Minor spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok.
Kevin Feige has addressed how Thor: Ragnarok handles the Warriors Three, defending one of the film’s more controversial moments. From the God of Thunder’s MCU in 2011’s Thor, he’s been dependably backed up by the Warriors Three – Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg – and Lady Sif. These Asgardian heroes have followed him on a variety of adventures, saving Thor’s neck on more than one occasion.
Final warning, spoilers begin now.
In Ragnarok, however, that’s all over. After Hela’s destroyed Mjolnir and (she believes) killed Thor and Loki, she aims to take Asgard, stopping anyone who may resist her – including the Warriors. Volstagg and Fandral are killed as she enters through the Bifrost, with the Goddess of Death effortlessly stabbing them with immaculately created knives. Hogun puts up more of a fight, challenging Hela at the entrance of the city but he too is speared in a rather violent manner.
Related: Kevin Feige Reveals Thor: Ragnarok’s Biggest Easter Egg
Kevin Feige addressed the killing off of three previously essential characters at the Thor: Ragnarok junket press conference (where Screen Rant was in attendance), defending the manner of their deaths and highlighting how it was essential in setting up Hela as a force to be reckoned with:
“Well, it was a – they, they had noble ends – mainly to serve the arrival of Hela, the arrival of the biggest villain into the MCU, who within the first five minutes destroys the hammer, kicks Loki and Thor out of Asgard, and kills almost anyone we’ve ever met before in the other movies. Which is really – we want it to start with a bang.”
The death of the Warriors Three has been predicted and, as Feige points out, in the movie itself does serve a bigger purpose; if Cate Blanchett’s villain is able to beat Thor, Loki and the Warriors Three in record time, how can he hope to beat her? The risk with the gambit is that fans of the trio will be upset by how suddenly they’re killed, or that the lack of set-up will mean those less au fait with the Thor films (Ragnarok is in many ways serving as a strong reboot of the series) won’t appreciate the gravity of the situation. Indeed, the Warriors aren’t that well-remembered, to the point Zachary Levi replaced Josh Dallas as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World and few commented on it.
Feige went on to say that the death wasn’t flippant and “They will be remembered.” This will be good to hear for some fans – once the Warriors are dead, they aren’t mentioned again and Thor doesn’t take any time out of his adventure to mourn. With the film very much about home being where the heart is, that feels like a missed opportunity and will hopefully be called back to in Avengers: Infinity War.
Related: How Thor: Ragnarok Sets Up Avengers: Infinity War
Also overlooked was Lady Sif, who due to Jamie Alexander’s scheduling issues doesn’t appear in the film at all. When speaking with Screen Rant, Feige said too that her whereabouts will be addressed, although when is another matter.