The newest trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder managed to sneak out the door before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hit theaters. Countless theatrical release date delays have played havoc with Marvel’s pre-release hype cycle, so Thor got its trailer only weeks before the film hits theaters.
All grumbling over release timing aside, the newest trailer gives audiences their best look yet at the latest outing for everyone’s favorite Asgardian. The hero will reportedly cross swords (hammers?) with Gorr the God-Butcher, a deadly villain from the comics who hunts deities.
Warning: Plot spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame follow.
While Gorr makes no appearance in the newest trailer, the teaser gives audiences their first sneak peek at Jane Foster in her full Mighty Thor get-up. What’s that, you didn’t know Jane Foster was Thor? Well, that’s a bit of a long story. Let’s talk about how she might be empowered with the Thunder of the Gods and how she got her hands on Mjolnir after its destruction by Hela.
The Mighty Thor
In the Jason Aaron run of Marvel’s Thor comics, the Son of Odin hunts Gorr the God-Butcher to put an end to his murderous rampage. Meanwhile, Jane Foster is left on Earth to continue her normal life. She receives a cancer diagnosis, and despite plentiful magical solutions for her medical condition, Jane chooses to undergo chemotherapy and fight the disease on her own terms.
Meanwhile, Thor’s battle with Gorr ends with Odinson calling the God-Butcher “The God of Hypocrisy,” and defeating him in a climactic final battle. However, Nick Fury, the Director of SHIELD, whispers “Gorr was right” in Thor’s ear, making him feel unworthy to wield the hammer Mjolnir and leading him to drop it on the surface of Earth’s moon.
Mjolnir begins calling out to the cancer-stricken Jane Foster, who feels the pull to become a hero. Heimdall, one of Thor’s allies, opens the Bifrost for Jane, and she lifts Mjolnir. When she does, she is imbued with the power of a god and takes the name “Thor” for herself. This cures her of her cancer (temporarily) and makes her into a superhero. Odinson himself grants Jane his blessing to use his name, seeing that she is worthy of the hammer and he is not.
Whosoever Holds This Hammer, If They Be Worthy…
When Odin sent Thor to Earth to teach him the value of humility, he sealed away the Thunder God’s power in Mjolnir and enchanted the weapon to only imbue its abilities upon the “worthy.” The All-Father spoke the words: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
In the original comics run back in the 1960s, this line wasn’t some flowery bit of Shakespearean prophecy but was instead the superhero Thor’s origin story.
In those early outings, Thor is Donald Blake, a human doctor who has no celestial lineage or godly power. He simply finds Mjolnir unattended in a cave while on a trip to Norway, and, upon lifting it, finds himself imbued with godly power.
Of course, later writers would retcon this “secret identity” origin story, retroactively claiming that Blake had been Thor all along and that Odin had stripped him of his memories and sent him to Earth to teach him a lesson. However, the enchantment Odin placed on Mjolnir remained, and Marvel used it to great effect to create numerous other Thors. After all, a person need only be “worthy” and lift Mjolnir to wield the power of a god.
Other Comic Book Thors
Jane Foster wasn’t the first Marvel character to pick up Thor’s hammer and receive his power. Beta Ray Bill, an alien Korbinite, was one of the first alternative Thors in the comics. He’s an unusual-looking character, sporting a bizarre horse face and heat-resistant physiology. Thor and Bill battle in space, and, at one point in their struggle, Thor loses his hammer and reverts to his Donald Blake form.
Bill knocks Blake unconscious and takes Mjolnir as a spoil of battle. He instantly becomes Thor, the God of Thunder, proving that he’s worthy to carry the hammer. Odin eventually crafts Bill his own hammer, Stormbreaker, allowing both Bill and the original Odinson the ability to call on the power of thunder.
Several other characters have carried Mjolnir, too. Eric Masterson, Jake Olson, and others have all used the hammer to call on Odin’s power. Jane Foster is the current comics iteration of Thor, while the original God of Thunder now goes by the name Odinson and wields an axe–the one that inspired the MCU version of Stormbreaker.
