When I watched Thor Ragnarok at the cinema this weekend, I noticed some things that reminded me very much of the Dark Souls video game series. But how many of the similarities were actually inspired by Dark Souls, and how many were just derived from the same sources that Dark Souls had originally drawn from?
There are a few that we can just throw out immediately, just for being so common that you find them in most fantasy-adjacent fare. Dragons, lightning magic, undead warriors, the domain of the gods and giants are all part of this category.
The first similar thing that is not super common, is a giant wolf.
In this case, both the movie and the game has taken something from Norse mythology.
The giant Fenris Wolf is one of Loki and Angerboda’s children, Hel and The Midgard Serpent being the other two. Fenris is said to be set free from its chains during Ragnarok (Norse Armageddon), so that is pretty much why it was in the movie.
The giant wolf in Dark Souls (a game about the cyclical dying and rebirth of the world) is named Sif after the Norse goddess, so it seems clear that it is also drawn from Norse mythology.
The more interesting similarity is Thor’s Eternal Flame and Dark Souls’s First Flame.
I could find nothing quite like these flames in Norse myths, and the closest religious connection I could find is from Jewish traditions (and only in name).
The origin of these two flames are quite different, but they have some similar properties. For one they are both important for the fate of the worlds they inhabit. The Eternal Flame in how it ends, The First Flame in both its creation and preventing its downfall most.
But the thing that really made me sit up in my seat was how they are both used to bring the dead back to life. In Thor by Hela throwing a fistful of Eternal Flame on her dead warriors, in Dark Souls most commonly by the use of bonfires (extensions of The First Flame) that bring people back to life after dying.
The last one is purely visual. The movements and fighting styles of Surt and King Vendrick.
When the player fights King Vendrick in Dark Souls 2, he is so damaged from his curse that he walks slowly towards the player with his giant sword dragging behind him before limply swinging it around.
When Thor fights Surt at the start of Ragnarok, he is so damaged from an old wound inflicted by Odin that he limps towards Thor with his giant sword dragging behind him.
Even their normal sizes are comparable, and they both have plot-crowns!
What do you think, am I on to something?
Did you catch anything that could cast some light on this?