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‘Thor Love and Thunder’: Everything You Need to Know

'Thor Love and Thunder' will hit theaters soon. Before it does, take a moment to catch up with Thor's complete timeline in the MCU!
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Marvel’s latest outing, Thor Love and Thunder, will hit theaters on July 8. It’s been five years since the Strongest Avenger headlined in his own solo outing, 2017’s excellent Thor Ragnarok. In the meantime, he’s appeared alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy and his fellow Avengers in both Infinity War and Endgame

In the upcoming film, he’ll reunite with his ex-girlfriend, the human Jane Foster. This time, however, Jane will wield Mjolnir, the legendary hammer that Thor himself once carried into battle before his sister, Hela, destroyed it during the events of Ragnarok. He’s given up his role as the King of New Asgard and has instead left Valkyrie in charge.

Director Taika Waititi has returned to helm the upcoming film. His turn as the director of Ragnarok made him a household name and a favorite among Marvel fans. Before the new entry hits theaters, let’s take a moment to look back at Thor’s journey so far. How did the God of Thunder get to this point, and what can we expect from the new movie?

Who Is Thor?

The legendary Asgardian hero Thor first appeared in the 2011 film of the same name. Well, that’s not entirely true–the Marvel comics character first appeared in the 1962 comic Journey into Mystery #83, where he became a fan favorite. And, of course, before that, the Norse mythological figure Thor first appeared hundreds of years ago in the legends of Scandinavia.

In Thor, fans met the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the long-running character, played by the amiable (and downright ripped) Chris Hemsworth. The brash, headstrong young prince served as a defender of Asgard, working under his father, Odin, and alongside his brother, Loki.

Throughout the events of the first film, Odin stripped Thor of his powers and cast him to Midgard–or Earth, as humans know it–to teach him a lesson about humility. Odin also left the great hammer Mjolnir with a new enchantment, that whoever holds the hammer, if they are worthy, shall possess the power of Thor. After laying down this judgment, Odin fell into a ritual slumber called the Odinsleep. 

Adventure on Earth

When Thor landed on Midgard, he met Jane Foster, a brilliant researcher, and her teacher, Eric Selvig. Thor convinced Jane that he was really the God of Thunder, the inspiration for the ancient Scandinavian myths. With her and Selvig’s help, Thor found his lost hammer and eventually reclaimed his godly powers. The group discovered that Loki had betrayed his brother and sent an Asgardian Destroyer to Earth. After defeating the golem, Thor returned to Asgard to deal with Loki’s betrayal.

Loki turned the Bifrost, Asgard’s rainbow bridge, toward Earth, threatening to destroy it to spite his brother. Thor, in desperation, destroyed the bridge and sent Loki plummeting into the void below. Thor believed his brother to have died and turned his attention to restoring order to Asgard after Loki caused so much mayhem.

Thor couldn’t return to Earth, since the Bifrost was his main way to travel across the realms. Instead, he was left on Asgard, waiting for Odin to awaken from his ritual slumber. 

Loki Returns

Loki reappeared on Earth after his apparent death in Thor, having made a deal with the Mad Titan, Thanos. In exchange for conquering Earth, Thanos promised to give Loki dominion over the planet and its inhabitants. Thanos gave Loki access to his armies and the power of the Mind Stone, an Infinity Stone that allowed Loki to conquer the minds of humans. The invasion caught Asgard’s attention, and Odin used dark magic to send Thor to Earth without the Bifrost.

Thor joined the Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, in their desperate attempt to keep Loki from conquering the planet with Thanos’s Chitauri hordes. Fighting alongside Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov, Bruce Banner, and Nick Fury, Thor helped turned the tide of the battle and gave the team vital information regarding his brother.

After the Avengers closed the portal Loki used to transport Thanos’s army to Earth, Thor took the trickster god into custody and returned him to Asgard to face judgment. However, things took a bizarre turn when they got home.

