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How AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Could Bring Back Cate Blanchett’s Hela

How AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Could Bring Back Cate Blanchett’s Hela

Warning! This post includes spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok. Proceed with caution.

Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t come out until May of 2018, but since the trailer finally dropped this week, we’ve got Marvel on the mind. Specifically, we need to talk about Thanos’ motivation. The MCU’s big bad first appeared way back in 2012 in the mid-credits stinger for The Avengers. Since then, he’s popped up here and there, always wanting to take over the known universe. But why?

To some, that may seem like a ridiculous question. Thanos is a larger-than-life supervillain. His motivation is evil. Duh. But there’s more to it than that.

In the world of comics, Thanos is driven by one of the most base desires among sentient beings: love. But who could a monster like Thanos be in love with? The anthropomorphic personification of Death, obviously. In the Marvel universe, Death is one of the beings birthed at the beginning of the Universe. Her siblings include Eternity, Infinity, and Oblivion. In his quest to gain the love of Death, Thanos brings her souls and corpses like you would bring your love interest flowers and chocolate. While never that impressed, Death nonetheless keeps resurrecting Thanos because, hey, free souls.

It’s pretty late in the game for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to add Death into the mix. Infinity War is already brimming over with superheroes, and Thanos is bringing his “children” along for the ride. Gamora and Nebula may have left the nest, but Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, and Cull Obsidian are still on dad’s payroll. Throwing in anthropomorphic personifications of immortal entities might be a bridge too far for the film’s runtime to handle. Luckily, there’s a tailor-made solution waiting in the wings: Marvel already has a Death and her name is Cate Blanchett.

Introduced in Thor: Ragnarok, Blanchett’s Hela is already known to the audience, cutting down on origin story time. And she’s the perfect fit. One of Blanchett’s best line reads in Ragnarok is when she declares herself to be unlike anything Thor has ever fought before. “I am not a queen or a monster,” she proclaims. “I’m the Goddess of Death.”

There’s little reason to believe Death herself can ever be truly vanquished despite how Ragnarok shook out. On top of that, audiences have no clue what Hela was up to in the millennia between her fall from Asgard and subsequent return. As the ruler of the dead, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Thanos was drawn to her. After all, she’s Cate Blanchett, for cripes’ sake!

Letting Hela slip into the Death-shaped hole in Thanos’ heart would give the man some decent motivation. Who wouldn’t take on a team of superheroes for the love of Cate Blanchett? It would also give Marvel a reason to bring Hela back into the fold, no doubt leading to some wonderful scenes between her, Thor, and Loki. Picture it: Brothers Thor and Loki and sisters Gamora and Nebula all stand together before Thanos in a climactic moment. Thanos looks around sheepishly and motions off-camera. Hela appears and the two embrace. Suddenly Thor and Loki realize they are now uncles to Gamora and Nebula. Shenanigans and the end of the world ensue.

Villains who want to rule and/or destroy the world for the mere sake of it are boring. What would make someone like Thanos get up and try to seize the universe day after day? Surely more than a thirst for blood. That would get boring after a millennia or three, right? After testing audiences with years of glimpses, Thanos is too important to fall back on such rote tropes. Spice things up, Marvel. Give the man an unrequited love of Cate Blanchett’s Death.

But should Marvel add Hela into the Infinity War mix, how would the Goddess of Death feel about such a thing? When last we saw her, Hela was trying to restore the Old World Order of conquest and subjugation, a task she’d been created for. How would she view Thanos’ crusade? As I see it, there are three ways it could shake out: Hela joins Thanos, Hela rebuffs Thanos, or Hela uses Thanos. Each one would create an imbalance of power that would spill over into whatever Marvel has planned for Phase IV. Like a Rainbow Bridge made of blood and corpses.

So, let’s break these options down. The first, and honestly least likely, is that Hela joins Thanos. I say least likely because Hela doesn’t play well with others and is not about to start taking orders from a giant purple warlord. The second option, that Hela would spurn Thanos’ attempts to woo her, feels like something she would do. Blanchett does an amazing version of “scorned and annoyed.” How dare Thanos take away kills that should rightfully be hers? If Loki has taught us anything, it’s Asgardians are capricious creatures. Should Hela denounce Thanos, it’s possible she could (temporarily) join the Avengers in order to defeat him. Why? Because if Thanos destroys the galaxy, there’s nothing left for Hela to do. I said she might help them, not that she wouldn’t be selfish about it.

Finally, and the most likely option, is a combination of the two. One where Hela pretends to love Thanos in order to use him to further her own agenda. I wouldn’t put it past her to play both sides, turning to the Avengers with a false white flag of surrender. With Asgard destroyed, the Goddess of Death needs a new power source. What better one that the Infinity Gauntlet? Whether she acquires it from her doting boy toy or the naively trusting Avengers matters not. The point is, Hela would be unstoppable once the Gauntlet was on her dainty, deadly hand. A foe worthy of Phase IV if ever I saw one.

Of course, this would all hinge on Hela surviving Ragnarok. Fortunately, an easy explanation was embedded within the film: the Eternal Flame. This is the magic Hela uses to resurrect the ancient Asgardian army to do her bidding. It seems entirely reasonable a spark of said Flame could stave off oblivion from an immortal being such as the Goddess of Death. Perhaps, if Marvel wanted, Hela could be in a weakened state at the beginning of Infinity War, leading her to use subterfuge, flattery, and lies to accomplish her goals until she’s regained her full strength.

What do y’all think? Should Infinity War bring back Hela as a Wild Card? Would you like to see Cate Blanchett team up with or against Thanos? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Marvel Entertainment

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