New Zealand director Taika Waititi infused his 2017 entry in the Marvell Studios Avengers saga with visual and plot elements that recall a Roman gladiatorial arena. Director Waititi was also particularly concerned to register the Australian production context of the film, as well as New Zealand’s role in the form of his own involvement and that of compatriot cast and production staff. In this post, I explore the elements of the Roman past featured in Thor: Ragnarok as part of a growing tradition in New Zealand’s entertainment industry of depictions of the ancient Greco-Roman world.
Direct inspiration for gladiatorial sequence in the film can be found in the comic book universe of Thor and Hulk. The Roman-style helmet and gladiator-themed armor worn by Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok (2017) derive from the 2006 Planet Hulk story arc. Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator (2000), released six years before Planet Hulk appeared, is a likely inspiration for the Roman elements that appear there. By the time Thor: Ragnarok was released in 2017, however, STARZ Spartacus had established itself as a defining gladiatorial screen narrative. It doesn’t seem impossible that Waititi saw STARZ Spartacus as a feature of New Zealand screen history that had a place in his film. Whether or not there was any intention behind it, however, Thor: Ragnarok channels a distinctively New Zealand tradition of strongly fantasy-based depictions of the ancient past, and of the Roman arena in particular. 1
STARZ Spartacus was filmed entirely in Auckland, New Zealand. Indeed, it is one of three highly successful shows set in the ancient Greco-Roman world, for which New Zealand has been the production location. The other two are of course Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-1999) and Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001). All three have casts substantially recruited from New Zealand and Australia. I suggest that they together comprise a distinctly New Zealand tradition of recreating Greek and Roman mytho-historical pasts. And I further argue that Thor: Ragnarok‘s gladiatorial sequence belongs to this tradition.
These three shows do not forcefully assert a New Zealand identity. Although filmed in New Zealand, STARZ Spartacus is also connected to the United States. Its producers, Steven DeKnight and Robert Tapert, are U.S. Americans. It was produced as original content for the STARZ network, which is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and is a property of Lion’s Gate Entertainment, which is also headquartered in Santa Monica. Personal lines of connection stretch back to New Zealand insofar as Producer Tapert is married to New Zealand actor Lucy Lawless, who plays Lucretia, wife of lanista Batiatus. Lawless first gained international fame as the title character of Xena: Warrior Princess, a spin-off of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Indeed, Lawless’ celebrity and connection to Xena and Hercules are part of what, for fans, links STARZ Spartacus to New Zealand.
Taika Waititi was very much conscious of the way in which a country can be both simultaneously visible as a production location and invisible when the film superimposes a different dramatic setting that situates audiences in another place and time altogether. Thor: Ragnarok was filmed in Australia. Waititi is explicit on the importance of this production context for his approach to the film: “… there’s lots of [references] that would just, for me, help make it actually a true Australian film rather than, ‘oh they just shot a movie in Australia’.”2 At the same time, Waititi’s own Kiwi and specifically Māori identity, as well as role of New Zealand in supplying actors and production staff, also mattered in his vision of the film.3 At the outset of filming, Waititi, with the support of the Studio, arranged for an opening ceremony on the production that honored both Māori and Australian Aboriginal nations: 4 “You wouldn’t really start a movie in New Zealand without asking the local tribe to come in and bless you and send you to work with some good mojo. Especially if you’re on their land, you’re in their backyard, it’s sort of just nice manners to get in touch,” said Waititi. “The studio were very receptive (and) jumped on board, so we got some locals from the (Australian Aboriginal) Yugambeh mob, they came in and welcomed us. And one of our Kaumātua (a Māori elder), came over to do a Karakia, a kind of open-up ceremony from my side of things as well.” “Because it really felt like two nations coming together and making this thing.”
The Plot of Thor: Ragnarok
At the death of their father Odin, Thor’s half-sister Hela (Cate Blanchette), the goddess of death, immediately reemerges from the banishment to which he consigned her. In their first encounter, Hela causes Thor to be sent to Sakaar, a far-flung world that serves as a galactic garbage dump. Scavengers called ‘scrappers’ search the refuse that lands there for anything of profit and anyone worth preying upon — the word appears to be a euphemism for slave-trader. Scrapper 142 (Tessa Thompson) claims Thor as her find. She fights off others who want to seize him and, after incapacitating the god of thunder, takes him to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), ruler of Sakaar. As it happens, the Grand Master is particularly devoted to staging a series of gladiatorial games known as ‘The Contest of Champions’.
The film depicts Asgard’s history of brutal aggression as having been suppressed in favor of a revisionist account of a spread of civilization. Hela reveals that Asgard and Thor’s father Odin has a history of bloody imperial expansion beneath its veneer of peace treaties. This is visualized as a set of paintings featuring Odin and his first-born Hela violently subduing the universe hidden beneath an overlay of newer paintings of Odin engaging in ceremonies and rituals of peace. Hela reveals this secret history when she strips away a set of revisionist visual narratives spreading a false account of humane Asgardian interactions with the universe around it. Modern European-derived societies generally and institutional Christianity likewise avail themselves of an image of humane reason, which covers over a hyper-aggressive and supremely brutal past.5
Thor discovers that his half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was similarly diverted to Sakaar. To his further surprise, Thor discovers that Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), whose whereabouts have been unknown since the end of Age of Ultron (Whedon, 2015), is not only also on Sakaar, but is the Grand Master’s unbeatable, favorite gladiator in the Contest of Champions. Hulk actually finds his new role to be a satisfying outlet for his aggression and enjoys relative comfort, thanks to the Grand Master’s favor. Scrapper 142, it turns out, also found Hulk upon his arrival and sold him to the Grand Master, making a very favorable impression on both ruler and gladiator in the process. This set of relationships, plus Scrapper 142’s hidden but highly significant identity as an Asgardian called Valkyrie — lone survivor of an ancient and fatal battle in which Hela destroyed her entire elite band of female warriors — makes her a valuable ally to Thor. The god, Valkyrie/Scrapper 142, Loki and Hulk ultimately make their escape from Sakaar and journey to Asgard in order to battle Hela.
The Comic Book Sources for Thor: Ragnarok‘s Gladiatorial Storyline
Thor: Ragnarok‘s gladiatorial storyline looks to two comic book sources: the 1982 miniseries Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions by Mark Gruenwald, Bill Mantlo, Steven Grant and Bob Layton; and the 2006 “Planet Hulk” storyline by Greg Pak and illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan and Aaron Lopresti. 6 The first provides the ‘Contest of Champions’, presided over by the Grand Master. Thor appears in this contest, but it is an ultra-ensemble, cross-over cast in which the Grand Master pits teams, each consisting of both Avengers and X-Men, against one another.
The 2006 Planet Hulk introduces the world of Sakaar and includes Hulk as the central character in a gladiatorial scenario, marked with clear Roman visual features. The storyline involves a concept similar to Gladiator (Scott, 2000), in which Hulk, delivered to gladiatorial bondage on Sakaar, joins forces with fellow gladiators, wins over audiences, and rises in prominence. Ultimately, in a battle intended by Sakaar’s ruler to destroy Hulk, the technology that enslaves every gladiator is undone and they revolt. Yet, in translation to 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, the gladiator portion of the story comes to resemble less Ridley Scott’s Gladiator and more STARZ Spartacus.
Insofar as New Zealand not only contributes to Thor: Ragnarok its director and several actors in various larger and smaller roles, it seems appropriate that it also channels one of the several globally successful franchises connected with that country in order to invoke its vision of Rome. The key points of similarity are as follows. First, there is in each a pair of ally-rivals: in STARZ Spartacus, Spartacus and Crixus; in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor and Hulk. Physically, one of the pair combines lesser strength with agility of mind and body (Spartacus/Thor), while the other combines ferocity with relatively greater physical strength (Crixus/Hulk).
