Why Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” Is Perfect for ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

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The Thor: Ragnarok teaser trailer makes the most out of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” as a killer soundtrack. But it’s not just that the song’s driving staccato riff is a great backdrop to the trailer’s insane action. “Immigrant Song” is the perfect Thor: Ragnarok song for other important reasons, too. Here’s why…

We come from the land of the ice and snow
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow
Hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands
To fight the horde and sing and cry
Valhalla, I am coming.

“Valhalla, I am coming…”: Check out the lyrics to “Immigrant Song,” and you’ll see that it’s written from the point-of-view of Vikings setting sail on a journey. You’ll find numerous references to Old Norse mythology, which of course is the inspiration for Thor: Ragnarok characters Thor and Loki, not to mention the entire realm of Asgard.

“Hammer of the gods…”: Mjølnir is Thor’s enchanted Asgardian war-hammer. You might even call it the “hammer of the gods,” since it was forged the heart of a dying star and stored in Odin’s vault. In the teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, we see Hela destroy the hammer. But this isn’t the first time Thor has had hammer trouble. He’ll figure it out.

“Fight the horde…”: It is, of course, a song about war-making. And that makes sense since Thor: Ragnarok is all about epic battles. Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster has captured Thor and intends to use him as a fighter in an otherworldly gladiator match with Hulk, who has somehow also made his way to Sakaar.

The song can also be heard twice in the film, during two defining moments for Thor — once in the beginning when he’s escaping Surtur‘s grasp and again when he discovers the true purpose and power of Mjølnir.

How Led Zeppelin Got Taika Waititi a Job

taika waititi

Not only was “Immigrant Song” featured in the teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, it’s the song that got director Waititi hired. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that the “Immigrant Song” was an integral part of Waiti’s pitch. “So from the beginning, that song kind of defined what Taika was going to do with this. That it’s in the trailer, that it’s in the film – all from that first meeting, and from one of his first instincts of this movie, is very impressive.

The Song’s Inspiration

“Immigrant Song,” released in 1970, was written by Led Zeppelin’s lead singer, Robert Plant. It’s inspired, he says, by the band’s experience playing Reykjavik, Iceland.  “We went to Iceland, and it made you think of Vikings and big ships,” Plant explains. The song went on to become one of Zeppelin’s most popular singles. It’s been used before on the big screen, like when Jack Black sang it in School of Rock, but Thor: Ragnarok is clearly the cinematic moment “Immigrant Song” was made for.


This article has been updated and was first published on April 10, 2017.

Director of Partnerships for Movies and TV at Fandom, Brian previously held positions in Marketing, Editorial, and Branded Content at Fandom. He has been on the fan-media scene since dial-up, and loves space sagas and superheroes.