In the past few days, Thor‘s (Chris Hemsworth) new look in Avengers: Endgame has become quite the divisive and controversial topic across social media. On the surface, it might look to some that Thor’s substantial weight gain was forced into the movie for comedic relief. After all, it’s no secret that Hollywood has often times built entire properties around a fit actor throwing on a body suit at the expense of poking fun at those overweight.
The thing is, Thor’s Avengers: Endgame arc wasn’t there to be the butt of every joke or to body shame overweight people — it’s a realistic take for the character at this specific point in his journey. Better yet, there’s a beautiful message to be had with Thor’s subtle actions reactions throughout the film.
It should be noted right out of the gates that the writers of the film never went out of their way to make fun of Thor’s weight gain. The few characters who did make weight-related jokes were Rocket Raccoon and Tony Stark, two of the most sarcastic and brash heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Quite frankly, it would have been out of character for either of the two to not say anything.
There’s a point where Thor’s mental state caused him to believe he wasn’t worthy of wielding Mjolnir, let alone being an Asgardian god. After five years of binge drinking and eating — and whatever off-screen coping methods the God of Thunder used — not only had he packed on weight, but it was also apparent Thor had been suffering from his fair share of mental health issues. Just because he no longer had the body of a god or felt defeated in his downward spiral of anxiety and depression, Thor got to a point where he truly believed he was worthy of little, if anything at all.
This is why the film’s time-traveling antics back to the events of Thor: The Dark World serve as a beautifully-crafted backdrop to the character’s Endgame story arc. Even when he felt most vulnerable after breaking down in front of his mother, Thor was able summon Mjolnir, a shot that will become one of the single most important shots of his entire time in the MCU.
The second Mjolnir hits his hand, a look of relief instantly spreads across his face. Relief that worthiness doesn’t come from having washboard abs or that he failed to protect those closest to him — rather, he realizes it comes from deep within, from the intangibles that piece together the soul of his being. Once that realization materialized, Thor went on to battle the meanest dude in the galaxy, weight and all, and ended up victorious.
Sure, by the time Thor appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe again, he’ll probably have shed the weight so that Hemsworth won’t have to wear a body suit or be digitally altered, and that’s something we can talk about when the time comes. But for now, there’s a lesson to be had thanks to Thor’s drastic Endgame transformation — your importance doesn’t come from what size, shape, or color you come in, it comes from how you’ve grown as a person within.
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now while Thor: Ragnarok can be streamed on Netflix.
What did you think about Thor’s role in Endgame? Let us know what you thought in the comments below or by hitting me up on Twitter at @AdamBarnhardt!
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