Second, while one of the pair desires escape from the outset (Spartacus/Thor), the other finds gladiator status meaningful and resists rebellion until circumstances and changing relationships finally dislodge him. Spartacus’ eventual goal in escaping the gladiatorial school is to lead his fellow gladiators, those enslaved to the house, and any who join to freedom. Third, at the conclusion of the final season, Spartacus’ army and the community attached to it have been destroyed. A few refugees do manage to escape the slaughter. Thor’s initial ambition, on escaping Sakaar, is to conclude his battle with Hela and save his home-world of Asgard. Although he is able to save the people of Asgard, the planet is ultimately destroyed and they must flee to Earth as refugees.
The Plot of STARZ Spartacus
The plot of the first season of STARZ Spartacus is structured around the title hero’s betrayal and capture in his native Thrace. It begins with Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) in his native Thrace advocating among his people for an alliance with Rome against their traditional enemies, the Getae. Rome, represented by Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker), abuses and then betrays this alliance. Glaber is not interested in defending Spartacus’ people against the Getae, but with marching east to face Mithradates, King of Pontus, in hopes of bringing down that wealthy kingdom and reaping the glory. After hostilely confronting Glaber over his betrayal of their treaty, Spartacus becomes first a fugitive, then a prisoner, and finally a gladiator. The drama centers around loss of sovereignty, loss of freedom, the fight to regain both, and final defeat.
Spartacus becomes a gladiator in hopes of surviving long enough to recover his wife. She was captured with him but has been taken he knows not where. After Batiatus, owner of the school, betrays him by killing his wife (in hopes of keeping him as a gladiator), Spartacus is committed to revenge. As a competitor Spartacus must face the school’s feared champion, Crixus ‘the Undefeated Gaul’ (Manu Bennett).
Crixus is in love with Naevia (played in season 1 by Leslie-Ann Brandt), who, for almost her entire life, has been enslaved to the domina of the household, Lucretia (Lucy Lawless), wife of Lentulus Batiatus (John Hannah). Hoping initially to conceive a child and believing that her husband is incapable of this, Lucretia begins a secret affair with Crixus. Although he submits to her Lucretia sexually, Crixus has no interest in her otherwise. Once Lucretia discovers his love for Naevia, she becomes jealous and banishes her. In the wake of Naevia’s departure, among other issues, Crixus agrees to put aside his differences with Spartacus and join the revolt. They lead their fellow gladiators in a massacre of almost all the Romans and collaborators who had authority over them at the school.
After the escape, in the second season, Crixus finds Naevia (now played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson).7 Since her banishment, she has lived through unspeakable physical abuse. Crixus teaches her the fighting arts so that she may know that no one can inflict such things upon her again. The brutalized Naevia survives, but is consumed with a thirst for revenge that leads her to collude with Crixus in a series of unwise decisions leading ultimately to their destruction. Nevertheless, the show allows for violence on behalf of the her refugee community to play a healing or at least therapeutic role in Naevia’s life. Franz Fanon’s observation about violence in the life of the colonized person fits here: 8 “At the level of individuals, violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect.” In the course of the second and third seasons of the show, Spartacus and his comrades increase the size of their army. They defeat the Romans at every turn and strike mercilessly at their once powerful oppressors. Ultimately they divide into two armies, one of which attempts to destroy Rome itself and the other to flee Italy through the Alps to freedom. Ultimately, both meet a tragic end. Even so, a small band of refugees from Spartacus’ army does survive and escapes to freedom.
Character Parallels between Thor: Ragnarok and STARZ Spartacus
 Thor and Spartacus:
Similar hairstyle experiences mark Chris Hemsworth’s Thor-as-gladiator and Andy Whitfield as Spartacus. Both Thor and Spartacus at their places of gladiatorial captivity as rough-edged ‘barbarians’ with the flowing locks that the part demands. Their loss of freedom and transformation into a character obligated to fight for the entertainment of others is marked by the change in hairstyle to a starker, military-like trim.Thor (Chris Hemsworth) with long-haired pre-gladiatorial look and short-haired gladiatorial look.
