THOR: THE DARK WORLD End Credits Scene Explained

by     Posted 313 days ago

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As with all Marvel movies, Thor: The Dark World contained an end credits scene.  Two in fact, but only one was important to future movies.  It’s also probably the most confusing to mainstream audiences thus far.  Whereas other “stingers” were clear references like Thor’s hammer at the end credits of Iron Man 2, the reference during the end credits of Thor: The Dark World probably left a lot of non-comics fans scratching their heads.

In an attempt to clear some things up, I’ve put together an explanation of the scene, and you can read it after the jump.  Obviously, this explanation contains spoilers.

thor-2-end-credits-collectorTo briefly recap the scene, Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) take the dangerous Aether, a liquid that’s now been contained in a small chamber, to an odd place where alien creatures move about in glass cages.  They’re escorted by a pink alien to meet the Collector (Benicio Del Toro), who as fellow critics Eric Snider and Christopher Campbell pointed out on Twitter, kind of looks like Mugatu from Zoolander.  Sif and Volstagg explain they can’t keep the Aether on Asgard because they already have the Tesseract, and having two super-weapons in the same place is too dangerous.  They give the Collector the Aether, and he promises to keep it safe.  Once the Asgardians leave, the Collector looks up and ominously says, “One down…five to go.”  All of this is a minor lead-in to James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens on August 1, 2014.

There are two things to explain here.  First, who is the Collector?  The character has been around since 1966, and to sum up the Wikipedia page, his name is not misleading.  He collects lifeforms and artifacts throughout the universe for the sake of collecting them.  He was originally one of the “Elders of the Universe” and, in what could be a relevant point to Guardians of the Galaxy:

“The Collector also had the power of prophecy, allowing him to foresee the rise of a being powerful enough to pose a threat to the Elders: Thanos. To protect life in the universe, the Collector created a massive museum of countless life forms to keep them safe from Thanos. For a time, he even possessed one of the six Infinity Gems, unaware of its true power, until Thanos took it.”

marvel-the-collector-comic-book-1Judging by Del Toro’s tone in the stinger, it doesn’t look like his actions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are magnanimous.

As for The Collector’s superpowers, most of the offensive ones come from weapons and creature he’s collected.  He can also “manipulate cosmic energy for a variety of effects, including projecting concussive force beams, and the increasing of his size and mass (and hence physical strength) at will. He is also immortal, has the power of precognition, and “possesses limited shape-changing abilities.”

I’m pretty sure a lot of these traits will be absent from Guardians since it’s a crowded movie, and there’s probably not enough time to flesh out every single supporting character.  He’s someone who will serve a purpose, and it looks like that purpose is to collect the Infinity Gems, which are referred to as “Infinity Stones” in Thor: The Dark World, thus building the Infinity Gauntlet.

As we explained in our breakdown of baddie Thanos last year, he is the wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet, a weapon Marvel has made no attempt to hide and was showing off as early as 2010.  The Infinity Gauntlet contains six gems: The Soul Gem (Green), the Time Gem (Orange), the Space Gem (Purple), the Mind Gem (Blue), the Reality Gem (Yellow), and the Power Gem (Red). [Correction: I originally wrote "five gems"]

infinity-gauntlet-odins-vault-thor-imageIn the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Tesseract (which is Blue) and Aether (which is Red) have been referred to as powerful stones, a.k.a. the Gems.  While the red Power Gem does somewhat line up with the ability of Aether (“Accesses all power and energy that ever has or will exist, and can boost the other gems’ effects. Allows the user to duplicate almost any physical superhuman ability and grants Omnipotence,”) the Tesseract doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the Mind Gem’s ability to strengthen and enhance mental and psionic powers, and “access the thoughts and dreams of other beings.”

