Cate Blanchett played Hela in Taika Waititi directed Thor: Ragnarok, which changed the history of the character as we know it.
In the Marvel comics, Hela is the daughter of the God of Mischief, Loki, and was the ruler of the realm of Hel. Hel is a part of the Niffleheim or the Nine Realms, that Thor explained to Jane Foster, in the first movie.
But in the movie, her back story was completely changed. Hela is now the firstborn of Odin, and Thor’s older sister who was banished by their father when he got scared of her ambitions. Once upon a time, the ruthless leader of Odin’s army, was tucked away somewhere so that she couldn’t wreck carnage over the Nine realms.
But the question is, where was Hela banished to? She is a god herself, just like Odin and Thor and Loki. It is not easy to bind a god that they can’t get out of their prison. The only reason Hela was freed was because Odin died, and with his life force gone, so was the seal that was holding Hela back.
Now there have been a lot of speculations on where Hela could have been for all this time. And we have come up with a couple options.
First – Hel.
“Hel is a world bound to the mind of its mistress and queen, Hela, Ruler of the Dead. The realm shifts by her will.”
Hel is where Hela rules. That’s her domain and for so long, she could move to and from the realm as she pleased; until she was banished by Odin, who got fearful of her growing powers. After which she got stuck in Hel and was left there until the events of Ragnarok.
If fan theories are to go by, then some say that Hela is not dead, as she is the ruler of the dead herself. Her physical body is destroyed and now she is trapped in Hel, unable to leave her domain.
Second – Isle of Silence.
Isle of Silence is a place just off of Asgard, where no sound exists. It is named after the race of trolls who live there, and are not capable of speech.
The reason this theory comes up is because Hela is very powerful as we saw in the movie – with how she dealt with her brothers, and how she destroyed Mjiolnir. So it would have to be a pretty powerful enchantment that had Hela trapped in the place of her banishment for so long.
Even when Odin fell into Odinsleep for years, she was still unable to free herself. Only at his death could she break free, so it is possible that she was severely weakened to be kept bound for so long.
In the isle, there is a Volcano that emits a gas that weakens an Asgardian before exploding. Which may be the reason why Hela couldn’t free herself until then. With Odin dying, the magic was lifted and she was transported to the place where he was alive in his last moments.
How Powerful is Hela?
If theory of the Isle of Silence is real, then that just makes Hela even more powerful. After staying there for so long, when she came out of the isle, she was arguably at her weakest. But Hela didn’t break a sweat as she broke Mjolnir to pieces, or as she battled with Thor and Loki.
When she gets back to Asgard, she was back to her full strength. And every minute that she was in Asgard, she grew more powerful, as it shows in Thor: Ragnarok that her life force is tied to the Golden Realm.
It is no wonder that they had to get Surtur to destroy all of Asgard and bring about Ragnarok to stop Hela. Both of them got destroyed in the process, along with the Realm Eternal, with the Asgardians now living in a village somewhere on Earth.
Could we see the Isle of Silence in the MCU in future?
If the Isle of Silence truly does exist in the MCU, then it could work as both a jail and a trap, in the future.
Even though the Asgardians are now living in a small village ruled by the Valkyrie, there will still be those who will abuse their powers. Or even foes of Asgard, who will now come to cause trouble, with the Golden Realm gone. For that, they will need someplace which can work as a jail, and what better place that the Isle of Silence.
Also, it can be a trap for Thor, in the next movie Thor: Love and Thunder. With the last couple movies, the character of Thor has become very powerful. He can wield powers now that he thought he could only do with the help of Mjolnir.
And now that he wields Stormbreaker – a potential weapon that can destroy entire planets, we can assume that the next villain he fights would be someone equally powerful. And they could lure him into the isle to weaken him, and truly test his powers.
Whether Waititi does go this way or he chooses to wow the audience with something else entirely, is yet to be revealed. For now, Thor: Love and Thunder is set to release in February 2022.