[2[ Hulk and Crixus:
Thor and Hulk recapitulate the rivalry of Spartacus and Crixus respectively — prior to coming to terms and revolting against Batiatus. Thor is the protagonist whose storyline we follow, even as we become familiar with Hulk (in his new existence) through Thor’s encounters with him. Mighty though he is, Thor is a hero characterized more by his wits when he is in the presence of Hulk’s brawn. The Spartacus of season 1 stands in similar relation to the bulkier Crixus.
Where STARZ Spartacus arcs from action-drama ultimately to tragedy, deflationary humor is the primary motif recurring throughout Thor: Ragnarok‘s account of its title hero. Waititi sketched his vision for the superhero franchise installment in explicitly comedic terms: “Given the brief to pitch directing a “Thor” buddy comedy that he would help write, Waititi suggested “ ‘Withnail & I’ in space,” “just these two people who happen to be superheroes making their way across the universe.” (In this formula, the Hulk is the volatile Withnail figure, and Thor must “take care of this time bomb and keep him out of trouble” as they travel from planet to planet.)” 9 This formula, despite its comedic origins, resonates with STARZ Spartacus insofar as Spartacus’ more reasoned approach to their shared challenges is unable to restrain the volatile Crixus. As a result, the army ultimately splits in the show’s final season, leading ultimately to tragedy.
Dan Taipua notes that anti-ego humor is particularly strong in Māori culture. In this respect, Waititi has invested his film with a distinctly Māori ethos. 10 The film offers perhaps its clearest deflationary comical treatment of the sort of ultra-masculinist world found in STARZ Spartacus. Hulk and Thor bond while discussing what kind of fire they are. Hulk philosophically suggests that he is like fire and Thor is like water. Thor objects, suggesting that he too is like fire. Hulk concedes the point, qualifying only by adding that he is like raging fire and Thor is like smoldering fire. As simple an ego joke as it is, this exchange also describes with absolute accuracy the difference between the quiet, intense Spartacus and the bellowing, strutting Crixus.
 The Grand Master and Quintus Lentulus Batiatus:
The Grand Master corresponds roughly to the character of Batiatus, the owner of the gladiatorial school in the Italian city of Capua, where Crixus and Spartacus train. Although Thor has a mission to return to Asgard with whatever help he can bring to fight Hela, the Grand Master provides a figure against which the characters who meet in the gladiatorial games of Sakaar can rally. Similarly, Batiatus is the figure against whom Spartacus and Crixus ultimately unite, together with the other gladiators of the school. The Grand Master retains something of the sinister character of John Hannah’s Batiatus in STARZ Spartacus, though Jeff Goldblum’s performance is more explicitly comedic.11
 Scrapper 142/Valkyrie and Naevia:
Hulk and Valkyrie have a friendly, non-romantic relationship. Hulk has not reverted to his form as Bruce Banner for his entire time on Sakaar so there is no room for a romantic connection such as appeared to be taking place with Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) in Age of Ultron (Hulk’s gargantuan body is a seemingly asexual one in the Marvel films). This passes into the realm of what may seem alike only in light of more apparent similarities. While Hulk corresponds broadly to the Crixus, Valkyrie recalls Naevia, Crixus’ lover and a ferocious warrior in her own right. Both Valkyrie and Naevia — as played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson in seasons 2 and 3 — are Black women.Valkyrie has a warrior past and a decadent present, from which she awakens to renewed heroism. Naevia has an enslaved past and present, from which she awakens to become her own avenger.
