Thor: Love and Thunder is a tragedy being told by an cheerful alien who loves his friend and wants you to see him as HE sees him, not as he sees himself. All of the comedy of the movie is from Korg’s emotional perspective.

Thor: Love and Thunder is a Shakespearean tragedy if you know where to look.

In the four movies, Thor has lost:

  • His mother, Freya, to assassins. She was the only person who loved Thor despite his failings and he never appeared to recover from her loss.
  • His father, Odin, to the stresses of maintaining Asgard, protecting the Nine Realms, and the ravages of time. It is hinted keeping Hela imprisoned tapped a vast amount of his abilities.
  • His brother, Loki, was killed by the mad Titan, Thanos. Though you might believe Thor and Loki hated each other, I suspect they had a much closer relationship which was hinted at during their escape from the Collector.
  • His sister, Hela, whom he didn’t know well and though he wanted to reconcile, she would have none of that. Worse, while he was realizing she couldn’t be reasoned with, he was forced to destroy Asgard as well as part of the nuclear option necessary to destroy her.
  • The guardian of the Bifrost, Heimdall, who was one of Thor’s oldest and dearest friends, a friend who literally kept an eye on Thor during his adventures, likely bailing him out a time or two, as he did during their adventure to Jotenheim was also killed by Thanos.
  • Half of the Asgardians, directly to Thanos, as they fled from the destruction of Asgard. These Asgardians were not recovered when the Avengers restored the natural order with the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • The Warriors Three, Hogun, Fandral and Volstaff — though the movie didn’t play up his relationship with them, they were supposed to be his closest friends in the Marvel Universe. Hogun, Fandral and Volstaff were killed by Hela during her takeover of Asgard.
  • The Lady Sif — while Sif did not die, she and Thor became estranged during his dalliance with Jane Foster, which surprisingly became a significant relationship to Thor.
  • … and finally, Mjolnir. Thor’s relationship with Jane Foster became so significant in fact, Thor transfers his emotional connection through Mjolnir, a connection so powerful, the hammer would pull itself back together to protect and empower her for as long as it was able. The hammer remained empowered even after Jane’s death, a product of her undying love of Thor.

Yes, Love and Thunder appears to be a silly movie, filled with sight gags and the like, but I like to think of it as a story being told by an unreliable narrator who wanted to share his perspective of Thor.

Korg is the narrator of a story about a man he had great affection for and who understood how much suffering Thor had endured and how that loss had forever changed him. But instead of becoming bitter, Thor finally evolved the way Odin hoped he would. Thor would take the daughter of the most fearsome enemy he had known since Thanos and raise her as his own, the same way Odin raised Loki.

Would he be a good parent? We’ll never know, because the genius of this film was lost in the hope for gigantic battles where Thor would destroy worlds, wreck lives and leave ruin in his wake, rather than recognizing he had already experienced those things for millennia and our journey with him was one of loss, of growth, of transformation, with a bit of laughter to lighten the load.

The screaming goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr were the goats who pull the chariot of the god Thor in Norse mythology, and they were one of my favorite sight gags in this film. I like to think of this story as a bedtime story featuring the God of Thunder, a humorous play of hidden messages and sorrowful recognitions of things lost and found.

At the end of a Midsummer’s Night Dream, Puck reminds us in his ‘If We Shadows Have Offended’ speech, in which he says:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended—
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.

And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearnèd luck
Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long.

Else the Puck a liar call.
So good night unto you all.
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended—
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.

In other words: ‘If these fairies making mischief on the stage have offended any of you, then I suggest looking at it this way: what you have just watched is nothing but a dream, which you have witnessed while you slept here.’

So many people were disappointed in Thor: Love and Thunder, but I thought it was a wonderful way to end Thor’s story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If it eases you suffering any, think of Love and Thunder as a ridiculous dream or silly bedtime story being told to amuse children.

chris hemsworth as thor, natalie portman as jane, thor love and thunder
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster / Mighty Thor, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, God of Thunder

I look at it as a renewal, the promise of a new Asgard, reborn from all the death and suffering, the end of an era after the prophesized Ragnarök — literally the end of all things, came new life, new hope, and a new All-Father, who is literally learning how to be a father; raising a new hellion to perhaps one day, protect a new Asgard, currently resting in a bucolic village somewhere in Norway.

If I am the only person who enjoyed this movie, then so be it. For a limited time only, I got to see a teddy bear, wielded by a child, in defense of her friends and family with the power of Thor, and I loved it!

-30-

Thaddeus Howze
Thaddeus Howze

Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.