Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth Thor movie is out now in cinemas. According to Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, it’s a “wacky romantic comedy set in space.” It sounds like you don’t really need to know many Marvel Cinematic Universe specifics before going in.
But wait… Maybe you should be primed with a different kind of knowledge. Let’s run through the basics first before addressing the best way to approach watching Love and Thunder.
What happened to Thor before Love and Thunder?
Let’s go through the key takeaways from Marvel movies Thor has made appearances in.
The movie that kicked off the adventures of Thor, the god of thunder.
- Astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her assistant Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and mentor Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) find Thor when he’s exiled on Earth
- Thor leaves his new love Jane to defeat Loki on Asgard
- Loki apparently dies after being rejected by his father and intentionally falling into an abyss
- But psych! Loki appears in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, where he’s interested in the Tesseract, aka a containment vessel for the Space Stone
JAY MAIDMENT; Jay Maidment
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
In Thor 2, Jane travels to Asgard and meets the parents.
- Thor’s mother Frigga is fatally stabbed while protecting Jane from the ruler of the Dark Elves
- Loki is killed while helping Thor fight the Dark Elves
- But psych again! Loki is alive and impersonating his adoptive father Odin, the king of Asgard
- Thor remains on Earth with Jane until the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
The first Thor movie directed by Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Hunt for the Wilderpeople).
- It’s revealed that Jane and Thor have broken up
- Odin dies of old age
- Hela (Cate Blanchett), the god of death and Thor’s sister, is killed in the destruction of Asgard
- Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) was one of the warriors sent by Odin to kill Hela, but all her warrior companions died. Valkyrie is now dealing with PTSD
Avengers: Infinity War (2019)
Thor briefly teams up with the Guardians of the Galaxy and commits his greatest mistake.
- Loki is killed by Thanos (Josh Brolin)
- The Asgardians, including Heimdall (Idris Elba), on Thor’s ship are killed
- Thor is rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy
- Thor creates battle-axe Stormbreaker using a blazing neutron star
- Thor severely wounds Thanos, but not enough to prevent him from using the Infinity Stones and deleting half the population of the universe
Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET
The movie that introduces us to “Dad Bod” Thor.
- Thor finally takes his revenge on Thanos, decapitating him when the Avengers locate him on an uninhabited planet
- Five years pass and Thor is an alcoholic, drinking and playing video games in New Asgard on Earth
- After helping to restore the population of the universe, Thor appoints Valkyrie as the new king of Asgard (she’d already been doing those duties)
- Suffering a midlife crisis, Thor joins the Guardians. “It’s time for me to be who I am, rather than who I’m supposed to be.”
And this is where we find Thor at the beginning of Thor: Love and Thunder. His parents, brother and sister dead, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, the first time in a thousand years he has no path.
Some advice on watching Thor: Love and Thunder
According to director Taika Waititi, Thor 4 is as if “10-year-olds told us what should be in a movie and we said yes to every single thing.” He also said that, “If you wrote down all the elements of this film, it shouldn’t make sense.”
Basically, what’s happening here, is that this section is an extra primer for what to expect from Thor: Love and Thunder as a Film (capital “F”).
The advice: Don’t watch Thor: Ragnarok, the popular third Thor movie, before the latest. Allow your expectations to be free from the influence of great Films that came before.
Here’s one more Waititi quote (via Empire) to prepare you:
“It’s almost like it shouldn’t be made. If you walked into a room and said, ‘I want this and this and this.’ Who’s in it? These people. What are you going to call it? Love And Thunder. I mean, you’d never work again. Maybe I won’t after this.”
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