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1/20/2021 • 4 min read
We last saw Thor flying off into space with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of AVENGERS: ENDGAME, but the son of Odin returns in the fourth movie in his own series, THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. So much has happened in the real world since ENDGAME was released in 2019 that it feels like we last checked in with Thor many years ago.
That being the case, if you haven't spent the last couple years regularly rewatching the last few Marvel movies, a refresher is probably in order. Here's where Thor's story left off following the events of THOR: RAGNAROK and the last two AVENGERS movies — and what we might expect from LOVE AND THUNDER.
Let's scan all the way back to RAGNAROK because it set the stage for everything that followed. As Odin (Anthony Hopkins) nears death, Ragnarok, the fabled last days of Asgard, approaches as well. When Odin passes, his daughter Hela (Cate Blanchett) is freed from long imprisonment. As she attacks Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are thrown through space, to the garbage planet Sakaar.
There, they encounter The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who has become a superstar gladiator on the planet. They also meet Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), who is instrumental in helping Thor, Loki, and the Hulk get off the planet — and in defeating Hela and rescuing the remaining citizens of Asgard.
There's just one problem: Hela was the least of Thor's worries. The Thunder God's journey to Earth with the remnants of Asgard's population is interrupted by Thanos (Josh Brolin). The big purple villain seeks the five Infinity Stones, which will give him the power to utterly reshape the universe. Loki is killed, and ultimately the Guardians of Galaxy become Thor's ticket off his disabled Asgardian Ark. Hela had destroyed his hammer Mjolnir, so Thor sets in motion the creation of a new weapon, Stormbringer, which might have the power to take down Thanos.
Indeed, while wielding Stormbringer, Thor nearly manages to stop Thanos. He's not fast enough, however, to prevent Thanos from using the power of the Infinity Stones — put into action with a snap of his fingers — to wipe out half of all life in the universe while teleporting himself to safety.
Thor and the surviving Avengers track Thanos to his location after the Snap. Discovering that the Mad Titan has already destroyed the Infinity Stones in order to prevent anyone from using them to undo his work, an enraged Thor kills Thanos.
Five years pass. Thor, despondent and overwhelmed at his sense of failure, loses himself in gluttony and distraction in New Asgard on Earth. The remaining Avengers, inspired by Ant-Man's experience in the Quantum Realm, plan to use time travel to recover the Infinity Stones. Rocket (Bradley Cooper) convinces Thor to help. They travel back in time to Asgard, where Thor retrieves Mjolnir and one of the Infinity Stones. The experience also offers him a moment of closure with his mother.
The ultimate defeat of Thanos comes at the price of the lives of Black Widow and Tony Stark. Thor passes authority over New Asgard to Valkyrie and heads out into space with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Well, quite a lot! During his travel back in time to Asgard, Thor encountered Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who in LOVE AND THUNDER is somehow imbued with the power of Thor. Valkyrie has to run New Asgard, and Star-Lord is itching to continue his own story with the Guardians. The Guardians team members all appear in LOVE AND THUNDER, so while their own third movie is also on the way, this will be at least partially a new adventure for that crew.
What about Loki? Yes, Thanos killed the "main" version of Loki. But Thor and Rocket's trip back in time left an Infinity Stone in the hands of another Loki, who used it to escape. Where'd he go? We found out in the "Loki" TV series; right now we still don't know if he'll show up in LOVE AND THUNDER. Evidently, Matt Damon is in the mix somehow — whether he's reprising or expanding his cameo role from RAGNAROK is open to question right now. (In that movie he played an actor who played Loki in a play.)
Finally, there's a new villain for this fourth Thor movie. That's Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale. The character was introduced in a Marvel Comics storyline in 2013, so he's relatively new to the Marvel landscape. Gorr is a disillusioned being from a harsh planet who feels betrayed by the indifference of the gods. We don't know exactly how Thor and the Guardians will encounter him, but as the God of Thunder, it's pretty easy to see how Thor will become the target of Gorr's ire.
All images courtesy of Marvel Studios.
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