In fact, the Tesseract doesn’t line-up with any of the other gems’ powers.  The Soul Gem can “steal, control, manipulate and alter souls, living or dead”; the Time Gem gives the bearer “control over the past, present and future”, age or de-age beings, and can trap others in an unending time loops; the Space Gem is basically teleportation; and the Reality Gem allows “the user to fulfill wishes, even if the wish is in direct contradiction with scientific laws” (it also allows Patton Oswalt to come up with an epic Marvel/Star Wars movie).

Based on this lengthy explanation of what the gems do, I predict that it’s not about the specific abilities of each individual gem, but about bringing them together to give Thanos the ultimate weapon that may be able to perform some of the aforementioned abilities.

So what does this mean for Guardians of the Galaxy?  The film’s plot could have Thanos’ right-hand man and main villain Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) attempting to gather the “Infinity Stones”, and it’s up to the ragtag Guardians to protect the valuable artifacts.

I know it’s a bit of a stretch to suss out the central conflict from a single scene, but I don’t think it’s an inconceivable plot.  Next year, we’ll see if my prediction was correct.  In the meantime, I hope I’ve made Thor: The Dark World‘s post-credits scene a little more understandable.

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  • JK1193

    Having no knowledge of Guardians, didn’t even realize that was Del Toro. Already impressive makeup.

  • Tim

    Loki’s spear in “Avengers” was thought to use Tesseract energy. The spear also was the thing to take over people’s minds.

    • Fred

      Amen brother! just what I was about to say!

    • Random Bystander

      What I was thinking was that it seemed to teleport Red Skull somewhere in Captain America then in The Avengers they used it to get Thor and Loki back to Asgard. They also said it “opens a doorway to the other side of SPACE” (Space Gem/Stone!)

      • Migz13

        Which reminds me…. where the f*** did Red Skull go?!?!

      • Random Bystander

        Well, he went SOMEWHERE in the nine realms, though I have nothing to back up any guess I could make. He’d be happy in Asgard though, there’s only about 2 of them anything other than white.

    • Dude being a dude

      Loki’s spear power comes from Thanos. The line was something like “He who put that scepter in your hand”… Alluding to Thanos already has the Mind Stone/Gem

  • pwnednoob

    I feel like they should have saved this scene for the VERY END stinger and put the 2nd one first. The way it was shot felt very different and out of place. You could tell it was done by a different director. Different tone and style.

  • Lex Walker

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  • Steve

    I probably won’t phrase this properly, but so far space in the Marvel universe has this rather theatric, older feel to it, but the impression I get from Guardians is that it treats space as something more akin to, I dunno, a Lobo comic. Lots of different species mingling in neon-soaked space ports, stuff like that.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m curious if the world established in Guardians is going to clash with the whole 9 Realms stuff they set up in Thor. Does the rest of the galaxy regard Asgard as this goofy place where everyone talks in prose and wears fancy garments?

    • Lex Walker

      I dunno Midgard (Earth) is pretty different from Asgard and technically we’re in space too. If Midgard can have bars and brawls, why can’t another realm take that to a different extreme? And remember, we’re really only seeing royal Asgard, but they have pubs and bars too. I don’t think they’ll clash so much as complement.

    • Random Bystander

      It seems like the nine realms are the oldest/most important planets in the universe, but there are still younger, less refined planets and races in the universe and that’s where the divide is between the feel of Thor and the feel of GotG. That’s my theory at least.

    • Grayden

      Think of it in terms of the 1st World (industrialized, highly advanced countries), 2nd World (some industrialization, some advancements) and the 3rd World (no industrialization and little advancement). Asgard is 1st world, Midgard is 2nd, and Vanaheim is 3rd, from what was seen in Thor 2. Asgardians may talk in Shakespearean prose, but their technology is likely very high compared to the rest of the galaxy.

      I think of it more like Firely/Serenity. You have your core worlds where civilization is advanced and futuristic, and then you have your remote worlds where it looks like the Old West. GotG may show different species together flying around on space ships, but it won’t be anything like Asgard. The core worlds are tied together through Yggdrasil, and all the other worlds are just on their own. Universal plan, or just happened that way? Who knows, but it provides an explanation at least.

