The continuity of Marvel’s cinematic universe has been pretty spot on over its ten year run, bleeding one film and/or franchise into another with complete ease. Now when it comes to Marvel’s latest, Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi’s directorial debut in the MCU not only brings new life to the Thor franchise and the MCU overall, but it also retcons one of the biggest questions we’ve had since the mighty franchise began back in 2012.
Before Thanos even hit the screen in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, his presence was teased in the original Thor when we got our first glimpse at Odin’s vault on Asgard, where the one-of-a-kind infinity gauntlet made a quick appearance in the background of a scene. For a few years we were asking the question as to when Thanos would be arriving on Asgard to take the all-powerful glove, until Thanos made a second post-credit appearance for Avengers: Age of Ultron, showing him putting on the famous Infinity Gauntlet glove. Could the Marvel cinematic universe actually feature two infinity gauntlet’s? Would it be a race to collecting all the infinity stones rather than the glove itself?
Marvel Studios addressed the continuity error, saying that one of the gloves is fake, but never revealing which one it is. Luckily for us, we now have Ragnarok to go off of, where Marvel and Waititi seemed to make it a priority to resolve the issue of two gauntlets. In the film, Hela, the Goddess of Death, ventures down to Odin’s vault in search of an ancient tomb, where on the way, she reveals that the gauntlet sitting in the vault is in fact fake. While speaking to /Film, Marvel Studios President and all around genius explained how the long-awaited retcon come together with director Taika Waititi:
“As we learn in this movie, he vanished his firstborn daughter because he sort of got what he needed, he got to the top of the Nine Realms and it was like oh, this is much too violent. And Hela says, glad to have it, ashamed of how we got it. And we see that mural in the movie of [how] it was not a pleasant history of how Asgard got all that gold. So Odin has a history of doing what he wants to do to maintain power. And going back, I mean, now it’s probably five years ago we started again just in our internal creative group saying, ‘Well, it’s fake.’ Because if the Asgardians knew that there was something that had that kind of power, that could theoretically wipe out Asgard and whatever else with a, in the comics, a literal snap of the fingers. They might question Odin’s ability to protect them.
“So Odin put a fake and he goes, it’s fine, I got it. Look, it’s fine, it’s in our vault, don’t worry about it. And it’s not until Hela goes down there. It was fun being back in that vault, by the way, for the first time since Thor 1. It was just the opportunity to call it a fake. So for people like yourself, and like all of us at Marvel Studios who were paying attention, that answers that question. And for people who have no idea that an out-of-focus Infinity Gauntlet appeared in the back of Thor 1, it just showcases her knowledge and her sort of disgust with the way Odin had handled things on her way to the true power that is below the surface.”
For all we know, this could’ve been Marvel’s plan all long, to retcon Odin’s gauntlet at some point in time down the line. Either way, the involvement of the “fake” gauntlet was the first real sign that Marvel had an end-goal, with Jim Starlin’s universe-shattering storyline being the center-piece.
The thought has been that Joe and Anthony Russo would take the reigns in somehow retconning the appearance of two gloves, but now that Taika Waititi resolved the issue in his film, the Russo’s can now fully focus their attention on the Mad Titan, the Black Order and the retrieval of the six infinity stones.