Jerkass God: She is the Goddess of Death who strives to become a Galactic Conqueror and would slaughter anyone who stands in her way.
  • The Juggernaut: She is far and away the most powerful Asgardian, except for Odin back in his prime days. The combined forces of a newly empowered Thor, Hulk, Loki, Valkyrie, Heimdall wielding Hofund, and the rest of the Asgardian army still aren't enough to defeat her, as she draws her power from Asgard. The only way she's defeated is by releasing the Kaiju-sized Surtur against her, and even then she still gets in a few good hits before he finally defeats her.
  • Karmic Death: After spending the entire movie murdering and victimizing the people of Asgard and getting away with it because no-one could stop her, her precious kingdom comes under attack by an even more powerful being, whom she is as powerless to stop as the Asgardian people were to stop her and at whose hands she meets her fate.
  • Kneel Before Zod: She has a habit of demanding that people kneel before her, she first does it to Thor and Loki and later she demands that Hogun and the Einherjar army kneel upon returning to Asgard.
    Hela: Kneel, before your Queen!
  • Lack of Empathy: Hela displays no empathy at all for any other being save her wolf, Fenris. She wants to rule or kill everything that is not her and will not hesitate to kill entire worlds or her own people.
  • Large Ham: Blanchett clearly had fun with the role. Hela speaks in bombastic tones as she struts her way around Asgard. For instance, after she's single handedly wiped out an entire army:
    Hela: Oh, I've missed this.
  • Last Villain Stand: After Loki summons Surtur on Thor's orders, there is no way left for her to win. She still fights Surtur to the end.
  • Lean and Mean: Like Loki, she's thin, wears black and green, and has evil intentions.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Hela is an extremely deadly warrior, using her vast Super Strength and Super Speed against her opponents and employing a capoeira-like fighting style as well as her ability to create weapons out of thin air during battle, making her a nigh-unstoppable force.
  • Logical Weakness: Her power source is Asgard, which effectively renders her immortal and unstoppable. Her weakness? Its destruction.
  • Makeup Is Evil: She wears more make-up than any female hero, and shares this trait with Wanda / Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron who started as a villain in that film.
  • Marquee Alter Ego: In the comics, Hela's face is usually half covered by a mask that is part of her iconic Cool Helmet. Live action Hela keeps the headgear, but is only masked in key scenes so not to hide Cate Blanchett's face.
  • Meaningful Name: The Norse goddess that Hela is inspired by is called 'Hel' which is an old Germanic word meaning 'one that hides', rather apt when you consider that Odin 'hid' her away for thousands of years.
  • Messy Hair: When she first emerges from her imprisonment, her hair is noticeably more unkempt (to go with her ripped and tattered outfit) than it is later in the film as she gains power.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Whilst most Asgardian women could certainly hold their own in a fight (as shown in all three Thor movies), the modern day Asgardian army as of the first movie and onwards was still overwhelmingly male, so it's perhaps surprising to learn that the strongest and most ruthlessly insane, violent and deadly warrior and military commander in Asgard's entire illustrious history was in fact a woman. Even Thor himself seems to drastically underestimate Hela's strength (especially in comparison to his own due to her being much physically smaller and more slender than him), not to mention her crazy blood lust when he first meets her, thinking that he can defeat and subdue her using Mjölnir alone. He quickly learns what a terrible mistake in judgment he's made when she swiftly catches the hammer like it's absolutely nothing and crushes it single-handedly. Hela's insanity, use of excessive violence and Blood Knight Multiversal Conqueror tendencies show what a terrible ruler she would be.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Downplayed, but that skintight outfit, the poses, the Sexy Walk, that voice. Oh lord... (Extends to real life as Blanchett is one of the few performers to ever make the awkward-looking motion capture suits come off as fanservice.)
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Her ultimate goal is to use the power of the Bifröst to reach and conquer all the realms in existence. It was always Hela's objective, since the days she fought at Odin's side.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Played both for laughs and drama. Her solution to any problem? Kill it. It serves her well for the most part as there's nobody in the movie capable of challenging her in terms of raw strength. It winds up finally biting her in the ass when it's all she knows how to do when faced with Surtur at full power.
  • Near-Villain Victory: If she had only had the foresight to destroy Surtur's crown or remove it from Odin's vault and hide it somewhere, there would have been no way that Thor and the other Revengers could ever have defeated her. Similarly, if she had killed Thor and Loki in their first encounter, there would have been no one in Asgard who would have been able to stand up to her.