      • sb

        I believe the planets and locations from the Guardians/galactic side of the Marvel universe are something that you could physically, say, fly a spaceship to if it were possible.

        And the 9 realms, as stated in Thor 2, overlap with earth. Thats why they all were kind of visible when they aligned. They can’t be reached by flying out into space but rather exist on a different plane of existence/ another dimension entirely.

        So basically I’m thinking the species/places that we will see in Guardians will be considered part of Midgard.

  • Alexander Calvo

    The tesserect could easily be the space gem, it opens portals from one part of space to another, and didn’t thor basically use it to teleport back to asgaurd at the end of the avengers? And there are SIX gems not five.

  • Andrew Butler

    I don’t know why The Collector would refer to the Ether as a stone or gem, its my opinion that Asgard has an infinity stone and decided to give one to The Collector (thinking he’s trustworthy when he’s not). The post credit scene introduces the idea that there are many forces competing for the Infinity Stones, all of which haven’t been collected (although that image of the infinity gauntlet might have come from Thor? Not sure…) but how could the gauntlet already be assembled? And if this was the case, why would they bring one to The Collector? I think the Ether went back to its holding location and at the end of Thor the Asgardians are spreading the gems out (of only 2 that they have) to make it harder to assemble them together. This is Thanos’s Quest, to assemble them all – eventually RDJ is going to join the Guardians of the Galaxy so my guess is that it won’t be until Avengers 3 that we see full on war with Thanos. Although, Thanos will likely be a main villian in Guardians of the Galaxy.

    • Random Bystander

      Maybe they’re called stones and not gems as they are in the comics because they’re not gems yet. Once they’re all collected their power will be transferred into the gems that are already on the gauntlet. Maybe…

    • doc

      Maybe Loki/Odin told them to take it to the Collector. Also, the gems are in place but I think the various stones activate the gems/glove. It’s different from the comics but it works for me.

  • Waypoint

    Tesseract is definitely the mind gem. It allows humanity to create something to bridge the gap between worlds. Selvig says it’s not just knowledge, it’s truth (or something along those lines). It gives him the mental capacity to create incredible works of science.

    Not to mention, Loki’s scepter is of the same energy as the Tesseract, and he is able to mind control a bunch of dudes into doing his bidding.

  • steve

    Six gems brother. You write “5 gems” and then proceed to list six

    • Gregory

      “One down, five to go.” was what he said. 1+5=6.

      Smartly written, Mr. Goldberg.

      • Josh Kaye

        “The Infinity Gauntlet contains five gems: The Soul Gem (Green), the Time Gem (Orange), the Space Gem (Purple), the Mind Gem (Blue), the Reality Gem (Yellow), and the Power Gem (Red).”

        That’s what he’s referring to, not what The Collector said. Goldberg provides the link to ‘five gems’, and surprise!

        “Infinity Gems, sometimes referred to as the Soul Gems, are six immensely powerful gems featured in the fictional Marvel Universe.”

        This is a mix up on Goldberg’s part and him not being able to count higher than five.

      • bombinUSA

        wait wait, make sense of this to me. the infinity gauntlet has 5 stones which make up its power…the collector talks about 6 gems though. aren’t the ‘soul gems’ and the stones which make up the gauntlet supposed be the same thing? where’s this extra stone coming from? im under the belief that the tesseract and ether make up 2 of the gems/stones…so for this marvel universe will the infinitely gauntlet be made up 6 stones instead of 5? if that’s the case, sure i get it. right now, things are contradicting.

      • doc

        It’s 6. Count the gems on the glove.

      • popincherry

        I’m going out on a limb here, but… you’ve never touched boobles have you?

      • bombinUSA

        what the fuck are BOOBLES? fn idiot.

