The character of Thor has been a fan favorite in the Marvel franchise since the release of his first solo movie in 2011. Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, was one of the first Avengers introduced into the MCU, and he is the first character in the MCU to have four stand-alone movies thanks to the release of his newest solo adventure, “Thor: Love and Thunder” (2022). Throughout his fantastic and magical adventures as the God of Thunder, Thor has undergone a drastic shift from the stubborn, hot-headed Viking to the lovable, wise-cracking hero we see in his latest movie. However, this movie may be the last we see of Thor in the MCU, as most of the original six Avengers have either met their ceremonious end or have taken on new apprentices to carry on their legacy. “Thor: Love and Thunder” brings a beautiful conclusion to Thor’s character arc, and in it, we see how every movie before has built up to the moment that Thor realizes his true purpose in life. This article will be spoiling the events of “Thor: Love and Thunder” and previous Marvel films, so please read at your own risk.
Thor 1: Becoming Worthy
When we first meet Thor in the 2011 “Thor,” we immediately notice that he is a very boisterous character. Thor is a young prince in the alien realm of Asgard who takes his royal status for granted when he — despite the disapproval of his father, King Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins) — declares war against a bitter civilization. Thor questions his father’s decisions and implies that he is unfit to make any decisions regarding the kingdom. Odin decides to banish his son to Earth until he learns what it takes to become a true king who is worthy of the throne. Over time, Thor learns to put his head before his fist and lead with compassion. He meets a human girl by the name of Jane, played by Natalie Portman, who teaches him that love plays a crucial part in being a hero, something to be remembered later. In the end, we see a newly disciplined and compassionate prince, but is he really ready to lead?
Thor 2: Tough Choices
Thor embarks on another adventure in his second solo film, “Thor: The Dark World” (2013). By this time, Thor has decided to surrender his claim to the throne, as he feels he is unsuitable for the position. Instead, he dedicates himself to becoming the best hero he can be.
Additionally, Thor has kept a considerable distance from Jane, opting to keep her away from harm because he fears losing her. However, things go sideways when it is revealed that Jane has been infected with a dangerous substance known as the Aether. Additionally, Thor discovers that a dictator known as Malekith, played by Christopher Eccleston, is coming for the Aether to use it as a weapon against all of reality. During the fight, Thor joins forces with his brother, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, to protect Jane and his home. Unfortunately, the fight against Malekith takes the life of Loki and their mother, Frigga, which is a major loss for Thor.
Ultimately, Thor has failed. After the fight is over, he decides to return to Earth and rekindle his relationship with Jane to make sure she is never harmed again. After experiencing so much loss, it is reasonable to question why you’re still here, and this is a question Thor hopes to answer through his new relationship.
Thor and Jane
“Thor: Love and Thunder” gives us a glimpse into Thor and Jane’s relationship in a flashback scene. Thor, in a private conversation with his enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, tasks Mjolnir with protecting Jane for as long as she lives. By doing this, Thor puts his obsession with protecting his loved ones at ease. However, Thor is presented with a new problem: the possibility of children. How could Thor possibly protect his offspring given his failure to protect his own in the past? If he doesn’t see himself fit to rule a kingdom, how could he possibly be fit to be a dad? This new fear pushes Thor away from Jane, and Jane eventually breaks up with Thor via a handwritten letter.
Thor 3: Thor the King
“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017) introduces us to a very lonely Thor who has been separated from Jane and his home for quite some time. When he returns to Asgard, Thor finds his “recently deceased” brother, Loki, running the show disguised as their father. Loki reveals the location of their father, but their father is dying. The two are given the task to protect Asgard from their sister, Hela, who is played by Cate Blanchet. Once again, Thor is given the heavy burden of protecting his own, but this time it’s his entire race.
When he finally faces Hela, Thor is quickly defeated. He is not strong enough to defeat Hela — or so he thinks. After a brief intermission with the ghost of his father, Thor realizes that his power was never external. His strength, as well as his potential to become a great leader, was always inside of him. Knowing this, Thor ultimately defeats Hela and makes the sacrifice of his home planet for his people. With his brother by his side and his people behind him, Thor takes his place as the rightful king of Asgard, a position he once feared but now embraces. Here, we see Thor at his full potential: strong, confident and worthy of being a leader. But nothing lasts forever.