  • Neck Lift: She does this to Thor during one of their fights, showing how ridiculously strong she is.
  • Necromancer: Using the power of the Eternal Flame, she raises the corpses of fallen warriors to serve as her army through the movie.
  • Never My Fault: Refuses to accept any responsibility for her imprisonment instead choosing to put the blame entirely on Odin.
  • New Era Speech: She attempts one of these to the Asgardian military when she returns to Asgard to take her place as queen. She's not happy when the Asgardians aren't interested.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: It appears to be impossible to truly harm her in any way (at least as long as she has her connection to Asgard as a power source). Stab her, throw her, kick her, hit her, blast her with lightning. Nothing even leaves a scratch, let alone phases her. This may be a result of the Asgardian's normal enhanced healing abilities taken Up to Eleven via her connection with Asgard itself.
  • No-Sell: Conventional weapons are basically useless against her, as is Valkyrie's kick in her face. And she can stop Mjölnir, of all things. And she shatters it for good measure, leaving Thor (seemingly) much less powerful.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Thor points this out in the scene where he and Hela are in Asgard's throne room. He could have easily become as vicious and blood-thirsty as his older sister over time, had Odin not exiled him to Midgard to teach him a lesson in humility.
  • Obviously Evil: It is no surprise that the woman in black armor with a spiked helmet and black eyeshadow turns out to be the Big Bad. She had the outfit since her days of Odin's conquests, which should have been a red flag for the Allfather.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • She has the mother of all "Oh, Crap!" moments when she realizes that Thor and co have Out-Gambitted her by resurrecting Surtur to destroy Asgard.
    • She gets another massive one seconds before Surtur brings down his mountain-sized sword directly on top of her. It's so big that it actually quashes her.
  • Older Than She Looks: Looking at Hela, it's easy to forget that she's actually incredibly ancient, even more so than most Asgardians.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: She's apparently drowned entire worlds in blood and tears, and certainly has no problem killing literally all of her subjects in her quest to rule Asgard. She even implies she doesn't actually care about the throne, just the war.
    Hela: I'll get that sword, even if I have to kill every single one of them to do it!
  • One-Woman Army: She can quite literally kill the entire army of Asgard singlehandedly. Even working together, Thor, Loki, and Valkyrie cannot hope to stop her; it takes the mountain-sized Surtur to take her down.
  • Only Friend: It's one-sided as Skurge is more in pants-shitting mortal terror of her than receptive to friendship, but Hela seems to treat him as such, confiding in him and even attempting small talk before officially making him her right-hand man, even though all he did was be smart enough to not challenge her when she arrived in Asgard. When Skurge later does a Heel–Face Turn, she seems genuinely disappointed before she kills him.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Her hair covers half of her face when she destroys Mjölnir.
  • Physical Goddess: Referred to as the goddess of death both by herself and Odin. Given the context, her much greater power than other Asgardians, connection to the land, and overall imagery the implication is she is a god.
  • Power Floats: Although she doesn't make use of it against Thor, Hela seems to have the ability to float in mid-air unaided like her comics counterpart, if the flashback of her battle against the Valkyries is anything to go by.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Gives a really creepy one when she catches Mjölnir in mid-flight one-handed and then shatters it.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Like the majority of the Asgardian race it seems, she is very good looking and, like her brother Loki, her beauty is certainly emphasized by her pale skin, piercing blue eyes and raven black hair.
  • Red/Green Contrast: She possesses a prominently green color scheme, while Thor, her brother and opponent wears a flowing red cape.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In the comics, as in the original myths, Hela is Loki's daughter. Here she's Odin's daughter, Thor's sister, and Loki's adoptive sister.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Justified case. She's Odin's eldest child and Thor and Loki's older sister, but all evidence of her existence was covered up by Odin after she went rogue and had to be imprisoned. Throughout the movie, she's shown to be bitter about the fact that nobody remembers her.
  • The Resenter: She lists Odin having Thor as one of her sources of ire with Odin along with Odin choosing peace over conquest.
  • Royal Blood: She is a princess of Asgard and Odin's firstborn who would claim the throne and conquer all, no matter the cost.
  • Royal Brat: She is malicious towards her subjects and believes herself entitled to everything.
  • Royalty Super Power: While all Asgardians are strong and tough, as a member of the royal family she possess supernatural powers that are inherited. This makes her a literal goddess among her people along with her father Odin and her brother Thor.

