Thor: Love and Thunder introduced a powerful villain with god-killing abilities. Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale, had the potential to be a major villain in the franchise rather than being a one-off bad guy in a two-hour movie about Thor. the way Thor: Love and Thunder introduced the God Butcher and the cultural subtext of the character indicated that the film could have been a better antihero movie.
Thor: Love and Thunder established a very successful villain that was potentially more powerful and relatable than Thanos. Instead of painting him as an ultimate bad guy and unveiling his tragic past mid-film or near the end, Thor: Love and Thunder opened with how Gorr stumbled upon the Necrosword and answered its call. Like the rest of Rapu’s faithful followers who believed in his “eternal reward,” Gorr went through a crisis of faith when his daughter died in his arms, and he discovered the god he worshiped never intended to save them.
This tragic event shattered his belief system and led to Gorr picking up the Necrosword, swearing to eliminate all gods. Not unlike Todd Phillips’ jokerwhich revolved around how an average man became the notorious villain due to personal tragedy and social movement, Gorr the God Butcher is a sympathetic villain whose backstory echoed the fall of religions — an experience that people can relate to.
On the other hand, Gorr’s revengeful fall to the dark side, bewitched by the Necrosword, resembled the iconic hero-turned-villain Darth Vader. However, unlike George Lucas’s Star Warswhich dedicated the prequel trilogy to telling the story of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, recontextualizing the original trilogy, Gorr’s brief presence as the antagonist in Thor: Love and Thunder felt like a missed opportunity.
Thor is a character that has already been explored enough in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With four solo movies and even more presence in the avengers movies, there is hardly any growth left for the God of Thunder. if Love and Thunder had shifted its focus away from Thor, it could’ve set the film free from any Thor-related obligation and had more space to explore the interesting subtext that Christian Bale’s god-killing villain brought to the table.
Since the release of Thor: Love and Thunder, fans have expressed their disappointment with the film’s lack of depth and its miss opportunity with Bale’s Gorr. many also believed Thor: Love and Thunder deserved a longer run-time to tell the story Marvel envisioned. Indeed, Gorr’s final redemption and exit from the franchise felt rushed. Making it a movie about Gorr instead of planting the seed of the Thor and Love duo could have likely avoided this feeling of unsatisfaction.
To see how it wastes Gorr’s potential, Thor: Love and Thunder is now in theaters.