‘Thor’ First Look: ‘Dark World’ Plays Game Of Thrones

First photos from Marvel film's Bourne Woods set showcase director Alan Taylor's flair for fantasy violence.

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. Naturally, when you play the game of thrones with mighty Mjolnir in hand, “win” is the likelier of the two outcomes.

The first photos of the Bourne Woods set of “Thor: The Dark World,” directed by regular “Game of Thrones” helmer Alan Taylor, have emerged online via The Daily Mail. Though leading man Chris Hemsworth is not glimpsed in these photos — reports suggest that he’s still filming “Rush,” the Formula One racing drama from director Ron Howard — his co-star Jamie Alexander more than makes up for his absence as the imposing Asgardian Sif, on horseback with a sword in one hand and a wound over her left eye.

Legions of other heavily armed and armored warriors are littered throughout the “Dark World” set as well. These characters wouldn’t look entirely out of place on the HBO fantasy drama Taylor is best known for, save for one key difference. The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros featured on “Thrones” are, for now, grounded in reality — ignore those icy Others north of the Wall and the dragons soaring about the deserts of Essos for the time being — while staff-wielding men, possibly magicians, are seen on the “Thor” set.

Furthermore, one extra is seen taking a water break from the action, a grotesque mask still strapped to his face, indicating the arrival of a new alien race to rival the Frost Giants of the first “Thor” film. Early reports, casting news and the sequel’s title, “The Dark World,” all indicate that the creatures central to the new “Thor” story are the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, one of the Thunder God’s most notorious batch of enemies from the comic books.

“Thor: The Dark World” sees the return of former players Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and more, as well as newcomers Christopher Eccleston and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Thor’s latest antagonists. The film arrives in U.S. theaters on November 8, 2013.

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