  • Sealed Evil in a Can: She has been imprisoned for millennia until Loki inadvertently manages to release her through banishing Odin to Earth, weakening him to the point that he willingly gives up on life. Odin was the only being powerful enough to keep Hela at bay and his death means that she finally manages to escape her prison.
  • Sexy Walk: Not so much a walk as a strut, she almost acts like every part of Asgard (especially the Rainbow Bridge) is her own personal catwalk.
  • She's Got Legs: Her skin-tight outfit perfectly showcases her long, shapely legs. In fact, the very first shot of her in Thor: Ragnarok focuses exclusively on her legs and thighs as she emerges through a magical portal.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Hela's magic glows a bright green color, seen at the beginning when she emerges out of a swirling green magical portal. Then later in the film when there is a bright flash of green when she resurrects Fenris and the dead Asgardian soldiers, whose eyes also glow green following their re-animation.
  • Shadow Archetype: Hela is essentially a pre-Character Development Thor if he had never learned humility from his banishment, only embracing her resentment, arrogance, and bloodthirstiness, and Loki if he was truly competent as a would-be Galactic Conqueror and did not, as Coulson stated, "lack conviction". Thor lampshades the similarities before their final battle.
  • Slouch of Villainy: She drapes herself almost gracefully across Asgard's golden throne when addressing Skurge during a scene in the film.
  • Smug Super: She gloats constantly, because she knows full well she's not making empty boasts and it's damn hard to even scratch her, let alone leave a permanent injury.
  • The Sociopath: Let's see... Lack of Empathy? Check. Consummate Liar? Unknown. She very well may be an Unreliable Narrator when it comes to her and Odin's past, spinning it in her favor. Pathological Need for Stimulation? Seemingly. She constantly seems bored of everything and everyone around her, the only thing that seems to make her happy is killing, so she's definitely Ax-Crazy. Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth? Definitely. It's All About Me? Another check; the only regard she shows for anything but herself is for Fenris, her wolf. But that could easily be interpreted as her appreciating Fenris as a useful tool of war rather than having genuine affection for the creature.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Her iconic headdress — revealed by What If...? to be the Necrosword — has huge spiky, antler-like horns.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Hela is able to conjure a broad array of weapons using her Necrosword.
  • The Starscream: She was once The Dragon to her father Odin during their conquest of the Nine Realms, but her ambition gradually outgrew his and she eventually attempted to violently overthrow his rule and take control of Asgard. This was the final provocation for Odin locking her away and writing her out of the history of Asgard.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Not quite to the same extent as her comics counterpart (who according to some sources is 7 feet tall), but MCU Hela still seems to be a similar height to brother Thor who stands at 6' 3″.
  • Storm of Blades: She can summon hundreds or even thousands of her short sword Weapon of Choice at once, which she can then send out as a wall of missiles, or a tornado of death.
  • Super Mode: Hela is always powerful, but whenever she is gearing herself up for a fight, she smooths her hands over her hair and magically transforms it into her spiky, black battle helmet.
  • Super Strength: Like all Asgardians, but taken Up to Eleven. She is seemingly even stronger than Thor himself considering that she has the ability to throw him like he is little more than a toy. She can also lift Mjölnir with sheer brute force despite being unworthy.
  • Tainted Veins: If you look closely, you can see that Hela has faint but visible black veins on her shoulders, forehead and around her eyes and jawline. This is presumably to represent that she's maybe not fully alive (as the goddess of death) and is maybe a mild homage to the goddess Hel appearing as half alive and half dead in the original Norse Mythology.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Hela calls Thor "darling" right before she destroys his hammer.
  • Three-Point Landing: To access the vaults below Odin's treasure room, Hela breaks through the floor, drops backwards through the hole (deliberately!), falls gracefully through at least 500 feet of blackness, flips over and then lands perfectly in this style.
  • Time Abyss: As one of the oldest Asgardians, she is thousands of years old.
  • Too Powerful to Live: She is fed power by her presence on Asgard, with no limit to how powerful she can get — and she already emerged from Niflheim strong enough to crush Mjölnir in one fist. Between this and her irrepressible lust for blood and conquest, Thor declares things have crossed the Godzilla Threshold and leaving Asgard is not an option so long as she is alive.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Asgard goes from Odin disguised Loki's lax but seemingly mainly benevolent rule to Hela's violent coup and takeover. She seems determined to revert Asgard to it's blood-drenched, imperialistic past.