Valkyrie survived destruction at the hands of Hela, but only to become a refugee. After this defeat, she lost herself in the anonymous wasteland of Sakaar, an alcoholic who surveys the vast scrapyards looking for things and beings of value. Valkyrie falls into despair and self-imposed exile but seems never to have ceased being a warrior completely capable of protecting herself. Her encounter with Thor, the royal son of Asgard reminds her of her history and the purpose and code that once governed her life. Scrapper 142 then begins a journey of return to her previous identity as Valkyrie. In so doing, she recovers her sense of pride in herself as a warrior and as an Asgardian.
Scrapper 142/Valkyrie is emotionally lost in the urban and quite literal wasteland of Sakaar, as many indigenous people around the world find themselves similarly uprooted and scattered. She is mired in depression and substance abuse. She is haunted by the horror of cataclysmic defeat and its personally brutal legacy. Yet, she is heir to a glorious past. The classic filmic — and deadly serious — account of this sort of story in the Māori/New Zealand context is Once Were Warriors (1994).12 The scene in which Valkyrie opens a bottle with her blade is drawn from that film. The spacecraft that she first appears on is painted in the colors of the Tino Rangatiratanga, the flag of the Māori people. In Thor: Ragnarok, this character emerges triumphant from her state of loss and alienation. To dramatize this, Waititi draws on the culture of the film’s Australian production context. When Valkyrie steps foot again on Asgard to once more do battle with Hela, the space ship she came in on bears the colors of Australia’s Aboriginal flag.13
The character of Korg is played by director Taika Waititi. Korg is the character from whom Thor learns that everyone who faces the Grandmaster’s champion dies. Thor does not yet know that this champion is Hulk. At the same time, he learns that Korg was sentenced to gladiatorial combat on Sakaar because of his failed attempt at revolution on his home world. Korg hopes to foment revolution — this time successfully — on Sakaar as well. In this respect, although Thor parallels Spartacus as a leader, it is actually Korg who embodies the Spartacus character’s revolutionary spirit. The character of Korg originates in the “Planet Hulk” comics, but his personality in the film is very much the creation of Waititi. The director is on record as saying that his inspiration for Korg was the image of Polynesian bouncers in New Zealand, who might have their job because of their size but nevertheless be a gentle personality.14
A key theme of Spartacus (1960) is the quest to recover and preserve a stolen humanity. This quest requires communal work, shared risk, and the willingness of all to fight for a common future. Similarly, there is an ongoing moral struggle to defend that humanity in the face of all the temptations to tarnish it now that they have some power to do so. When, for example, Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) comes across members of his army forcing aged Roman slave owners to fight one another in a makeshift arena, he stops them and excoriates them for lowering themselves to the Romans’ level.
STARZ Spartacus takes a consciously different approach. Indeed the show’s next to last episode (‘The Dead and Dying’) involves Spartacus staging a funeral games for Crixus in which outmatched Romans are forced to fight the best gladiators for the amusement of the escapee community. The Romans initially try to refuse to fight, not want to lower themselves to the level of gladiators and slaves. The first and most physically courageous of the Roman captives is able to defy the command to fight and accept summary execution. The spectacle of his death, however, causes the others to buckle and they fight as ordered. The contest is portrayed as a healing respite for the community after the grievous shock at learning the fate of Crixus and his half of the army and before they themselves meet the formidable Roman force sent to destroy them. This is the clearest example of the show’s conscious rejection of the 1960 film’s depiction of the Spartacus community’s ethical life and aspirations. What STARZ Spartacus envisions instead is an ethical community more in line with Franz Fanon’s interpretation of colonized peoples’ attitude toward their European colonizers.
Franz Fanon refers to the “colonized races” as the “those slaves of modern times.” 15 (pp. 72-73) STARZ Spartacus works from a similar point of departure; i.e. modern ‘colonized races’ are part of its template for telling the story of a rebellion of ancient slaves. The first season tells describes the decoupling of the gladiatorial fraternity in the House of Batiatus from any feeling except that of absolute homicidal animosity toward Batiatus, his family, and the society they represent. If we allow ‘Roman’ to replace ‘settler’ and ‘gladiator’ or ‘the enslaved’ to replace ‘native’/’aborigine’/’the colonized’, Fanon’s account of violence in the 20th century colonial context well describes that of Spartacus’ followers towards Roman society: 16
“To the theory of the “absolute evil of the native” the theory of the “absolute evil of the settler” replies.
