Summary

  • Hela’s return in What If…? season 2 sees her taking on a new role in the world of mysticism and magic, potentially even involving the Great Protector.
  • Hela has previously shown her ability to resurrect the dead using her magic and the Eternal Flame, indicating her strength as a necromancer.
  • The glowing green eyes of the Great Protector in the What If…? season 2 trailer suggest that Hela may have assumed control of the dragon, potentially making her an even more terrifying threat.


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Cate Blanchett’s return as Hela in Marvel Studios’ What If…? season 2 could see her show off one of her most terrifying MCU powers. Marvel Studios developed What If…? for Disney+ in the Multiverse Saga, with each episode of the series exploring a different alternate reality in the multiverse. What If…? season 1 marked the debuts of MCU variants including Peggy Carter’s super soldier Captain Carter, T’Challa’s version of Star-Lord, and an evil iteration of Doctor Strange, and 2023’s What If…? season 2 will introduce even more new characters to the ever-expanding MCU. This includes putting a new version of Cate Blanchett’s Hela, the Goddess of Death, in the spotlight.

Cate Blanchett first appeared as Hela, Asgardian King Odin’s firstborn child and Goddess of Death, in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. Hela’s debut revealed the hidden history of Asgard, as Hela and Odin had embarked on a violent conquest of the Nine Realms, which the former wanted to repeat following her return from her exile in Hel. Since Hela draws her power from Asgard, Surtur’s destruction of the planet during the Ragnarok event presumably defeated her, though her current status in the MCU is unclear. With Hela’s return in What If…? season 2, however, she will be taking on a new role, finding herself involved in the world of mysticism and magic.


A Subtle Detail Could Make Hela’s MCU Return Even Deadlier

Eagle-eyed viewers have spotted a detail in What If…? season 2’s trailer, which released on November 15, 2023. Viewers caught a glimpse of Hela’s storyline in the trailer, as the Goddess of Death seems to team up with Xu Wenwu, the owner of the powerful Ten Rings. However, one theory suggests Hela has taken control of the Great Protector, Ta Lo’s dragon, proving that What If…? will make her a more terrifying threat. In the trailer, the Great Protector’s eyes glow a vivid green, just as Hela’s undead army does in Thor: Ragnarok, enchanted with her magic and the Eternal Flame, which implies Hela has assumed control of the dragon.

How Hela’s Powers Work In The MCU

Hela with her horned helmet in Thor Ragnarok's Valkyrie flashback

The idea of Hela possessing the Great Protector may seem outlandish, but the Goddess of Death has already proven that she can harness this ability in the live-action MCU. During Thor: Ragnarok, Hela wakes her former soldiers and the gigantic wolf Fenris after Asgard’s living armies refuse to fall under her command. Despite her former armies having been dead for millennia, Hela used her magic and the power of the Eternal Flame to resurrect them, proving her strength as a necromancer. This means that she could easily possess Ta Lo’s Great Protector in What If…?, though suggests that the dragon would have been killed beforehand.

Hela hasn’t shown herself to be able to possess living beings, which means the Great Protector must have been killed. It’s unclear exactly what could kill the Great Protector, though the dragon came close to death in 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings during an attack from Dweller-in-Darkness, so it’s possible that What If…?’s alternate Ta Lo was successfully attacked by the Dweller-in-Darkness without Shang-Chi’s intervention. This could be the case, or What If…? may gift Hela a different power set, making her able to take possession of living creatures as well as being able to raise the dead, which may be an even more terrifying concept.

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