  • Uncertain Doom: It is left fairly ambiguous as to whether Hela dies at the end of Thor: Ragnarok or not. The last we see of the character is her seemingly exploding into a blast of green energy directly before Surtur plunges his sword into the ground and Asgard implodes. But considering that Hela first appears out of a similar cloud of green energy at the beginning of the film, it could be interpreted that she simply teleported away at the last moment...
  • Un-person: What Odin did to her. No one knew that she existed, despite her integral part of his conquest of the Nine Realms.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Claims Odin was once a ruthless conqueror not any different from her before inexplicably having a change of heart and deciding to stop. Given her ego, ambition, and blame on others, it's unknown if Odin really changed or she was too blind to see he was never as power-hungry as she was.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: As noted above, she's Loki's daughter in the original myths and the comics, whereas here, she's Odin's.
  • The Usurper: Due to having effectively been disowned when she was banished, she technically was stripped of all right to the throne of Asgard meaning she isn't the rightful ruler when she takes the position.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Skurge is fairly hilariously useless as lackeys and especially executioners come. He fails in executing a single person the whole movie, and can't even seem to do simple things like ensure that the Bifrost Sword doesn't get stolen from under their noses. All he does is follow Hela around like a lost puppy in absolute terror of her. Loki found this out before Hela did.
    Hela: Skurge, where's the sword??
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Ragnarok isn't completely a 'Saccharine Show', but it's a mostly comedic, brightly-colored, action-heavy, 80's inspired space opera in the vein of Flash Gordon and Big Trouble in Little China. Hela in contrast, does have her comedic and Large Ham moments, but is very much a Vile Villain as The Sociopath and an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Villain Has a Point: Hela points out that Odin had a nasty habit of trying to cover up his past and lying about damn near anything important, which causes lots of problems down the line. Thor agrees. She also has a fair point that Odin was happy to make use of her abilities when it suited him.
    Hela: Odin...proud to have it, ashamed of how he got it!
  • Villainous Breakdown: She has one when she sees Surtur restored and grown to giant size, knowing he was going to destroy Asgard and cause Ragnarok. She regains her composure to attack him. Only to slip back into it when she realizes she can't stop him right before his giant sword slams into her.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Courtesy of Cate Blanchett.
  • Villainous Valour: Barely flinches when faced with a newly resurrected Surtur and the prophesized destruction of Asgard. Say what you will about her, but that takes Nerves of Steel.
  • Warrior Princess: She is not only the princess of Asgard, but also the former commander of the realm's military forces and its most fearsome and deadly warrior in history.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Throughout the previous two Thor films, the Einharjar (Asgard's elite army) has been portrayed as being a mighty, unstoppable force that has won countless wars against fearsome enemies and helped maintain not only the peace of the Nine Realms, but the universe as a whole. To show how crazy powerful Hela is, she is not only capable of taking on the entire army single-handedly, but also winning. Not to mention that she's also sufficiently powerful enough to destroy an enchanted, supposedly indestructible weapon with little to no effort. All of this serves to show how powerful she is and how pointless confrontation against her is and thus justifying The Godzilla Threshold.
    • Hela herself suffers this when Surtur is reborn. After spending the entire movie defeating everyone in sight with no trouble, she is almost completely outmatched by the demon (she manages to give him pause by impaling him multiple times, but he's still able to move enough to deliver his final attack). This proves Surtur's claim that he wasn't at full power until now.
  • World's Strongest Woman: While she is outclassed by greater cosmic threats (as Surtur proved), she is still one of the single most powerful characters seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date - based on her showings, she is well above Thanos' level, and while Captain Marvel and Scarlet Witch would have likely given her momentary pause, not even they would have been able to survive a prolonged fight with her.
  • The Wrongful Heir to the Throne: She states to have a claim to the throne since she is Odin's firstborn. Though Thor says he would give his throne to someone else, he says she is the worst candidate for the job.
    Hela: You're in my seat.
    Thor: I would love for someone else to rule but it can't be you. You're just... the worst.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: She doesn't hesitate to impale Skurge on a giant spike once he pulls his Heel–Face Turn and therefore ceases to be of use to her.
    • Odin's attitude towards Hela herself after he renounced his tyrannical ways and realized she wouldn't follow suit is to seal her away and erase all evidence of her existence.