      • bombinUSA

        wait wait, make sense of this to me. the infinity gauntlet has 5 stones which make up its power…the collector talks about 6 gems though. aren’t the ‘soul gems’ and the stones which make up the gauntlet supposed be the same thing? where’s this extra stone coming from? im under the belief that the tesseract and ether make up 2 of the gems/stones…so for this marvel universe will the infinitely gauntlet be made up 6 stones instead of 5? if that’s the case, sure i get it. right now, things are contradicting.

      • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

        Would you and Gregory like to come work for us as unpaid copy-editors?

      • Josh Kaye

        This whole talk of gems and whatever is beginning to confuse me. Collector says one down, five to go. The Aether (Red-Power), The Tesseract (Blue-Mind), and four which we haven’t discovered yet – Green-Soul, Orange-Time, Purple-Space, Yellow-Reality.
        Two have been discovered in the Marvel Universe and given…weird names. Whatever.

      • doc

        I think the septor is one as well.

      • Josh Kaye

        I’m not 100% sure. It seemed like the septor(?) was made of a similar substance to that of the tesseract which is why the septor(?) is the key to shutting down the portal.

      • Josh Kaye

        I’m not 100% sure. It seemed like the septor(?) was made of a similar substance to that of the tesseract which is why the septor(?) is the key to shutting down the portal.

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  • http://www.beatific-design.com Beatific

    I missed the post credit scene – didn’t realise there would be two. Looking forward to Guardians.

    • Julio Navas

      I don´t understand why people leave theaters in such a rush, specially knowing that the Marvel movies always have included a post-credits scene.

      • http://www.beatific-design.com Beatific

        I was in no rush. I assumed there was only one scene after the movie. Foolish in hindsight. Annoying considering I sat through 30 minutes of ads beforehand.

  • ʝoe Dimþleš ßloggs

    Hey Goldberg actually wrote something of value!
    -Shudder-

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  • smellyfishfingers

    Well I thought the costume design and set design for the collector scene was pretty terrible which lowered my expectations for gotg

    • NICK НΛRT

      theres an interview with james gunn where he said he read the script for the scene for the first time on the day that he filmed it, and he did the whole thing in two hours. guardians just wrapped filming and they have a lot of time for post production, so i’m sure it will look a lot more impressive than this segment did, which i admit did have a weird visual texture to it

    • doc

      Hey, you got your Farscape in my Thor!

  • Bix Dugan

    My Marvel Universe knowledge only goes back to the 70s & 80s so… In the 2nd, less important extra scene after the credits… Is that Ghostbusters devil dog thing that is running around… Is that supposed to be any classic Marvel monster character I should know by sight? Like Fing Fang Foom? or Dragon Man????

  • Bix Dugan

    My Marvel Universe knowledge only goes back to the 70s & 80s so… In the 2nd, less important extra scene after the credits… Is that Ghostbusters devil dog thing that is running around… Is that supposed to be any classic Marvel monster character I should know by sight? Like Fing Fang Foom? or Dragon Man????

    • Guy Smiley

      I thought maybe it was the creature Thor describes to Coulson in The Avengers (Biltsnipe?), but Thor said that creature has antlers so that’s probably not it. When I first saw it I thought of Ghostbusters too!

    • Guy Smiley

      I thought maybe it was the creature Thor describes to Coulson in The Avengers (Biltsnipe?), but Thor said that creature has antlers so that’s probably not it. When I first saw it I thought of Ghostbusters too!

    • Grayden

      It looked like that giant creature Thor and party encountered as they were retreating from the Frost Giant’s world in the first Thor film.

    • doc

      No, just the thing that got lose when the portals went haywire. I think it’s the same kind of creature as the one Thor killed in the first movie. Maybe not, I’ve only seen it once.

      • Doc K

        This.

        I’m kind of surprised the question is being asked : just watching the movie(s) would have been enough.
        When Thor and Malekith are teleported to Jotunheim ( frost giants’s homeworld from the first Thor movie ), they are attacked by a big monster which bears a strong resemblance to the one Thor indeed kills in the first movie.
        The creature then jumps on them and is teleported back to earth with the both of them, and from then we loose track of it. His ‘fate’ is revealed in the final, post-credit scene. It may even be adressed in the Marvel Agents of SHIELD TV show ( I read somewhere that the 19th november episode would use material from thor 2, and seeing the chaos in London at the end, it makes sense SHIELD would somehow be interested ).

