After a phenomenal end to the majestic Infinity Arc, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is preparing to introduce a range of new heroes in Phase 4.
Still, one of cinema’s original Avengers has earned a sequel in this renewed era – Thor Odinson, the glorious Asgardian god, returns in Thor: Love and Thunder.
The film will serve as a rite of passage of the God of Thunder’s mantle to a new character.
Odinson (Chris Hemsworth) has had the chance to show his best and worst throughout three films: Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
Now it is the turn of Jane Foster, played by the brilliant Natalie Portman, to carry the heavy hammer Mjölnir with all dignity as the new Goddess of Thunder.
In addition to Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, the film also marks the return of Tessa Thompson in the role of the Valkyrie and the debut of Christian Bale as Asgard’s greatest villain: Gorr, the God Butcher.
Those who followed the comics, especially in 2014, got quite excited about the villain’s arrival, especially since Gorr is a crucial piece to Jane Foster’s becoming the new Thor.
In this article, I’ll take a deep dive into the heroine’s origin. But first, I need to go back in time a bit to understand Thor Odinson better. What happened to make the purest warrior on Asgard unworthy?
The Fallen God
To understand Odinson’s fall, we need to start by recalling his encounter with Gorr. Their initial clashes were bound in The God Butcher and Godbomb. It was thanks to the vengeful alien that Thor learned the true meaning of fear.
After his family died of misery while the gods of his home planet lived a life of luxury, Gorr dedicated his existence to stalking and brutally murdering all the gods of the multiverse.
Thus he eventually ran into Thor, and it took three versions of the hero, from three different times in history, to thwart Gorr’s plans.
But not even the villain’s Necrosword left such deep wounds in Odinson as his words. He knew that, deep down, Gorr’s motivations were well justified.
Perhaps the gods could have done more for the people they were sworn to protect. Maybe he, the mighty God of Thunder, was too distracted by worldly pleasures when he should have been looking for ways to help those in need. Perhaps he was unworthy after all…
This doubt, this tiny grain of insecurity, has remained in the back of Thor’s mind ever since.
The Original Sin
This uncertainty would be exploited by an unexpected enemy in The Original Sin Avengers arc. In that story, the moon-dwelling Watcher, Uatu, is killed under very mysterious circumstances. The Avengers are summoned by Nick Fury to investigate what has happened.
His eyes have been stolen. The one who uses the Watcher’s eyes can know the answers to all the universe’s secrets. At a certain point, the group comes to the inevitable conclusion that all clues point to Nick Fury himself.
Fury then decided to use the greatest weapon at his disposal to take down the heroes all at once: the truth. Nick Fury went right into Thor’s ear and whispered what he most feared to hear: Gorr was right.
Odinson was indeed unworthy. When his fears were confirmed, Mjölnir fell to the surface of the moon and remained there… The hammer would wait for someone genuinely worthy… not a God, but someone with a sincere passion for doing right and having nothing left to lose.
The Goddess of Thunder is Born
The news that Thor Odinson had lost his hammer quickly echoed throughout the ten realms. Midgard was exposed to the worst kind of rabble without one of its most devoted protectors, and it didn’t take long for an attack.
Malekith, king of the dark elves, led an army of ice giants in a raid on an underwater laboratory. They sought to retrieve the skull of the king of giants by any means necessary. Of course, Thor did not intend to let this happen, but without Mjölnir, he quickly became a victim of Malekith’s magic.
With no one to stop them, the ice giants spread chaos – freezing several Avengers and Asgardians – until a mysterious heroine showed up. Mjölnir chose its new bearer, and the one who lifts this hammer, if he is worthy, will inherit Thor’s powers.
Thus is born Thor, the Goddess of Thunder.
Even without any experience in this heroine business, she is very skilled with Mjolnir and can make her enemies start to back off until Odinson shows up.
And if you know the hero’s uncontrolled temperament, you can imagine that he is not at all happy to see someone else handling his hammer.
His jealousy and frustration blindside him, and Odinson attacks the “impostor” with all his fury. The new Thor defends herself, showing a mastery of Mjölnir that Odinson has never acquired in centuries.
The hammer flies around doing incredible maneuvers, almost as if it were alive, all to defend his chosen one. Odinson may not trust this new Thor, but he trusts the magical judgment of the hammer. If she is indeed worthy for Mjölnir, that is enough.
He begrudgingly accepts this mysterious woman as the new hammer bearer. But there is still one thing that bothers him a lot: who is the woman under the mask?
In Asgard, there is a great power struggle for the throne. Freya took control as the All-Mother for a while, and her people were pleased with the changes of the new Queen, but Odin is back.
He throws his wife out of power to control everything like the despot he has always been. But there is one thing he cannot control: the new Thor.
All-Father tries his best to find who the woman behind the mask is. He wants to punish her for stealing the hammer that is rightfully his son’s, even though Freya insists that she has earned it.
Odinson may trust the new Thor enough, but he doesn’t intend to settle down until he discovers who she is. Who is this woman who is so much more worthy than he is? He assembles a list of all the mighty women he knows and goes out to investigate.
Completely unaware of the hunt for her identity, the new Thor begins to fulfill her duties as a hero on Earth, getting better and better with the hammer. She even gains the sympathy of some female villains who understand how difficult it can be to be a woman in such a male-dominated environment.
This sorority ends up extending even to Freya, All-Mother, who decides to warn her about her husband’s insane plans.
Meanwhile, Odinson visits several Asgardians – he even talks to Lady Sif – before suspecting Jane Foster. The doctor has come to live in Asgard as an advisor to All-Mother on matters involving all the realms. But upon visiting her, Odinson realizes how absurd her hypothesis is.
He finds Jane in a hospital bed in Asgard. She is undergoing a rough treatment to fight breast cancer. But, even with access to the healing magic of the Asgardians, she refuses this treatment. All magic has its price. And she has learned this the hard way.
Even if Odinson doesn’t realize it, the truth is that Jane Foster is, in fact, Thor. When she holds the hammer, her body is transformed into a powerful goddess ready for war, but there is a high cost.
With each transformation, her treatment regressed utterly. Mjolnir expels the chemotherapy, leaving the cancer-free to evolve. If she keeps fighting like Thor, she will eventually die.
Furious at his own inability, Odin teams up with his brother Cul Borson, the God of Fear, to put an end to the new Thor once and for all. He sends the Destroyer – that metal golem in the first Thor movie – to hunt down the mysterious goddess.
At first, the new Thor manages to fend off the colossal creature quite well, but the God of Fear is cunning. He has killed a Thor before, and she has almost no experience facing mystical artifacts of this caliber. It doesn’t take long for the Destroyer to steal Mjolnir, leaving the warrior practically defenseless.
Only then Odinson appears to the rescue. With the list of the most powerful women he knows in hand, Odinson summons a small army including heroines such as Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Spider-Woman.
United, the superheroines don’t even have to work hard to hold off the Destroyer’s attack. The exciting part of the battle is seeing these warriors whispering among themselves to try to come to a consensus of what they thought of Thor, the new heroine in that little select club of superwomen.
Finally, when the Destroyer is hanging Freya, Odin realizes how far he has let his obsession get. Embarrassed, he orders an end to this attack. Of course, Thor is still the number one enemy of the All-Father. But facing him was so symbolic that this act earned her the respect of all the heroines present and Odinson.
Jane Foster represents the best of Thor. Even before she carried the hammer, she was fighting every day for her life. She knows the importance and fragility of human life like no other and fights to protect it.
And this is how Jane Foster, the Goddess of Thunder, who loves Earth to the point of dying for it, becomes a hero in the comics.