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What movie is depressed Thor in?

Why Thor’s brand-new look in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is problematic, especially when his story line had so much potential

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  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for «Avengers: Endgame.»
  • After the major time jump in «Endgame,» it was revealed that Thor’s mental health seriously suffered in the five years since Thanos snapped his fingers.
  • In addition to exhibiting symptoms of depression, alcoholism, and post-traumatic stress disorder, Thor had gained a noticeable amount of weight.
  • Though weight gain is a symptom of some mental illnesses, there were multiple jokes specifically about his weight gain, which could easily be read as fat-shaming.
  • Instead of Thor’s traumatic story line being treated with respect and understanding, it was played for laughs.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

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«Avengers: Infinity War» introduced us to a darker side of Thor — but «Endgame» undid that work by trivializing his tragic story line.

Understandably, Thor’s mental and physical health seriously suffered in the years after Thanos snapped his fingers, decimating half of all life in the galaxy.

Trailers and teaser images for «Endgame» mostly showed the Avengers before the five-year time jump, so it’s a big surprise for audiences when Thor finally reappears on screen: shirtless, drunk, and noticeably heavier, with long, dirty hair and an unruly beard.

His new demeanor and shabby appearance could’ve been used to show how people might externalize survivor’s guilt, and how even godlike heroes can deteriorate — but instead, the changes came across as problematic and disappointing. Here’s why.

Thor clearly exhibits symptoms of depression, alcoholism, and PTSD

In the five years after the «Snappening,» Thor has become a grief-stricken recluse. Valkyrie says the remaining Asgardians see their king only once a month, when he emerges for «supplies» (beer).

Thor’s habits point toward addiction, as he remains viciously drunk throughout the majority of the film. He even tries to bail on Rocket during their mission for the Reality Stone so he can find more alcohol.

After failing to stop Thanos in «Infinity War» — and then confronting Thanos again, only to discover the Infinity Stones had been destroyed — Thor is clearly struggling to cope with his defeat and the deaths of his loved ones.

It’s not just about Thanos, and Thor has been through a lot, so let’s recap: In «The Dark World,» he lost his mother, who was protecting his girlfriend, who eventually dumped him. In «Ragnarok,» he lost his father, his beloved hammer, and an eye. Then he was forced to destroy his home planet.

After all that came Thor’s first meeting with Thanos in «Infinity War.» Thanos slaughtered half of Asgard’s remaining population and murdered Thor’s brother, Loki, as well as his best friend, Heimdall, right in front of him.

Thor’s quest for vengeance in «Infinity War» brought him back to Thanos. He managed to bury an ax in the villain’s chest, but when Thor was mere moments away from killing him and saving the universe, Thanos snapped his fingers.

«He thinks he failed — which, of course, he did. But there’s a lot of that going around,» Rocket explains in the beginning of «Endgame.»

Thor’s realistic response to his trauma gave filmmakers an opportunity to add depth to his character

During Thor’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, much has been made of his divinity. He’s the mythical King of Asgard, the God of Thunder. And as Drax said in «Infinity War,» he typically looks like «a pirate had a baby with an angel.»

Both «Ragnarok» and «Infinity War» saw him bounce back from horrific personal tragedies, reinforcing the image of Thor as a strong, righteous, unwavering hero.

But then he failed again, largely because of his own ego. It’s understandable why the «Endgame» filmmakers would want to reveal a darker layer beneath Thor’s shiny exterior.

«When we were spitballing for ‘Endgame,’ we started with, Thor’s on a mission of vengeance,» Christopher Markus, a screenwriter, told The New York Times. «And then we were like, he was on a mission of vengeance in the last movie. This is all this guy ever does! And fails, all the time. Let’s drive him into a wall and see what happens.»

His cowriter Stephen McFeely added: «He just got drunk and fat.»

Instead of exploring his arc with respect and understanding, the film played it for laughs

—Łø (@pixie__hippie) April 26, 2019

It makes perfect sense why Thor would become self-destructive, even self-pitying, after losing to Thanos. He could see no other way forward, no way to fix his mistakes.

Studies have found that people with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to develop a drinking problem, and having both at the same time can make the symptoms of each illness worse.

People with PTSD — especially women, who are at a higher risk for the disorder than men — have also been found to gain weight more rapidly and be more likely to be overweight or obese.

But rather than exploring Thor’s existential pain, instead of treating his deteriorating mental health with respect and understanding, the film turned Thor’s struggles and body into comedic devices. He was the butt of numerous weight-focused jokes, including War Machine’s «Twinkies» jab and his own mother telling him to «eat a salad.»

—Cat in Hibernation (@Mad_Catur) April 25, 2019

—Cat in Hibernation (@Mad_Catur) April 25, 2019

It’s not an issue that Thor gained weight, but rather it’s the way his weight gain was presented onscreen. His scenes include everything from comedic pauses to jaunty music and ridiculously slobby outfits. The problem lies in the film’s willingness to use a person’s body for cheap laughter.