How Did the MCU Jane Foster Get Mjolnir?
The Love and Thunder trailer shows that Jane Foster wields Mjolnir. However, Thor’s villainous sister, Hela, destroyed the Uru-forged weapon in Ragnarok, leaving the Asgardian to rely on his thunderous mastery of storms alone. So where did this hammer come from?
While Thor gets an alternate timeline version of Mjolnir in Endgame–and Steve Rogers briefly uses this weapon to pummel Thanos–Cap returned it along with the alternate-reality Infinity Stones at the end of the film. This means his original hammer is still broken and unusable, as far as Thor knows.
The version of Mjolnir Jane wields in the trailer appears cracked and reformed. Is it possible that she found the remains of the artifact in Norway and pieced them back together? If the hammer can only be lifted by the worthy, it’s possible that no one else could move its shattered fragments. So, when Eric Selvig finds the relic in Norway, he might reach out to the only other person he knows that has directly interacted with Thor: Jane Foster.
Love and Thunder Brings the Guardians Back
The Love and Thunder trailer also confirms that everyone’s favorite band of lovable space pirates, the Guardians of the Galaxy, will return. Shots from the teaser show Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis, Rocket, Groot, and Nebula all aboard the crew’s ship. Gamora is conspicuously absent from the lineup, despite an alternate timeline version of the character surviving the final battle in Endgame.
It’s possible that this film won’t focus much on Peter Quill’s search for this temporally-displaced version of his late friend, as the film is supposed to showcase Thor. However, fans are eager to hear more about the team’s adventures since the 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Endgame.
The trailer also shows Thor dressed in an outfit that looks like the Ravagers’ uniforms. These reformed space pirates were antagonists in the first two Guardians films, but they’re on good terms with the team following the events of the second movie. Maybe the Asgardian will join the ranks of these anarchistic adventurers before finding evidence of Gorr’s rampage?
Gorr, the God-Butcher
Marvel Studios has cast Christian Bale as the film’s villain, Gorr the God-Butcher. In the comics, Gorr is an iconoclastic former monk who turns on the Marvel universe’s deities after they fail to answer his prayers. He wields All-Black, the Necrosword, an artifact powerful enough to kill Celestials. Gorr goes on a rampage through the galaxy’s various pantheons, slaying deities for their hubris and inaction.
Thor stops him in the comics, but the deicidal maniac always manages to come back stronger. Fans are excited to see Bale’s take on the unhinged killer, with many pointing out that he could tap into the same energy that he brought to Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
Some have commented on leaks showing Gorr’s design in the movie is a large departure from his comic book appearance, though it’s unlikely that Marvel was going to cast a heavy hitter like Bale and then bury his face under prosthetics.
What About the Other Gods?
The trailer also offers audiences a brief glimpse at Russell Crowe’s Zeus. The character is momentarily visible summoning his thunderbolt, leading some fans to speculate this means an MCU version of the comics hero Hercules could show up in the film. I think it’s safe to assume Zeus and several other deities will end up as victims of Gorr’s rampage before the film ends, but I could be wrong.
As far as Thor knows, he’s the last living Asgardian deity. His mother, Freya, was killed by Malekith in The Dark World. He saw Heimdall and Loki die in Infinity War, and who knows if the God of Lies will make an appearance in this film. Odin died of old age (somehow) in Ragnarok, and that film also saw Hela go out with Asgard as Surtur devastated the realm.
It will also be intriguing to see if any of the Egyptian gods we’ve met in Moon Knight make an appearance in the film. Maybe Thor will learn that some missing members of the Egyptian pantheon were early victims of Gorr’s crusade against divinity? Whatever the case, fans are ecstatic to see Taika Waititi back in the director’s chair and Chris Hemsworth in front of the camera. Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8, 2022.