In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor doesn’t seem to have heard of his sister, Hela. He doesn’t know what Odin is talking about when he mentions her.

Thor: Father, who are you talking about?

And he doesn’t seem to know her when they meet:

Thor: You must be Hela. I’m Thor, son of Odin.

Now, Hela is Odin’s firstborn child, so naturally Thor was born after her, and presumably after she was imprisoned. Further, Odin covered up a lot of the monuments and artwork showing her.


  • Valkyrie is aware of Hela (obviously), having fought her when Hela decided that she wanted to be in charge. Obviously this means that Valkyrie is older than Thor, but is she so old that no one else in Asgard was around to remember Hela? And if not, wouldn’t Thor have heard about Hela from one of them? Hela only seems to be a generation or so removed from Thor, after all, who’s not really portrayed as an extremely old Asgardian. There must be lots of people from Hela’s time.

  • On the other hand, other people don’t seem to recognize Hela when she returns:

    Hogun: Whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, surrender now!

  • We know that Norse mythology is pretty similar in the MCU, and that it’s inspired, in-universe, by the visits of Asgardians to Earth. Hela, or Hel, is part of that mythology, and I’m pretty sure we’ve seen that Thor knows what humans think about him and Asgard in general. Did Thor not hear about her?

So did Thor really not know about Hela? And if so, was there just a big conspiracy to never mention her again, so that all the younger Asgardians (e.g. Hogun), including Thor, didn’t know about her? Some spell cast by Odin?

  • 10
    Thor was completely unaware of Hela because Odin has always been super-secretive.. Best example : LOKI is a frost giant :p
    – Shreedhar
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 18:02
  • 2
    I always assumed that Odin, being the All-Father and whatnot, had a lifespan several times that of the average Asgardian. No? Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 18:25
  • 8
    Valkyrie is also at least part-time residing on Sakaar, where time appears to run funny.
    – phantom42
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 18:54
  • 2
    It could be that they all thought Hela had died thousands of years ago, while only she and Odin knew otherwise.
    – Gaultheria
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 19:58
  • 2
    Norse mythology is a little different than MCU. For instance, Hel is a daughter of Loki.
    – Verdan
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


My instinct is that there's a few things happening here.

1) Odin has clearly covered up her existence, both literally (by hiding her visage and burying the ancient warrior graves) and figuratively (by preventing people from telling their children anything other than the officially accepted version of history).

2) Hela was around long enough ago that she was involved in the original creation of the Pax Asgardia. A long time has passed (potentially several millennia, potentially much longer) since she was banished. Over time anyone who actually knew her has long since died with the exception of Odin who uses the Odinforce and Odinsleep to stay alive past the usual Asgardian lifespan.

3) Valkyrie (Brunhilde) seems to be the last living person who has any direct knowledge of Hela and she's living in a place where the normal rules of space and, critically, time don't seem to apply. She could be the oldest living Asgardian by a factor of ten or a hundred. We just don't know.

4) It's not clear what, if any interest Thor has taken in Norse mythology while on Midgard. He may simply have dismissed any tales of Hell or Hela as being part of Christian mythos rather than something that relates directly to his own personal history.

  • 11
    Odinforce. Odinsleep. Is there Odinfood? Perhaps an Odinmobile (not Slepnir). Or an Odinshirt perhaps.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 22:48
  • 17
    @Broklynite - All available at the Odingiftshop. Odinoperators are standing by to take your Odincall.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 22:50
  • 8
    All purchasable with odincoins
    – Naib
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 23:24
  • 9
    Odincoins or Odincard accepted. All sales are Odin.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 10:46
  • 4
    Don't forget to pay the Odintax! Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 10:24

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