Cate Blanchett Just Made Her First Marvel Return Since Thor: Ragnarok

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Cate Blanchett, Hela, Thor: Ragnarok

Cate Blanchett came back to the MCU for the first time since 2017's Thor: Ragnarok for her role as Hela.

Hela and her ravenous army of the dead became one of fans' favorite parts of Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, which remains the highest-grossing movie of the Thor quadrilogy.

And while the villain made a hilarious appearance via a Melissa McCarthy portrayal in Thor: Love and Thunder, Blanchett has not been seen as Hela since her encounter with Surter in the God of Thunder's third solo film.

Cate Blanchett Makes MCU Return as Hela

Hela, What If...? Season 2
Marvel Studios

Cate Blanchett made her second appearance in the MCU during Episode 7 of What If...? Season 2, reprising her role as Hela for the first time since 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, now in the animated medium.

Hela, What If...?
Marvel Studios

Taking her place in What If...? Season 2's cast, Blanchett's Hela popped up as a part of Episode 7, titled "What If...Hela Found the Ten Rings, which combined alternate events from both Thor and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Hela, the Mandarin, What If...? Season 2
Marvel Studios

In this universe, Hela is banished to Earth by Odin for her extreme ambition to take over the nine realms as the all-father removes her powerful helmet. This reimagines the way he punishes Thor in his first solo movie by sending Mjolnir to Earth and changes his path with Hela, as he banishes her to Hel in the main timeline.

Hela, What If...? Season 2
Marvel Studios

After fighting alongside the Mandarin for years, Hela then finds her way into Ta Lo, donning an entirely new outfit and learning the ways of the mystical martial arts in this hidden world to find what she wants.

Hela, What If...?
Marvel Studios

Eventually, Hela and Wenwu team up with one another to defeat Odin as the Asgardian ruler comes to Earth, although Odin offers Hela the chance to return to Asgard and put the Earth under their protection.

She refuses this offer and earns back her helmet and powers, forming an alliance with the Ten Rings and becoming a more protective Goddess of Death as she and the Mandarin bring peace to the Nine Realms. 

Will Hela Return After What If...? Appearance?

Although Hela's place in the MCU has been a subject behind the scenes for more than a decade, even long before her debut in Thor: Ragnarok, there is no telling where or when Cate Blanchett return to the franchise again.

Season 1 of What If...? only referenced the character as Episode 2 saw the Collector use her helmet against Chadwick Boseman's Star-Lord T'Challa, although this season marks her first full-blown appearance in the show.

It seems most likely that this episode will be Hela's only time showing up in Season 2 based on the episodes that are still left to come, although this may not be the end of her time in the MCU as a whole.

Director Bryan Andrews has already teased that Season 3 will get "even crazier" the same way Season 2 is, and that could surely be the case with more Hela in the mix as well should she return.

What If...? Season 2 is now streaming on Disney+.

- In This Article: What If...? (Season 2)
Release Date
December 22, 2023
Jeffrey Wright
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.