Preview art and images from Thor: Love and Thunder show Jane Foster wielding Mjolnir and Thor with Stormbreaker, raising the questions of how and why.
By Matt Morrison
Published 2 days ago
Merchandise, concept art, and behind-the-scenes footage tied to Thor: Love and Thunder?have all shown that the upcoming film will see Thor wielding his new axe, Stormbreaker, while Jane Foster will wield the hammer?Mjolnir. This raises several questions, particularly in relation to the comic book storyline that inspired the film. Beyond the question of how?Mjolnir still exists following the events of Avengers: Endgame, there is also the matter of how Jane Foster has become worthy to wield the hammer and if Thor has lost any of his power as a result.
Little has been revealed about the story of Thor: Love and Thunder?to date. It has been confirmed that Natalie Portman will be returning to the role of Jane Foster, having been absent from the MCU since Thor: The Dark World,?and that she will be taking on a more heroic role in the fourth Thor film. The exact circumstances of how that comes to pass, however, are still a mystery.
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Related: Marvel Suggests Thor Was More Like Loki (And Odin’s Worst Fear)
Beyond Foster’s return, there are other questions to consider regarding the story from the comics where Jane acquired the power of Thor and how closely the MCU will mirror those events. Various circumstances prevent Thor: Love and Thunder from being a direct adaptation, given the state of the MCU. However, there are several subplots, including Thor’s apparent unworthiness to wield his signature weapon, that may be mimicked by the movie.
The biggest question MCU fans have regarding the idea of Jane Foster wielding?Mjolnir is how that’s possible given that Thor’s famous hammer no longer exists in the present day MCU. Thor’s older sister, Hela, famously destroyed?Mjolnir early on in Thor: Ragnarok. While Thor’s signature weapon returned during the events of Avengers: Endgame (having been borrowed while Thor was in the middle of retrieving the Reality Stone)?it was eventually restored to its proper place in time by Steve Rogers, when he was returning the Infinity Stones to where the Avengers had taken them from during their time heist.
For fans of the Thor comic books, the biggest question heading into Thor: Love and Thunder?is how much the film will draw upon the recent comics, which saw Jane Foster become the new Thor and Thor answering to the name Odinson. This came to pass at the end of the 2014?Original Sin event, where Nick Fury whispered something to Thor that somehow made him unworthy and unable to lift?Mjolnir.?A new female Thor, who wielded?Mjolnir despite Odin having no idea who she was, emerged shortly thereafter. Her identity remained a secret until the 2015 Secret Wars event, where the new Thor was confirmed to be Jane Foster.
It seems unlikely that Thor: Love and Thunder will recreate this aspect of the comics, since the question of Thor’s worthiness was already addressed in Avengers: Endgame, where Thor proved himself to still be worthy even after his failure to defeat Thanos and five years of subsequent depression. It would be anti-climactic for Thor to suddenly become unworthy for some reason while traveling with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Beyond that, with?Mjolnir destroyed and Stormbreaker in Thor’s possession, there seems no obvious way to measure Thor’s worthiness and no real consequence to his being found unworthy, even if there were some cosmic entity capable of shaming or depowering him in Odin’s place.
Related: Loki Hints At Asgardians’ (& Mjolnir’s) Connection To Time Travel
Beyond it being a redundant story element to bring into the movie, the question of Thor’s worthiness has also been addressed by the Thor: Love and Thunder merchandise and some of the advance stunt footage from behind the scenes. A piece of promotional art, which was on a T-shirt given to all of the production crew upon the film’s finishing shooting, depicts Thor, looking much as Chris Hemsworth did in the early production photos, wielding Stormbreaker. Another T-shirt design, which offered the first view of Natalie Portman in her Thor armor, also showed Thor with his new axe.
The question of whether or not Thor can still wield?Mjolnir was answered by a TikTok video posted by Chris Hemsworth’s stunt double, Bobby Holland Hanton. While the video was later taken down, it depicted a scene where Hanton performed a flying stunt with?Mjolnir in his hands. This suggests that Thor will be wielding both his trademark weapons at some point during Thor: Love and Thunder. While this does not eliminate the possibility that Thor might be found unworthy at some point during the film only to regain his ability to wield?Mjolnir over the course of the film, it does seem unlikely given that Avengers: Endgame already covered the question once.
There are several theories as to how Jane Foster acquires?Mjolnir and the worthiness to wield it. Most of the theories are based around other MCU Phase 4 projects. One theory suggests that the Jane Foster wielding Mjolnir in?Thor: Love and Thunder?is not the same Jane Foster in earlier Thor movies, being either a Variant who has somehow evaded the Time Variance Authority from Loki?or a version of Thor from another dimension where Jane Foster acquired the powers of her former Asgardian boyfriend. Another theory is that?”Mjolnir” might not really be Mjolnir and that Jane Foster herself could be some version of Loki in disguise. It is also possible that Mjolnir might somehow travel forward in time again, as it did in Avengers: Endgame. Yet another theory proposes that Jane might have been enhanced by her close contact with the Reality Stone, in much the same way that Scarlet Witch’s powers seem to have been effected by exposure to the Mind Stone; perhaps wishing that she had the might of an Asgardian during her time in Asgard and unknowingly altering herself (and acquiring a copy of?Mjolnir) with a single wish.
While all of these ideas seem reasonable, the simplest way for?Mjolnir to return in Thor: Love and Thunder is for it to be repaired. This seems to be what might happen, based on reports of one scene in which Jane had a reaction upon encountering?a memorial to Odin, which also holds the pieces of Mjolnir. Whether it is by some final spell Odin cast before his passing or the result of some power within Jane Foster herself, it seems clear that this incident is what will lead to Jane wielding a reformed?Mjolnir and the power of Thor himself.
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Key Release Dates
Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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About The Author
(1542 Articles Published)
Matt Morrison has been writing about comics since before the word
”blogging” was coined. He got his start writing for the
legendary DC Comics digital fanzine Fanzing,
before receiving his own column, The Mount. Since then he has gone on
to write for over a dozen websites, including 411
Nexus and The Cult of Nobody. He holds both an MS in Information
Science from the University of North Texas and a BFA from the
University of Texas at Arlington. Known as a font of comic book
history trivia, he has delivered lectures on the history of American
Comic Books, Japanese Manga, Doctor Who, and Cosplay at over a dozen conventions
and served as an Expert In-Residence for a course on Graphic Novels
for Librarians at the University of North Texas. In addition to his
work for Screen Rant, Matt is currently the Editor In Chief of
Kabooooom.com and writes reviews for No
Flying, No Tights – a graphic literature and anime review site
aimed at teachers and librarians. He also maintains a personal blog –
My Geeky Geeky Ways –
which hosts his extensive episode guide for the television series
making up The Arrowverse as well as his
comedic Let’s Play videos. What little spare time he has is
devoted towards acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You
can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.
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