THOR: From Petulant Prince to Wise King in the MCU

Comic Book News

by Joane 93 Views 0

On August 1, 1962, the god of thunder roared his way onto the pages of Marvel comic books. For decades, he captivated readers with his unfathomable strength and awe-inspiring ability to bring down barrages of lightning from the sky. Now, it would not be until 2011 that the mighty Thor would make his live-action film debut.

Chris Hemsworth portrayed the character in the eponymous film to great acclaim. Since then, he has been featured in over five films. We will next see Thor in INFINITY WAR. With that highly-anticipated film on the horizon, we at ComicsVerse thought we’d look back on the journeys within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Specifically, we wanted to see how the primary characters of the franchise developed from the film of their introduction to today. So, let’s traverse the journey of Thor Odinson from his days as an immature prince to a dauntless king.

thor
Thor as featured in THOR (2011). Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Bring Forth The Thunder

Our first introduction to Thor in his self-titled film is not necessarily the most positive. In his first scene, we witness him preparing to take on the Asgardian throne. Ironically though, that climactic event never comes to fruition due to the invasion of the Frost Giants. However, the fact that ceremony gets interrupted is perhaps for the best because, at this point, he is definitely not prepared to ascend the throne.

ComicsVerse Collab: The Powerful Women Of The MCU #WomensHistoryMonth

Right off the bat in this initial scene, we get a sense of Thor’s arrogance. He pompously walks down the aisle of the throne room, boasting and celebrating his crown before he even receives it. Thus, it is in that moment we understand Thor’s perception of the throne. He never perceived the kingship of Asgard as a role to be earned.

Rather, he perceived the role as one to be inherited. Of course, that is exactly how the Asgardian throne works objectively. However, there is another dimension to the role that he is blind to at this point in his longevity.

thor
THOR (2011). Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Bring Forth the Throne

At this time, Thor has been known to be a noble warrior. His hammer is a symbol of power and boldness. Only he can wield it as he is the only one worthy to do so. Thus, by his power and passion for fighting his enemies, Thor, and many of his peers, perceive himself as a hero.

Despite this though, at the beginning of THOR, he still clearly has not developed an understanding of true heroism. Thus, as he spends time on Earth, he experiences a life in which he is not an entitled god. Rather, he is simply a human who is not worthy enough to lift his beloved hammer because he had succumbed to arrogance.

THOR, God of Thunder… And Heavy Metal?

So, THOR exemplifies our titular hero’s first step in his journey to true heroism. His experience on Earth has humbled him. Though, our hero still has some ways to go before he is prepared to be the king of Asgard. He has always known himself to be a warrior, but not necessarily as a worthy leader.

He is aware that it is his ultimate destiny to be a king, but is that a role he even wants to take on? Sure, upon the beginning of THOR, he does want the throne because it is a glamorous title. Nonetheless, his experience outside of Asgard gave him a taste of the responsibility he would need to take on when he must care for a whole world’s worth of people.

thor
Thor as featured in THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013). Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Bring Forth the Dark World

The follow-up to his live-action debut hit theaters in the fall of 2013. Directed by GAME OF THRONES alum, Alan Taylor, fans were expecting the light-hearted, action-packed aspects the Marvel Cinematic Universe consistently delivers infused with a bit of a darker edge. Unfortunately, though, the final product was actually a bit of a bore.

The film centralizes on the conflict between Asgard and the dark elf, Malekith, who wants to get his hands on the aether. The aether is a reality-bending force that happens to be one of the coveted infinity stones. Now, in the mix of that plot is Jane Foster, who has become a host for the aether. Loki also plays a large role in the film, exemplifying his mischievous nature more than ever.

Will Loki’s Redemption Happen In INFINITY WAR?

In regard to Thor’s role in THE DARK WORLD, there truly is not much characterization. In my opinion, I found Loki to maintain the most character development in the film. We witness his descent into apathy after the death of his adoptive mother, Frigga. Additionally, he continues to use his peers as pawns for his own, mysterious end goal.

With Thor though, there is a void in his persona in this film. Sure, he maintains resentment towards his brother following the events of THE AVENGERS. Additionally, the murder of his own mother by Malekith provokes a great sense of rage within the god of thunder.

