A masterful story is a lot of things. It carries plot, characterisation, tension, meaning, and absolutely, unequivocally does not make its audience go, “What? Where the fuck did that come from?”

The Sixth Sense
Not to be confused with, “What? Where the- oh. Ohhhhhhh!”

The WTF reaction from your audience is one of the fastest ways to get people to hate your story. There’s a reason people froth at the mouth when discussing the Deus ex Machina trope. People hate feeling left out of the loop.

The loop, in this case, being the Setup/Payoff cycle.

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Thor: Ragnarok Poster

For Writers + Pop Culture

What Writers Can Learn from Thor: Ragnarok

Spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok ahead! I also allude to scenes and sequences from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and both Guardians of the Galaxy movies just FYI.


I saw Thor: Ragnarok in cinemas when I was having a particularly rough time and for a brief, shining moment the world was good again. My pain was forgotten, my depression cured, flowers bloomed beneath my feet as I left the cinema and bunnies stood poised to break into song.

Taika Waititi is the sort of storyteller I would step over a body to have a beer with. As someone who’s been steadily falling out of love with the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last few years, Thor: Ragnarok was like a shot of adrenalin. It was funny, it was heartfelt, and it broke so many rules but in the best of ways.

Here’s my rundown of what writers can learn from Thor: Ragnarok.

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