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In Marvel's upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, the third Thor movie but the first which looks like a genuinely great Marvel film, the Asgardian loses his hammer, fights Hulk in space, searches for Odin and faces off with the terrifying Hela, Goddess of Death. It looks like an adventure of truly apocalyptic proportions ("Ragnarok" is absolute destruction, after all) with potentially major consequences for the rest of the #MCU and the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
This year, Marvel has begun teasing some juicy details about the cast of characters in Ragnarok, so who will we see alongside our celestially traveling heroes? First, and most terrifyingly of all, is Hela (played by Cate Blanchett)...
Next up is Tessa Thompson's warrior Valkyrie, whom we meet working with the Grandmaster on the planet Sakaar...
And then there's the Grandmaster himself (Jeff Goldblum), a villain of sorts who enjoys pitting powerful beings against on another as gladiators on Sakaar...
And, perhaps most interestingly of all, there's Skurge, also known as The Executioner, brought to life by Karl Urban. My goal with this article is simply to answer one question:
Who Is Skurge The Executioner?
One of Asgard's greatest warriors, Skurge is formidable in hand-to-hand combat (particularly skilled at wielding a battle-ax), and is a longtime antagonist for Thor. Born the son of a Frost Giant and an Asgardian, Skurge gained the name "The Executioner" after fighting in a war against the Storm Giants.
With immediate connections to Thor, Loki, Baron Zemo, the Grandmaster and the Hulk, there is a notable absence of any news regarding his love interest, Amora, who successfully seduced the Executioner into aiding her in many of her plots. Though he has a complicated history with both Amora the Enchantress and Thor, this character's addition to the cast is semi-spoilery, so be warned of that before reading below...
Skurge eventually joins Asgard's heroes in a mission to Hel where he sacrifices his ax to destroy the ship of the dead (Nagelfar), therein delaying Ragnarok. This moment in Marvel history proves that Skurge is much more than a henchman to the Enchantress, but an intrinsically complicated character longing for love in the wrong place, eventually sacrificing himself for the greater good and his own independence.
In his first appearance in the comics, the Executioner helps Amora the Enchantress battle Thor (at the bidding of Loki). At one time, he even served as Loki's lieutenant during his brief rule of Asgard (which is also timely for the MCU). Maybe the more intriguing part of Skurge's comic history is a time in which he and Amora captured Bruce Banner when he was being transported to Asgard. When Banner realizes what is happening and turns into the Hulk, Skurge and the Hulk battle, ultimately leading to the Executioner's defeat (along with an army of Rock Trolls). And what follows may be the biggest (potential) spoiler of all...
An enraged Amora turns her magic against the Hulk and kills him. Although, by using the Scepter of Strength, Odin brings the Hulk back to life.
I see Skurge the Executioner being one of the most important characters in Thor: Ragnarok, but with a cast this talented, anything could happen.