The appearance of the settler has meant […] the death of the aboriginal society, cultural lethargy, and the petrification of individuals. For the native, life can only spring up again out of the rotting corpse of the settler. This then is the correspondence, term by term, between the two trains of reasoning.
But it so happens that for the colonized people this violence, because it constitutes their only work, invests their characters with positive and creative qualities. The practice of violence binds them together as a whole, since each individual forms a violent link in the great chain, a part of the great organism of violence which has surged upward in reaction to the settler’s violence in the beginning. The groups recognize each other and the future nation is already indivisible. The armed struggle mobilizes the people, that is to say, it throws them in one way and in one direction.
The mobilization of the masses, when it arises out of the war of liberation, introduces into each man’s consciousness the ideas of a common cause, of a national destiny, and of a collective history. In the same way the second phase, that of the building-up of the nation, is helped on by the existence of this cement which has been mixed with blood and anger.” (On Violence, 93-94)
What Fanon describes and STARZ Spartacus mostly depicts is the how and why of (anti-colonial) violence on the part of the oppressed against their oppressors. Thor: Ragnarok, in the character of Valkyrie, examines a different moment: the isolation and hopelessness of someone cut off by time and circumstance from the solidarity that, through violence or any any other means, could restore meaning and pride to one’s life.
1 This extends beyond the ancient Mediterranean world to include Asian pasts in Netflix The New Legends of Monkey (2018-).
2 Luke Y. Thompson, Forbes. February 27, 2018.
3 Caris Bizzaca. TAIKA WAITITI: PAYING IT FORWARD ON THOR: RAGNAROK. 17 October 2017. Taika Waititi himself is Māori through his father (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui tribe), Jewish through his mother, and indeed refers himself as a Polynesian Jew.
4 Bizzaca (2017).
5 Hunter, Jim. “What Thor: Ragnarok is Really About.” Screenrant. February 1, 2020.
6 The following represents research I did in open source articles about these comics, not from reading the comics themselves (which I hope at some point still to do). This paragraph and the next are indebted to Sam Stone’s 2019 article “Contest of Champions: What Inspired Thor: Ragnarok‘s Arena?” Comic Book Resources. Oct. 11, 2019.
7 Leslie-Ann Brandt, who played Naevia in the first season, is South African of Indian and European descent, according to her Wikipedia page. In the U.S. terminology of skin color, she would be understood as Brown. Read more about Naevia’s character on the Spartacus Wiki: https://spartacus.fandom.com/wiki/Naevia (TW: explicit descriptions of rape and sexual assault). It seems as though Brandt chose to leave in pursuit of other opportunities and, had she stayed, would presumably have had the same character arc as Cynthia Addai-Robinson went on to have. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the character’s story becomes more trauma-focused when taken over by a darker skinned actor.
8. Franz Fanon. The Wretched of the Earth. Translated by Constance Farrington. Grove Press, 1963: 94.
9 Dan Kois. “The Superweirdo Behind ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.” New York Times. October 19, 2017. Michael Sragow likens Thor: Ragnarok to “…a Hope and Crosby Road movie with successive comic duos.” “Short Take: Thor: Ragnarok.” Film Comment 53.6 [November-December] 2017: p. 70.
