Thor has lost a lot over the years. First, he was banished from Asgard and had Mjolnir taken away from him. Secondly, he lost his brother, Loki only to find out that he had lived and was now on a hellbent mission to take over Earth and be “king.” Then he lost his mother to a secret attack from some dark elves. Then he thought he lost Loki yet again in the fight against Malekith! Then he lost his father, Odin, who finally got weak and died which followed him officially losing Mjolnir as his super-evil sister Hela destroyed it. He was forced to watch his home, Asgard, get destroyed. He lost half of his people, watched his best friend, Heimdall die, and watched for the last and final time his brother Loki die. (Oh, and Jane dumped him.)
Thor’s story has not been easy but despite all of this loss he still remained a hero which this post will highlight. Enjoy!
“You Should’ve Gone for the Head.”
To understand the full scope of Thor’s depression in Avengers: Endgame we have to go back to the end of Infinity War when Thor nearly killed Thanos. He thought he had saved the day, that Thanos had been finished, but his aim wasn’t true, and Thanos would end half of all life despite his greatest efforts.
The guilt and regret that ate away at his very being sent Thor into a downward spiral of deep depression but just when it seems Thor’s fall from glory is absolute he finds a way to pick himself back up and be the hero that we all know him to be.
Going for the Head
For three weeks Thor had been dredging along, waiting for his chance to fix his failure. When finally he got the opportunity to right the wrongs that Thanos had committed he would soon discover that his mistake in not killing Thanos in Infinity War was permanent, as Thanos used the stones to destroy the stones. Learning that “not going for the head” would cause the lives of trillions was something that he didn’t know how to take.
And remember, he had just lost his best friend, Heimdall, and brother Loki to Thanos. The sorrow that coursed through him was too much to accept and so he decided to wallow in his despair.
When next we see Thor he’s holed up in a house in Scotland drinking beer, eating pizza, and scaring annoying gamer kids with horrifying threats with his buddies Korg and Meek. His body has wasted away to a “melted ice-cream” physique, he pretends to act like this carefree guy who’s forgotten everything that has happened since Thanos but it isn’t long before Bruce Banner and Rocket remind him of the darkness that sent him into this state.
He tries to pretend like he doesn’t care, that he is no longer a hero and isn’t into The Avengers lifestyle anymore but with a little coaxing by Rocket, it’s not long before that heroic streak reawakens, at least just a smidge.
Fearful and Panicked? What’s Happened to Thor?
Thor has never been a fearful/panicked type, making this scene all the more jarring. Still very tipsy and unsure of himself, he stands clearly defeated. He’s so broken down he doesn’t even want to face his old flame, Jane Foster because he’s so ashamed of himself. And when he sees his mother, who dies on the very day that they go back in time to, his depression and his sense of failure return like a punch to the face.
It’s at this point in his story when he still runs from the hero inside of him but not for long.
Counsel from the “Wisest Woman in Asgard”
Thor was afraid of failing again, of letting his friends down, but his mother was there to give him the courage to be a hero. All his life, he had been raised to be the King of Asgard but he was never that. He was always a brash, hotheaded, stubborn hero trying to live up to his father’s grand expectations.
With all of his family and his friends officially dead, he couldn’t get the ones he loved back but instead of being a coward, he realized that being a hero was greater. His mother, and his reclaiming of the Mjolnir, was enough of an emotional boost to make him the hero that he needed to be.
Wanting To Wear the Infinity Gauntlet
With heroic Thor back to life he wanted to wear the Infinity Gauntlet and bring everybody back so that, in his words, “he could do something right.” Thor just wanted to fix his mistakes and the desperation, the tears in his eye, were so impactful at this moment.
For so long he had the guilt of not being able to defeat Thanos but now, he had the chance to make everything better. While he definitely would’ve died in trying to bring everybody back to life it was nice to see his heroic streak rekindled.
Thor hadn’t been able to stop Thanos in Infinity War but when he got the chance to he was ready to do whatever it took to prevent Thanos from killing the galaxy. His heroism had returned and he had found his purpose.
No, he wasn’t going to be the king his father had wanted him to be but his depression was eradicated, for he had played an important role in saving the galaxy and would now be the man he had always wanted to be; a carefree traveler roaming the stars.
Thor is an amazing hero whose journey has been fraught with tragedy. And yet, he still finds a way to be the Avenger that he needs to be. It’s the true measure of a hero and a reminder of why his storyline has been so much fun to watch over the last eight years.
Tomorrow the series turns to Black Widow, another one of the most heroic characters in the MCU.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.