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During a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, the cast of Thor: Ragnarok sat down to discuss their roles in the upcoming film. When the conversation came around to Karl Urban, he gave a bit of insight into his character's Skurge's role in the film, along with shedding some light on Heimdall's whereabouts.
In the aforementioned interview, Urban talked about what his character's purpose is in Ragnarok, and also provided a bit of explanation for his character's motives. Urban tries to emphasize that Skurge isn't just another one dimensional villain, but rather that there's a method to his madness, so to speak. Details in the article also reveal that Skurge has become the guard of the Bifrost bridge in Heimdall's absence, which is much more important. Check out the full comments below:
Every great baddie needs a good lackey; enter one tattoo-headed Skurge. The Asgardian warrior has been operating the Bifröst bridge in the absence of Heimdall (Idris Elba).
"Then Hela turns up, and Skurge quickly realizes that he either has to join her or die. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's bright enough to make the right choice for him. He's a survivalist.”
What's interesting about Heimdall's sudden departure is that he's always been the guardian of the Bifrost. He very rarely leaves his post, and when he does, he leaves multiple guards on the gate to ensure no one tampers with it. Even in the comics, he only leaves his post on limited occasions, to report to Odin, making his exit all the more questionable.
As it sits, there's no information currently available on the matter. All we know is that Skurge has taken Heimdall's place, and Heimdall is occupied fighting Hela's forces in a wooded glen somewhere. That said, here are the most feasible explanations for why Heimdall has left the Bifrost gate to Skurge the Executioner.
Heimdall Is Ordered By Loki, Disguised As Odin, To Venture Off-World
The last time we saw Loki he was masquerading as Odin in Thor: Dark World, and it doesn't look like anyone has realized that Loki has taken the All-Father's place. He could be able to manipulate Heimdall into doing his bidding, including sending him somewhere off the planet. That explanation would also tie into Loki releasing Hela from her prison.
Assuming Heimdall is protecting the Bifrost like he always is, he'd still be keeping an eye on the rest of Asgard as well. But, in the scenario of Odin (Loki) commanding him to leave the Bifrost bridge to Skurge's command, he could be sent on a pointless mission just to be kept out of the way.
Heimdall Goes Searching For Other Asgardians
As of now, we know Asgard will be taken over by Hela, so Heimdall is presumably out of a job. Hela doesn't seem like the kind of boss who keeps former staff around, what with her burning Asgard to ashes, so she'll probably get rid of Heimdall. If that is the case here, Heimdall could take his leave from Asgard to find its main protectors, Odin and Thor.
In any instance of Asgard being razed, Odin and Thor would be its first line of defense, but since they both appear to be on a sabbatical, the city is left without its main protectors. Knowing that, it seems logical for Heimdall to go out searching for them. Regardless of his oversight of Asgard, Heimdall isn't on the same level as Hela. He can't win in one-on-one combat, and Hela has an army at her disposal, making it reasonable to assume he'll go out searching for Thor and Odin.
Heimdall Is Turned Into A Berserker
There's also a distinct possibility that Heimdall will be killed during the events of Thor: Ragnarok, leading to him becoming a Berserker. The mind-controlled warriors working for Hela have been identified as dead Asgardian soldiers, brought back by Hela to fight her war. If she has the ability to bring the dead back to life, along with transforming them into her own minions, she could feasibly do the same to Heimdall.
Where Is Heimdall?
All things said, there's still no concrete evidence as to where Heimdall could be. He was briefly seen in the second trailer, which depicted him fighting Hela's berserkers in a forested area. The location wasn't clearly identifiable, but the forest shared enough similarities with the first Ragnarok footage, giving us a fair idea of his location.
In that footage, Banner hulks out alongside the Warriors Three, who are fighting an army of unknown adversaries. The location is what's important here, because it's primarily set in a forest, similar to the image above. If they are in fact the same location, Heimdall could be part of the Asgardian crew who helps rescue Thor from Sakarr. Thor will have help from Hulk, Loki, and Valkyrie, but Heimdall could be working with them on a separate mission.
Assisting the Warriors Three in finding Odin seems ideal for them. Heimdall can see the location of everyone in the Nine Realms, making him the perfect person to search for Odin, unless they're turned into mindless Berserkers under Hela's control.
We won't know how it all plays out for another few months, and until then your guess is as good as mine.
[Source: Los Angeles Times]