However, that rage is only expressed through the physical confrontations against Malekith at the end of the film. We do not get to see that rage affect his characterization to a great extent, something that would have exposed our titular hero’s vulnerability.

thor
Thor and Loki as featured in THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013). Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Bring Forth the Dark Days

One of the few modes of characterization of Thor in THE DARK WORLD is through his relationship with Loki. Not with Malekith or Jane Foster, even though it seems as though the screenwriters were attempting the central relationship of the film to be between Thor and Jane. Let’s be honest though. The two never really had a lot of chemistry. So, that relationship falls flat and doesn’t give Thor, or Jane, much to work with.

Now, in regards to Loki and Thor, there is a constant tension between them. He continuously wishes to see the humanity in his brother, even when Loki constantly lets him down. Perhaps this makes Thor more naive than we would have thought him to be. Or, perhaps Thor’s time on Earth and his subsequent humanization impacted the way he perceives those close to him, those he should not trust as easily as he does.

THOR: RAGNAROK: A ComicsVerse Review

Bring Forth the Pull of Blood

Ultimately, I believe he does not want to lose hope in his brother. With the loss of his mother, he does not have much family left. Thus, he maintains hope that his brother will find some source of good so that they do not have to face each other as enemies again and potentially lose each other for good.

The conclusion of THE DARK WORLD depicts Thor’s reluctance to be a king. He believes that despite his destiny, he is not capable of being the king he is expected to be since he feels a pull from Earth. Similar to the conclusive events of THOR, our titular hero still does not feel worthy enough for the throne of Asgard. Rather, he feels as though his call is not necessarily within Asgard alone, but in other worlds that require his heroism.

thor
Thor as featured in THOR: RAGNAROK (2017). Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Bring Forth Ragnarok

Director Taika Waititi did not hesitate to take the god of thunder in radically new directions in the 2017 film, THOR: RAGNAROK. Some will argue that the specific takes on Thor are uncharacteristic of the character. Others will say that the film is a refreshing take on a film series that always fell short of its potential.

Without a doubt, THOR: RAGNAROK is a unique film. With this, one cannot deny that he experiences some serious growth in this particular film. We finally see him ascend the Asgardian throne in a manner in which he has truly earned the responsibility.

Jane Foster Bests Mangog in THE MIGHTY THOR #705

RAGNAROK deconstructs our titular hero. His hammer has been destroyed, so he struggles to determine how exactly he can transmit his powers. Ultimately, he ends up tapping into a power level he had never tapped into before. Thus, we come to realize that his hammer, a symbol of unlimited power, was actually restricting his true potential. It was a mere symbol of what he was capable of.

Aside from his physical abilities, Thor’s time on Sakaar deconstructs his role as a god. While on the eccentric planet, he has no choice but to rely on his instincts rather than his noble title or abilities to overcome obstacles. Most importantly, we witness Thor make exceedingly difficult decisions regarding the salvation of Asgard. In the events of the film, he takes on the responsibility of saving Asgard.

thor
Thor as featured in THOR: RAGNAROK (2017). Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Bring Forth the King

Thor could have easily abandoned his homeworld in favor of pursuing his own endeavors, but he doesn’t. He takes it upon himself to save Asgard’s people and eliminate the threat even if it meant the destruction of his beloved home. Thus, he made the impossible decision to abandon Asgard so that he could save its people and begin anew.

This film affirms that Thor’s destiny as king was inevitable. Despite his reluctance to be a king, that fate was always in the cards. Also, before this film, he had a false sense of agency over his rule, dictating whether or not he was ready. Now though, at least upon the end of the film, he no longer has a choice. He no longer can say no to his fate, but he is ready to say yes. 

Marvel June 2018 Solicitations Bring a Fresh Start with New Series

Fortunately, he is much more prepared to be king now than he was in his theatrical film debut. Now, he understands who he is as a hero and as an Asgardian.

He has affirmed his identity and can now be a good and loyal king. 

Thor in INFINITY WAR… and Beyond!

We will next see Chris Hemsworth return as Thor in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. According to the directors of the film, The Russo Brothers, he will actually have the most screen time after Thanos.

Now, the question that has been on the minds of Marvel fanatics across the globe has been, who is going to die in INFINITY WAR? Some say Thor, and some say Loki. Some say both along with every other character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Well, the truth is, no one will really know who will live or die until April 27th.

However, what we do know is that the events of RAGNAROK will certainly seep into his character in the upcoming AVENGERS flick. The Thor we know now is not the same god we were introduced to back in 2011. Now more than ever, the stakes are higher. Now, he must truly prove himself to be the hero he was always destined to be.

Comments