Thor recap: how the god of thunder enters 'Avengers: Infinity War'
When “Avengers: Infinity War” hits theaters April 27, it will mark 10 years since “Iron Man” launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this series, we check in with the key “Infinity War” players — the road they’ve taken and the path ahead. Today, we’re paying a visit to Asgard to check in with the god of thunder himself, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.
Family History: Chris Hemsworth wasn’t exactly a household name in 2011 when he made his debut as the title character in “Thor,” but it didn’t take long for the Australian star to become synonymous with the Marvel hero.
Thor’s story begins more than a thousand years ago, when he was born to Frigga and Odin, the King and Queen of Asgard. Shortly after Thor’s birth, Odin secretly adopted Loki, a frost giant, who was raised alongside the thunder god. It would be more than a millennium before Loki learned his true origins.
Thor was secretly Odin’s second child, although that fact was not revealed until “Thor: Ragnarok.” Odin first bore a daughter, Hela, who rose to be a fierce warrior, fighting at the King’s side. When she tried to violently seize the throne, Odin cast her out of Asgard and all traces of Hela’s existence were hidden.
Hammer Time: Declaring that Thor would succeed him as King of Asgard, Odin bestowed on his son a hammer, Mjolnir, through which Thor could focus his powers. Forged from a rare metal mined in the heart of a dying star, Mjolnir could be lifted only by those deemed worthy.
But even Thor was unable to lift the hammer when Odin briefly banished him to Earth to teach him humility. Captain America managed to move Mjolnir slightly in Joss Whedon‘s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015). Vision is the only other individual who’s been able to lift the hammer.
Following Odin’s death in Taika Waititi‘s “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017), Hela was able to escape her banishment. She then destroyed Mjolnir, crushing it in her palm. Thor soon learned, however, that his true strength never came from the hammer itself and that he is now able to generate lightning through sheer will.
The Warriors Three: Before Thor and Loki had their falling out, they would often traverse the universe in search of adventure with Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg). It was a rebellious quest to Jotunheim that led to Odin banishing Thor in his first film. Although Sif’s fate is still unknown, Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg all fell during Hela’s conquest of Asgard.
Adventures on Midgard: During his banishment to Earth, aka Midgard, Thor fell in love with Jane Foster, an astrophysicist played by Natalie Portman. She taught him humility, which allowed our hero to return to Asgard. The pair dated on and off for years, although their relationship ended shortly before the events of “Thor: Ragnarok.”
When Tom Hiddleston‘s Loki joined Thanos to plan a conquest of Earth in “The Avengers,” (2012), Thor teamed with Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk to take down Loki. Thor did return to Asgard, but he enjoyed his Avengers adventures so much that he returned repeatedly to battle alongside the team.
The Fall of Asgard: In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Elizabeth Olsen‘s Scarlet Witch forces the heroes to experience disturbing visions of things to come. Thor, for instance, sees the fall of Asgard and rushes back to the cosmos to prevent its destruction. That vision was a portent of the events of “Thor: Ragnarok,” in which Thor destroys his homeworld in order to defeat Hela.
At the conclusion of “Ragnarok,” Thor has evacuated the citizens of Asgard with help from Valkyrie, Heimdall and the Hulk, and they’re traveling through space in search of a new home. Unfortunately for the hero, a post-credits sequence reveals that Thor’s ship has a run in with Thanos’ vessel, Sanctuary II.
Explained Absence: Although it’s not officially in the canon, “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi helmed a hilarious three-minute short that reveals Thor’s whereabouts during the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” It even features a cameo from the incredible Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo.
Click on the image below to continue on the road to “Avengers: Infinity War” with a look at the Guardians of the Galaxy: