In Avengers: Infinity War Heimdall Sends Hulk To Earth – And This Is The Reason Behind His Decision

Avengers: Infinity War is a film wherein almost every character has to make difficult decisions. And one such decision comes right at the beginning of the movie when Idris Elba’s Heimdall chooses to send Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk to Earth to warn the others. But why did he decide to save the big green guy instead of Thor, his actual best friend? Well, Marvel fans have developed many theories about this…

Yes, ever since Infinity War came out, fan theories have flown around like crazy. For example – spoiler alert! – are all the characters that died in it really dead? You see, the film revolves around the alien tyrant Thanos gaining control of the Infinity Stones and using them to control the universe. And he proves to be the most terrifying threat that Earth has ever faced.

Therefore, Infinity War saw many fan-favorite superheroes quite literally bite the dust. In fact, at the end of the movie, Thanos snaps his fingers and wipes out half the galaxy. And that included Spider-Man, Falcon, Winter Soldier, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and almost all of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Will they be back or won’t they? Could someone else receive the Infinity Stones and undo the “snap” with, say, time travel? The possibilities, it seems, are endless. But then there’s the problem of all those who died before Thanos snapped his fingers. Heimdall, Vision, Loki and Gamora are all on that list.

Yet of those four deaths, Heimdall’s was perhaps the least shocking. Although he was a fairly important character in the Thor movies, in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe there wasn’t nearly as much space for him. And Idris Elba’s fame has increased tenfold since he earned the role in Thor back in 2011.

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Indeed, after Thor, Elba started making a name for himself as a major sci-fi blockbuster actor. In 2012, for instance, he appeared in Prometheus and the year after that in Pacific Rim. Then in 2016 he played the villain in Star Trek Beyond. Adding all of that to his sterling TV and voice work, it’s maybe less than surprising that he might want to go beyond Marvel.

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Plus, there’s also the fact that Elba himself had implied that he didn’t really like playing such a minor role. “I wish I was more present in the Marvel family. I like what I have, but I also wish that I had a bigger character in the Marvel universe… It’s been great, but I kinda think I need a bit more,” he told Entertainment Weekly in 2017.

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But who knows if that “more” will come? After all, Elba shared a tweet post-Infinity War that heavily indicated that Heimdall’s death was permanent. “Gonna miss my guy,” he wrote on May 5, 2018. That post gained over 34,000 likes and sparked plenty of discussion. “Oh no Idris! Although his character was underutilized, I hate to see him go,” one person wrote.

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But it was Heimdall’s last decision in Infinity War that really got people talking. So what happened? Well, at the very beginning of the film, Thanos takes over an Asgardian ship and easily smacks down both Thor and Hulk. All seems lost. In his final moments, though, Heimdall calls upon “dark magic” to summon the Bifrost and send just one person back to Earth: Hulk.

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Yet Thor was Heimdall’s best friend, so surely it would have made more sense for Heimdall to want to save him rather than Hulk. Even saving Loki would have been a good option, as the former super villain had come a long way in terms of loyalty to his people. But instead Heimdall chose Hulk, despite barely knowing him.

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But eagle-eyed fans think they know the reason why, and they say it’s hidden in a tie-in comic. You see, the graphic novel prelude to Thor: The Dark World reveals how Thor got to Earth for the events of The Avengers: his father, Odin, sent him there via a “dark energy.” Yet since the journey involved such not-to-be-meddled-with forces, both Thor and Odin suffered significant injuries as a result.

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In fact, the magical journey was so intense that, according to the comic, the god of thunder fell unconscious when he landed on Earth. His pals back on Asgard even believed that Thor could have perished – until Heimdall told them that he had eventually arrived alive and well.

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So in Infinity War Heimdall may have been willing to sacrifice his own life – he was, after all, at the mercy of Thanos already – he had to choose somebody else to save who was strong enough to make it to Earth unharmed. And at that point in the film, Thor had already been seriously hurt by Thanos, but the Hulk still had enough power to potentially make it.

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As it turned out, Heimdall made the right choice. Indeed, the Hulk, who turned back to being Bruce Banner, landed on Earth and warned Doctor Strange about what was to come. Thanks to this, the superheroes were able to make some plans. And even if they all initially came to nothing, Doctor Strange seemed to imply at the end of the film that Thanos was still able to be taken down.

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But others feel that there may have been additional factors in Heimdall’s decision as well. One theory goes that Hulk was from Earth, not a god, and in a way was a guest of the Asgardians. And as Heimdall was (is?) a very honorable person, perhaps he thought saving the Earthling, who had attempted to defend Asgard against Thanos, was the noble thing to do.

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Redditor Paronine posted another theory on the forum, too. “If you look at the scene closely, you can see Thor sort of point towards Hulk with his eye as Heimdall looks at him,” they wrote. “He wanted Banner sent back to Earth, not himself or anyone else, so that he could warn the Avengers. That’s not to mention that he was protecting his friend.”

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They went on, “It took me seeing the movie four times to notice it. The look Thor gives Heimdall is so subtle, it’s barely there. But it is there.” Of course, it’s very in-character for Thor to want to save a friend before saving himself. In the first Thor movie, for instance, it’s only an act of that kind of selflessness that leads to him becoming worthy of his hammer, Mjölnir.

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So what does this all mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Well, hopefully, Heimdall’s sacrifice won’t have been in vain and a happy ending may yet be achieved. Still, key to the speculation as to whether half the Marvel heroes are actually dead lies not in what happened in Infinity War itself, but in Marvel’s future plans for its movies.

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Indeed, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther both have sequels in the works, and you can’t have a superhero movie without a superhero. So if those two can come back after being dusted, surely everyone else can as well.

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And if Idris Elba indeed never returns to the role of Heimdall, his fans at least have plenty of other films they can watch him in. These include Molly’s Game, Beasts of No Nation and The Dark Tower, among plenty of others. But Infinity War will definitely be worth a re-watch in the future, too, in order to see the impact Heimdall’s decision has on the whole universe.

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