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  • bidi

    soooooo how the fuck are the Avengers supposed to win when Thanos can basically do whatever he wants with the infinity gauntlet? i have basically zero knowledge of Avengers comics, but how can this dude lose? especially since all i’ve really seen the Avengers do is punch and kick. i have a feeling that won’t work here…

  • Gray

    When the ether was temporarily destroyed, it formed into broken crystals before becoming re-forming- perhaps it needs to be changed to a certain state and it will abide that form allowing the augmentation of a gauntlet with said either.

  • Anthony James

    There’s some interesting comments here about the tesseract being either the Mind or Space, but what if it’s neither? It could fit into some of these, but I’m not sure..

    I was thinking of the possibility of this:

    The POWER (red) is the Aether, the TIME (orange) is what will be used in X-Men Day of Future Past, MIND (Blue) will be what was used to alter the mind of the Winter Soldier and ultimately restores his memory and will be revealed in the next Captain America movie, SPACE (Purple) will be revealed in Guardians of the Galaxy, REALITY (Yellow) revealed in Avengers 2 starring the Scarlett Witch, and finally SOUL (Green) will be revealed in the Doctor Strange movie due out in 2016 leading up to Thanos having the Infinity Gauntlet for a showdown in Avengers 3.

    I also read that Avengers 2 will end dark (like Empire Strikes Back) and I’m wondering if the possibility lies that some of the Avengers will be captured by the Collector, but then he decides to let them go in Avengers 3 to fight against Thanos after Thanos steals the stones from him. Just a thought of what might be to come?

    • Doc K

      X-Men Days of Future Past is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it won’t tie in in any way with the Gems or Thanos.

      The Tesseract is another gem. Apparently, Kevin Feige has confirmed that it was the Space Gem ( http://screencrush.com/thor-2-post-credits-scene-answers/ ). Still according to this site, the GotG will be trying to retrieve a third one – which would quite make sense, as if the Infinity Gauntlet storyline is due for Avengers 3, they need to start collecting the damn gems already!

      The fact the Tesseract was blue is probably due to the whole Infinity Gems business not having yet been decided when they did Captain America. Or, rather, the Tesseract being one. Otherwise they probably would have painted it purple right from the start.

      As it has been mentionned earlier, I quite agree that Thanos probably already has the Mind / Blue one, as hinted by Loki’s scepter in Avengers…
      What surprises me is the fact that no one so far had the idea to ask Loki where he did get that thing and whose help he received. Not that he would answer anyway, but, yeah, just a scene of him being interrogated in Asgard would have fit nicely.

    • Doc K

      X-Men Days of Future Past is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it won’t tie in in any way with the Gems or Thanos.

      The Tesseract is another gem. Apparently, Kevin Feige has confirmed that it was the Space Gem ( http://screencrush.com/thor-2-post-credits-scene-answers/ ). Still according to this site, the GotG will be trying to retrieve a third one – which would quite make sense, as if the Infinity Gauntlet storyline is due for Avengers 3, they need to start collecting the damn gems already!

      The fact the Tesseract was blue is probably due to the whole Infinity Gems business not having yet been decided when they did Captain America. Or, rather, the Tesseract being one. Otherwise they probably would have painted it purple right from the start.

      As it has been mentionned earlier, I quite agree that Thanos probably already has the Mind / Blue one, as hinted by Loki’s scepter in Avengers…
      What surprises me is the fact that no one so far had the idea to ask Loki where he did get that thing and whose help he received. Not that he would answer anyway, but, yeah, just a scene of him being interrogated in Asgard would have fit nicely.

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  • mmmhmmm

    Exactly! Finally someone pointed that out!

  • Loki

    LOL

  • Loki

    LOL

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