Thor: Ragnarok Director Reveals Why He Changed Odin’s Death Scene

odin thor ragnarok

Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok arguably marked the best use of Anthony Hopkins’ Odin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, allowing the veteran actor bring more to his performance in a couple of scenes than he did playing the resolutely stoic ruler of Asgard in the entirety of the first two installments.

Hopkins is having a blast when he’s playing Loki disguised as Odin at the beginning of the story, before bringing his gravitas to the fore when he warns his sons about the upcoming danger of Hela, who promptly shows up and sends her old man of to the afterlife.

In the original draft of the script, Thor and Loki were set to find Odin wandering the streets of New York as a raving homeless lunatic, prior to Hela murdering him in a dingy alleyway by stabbing him through the heart, which is far from a dignified demise. In new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe via ComicBook, Waititi reveals why he made the change.

“Tony Hopkins has a reaction to the sort of sentimentality of Hollywood and Hollywood films, and rightly so. My reaction was like ‘Yeah, Tony. I hate that stuff too, so let’s shift away from that. How do we subvert this and make this a more interesting death scene?’. I had to remind myself, we have to give the audience a lot of stuff that they want; they aren’t cynics like us. They actually have an understandable desire for bits of emotion throughout these films. So I realized, ‘We should definitely give them that version of Odin’s death scene that they deserve and that they’ve been waiting for for a long time now’.”

Odin’s revised onscreen death is much better than seeing the Allfather murdered in the back streets of NYC, sending Hopkins out in a more solemn and somber fashion, which also sets up the sibling conflict that drives the rest of Ragnarok rather nicely.