One of Reddit‘s comments after the release of Marvel‘s Thor: Ragnarok was, “It reinvented Thor to a new cooler character. I love the new Thor. Old Thor was ok, but he was forgettable the new Thor stands out.”
In retrospect, this quote seems strange considering that after Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame Thor’s character has grown so much that he is one of the MCU’s most popular characters.
It’s easy to remember how disappointing Thor: The Dark World was. It was considered boring and missed some golden opportunities to make interesting decisions. But with Thor: Love and Thunder on the horizon, some say the best of Thor’s growth is yet to come.
Thor is so popular that Chris Hemsworth’s wife and brother want to join in the fun too. But how did Thor: Ragnarok do such a fantastic job of reinventing a character that people had come to dislike?
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ had better enemies
Loki will always be Thor’s arch-nemesis, but he’s more of a frenemy than an enemy. We know that Loki loves Thor even though he hates him at the same time. There’s never a moment when you think Loki will really defeat his brother.
The original Thor movie was burdened by having to explain a great deal of Asgardian politics, and having The Frost Giants and The Destroyer as enemies were underwhelming. Thor: The Dark World was even more disappointing.
Despite the great work of Christopher Eccleston as Malekith, the Dark Elves were simply too dull to pose a real threat to Thor. We finally get that real threat in Thor: Ragnarok with the introduction of Hela.
In her first scene, she shatters Thor’s hammer, the symbol of Thor’s power, and decimates Asgard. Hela is a villain we can fear.
Loki and Thor putting their differences aside to fight a common enemy is even more fun than seeing them bicker as enemies. There’s a chemistry between Hiddleston and Hemsworth that can’t be denied.
Comic book fans often discuss a fight between Thor and The Hulk, and we finally get to see it in this movie. Interestingly, the film’s most memorable line, “I know him. He’s a friend from work.”
Thor and The Hulk also are fantastic together once The Hulk returns to being Banner. Valkyrie and Thor have a long history in comic books, so it was exciting to see her character introduced, especially when riding her iconic winged horse.
Finally, we are introduced to perhaps Thor’s funniest ally, Korg, who does a fantastic job of lightening the mood when everything is getting too grim.
We knew the Destroyer would fail to destroy Thor in the first Thor movie and The Dark Elves weren’t any scarier in Thor: The Dark World but in Thor: Ragnarok, Odin dies, Thor’s hammer is shattered, and Thor is exiled from Asgard with seemingly no way to get back.
Finally, at the end of the movie, Asgard is destroyed, and the remaining Asgardians are left without a homeworld. The stakes in Thor: Ragnarok are higher than in any other film, and by the end, it is clear that Thor’s life has changed forever. He is without his hammer and his beloved Asgard.
Thor: Ragnarok is not just a better film than the first and second movies; it completely reinvents Thor. He is no longer the arrogant God of Thunder.
His sister has bested him, his father has died, and his hammer has been destroyed. By completely changing Thor’s life, the MCU rejuvenated the character and made him one of the most popular heroes in the MCU today.
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