The events of “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) bring on the demise of Thor. While on a ship transporting the people of Asgard safely to Earth, Thor encounters the titan Thanos, played by Josh Brolin. Thanos proves to be a mighty threat, as he slaughters most of Thor’s people and Loki, leaving Thor with nothing. Thor vows to avenge his loss by killing Thanos himself, and after a long fight with Thanos, Thor is finally given the chance to do it.
However, he fails. Thanos manages to wipe out half of all living creatures. Afterward, Thor quickly spirals into a major depression. He is broken to his core. He lost, and it all happened under his rule as king. He is done … at least until he is recruited to help bring back everyone who Thanos had made disappear. After his team’s victory, Thor is given a new hope. With Asgard rebuilt on Earth, he passes on his title of king and leaves to discover himself and his true purpose. This brings us to the new movie, “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
Thor 4: Discovering Love and Trust
“Thor: Love and Thunder” opens with Thor meditating, trying to find purpose in his life. He’s not meant to protect Jane, and he’s not meant to be king, so who is he? Why is he still here? Thor finds a distress call from a former Asgardian friend, and he discovers that a being known as Gorr the God Butcher (played by Christian Bale) is hunting down and slaughtering the gods, and the remaining Asgardians are next. After traveling back to the new and improved Asgard, Thor fights off Gorr’s monsters, when he comes face to face with his old love, Jane.
Jane, now suited up with Mjolnir and the powers of Thor, surprises Thor and makes him rethink why it never worked out with her. Would he feel more comfortable being with her now that she has these powers to protect herself? Unbeknownst to Thor, Jane has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and she isn’t given very long to live. Jane eventually gives up on modern medicine and turns to a more unorthodox approach — Asgardian magic. After finding Mjolnir and taking on the powers of Thor, Jane feels no more pain and is able to fight off Gorr’s monsters. However, these new powers start to take a toll on her, as they restrict her body’s ability to fight off cancer. This creates a new problem for Thor in the future.
Thor, desperate for help, goes to the other deities of the universe to ask for help against Gorr. One of them is Zeus, the leader of the gods. However, Thor quickly learns that none of the other gods seem to be concerned with the well-being of anybody and are rather selfish and cruel. It is here that Thor realizes that his morals set him apart from other gods. He is not just a god. He is a hero, and more importantly, a leader.
After stealing the lightning bolt of Zeus, Thor, along with Jane and friends, go to face Gorr. This ends badly. Thor’s weapon is taken, and Jane reverts to her weakened state. After hearing the bad news, Thor urges Jane not to pick up the hammer again. He reveals that he still loves her, and he does not want to lose her again. However, Jane defies his pleas and joins him in the battle against Gorr anyway.
This is the ultimate display of love. When she goes to help Thor, Jane exhibits not romantic love, but selfless love. She knows that her sacrifice will bring on the greater good, which is an act that Thor has experienced before. Jane even reaches out to Gorr with the plea to “choose love” as opposed to wiping out all the gods. After watching Jane’s sacrifice, Gorr, ready to take the final blow against all gods, decides to instead bring his daughter back to life using a wish granted to him by a being called Eternity. This act kills him, which leaves Thor with the daughter of Gorr the God Butcher.
This becomes Thor’s new meaning in life. Thor takes in Gorr’s daughter (played by India Hemsworth) as his own, and by doing this, he discovers that a true leader doesn’t simply protect their people. They love their people, and they make sacrifices for them. Much like how he sacrificed his homeworld for his people before he became king, Thor acknowledges that being a leader takes selfless love.
He also learns not to give in to fear, as a true leader is patient and trusting of their people, even if they disagree. This is the perfect end to Thor’s character. Thor, who started off as stubborn and hot-headed, experienced pain and loss after his fears got the best of him and eventually gave into true selfless love. Now, he is the benevolent leader of his household with his adopted daughter, Love.
What Happens Now
“Thor Love and Thunder” gives us the perfect ending to Thor’s character arc, but what happens next? Is this really the end of Thor? What will happen with Thor’s new daughter, Love? As of right now, not much is known about the future of Thor. In an interview with Deadline, Hemsworth hinted at the possibility of future projects with the MCU, saying: “I’ll do it until someone says get off the stage. I love it.”
Love is also expected to return, setting up another player in Marvel’s upcoming Young Avengers lineup. Hopefully, we will get to see more of Thor and Love as he imparts his wisdom to his daughter and perhaps teaches her how to become an Avenger like him. “Thor: Love and Thunder” not only provides us with a beautiful conclusion to Thor’s character but also opens the door for a new story to start.