Hela's Forces



Species: Asgardian Wolf

Citizenship: Asgardian

Appearances: Thor: Ragnarok

Fenris was a giant wolf who served Hela during the times of the expansion of Asgard around the Nine Realms. Millennia after her death, she is resurrected by Hela with the Eternal Flame and put at her service during her oppressive rule on Asgard.

  • Adaptation Species Change: Originally a Jotun, as the son of Loki and a Jotun sorceress. Here her species is merely listed as "Asgardian Wolf".
  • Adaptational Nonsapience: Fenrir could speak in the original myth and the comics, and even had a bit of an awesome ego. Fenris in the film is just a mindless beast that serves Hela.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the myths, Fenris was large enough for his mouth to reach the sky. Here, she’s only about 12 feet tall.
  • Back from the Dead: Upon coming back to Asgard after being sealed by Odin for millennia, Hela destroys the floor of Asgard's Weapons Vault to reveal a crypt in which Fenris and her long-forgotten army are resting. She then resurrects them all as undead using the Eternal Flame.
  • Canis Major: A huge monster wolf, many times larger than a regular one. Justified as she is actually part of an in-universe species called "Asgardian Wolf", which naturally grows to be that big.
  • Composite Character: As Hela's Right-Hand Attack Dog, she takes the role of Garm from the myths.
  • Disney Villain Death: She falls off of Asgard's waterfalls into outer space at the end of her fight with the Hulk.
  • The Dreaded: When Heimdall and the other Asgardians find Fenris at the Bifrost Bridge, they all start to fall back instead of taking their chances with the giant wolf.
  • Furry Reminder: She sniffs Banner when he crash lands in front of her.
  • Gender Flip: According to Word of God, Fenris Wolf is a female in this movie, while the mythological Fenris and Garm she is based on were both males.
    • Ironically though, this gender change makes it closer to its 616 comic counterpart who is actually gender fluid, being the father of all Wolf Gods but the mother of the first Storm Giants by mating with Surtur as a female wolf. Though for the majority of its comic appearances, it usually presents or is regarded as a male wolf.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: She has green-glowing eyes after Hela revives her with the Eternal Flame.
  • Hellhound: A giant canid that serves the ruler of Hel.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Hela uses Fenris as her mount when riding into battle rather than the normal horses that the rank-and-file soldiers ride.
  • Immune to Bullets: Valkyrie unloads a Gatling Gun taken from the Asgardian armory onto Fenris, but it is nothing more than an annoyance.
    Valkyrie: This stupid dog just won't die!
  • Non-Human Undead: Given the Sickly Green Glow of her eyes as similar to the Berserkers', it's highly likely that Hela's magic combined with the Eternal Flame made her into an undead hellhound.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Hulk grabs her by the tail and swings her around. And again when he suplexes her. Its quite possible that it was the first time she actually faced a challenge.
  • Not So Stoic: Inverted. She's usually vicious and violent, but she pauses in confusion when Banner smacks down on the Rainbow Bridge in front of her. Also, during one scene in which Hela is enthroned in the palace, Fenris is seen merely lounging around docilely in the background.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Hela unleashes her upon Asgardian refugees on the Bifröst during the Final Battle. Luckily for them, the Hulk steps in to fight the giant wolf.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Note that In-Universe, the myths are mistaken but out-of-universe the trope still stands.
    • This version of Fenris is about thrice the size of a dire wolf, which is still nowhere near as large as her mythological counterpart (who could apparently swallow the moon). She also doesn't get to kill Odin, nor is she Loki's child and Hela's brother.
    • The beastly companion of Hela in the original mythology is Garmr, a monstrous wolf/hound. Though Fenris is associated with Hela as brother and sister, they are not considered companions to one another.
  • Savage Wolves: A giant and vicious wolf in service of the Goddess of Death. She bites Hulk hard enough to make him bleed, which is more than almost any other character in the movies can claim to have done.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: In the comics, as in the original myths, Fenris is Hela's brother and Loki's son. Here, she's just a monster that serves Hela.

    The Berserkers 


Species: Undead Asgardians

Citizenship: Asgardians

Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. | Thor: Ragnarok

The reanimated corpses of dead Einherjar that fought under Hela.

  • Animate Dead: All of them were laid to rest beneath Odin's palace and this is where Hela finds them.
  • Armies Are Evil: They fought under Hela in the time in which Asgard was a conquering, imperialistic power.
  • Dem Bones: They have rotten to the point that all that remains of their faces are their skulls.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The existence of the Berserkers was first revealed in an episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Coulson's team tracks down their namesake staffs. Come Thor: Ragnarok they finally make a proper appearance, albeit undead.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Despite Hela's ambitions at planetary conquest with her former troops, they're unceremoniously disposed of by the heroes, and most end up getting mowed down by Skurge using a pair of regular M16s he got on a trip to Tex-Ass.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: They have green-glowing eyes after Hela revives them with the Eternal Flame.
  • Keystone Army: They are all destroyed after Hela's apparent death, as she's the one who had reanimated them.
  • Non-Human Undead: They look like human corpses but this is because Asgardians are Human Aliens.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Their eyes and innards glow a bright green color like Hela's magic following their reanimation.
  • Undead Mooks: They become this for Hela's forces after she reanimates them, having originally been the Red Shirt Army that accompanied her and Odin on their conquests of the other Realms during their previous lives.
  • Zerg Rush: Their primary tactic is to swarm their enemies with their large numbers.


Video Example(s):


Asgard's History

Hela reveals the real way Asgard got all that gold.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / PoliticallyCorrectHistory

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