10 Taipua, Dan. “Thor and his magic patu: notes on a very Māori Marvel movie.” The Spinoff. October 31, 2017.
11 Even here, there isn’t an absolute difference between the characters of Batiatus and the Grand Master, although we must go further back than STARZ Spartacus to find it. The Batiatus character has had at least one prior, quite notable comedic interpretation in Peter Ustinov’s portrayal in Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 Spartacus. Peter Ustinov’s comic Batiatus follows almost a decade after his comic (-psychotic) performance as Nero in the Romans vs. Christians extravaganza Quo Vadis (LeRoy, 1951) which sported its own arena scenes. While the Grand Master occupies the role of Batiatus relative to his gladiators, he is in other respects very much a decadent Roman emperor, relative to the world of Sakaar.
12 Thompson (2018).
13 Bizzaca (2017) and Thompson (2018).
14 Kilgallon, Steve and Kylie Klein-Nixon. “The most Kiwi moments in Thor: Ragnarok.” Stuff. Nov. 7, 2017.
15 Fanon (1963) 72-73.
16 Fanon (1963) 93-94.
New Zealand Film Commission. ‘Spartacus’. https://www.nzfilm.co.nz/international/showcase/spartacus
AlAwadhi, Dina and Jason Dittmer. “We come from the land of ice and snow: Decolonizing superhero cinema through music.” Politik. Nummer 1, Årgang 23, 2020: 88-93. https://tidsskrift.dk/politik/article/view/120311/168128
Bizzaca, Caris. TAIKA WAITITI: PAYING IT FORWARD ON THOR: RAGNAROK. 17 October 2017. Accessed October 4, 2020. https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/screen-news/2017/10-17-taika-waititi-thor-ragnarok
Curtis, Neal. “Thor: Ragnarok.” Blog: Mutliframe: Comment on Comics and Other Crucial Stuff. October 27, 2017. Accessed June 19, 2020. https://multiframe.wordpress.com/2017/10/27/thor-ragnarok/
Franz Fanon. The Wretched of the Earth. Translated by Constance Farrington. Grove Press, 1963
Geraghty, Hannah. “Taika Waititi’s Oscar Win Is Extra Special for Māori Jews Like Me.” Kveller. February 10, 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020. https://www.kveller.com/taika-waititis-oscar-win-is-extra-special-for-maori-jews-like-me/
Hunter, Jim. “What Thor: Ragnarok is Really About.” Screenrant. February 1, 2020. https://screenrant.com/thor-ragnarok-explained-colonization-taika-waititi/
Kilgallon, Steve and Kylie Klein-Nixon. “The most Kiwi moments in Thor: Ragnarok.” Stuff. Nov. 7, 2017. Accessed June 19, 2020. https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/98627085/the-most-kiwi-moments-in-thor-ragnarok
Kois, Dan. “The Superweirdo Behind ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.” New York Times. October 19, 2017. Accessed June 19, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/magazine/the-superweirdo-behind-thor-ragnarok.html
Rodger, Kate and Daniel Routledge. “Thor: Ragnarok — The Five Kiwis to Look Out For.” Newshub. October 26, 2017. Accessed June 19, 2020. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/entertainment/2017/10/thor-ragnarok-the-five-kiwis-to-look-out-for.html
Sragow, Michael. “Short Take: Thor: Ragnarok.” Film Comment 53.6 [November-December] 2017: p. 70. https://search.proquest.com/openview/116b553778e7b62023fbd4f8c04b66b6/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=24820
Stone, Sam. “Contest of Champions: What Inspired Thor: Ragnorok‘s Arena?” Comic Book Resources. Oct. 11, 2019. Accessed Aug. 27, 2020. https://www.cbr.com/contest-of-champions-inspired-thor-ragnaroks-arena/
Taipua, Dan. “Thor and his magic patu: notes on a very Māori Marvel movie.” The Spinoff. October 31, 2017. Accessed June 19, 2020. https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/31-10-2017/thor-and-his-magic-patu-notes-on-a-very-maori-marvel-movie/
Thompson, Luke Y. “The Hidden New Zealand and Australia References in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.” Forbes. February 27, 2018. Accessed June 19, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lukethompson/2018/02/27/new-zealand-australia-thor-ragnarok-easter-eggs/#3270c14b231a