The immense Mjolnir hammer outside De Vere Devonport House in Greenwich didn’t just fall out of the sky from Asgard, as its positioning might’ve suggested.
“Thor: The Dark World,” the sequel to “Thor,” was partially filmed in the historic area southeast of London along with main filming sites in London, Surrey, and various parts of Iceland. The promotional statue was on display last month for the Blu-ray release of the film.
Chosen for the pristine architecture of the Old Royal Naval College and its open landscape, Greenwich served as the setting for the film’s final battle scene. The initial sight of Greenwich is shown as The Ark ship led by Malekith sails through the Thames and crashes into the University of Greenwich campus. Helicopters filmed the action from above to capture a dramatic effect with the grand scale of the location.
Although underrated among the popular destinations in London, Greenwich has gotten its fair share of screen time in recent years. A few months after the 2012 Olympic Games took place in London, the cast and crew of Thor began filming in the Old Royal Naval College, which could be seen behind the show jumping arena of the equestrian events.
Unfortunately some of the most interesting aspects of Greenwich are left out of the film—primarily its history. The Thor Tour led by Greenwich Royal Tours provided information about the locations on set along with the film’s production details. While the incomparable exterior of Greenwich was a good enough reason to choose the site as a backdrop, the area also contains many significant historic buildings including the House of Tudor, in which Henry VIII and Elizabeth I resided, and the Royal Observatory, located on a hill in Greenwich Park.
The humble area even has an impact on rest of the globe. The Royal Observatory, which housed much early advancement in astronomy, was set at the point of zero degrees in longitude – also known as the prime meridian and the centre of space and time. The Greenwich Mean Time discovered at the Royal Observatory determines all time zones across the world as the global time standard.
Greenwich may just be another setting for “Thor: Dark World,” but an agreement in understanding its rich history is worth hammering out.