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Most are already aware by now that the soon-to-be-released movie, Thor Ragnarok is introducing a new supervillainess to audiences in the form of the Asgardian Goddess of Death, Hela. The character, played by Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, was revealed to possess formidable powers – particularly the ability to destroy Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and bring forth massive destruction to Asgard.

Who is Hela?

According to the Marvel Universe lore, Hela was made Goddess of the Dead by Odin himself.

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She was granted dominion over two realms – Niffleheim and Hel. The souls of the Asgardians who died, neither with honor or dishonor, will be sent to Niffleheim while those who died with dishonor are going to Hel.

Hela also covets dominion over another realm, Valhalla, where honored Asgardians were sent to find eternal rest after their death. The goddess’ desire to possess the souls of these Asgardians including that of Thor and Odin, is the root cause of many conflicts between Hela and Thor’s homeworld.

As was seen in Thor Ragnarok” trailers, Hela has awesome powers including superhuman strength and the ability to travel in astral form. But the greatest of all these is her power over life and death. She can take the soul of a dead Asgardian or even kill a healthy one by a mere touch. Hela can also restore life provided the soul has not left the body yet.

Loki’s mischief

Towards the end of “Thor Dark World,” it was revealed that Loki, disguised as Odin, had seized control of Asgard’s throne. It was his act of deception that eventually brought Hela into Asgard, according to producer Brad Winderbaum.

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Winderbaum – who spoke to reporters while on the set of “Thor Ragnarok” in Australia – said Loki was unaware that there are plenty of “terrible things in the cosmos” Odin was trying to deal with in order to make the universe safe. One of these threats is Hela, who was able to find Asgard vulnerable with Odin’s absence and Loki being unprepared against her attack.

In a previous interview, Cate Blanchett told Entertainment Weekly that Hela was locked away for millennia, however, she was unleashed because of a mistake.

It is safe to assume that the actress was referring to the blunder committed by Loki.

Unleashing Hela could bring about Ragnarok or the complete destruction of Asgard and mankind. Which is why Thor assembled a team – with Loki, The Hulk, and Valkyrie– who will try to prevent Ragnarok from happening.

The soul stone

It was also widely speculated that “Thor Ragnarok” will finally reveal the soul stone – the Infinity Stone yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The power of Hela over the souls of Asgardians provides a hint that she may be in possession of the gem.

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If such was the case, all of the Infinity Stones’ locations are now known just as the “Avengers Infinity War” comes out in 2018.