After so long of seeing him haunt post-credits scenes, Avengers: Infinity War had a big job to do in making Thanos the most dangerous threat to the Avengers that we’d ever seen, in order to ensure that he lived up to all the hype. As it happened, the filmmakers pulled that off almost immediately, in the opening sequence – when the Mad Titan killed not only one of the franchise’s toughest characters, but also one of its most beloved.
The movie begins in media res, jumping in during the aftermath of Thanos’ brutal attack on the Asgardian refugee ship. Half of Thor’s people are dead and, after he sends the Hulk to Earth to warn the Avengers, soon Heimdall joins them. He didn’t have a huge role in Thor: Ragnarok, but Idris Elba’s Bifrost gatekeeper has a multi-movie history with the franchise that goes back to 2011, so it was certainly a shock to see him killed off so quickly.
It won’t only be the fans who miss Heimdall, either, as Elba himself took to Twitter earlier this week to bid farewell to the character, posting a photo of him and saying that he’s going to miss playing the role. So, unlike say Gamora – who many think will still return – it seems that the all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian is indeed gone for good.
In fact, that may be the case for most of the heroes, as Christopher Markus recently hinted that those who died in Infinity War are going to stay dead. We can’t imagine how that’d be the case, given that the film killed off characters like Black Panther and Spider-Man, among others, but here’s what the writer had to say earlier this week:
Avengers 4 doesn’t do what you think it does. It is a different movie than you think it is. Also…[the deaths are] real. I just want to tell you it’s real, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to move on to the next stage of grief.
Again, we can’t possibly see how they’ll make these deaths stick, so if we had to guess, Markus is simply referring to folks like Loki and Heimdall, and perhaps even Vision, who are now gone from the franchise and won’t be returning in the future. As for the rest of the characters who died in Infinity War, though, we fully expect for them to be back on our screens once Avengers 4 arrives next May.