The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been deceptive in how its films can nonverbally express the emotions of its title characters. For example, the Iron Man films were about Tony confronting his fears and his past, while the Captain America films were about coming to terms with a world where its ideals changed over decades. For Thor, in particular, his films have proven that he’s the MCU’s darkest hero in the most creative way possible.

The first two Thor and Avengers films showed the God of Thunder at his highest point. While he lost his brother and mother, he still had a team, allies and Jane Foster to help him through his struggles. However, by the end of The Infinity Saga, he lost even more than that and had been stripped of the person he was. Rather than show this through the lens of a dour setting, it was shown through the eye of director Taika Waititi, who brought color and humor to Thor’s world.

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Thor: Ragnarok saw Thor lose his hammer, father, friends and home in the span of only a few days. As the situation got sadder, his humor grew more and more. This continued through Avengers: Infinity War until the loss of Loki and Heimdall dragged him further down, and his failure to kill Thanos left him feeling unworthy.

However, avengers: Endgame showed how he used his humor to mask his pain and the depression that came with it. While he was later inspired to continue fighting in Thor: Love and Thunderhis pain and loneliness were still prevalent.

Thor no longer buried his pain in beer and food, but he still dealt with it by saying he needed to find himself; although, he focused more on helping others. This can be seen as he fought alongside The Guardians of the Galaxy, where he felt a brief rush of being needed by others, but the minute he claimed victory, his sadness returned. To showcase this, audiences witnessed an epic fight sequence followed by humorous banter with the Guardians.

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Nevertheless, the importance he placed on personal connection was best shown when he left the Guardians, as he did so to find his friend Sif, who symbolized the last bastion of happiness he had until Jane returned. Through those two characters, Thor could start to rebuild his happiness, and the film showed this by delivering a humorous Thor who was also more mature. His more serious moments pulled to his time on Asgard — when he was at his most content. Eventually, what seemed like his quarter-live crisis eventually emerged into a desire for a connection, which takes the form of Love.

Through Love, Thor’s journey took a massive leap, as now the humorous hero was more of a mentor and father figure to this little girl. As a result, his darkness faded, and he found balance in himself and his funnier and more serious sides. in the end, Thor: Love and Thunder proved that the funnier Thor got, the more pain he was in, and until he found a reason to fight, it was clear that Thor’s in immense pain over his losses and needs a change.

To see the dark side of Thor’s humor, Thor: Love and Thunder is now playing in theaters.


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