This perpetuates the harmful, fatphobic belief that weight gain is tantamount to weakness and should be pitied.

It also reads as a lazy way to make sure the film didn’t feel too serious or tragic: «We’ve stripped our strongest hero down to his barest, most vulnerable state — but let’s give him a fat suit so people won’t get too bummed out.»

—Victoria Edel (@victoriaedel) April 27, 2019

—riin #SaveODAAT (@riinkanei) April 29, 2019

Some people believe the film redeemed itself by subverting a fatphobic trope at the end of the film

When the Avengers get their final face-off with Thanos, Thor steps up to the plate without going through a dramatic redemption arc first. He doesn’t cut his hair or trim his beard, nor does he make a stirring declaration about getting sober or train to face his nemesis again.

Most notably, he doesn’t magically snap back to his previous weight, as is common in other films that use fatness as a punch line.

—THE ELECTRIC SKULL! (@MasterAkaJAck) April 25, 2019

—THE ELECTRIC SKULL! (@MasterAkaJAck) April 25, 2019

—EowynOakheart (@EowynOakheart) April 27, 2019

Indeed, this was a refreshing surprise and a progressive aspect of Thor’s character arc.

But it’s also hard to believe this was done consciously, especially since Thor is likely to be back to his slim and toned body — «back to normal» — for his next appearance in a Marvel film.

—Lil Impact Font (@riontweets) April 27, 2019

It’s possible that the «Endgame» filmmakers needed to impair Thor in some way, as they often do. He wasn’t able to easily overpower Thanos in the final battle, which doesn’t make much sense, considering he did in «Infinity War» when Thanos already had all six stones. So they explain this by presenting him as traumatized, out of practice, and out of shape.

But there’s a way to make that story line work without giving Chris Hemsworth a fat suit and expecting us to laugh at his body.

To give a character PTSD is inherently tragic, especially when it’s a «golden boy» character like Thor. We’ve come to know him as someone who’s endlessly resilient, who always overcomes obstacles for the sake of others.

Trivializing this rupture in Thor’s psyche, this dramatic departure from his sense of self, did a disservice to a beloved character who was at his most vulnerable.

  • Read more:
  • ‘Avengers’ directors teased the debut of Marvel’s first openly gay character in ‘Endgame,’ but it wasn’t at all what we expected
  • ‘Avengers: Endgame’ finally answers a question fans have been wondering since ‘Age of Ultron’
  • A definitive ranking of all the Avengers, from least to most powerful
  • 10 hints in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ about where Marvel is going next

What movie is depressed Thor in?

The Marvel Comics viking god character Thor from the film, played by Chris Hemsworth.


  1. John Quinn Lecturer in Screen & Performance, School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the West of Scotland

Disclosure statement

John Quinn does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


University of the West of Scotland provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.

SPOILER ALERT: this article contains plot references to Thor: Love and Thunder.

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor often refers to himself as the “strongest Avenger” – an idealistic manifestation of masculinity beyond the reach of ordinary mortal men.

Sure, this is mostly played for laughs, but if we look beyond the comedy, there is an interesting message about what it means to be a man underpinning the Thor franchise. It’s a message that has shifted and changed over the last decade, and not always for the better.

In the latest instalment, Thor: Love and Thunder , there is not one Thor but two: step forward the Mighty Thor, in the guise of the original’s one-time love, Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman.

Character of Jane Foster played by Natalie Portman in the latest film franchise instalment of Thor.

In the end he works with the Mighty Thor as an equal to save the day. The arrival of this female Thor incarnation in the story amplifies the absurdity of Thor’s masculine hubris, but it does so in a way that still allows the audience to enjoy Thor’s laughable excesses.

Even though the central relationship explored in the movie is heterosexual, Thor’s masculinity is not rigidly heterosexual, as demonstrated in an amusing scene where he gazes into the eyes of Chris Pratt’s Star Lord, when asked about people he loves.

In Love and Thunder, Thor’s hypermasculinity is complex: arrogant and hubristic, but also caring. His supernatural strength causes and solves problems. It is is framed as aspirational and childlike, such as when, near the end of the movie, he shares his powers (temporarily) with the children he has set out to rescue. He is both a saviour and in need of saving.

Waititi’s Thors live in a reciprocal dynamic. We discover in flashback that it was Hemsworth’s Thor, in asking his hammer Mjölnir to protect Jane, who inadvertently caused her to become the Mighty Thor. Later, when it is revealed that Jane’s continued use of Mjölnir will lead to her death, she chooses to sacrifice herself to save Thor.

Ultimately, when Thor agrees to care for the orphaned daughter of the vanquished God Butcher played by Christian Bale, he becomes a new and idealised version of masculinity – one that is not only focused on the body, strength and physical superiority, but also on caring, nurturing and domestic life.
The new hypermasculine ideal realised by Hemsworth in Thor: Love and Thunder is fluid, contradictory and subject to change and interpretation, which seems a perfect fit for our changing times.


Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy walk through fire in Thor: Love and Thunder

Original Guardians Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, Drax the Destroyer, and Rocket Raccoon are all still protecting the galaxy. As is Mantis, who has been with them since the group killed Ego the Living Planet.

The film also showed Groot 2 has grown a little since Endgame. He’s still far away from being a full-grown, adult tree like his ancestor/dad the original Groot was in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. If we had to guess we’d say this Groot’s current age is akin to a high school student. (A high school student who eats binoculars, that is.)

The Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor look at a screen of distress calls in Thor: Love and Thunder

Nebula is also a full-fledged Guardian now, too. She left Earth with the group after Thanos’ death, when she murdered her younger 2015 self. Despite being a member of a team, Nebula remains a little rough around the edges. She has little patience and snaps at the other Guardians rather than talk to them calmly. But it’s clear she has embraced being with them, something unthinkable when we first met her.

The newest full-time member of the team is Kraglin, the former Ravager. He found a new family to zip around the galaxy with. He’s also found many wives during his journey. He keeps marrying someone every time the Guardians visit a new planet.

Rocket pulls binoculars out of Groot

Korg was serving as a temporary Guardian, but he left the team to stay with the God of Thunder when Thor went out on his own to answer Sif’s call for help.

The Guardians of the Galaxy’s True Captain

Before they departed Earth in Endgame, the crew of the Benatar wanted to see Thor and Quill have a knife fight to settle the question of command. Thor said that wasn’t necessary, as “Quail” was “of course” the captain. That vote of confidence was far from convincing, and Thor clearly never truly accepted his lower rank. When he said his goodbye to the Guardians, the God of Thunder spoke like a captain leaving his crew behind.

Chris Pratt

No one else seemed confused, though. During the goodbye they treated Quill as their captain, a.k.a. they directed their complaints to Star-Lord.

How the Guardians Got Along with Thor

The Guardians relied on Thor during their most dangerous battles, but they had to ask him for help when they needed him. After some adventures, Thor grew tired of war. He eventually began sitting far away from the fight and meditated while they took on the enemy. Thor would only engage when a teammate came to him personally. Then he’d jump on Stormbreaker like a witch rides a broom and enter the battle in a blaze of glory. And also a blaze of over-the-top theatrics and showmanship that also included him condescendingly talking about his less powerful shipmates.

He referred to the other Guardians as a “ragtag motley crew of misfit desperados.” His bravado made them all roll their eyes at Thor, but dealing with his ego was better than dying to some human-sized birds.

Chris Pratt as Star-Lord looks miffed in Thor: Love and Thunder

Despite Thor constantly trying to undermine his leadership, Star-Lord respected the God of Thunder’s abilities. Quill was a big fan of Thor’s new catchphrase, “This ends here and now.” But the other Guardians were less enamored with their temporary team member. They seemed to tolerate Thor more than embrace him, sort of like how you feel about an annoying family member who overstays their welcome. It was no surprise that none of them were exactly overcome with emotion when Thor left. They barely offered a goodbye. They just wanted to keep moving, especially with so many distress calls coming in from around the galaxy. Despite their many issues, the Guardians still protect people.

Only Quill and his new sideburns took the time to offer words of encouragement to Thor before leaving. Like an attentive leader, Star-Lord knew Thor was still searching for a purpose. His speech also showed how much Quill loves all of his fellow Guardians. He finds hope and inspiration in them.

Drax, Nebula, Mantis, Groot, and Rocket in Thor: Love and Thunder

In the end, the two men might have had their issues, but they cared for one another. They were like competitive brothers who always fight even though they love each other. It seems certain either would answer the other’s call if they need help in the future.

Gamora Remains Missing After Avengers: Endgame

Peter Quill searches for Gamora on his ship

The 2015 version of Gamora who traveled through time with Thanos is not the same person who loved Quill. That Gamora died when the Mad Titan sacrificed her for the Soul Stone. But Quill wants to find the other version of Gamora. She left Earth following the Blip, and Endgame showed Star-Lord unsuccessfully searching for her prior to leaving Earth.

He has yet to find her, and she clearly has not found to the Guardians. She was nowhere to be seen in Thor: Love and Thunder. She wasn’t even mentioned. Saving the galaxy is hard work, and doing so doesn’t provide a lot of free time to look for someone who doesn’t want to be found. Especially someone who finds themselves alone in a world she doesn’t know. The people who love her most are strangers who loved someone she never was.

What Awaits the Guardians of the Galaxy After Thor: Love and Thunder

Drax screams and hold two knives as Kraglin and Beula fight behind him in a pond in Thor: Love and Thunder

Now that their ship no longer contains two screaming goats or a God of Thunder, the Guardians could find some peace and quiet. But that’s not how they roll. They’re still out in the galaxy helping those in need. At least that’s what they’re currently doing. We know they’ll soon face revenge from the Sovereign’s greatest creation, Adam Warlock.

Will they be able to stop him and save themselves? We wouldn’t bet against them, but it’s nice to know they can call on Thor if they need help. If that happens we bet even Nebula would be glad to have him back. Well, just so long as he doesn’t bring those goats.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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