Ragnarok Takes Over Book and Film
Norse mythology has invaded media this fall! The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “Thor: Ragnarok.” The movie sees the return of Chris Hemsworth as titular character Thor, Tom Hiddleston as popular anti-hero Loki, and Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk.
The third movie was a departure from the serious tone of the first two movies and featured a more comedic nature. The movie served as director Taika Waititi’s major Hollywood debut and introduced Cate Blanchett as villain Hela and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. Waititi sought to diversify the cast when he came on. While talking to Comic Book Resources (originally published on July 15, 2016, and written by Kristy Puchko), Waititi went into greater detail.
“Right from the start we wanted to diversify the cast, and it’s hard when you’re working with Vikings. [Laughs.] You want to be more inclusive and provide a broader representation. And at that point, you have to look at the source material as a very loose inspiration. And then take it from there and go with your gut. Say, “You know what? None of that stuff matters. Just because the character was blonde and white in the comic book. That doesn’t matter. That’s not what [that character] is about.”
His vision has been well-received. At the time of this article, “Ragnarok” has delivered the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s seventh-largest opening. With a $121 million debut in it’s opening weekend, it surpassed “Spiderman: Homecoming”’s $117 million debut. But Marvel’s telling of Norse mythic tales is not Disney’s only foray into the entertainment industry.
October 3, 2017, brought the third, and final, installment of Rick Riordan’s “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard” series. Riordan may be best known as the New York Times bestselling author of the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and the “Heroes of Olympus” series.
The first book in the Norse trilogy, called “The Sword of Summer,” introduced demigod Magnus Chase (cousin to Annabeth Chase) and tells the story of his ascension to Valhalla, his life as an einherjar (a soldier in Odin’s army), and his quest to find the sword of summer. The second book, “The Hammer of Thor,” featured Chase and his friends as they sought to find the stolen and famed Mjolnir. The conclusion to the trilogy, “The Ship of the Dead,” ends with Magnus and company sailing to Nifheim in an attempt to stop the impending Ragnarok. The series also gives fans of the characters from the Percy Jackson series a glimpse into what they have done since 2014’s “The Blood of Olympus.”
Published by Disney-Hyperion, the series delves into diversity in its own right. Main characters, Samirah “Sam” al-Abbas is a Muslim Valkyrie, and the demigod offspring of Loki. Alex Fierro is al-Abbas’ half-brother/sister, a genderfluid child of Loki. It gives Disney a hit, earning a number one bestselling title on Amazon and good reviews.