The Dark Elves

After imprisoning Loki on Asgard, Thor and his allies set about bringing order back to the realms. Heimdall, the god of the Bifrost, repaired the Rainbow Bridge, allowing Thor to travel the Nine Realms once more. Asgard learns of the Convergence, a looming astronomical event that will see the Realms align. This allows portals to open all over the world at random.

Jane Foster accidentally falls through one such portal and absorbs an ancient substance called the Aether. Thor brings her to Asgard to heal her but learns that an ancient race of evil Dark Elves led by King Malekith wants to obtain the Aether for their own ends. The elves invade Asgard, killing Thor’s mother Frigga, but are driven off by Odin’s forces. Odin orders Thor and Loki to stay in Asgard, but Loki shows his brother a hidden path to the Elf home plane.

While traveling, Loki is apparently killed (again) by Malekith’s lieutenant, Algrim. Thor vows to defeat the elf king and avenge his brother. Malekith succeeds in drawing the Aether out of Jane and battles Thor in a climactic clash through various portals as the Convergence intensifies. Thor defeats Malekith and his allies transport the Aether to the Collector for safekeeping. 

Ragnarok

The audience learns that Loki didn’t die during the events of The Dark World; instead, he’s been impersonating Odin. The real Odin has been living on Earth in exile since Loki secretly deposed him. Thor demands his brother take him to see their father, where they find him dying of old age. He warns them that his death will allow their evil older sister, Hela, to return.

She does so almost instantly, defeating the brothers in a matter of seconds and destroying Mjolnir. Thor and Loki battle their way back to Asgard after a lengthy detour on the planet Sakaar. When they arrive, Thor learns that his powers don’t come from Mjolnir, they come from his mastery over thunder. 

However, Hela, the Goddess of Death, still proves to be too powerful for either Thor or Loki to defeat. Rather than fight her directly, the brothers make the hard decision to unleash a demon named Surtur, allowing him to carry out Ragnarok and destroy Asgard. They evacuate the citizens of that plane and flee the crumbling ruins of their former home in a massive starship.

The Infinity War

The ark ship headed for Earth is intercepted by Thanos, finally making his move after allowing Loki to act as his champion during the events of the first Avengers film. Thanos kills Loki (seemingly for good this time) and decimates the Asgardian survivors. He leaves Thor for dead, floating through space.

The Guardians of the Galaxy crash into the God of Thunder, and he joins with them briefly. Rocket and Groot, two members of the Guardians, go with Thor to the planet Nidavellir, home of the dwarves, so he can forge a new weapon to replace Mjolnir. With the help of the dwarf Eitri, they create Stormbreaker, a legendary ax with the power to channel the Bifrost.

Thor uses this power to take himself, Rocket, and Groot back to Earth to battle Thanos. He nearly defeats the Mad Titan, missing a killing blow by inches. Thanos completes his quest, using the Infinity Gauntlet and all six Infinity Stones to wipe out half of all life in the universe by snapping his fingers. Thor survives “the Snap” but blames himself for allowing the Mad Titan to win.

Endgame

Thor becomes the king of New Asgard, a colony of surviving Asgardians in Norway. He falls into a deep depression–his family has died, he failed to defend the universe from Thanos, and his home plane is nothing but dust. The Avengers team up to concoct a plan to use time travel to gather Infinity Stones from the past to undo Thanos’s “snap,” recruiting Thor to help.

Thor travels back in time to 2013, during the events of The Dark World, where he speaks to his mother once more before her death at the hands of Dark Elves. He also summons the past’s version of Mjolnir, proving to himself that he’s still “worthy.” He carries the hammer with him back to the present day, along with the Aether, which is really the Reality Stone in another shape.

In their final battle against Thanos, Thor wields Mjolnir and Stormbreaker, helping beat the Mad Titan in a climactic duel. Afterward, he gives Steve Rogers the hammer so it can be returned to its original timeline, lest the Avengers create a time paradox. Thor abdicates from the throne of New Asgard and joins the Guardians of the Galaxy for future adventures.

And that’s where we last saw Thor at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Now you know everything you need to know about his complete canon timeline before you catch Love and Thunder in theaters on July 8.