After years of waiting (yes, years), the patience of Marvel Comics and MCU fans has been rewarded with a brand new trailer for the next upcoming Thor movie, Thor: Love and Thunder. Although the trailer itself wisely says very little about what the film’s actual plot will be, it shows a lot about the direction the film, and by extension the character, will take for its next upcoming adventure.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that Thor occupies something of a unique position among the original Avengers (introduced in 2012’s The Avengers), where he is one of the few members of the original team who has not died or retired, and is the only one to get a fourth film about him. While Captain America 4 has been confirmed, the film will focus on the adventures of Sam Wilson’s Captain America, not Steve Rogers. Thor is the only one whose adventure after the Avengers: Playoffs which fans actually get to see and experience.
While Thor has not yet officially retired from the Avengers, the trailer’s opening narrative makes it clear that this is exactly what he plans to do. However, retirement is not easy for those who risk their lives on a semi-regular basis, which Thor is almost certain to find out.
While the trailer shows Jane Fosters (played by Natalie Portman) Mighty Thor, it’s clear that Love and Thunder is still just as much about Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. The passage of the torch (or in this case the hammer) between the two Thors will undoubtedly be seen in the film. Even though Natalie Portman’s Thor picks up the hammer and becomes Thor full time, what’s left for Chris Hemsworth’s Thor? What should a god do when they retire, and can one ever really retire?
Puts his hammer down
A little known fact about Thor (that is, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor), which most people tend to forget, is that he is actually well over 1,500 years old, which means he has struggled longer than the time that the oldest and most experienced Avengers have ever been alive. Fighting for that long tends to leave most with many physical and mental scars, and Thor probably won’t be any different. Something that it also tends to leave one with is enemies. Enemies who may not necessarily know that the person they want revenge on is retired.
After being alive for over 1,500 years, and given his personality, Thor has probably struggled for most of that time. He almost certainly has his fair share of enemies who would no doubt love to see his head separated from his body. Maybe this is where Christian Bale’s character, Gorr the God Butcher, comes into play. Whether or not he’s an old enemy, given his title, he’s likely to still wish Thor dead anyway and will probably not care about retirement. Laying down one’s weapon and living a simple life is an incredibly noble and virtuous goal in itself, but sometimes the journey there can be as difficult as not retiring at all. This is something Thor will no doubt discover.
The legacy of Odinson
In the original Marvel Comics, Thor (as in Odin Thor’s son) eventually passes his hammer on to Jane Foster after an incident where he became unworthy to weld it for a while and then discovers that she is swinging it around. Although he does not immediately know that this new Mighty Thor is in fact his old flame, he allows Jane Foster to keep the hammer and continue to function as Thor with his blessing. After that happens, Thor (the original Thor) does not necessarily retire.
Instead, he replaces his severed right arm (because it happened) with his right arm on The Destroyer’s armor and forges a brand new weapon for himself, the ax known as Jarnbjørn. With his new arm and ax in hand, Thor then sets out to keep doing what he has always done. Instead of going under his name, he chooses instead to go under the moniker Odinson, probably as a way of distinguishing the two Thors.
The trailer does not indicate whether it is the same road that Hemsworths Thor will take. However, it shows that the opportunity is available to him if Marvel Studios does not necessarily want to retire its character yet. Chris Hemsworth has said he is more than willing to play the character as long as Marvel Studios will let him down as he really loves portraying him. There could also be a way for Marvel Studios to have it both ways.
Hemsworths Thor can officially retire and find a simple life worth living, but is called to action when the universe (or multiverse) is threatened by the recent great evil. He could become the old, piggy veteran hero being pulled back into action just when he thought he was out. As one of the few original Avengers still kicking off, he could very well handle it.
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