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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s Thor: Ragnarok Easter egg, explained

It connects the Guardians to the Thor franchise.

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Spoiler warning: There’s a slight discussion of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 plot and a basic description of the Thor: Ragnarok plot in this post.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has five end-credits scenes designed to tease Marvel fans until the studio’s next blockbuster comes out. Director James Gunn repeatedly hyped them up during the movie’s promotional tour, promising that if you don’t leave the theater immediately, you’ll get a treat.

What hasn’t been mentioned as much is that Guardians 2 contains a Thor: Ragnarok Easter egg.

The Thor: Ragnarok Easter egg and where to find it

In the last third of Guardians 2, Rocket, Baby Groot, Kraglin, and Yondu make their escape from the mutiny on Yondu’s ship. Rocket makes the decision to “jump” to Ego’s planet, where Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax are hanging out — but doesn’t immediately realize that getting there will require several “jumps” through different pockets of the universe.

The Thor: Ragnarok Easter egg is in that series of jumps.

It’s very quick, but one of the jumps sees Rocket and his crew’s ship pop up and interrupt a gladiator-style match between two huge armored beings. It’s hard to get a good look at their faces, but they do appear to be wearing headgear and body armor. That gear and gladiatorial-style fight mimic this mood and look from the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, where Thor and the Hulk fight in a giant arena (according to the initial description of the film, Hela banishes Thor to this planet):

The Hulk in the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok.

The Easter egg gets a little bit more of a nudge if you not only stick around for Guardians 2’s end-credits scenes, but pay attention to the credits themselves. Toward the end of the reel, Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster, who is in charge of orchestrating the Thor v. Hulk gladiator battle, can be seen mugging for the camera (along with the rest of the characters from Guardians 2).

GuardiansThor Easter egg connects the two cinematic franchises in a fascinating way.

When Marvel’s movies talk about Thor and where he comes from, they play up the fantasy aspect of the character’s story — in Thor: The Dark World, there’s mythology about the “nine realms,” and the franchise employs the Bifröst, a rainbow bridge that connects dimensions — and scientists on earth (like Jane Foster) often have trouble making sense of it.

Rocket’s jump makes the connection more clear: It reveals that the worlds and realms that Thor travels to exist in the same cosmic universe, but you just need advanced, Guardians-esque science and technology to get there. And this is all happening while the Avengers on Earth are warring with one another.

We’ll have to see when Thor: Ragnarok comes out in November if it returns the Easter egg favor with a nod back toward the Guardians franchise.

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