In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his estranged brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are brought together by the loss of their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Before his death, Odin warns Thor and Loki that Ragnarok (an epic battle) is upon them. This battle is led by their sister Hela (Cate Blanchett), who was previously unknown to her brothers.
In an initial battle with Hela, both Thor and Loki are banished to a world called Sakaar. Thor is captured by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), who pits Thor against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) for the citizens’ amusement. After their fight, Thor and Hulk become allies and are joined by Loki and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). This group returns to Asgard to take on Hela and save the people from her oppressive rule.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Gods and superheroes; the supernatural; war; retribution and reprisal
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Thor: Ragnarok has some violence. For example:
- Many battles involve demons, as well as the use of high-powered guns, swords, knives and other weapons.
- A giant fire demon uses a sword.
- Huge guns on a ship shoot a whole group of marauders.
- Thor gets stuck with a device on his neck. When the device is remotely activated, it sends shocks throughout his body, causing convulsions.
- In many scenes, fighters use swords and weapons to skewer bodies and body parts. These scenes are quite graphic.
- Some scenes show decapitations.
- A man is impaled on a spike.
- An alien is shot with a weapon that slowly burns him like acid, melting him to the ground.
- Hela strikes out Thor’s eye, leaving a black and bloodied hole.
- Hela pins Thor’s arm against the floor with a large knife.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Thor: Ragnarok has scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- The movie has aliens, monsters and occult themes. Hela is quite dark and menacing and displays transformative powers. The giant fire demon looks scary and many of the voices of evil characters are deep and growling.
- Thor’s father Odin dies unexpectedly. He transforms into ‘sparkling energy’ and dissipates into the horizon, leaving Thor visibly shaken.
- A massive dragon suddenly crashes up through the ground and chases Thor.
- A skull’s jaw drops off.
- The marauders wear weird masks with large eyes.
- A battalion of skeleton warriors and a giant wolf come to life.
- Growling skeleton-like knights chase a family through a forest.
- The giant fire demon destroys Asgard.
Children in this age group are also likely to be scared by the scenes mentioned above, particularly by the death of Thor’s father Odin.
Children in this age group might be particularly disturbed by the scene in which the family with two young children are running through a dark forest with skeleton-like warriors chasing them.
Younger children in this age group might also find some of the themes and scenes disturbing.
Thor: Ragnarok has some sexual references. For example:
- Thor says, ‘I love women … actually … sometimes I love women too much’. This implies that he has been with many women.
- In one scene, it’s mentioned that a ship is used ‘for orgies’ and ‘no-one should touch anything in there’.
- Hulk walks past Thor naked (with nothing shown on screen). Thor looks down and says, ‘I won’t be able to un-see that for a while’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Thor: Ragnarok shows some use of substances. For example, Valkyrie is often seen drinking. In one scene she drunkenly stumbles off a platform into garbage. Both Valkyrie and Thor drink over-sized vessels of beer and alcohol.
Nudity and sexual activity
Thor: Ragnarok shows some partial nudity. For example, in one scene both Thor and Hulk wear towels that only cover the bottom half of their bodies.
Nothing of concern
Thor: Ragnarok has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Thor: Ragnarok expands the Marvel cinematic universe. In this universe, stories are usually about good versus evil. But in Thor: Ragnarok the line between good and evil becomes slightly blurred as Loki (who is usually the evil character) joins forces with his brother Thor. In the situation, it’s the most logical position to take for survival. Younger viewers who are familiar with the series might find this slightly confusing.
The movie’s violent and disturbing scenes make it unsuitable for children under 13 years, and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 13-15 years.
The main messages from this movie are about being resilient and fighting for what’s right. For example, Thor realises that even without his hammer, he can summon up his own internal strength to defeat evil.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life dangers of binge-drinking. Thor and Valkyrie both drink huge amounts of alcohol, and the movie presents this as impressive.