When the Guardians trailer first came out, about a year ago, I began to wonder how it would fit into the 9 realms that were discussed in Thor. To hear Thor tell it, the Universe consisted of 9 Realms, including Asgard and Midgard (Earth), among others. There was no reference to Xandar or the Kree, or any of the other pieces of the Universe.
Many would consider these two different approaches to the Marvel Universe as a plot hole. There are a couple trains of thought to rectify this. Here are the big three.
The Guardians U within Odin’s Kingdom
The Theory: This line of thought says that Xandar, Knowhere, and the Kree are all inside the 9 realms. The big thought is that the 9 realms are merely 9 districts. The Kree and Xandar fit within these districts.
The Problem: The big problem with this theory is that there is no mention of Odin at all. Nova Prime does not even consider going to the All-Father for help. Odin allows there to be a war between Xandar and the Kree.
The Guardians U outside of Odin’s Kingdom
The Theory: This theory places limits on Odin’s Kingdom. It says that Thor was discussing the 9 realms as that which was within Odin’s borders. The Kree and Xandar are outside these borders, therefore Odin is irrelevant.
The Problem: Thor 2 showed us a convergence of the 9 realms that threatened to eliminate all existence. This implies that the nine realms contain all existence. Also, the 9 realms have always been presented as the Universe’s entirety in the films.
The Guardians U as a piece of Midgard
The Theory: Each of the 9 realms is another dimension overlapped on top of the previous. Midgard is simply everything in the same Universe as Earth. To cross the different dimensions, one requires something such as the Bifrost or dark magic. The Kree and Xandar are within Midgard.
The Problem: Earth seems really convenient. Not only do the Asgardians mean Earth every time they mention Midgard, but the convergence also happened to be directly on our planet in the midst of a much larger Universe.
So there we have it. These are three major theories regarding the discrepancies between the Universe as presented by Thor and as presented by Guardians. In the end, I don’t think each theory is sufficient enough for us to say it is not a plot hole. What do you think? Do you even care about this, or should the movies be congruent? Perhaps a later film will present it more clearly, but for now, only time will tell.