Pack your bags and wrangle those screaming steeds, as we prepare to ride the goat boat to New Asgard for Thor: Love and Thunder. It’s hammer time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Taika Waititi steps up for his second outing with the God of Thunder. Alongside Chris Hemsworth’s long-haired hunk, Thor Odinson is forced to share the screen with his ex, thanks to the long-awaited return of Natalie Portman.
Jane Foster proves herself worthy as the Mighty Thor, and assisted by Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, the trio faces its toughest challenge yet. After beating Frost Giants, Dark Elves, and even a Goddess of Death, it all comes down to Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) deciding to rid the universe of all gods and their self-inflated egos.
With the usual cocktail of comic book source material and new adventures, Thor: Love and Thunder continues the comedic tone established in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok but raises the stakes. Like any Marvel movie, there are enough Easter eggs to make your own hearty breakfast of Thor’s signature panflaps. If you were too distracted by Hemsworth’s *erm* assets, here are the Thor: Love and Thunder Easter eggs you missed.
Forget one Pantheon, how about a whole wiki dedicated to mythologies assaulting our senses in Love of Thunder? When the first trailer came out and gave a glimpse of Russell Crowe’s Zeus, we knew Waititi would be exploring Greek mythology. This whistle-stop tour didn’t stop there, and to be honest, we could do a whole list of who appeared here.
It was a who’s who of different mythologies, with everyone from Egyptian, Mayan, and Wakandan gods taking a seat. You’ll spot some Celestials keeping watch outside, and yes, that is Bast the Panther God sat in front of Valkyrie and Jane. Other standouts include Bao, the God of Dumplings, and the Kronan god called Ninny of the Nonny sat on a throne of scissors… get it?
Knull and Void
We don’t get much of a backstory on the Necrosword before Gorr picks it up and lops off the head of an Aztec god. In the comics, the Necrosword was introduced in a Thor series, then later given its own origin in 2018’s Venom #4. Here, the Necrosword was revealed as All-Black – the first-ever symbiote.
The villainous Knull wielded All-Black and set the precedent for symbiotes being used as weapons. Weirdly, What…If? Confirmed that Hela’s blades were Necroswords, however, the MCU versions are clearly different to the comics and don’t appear to be containing symbiotes. There go those Venom crossover theories.
To Eternity And Beyond
Since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the MCU has dipped its toe into the more cosmic side of the MCU. During Love and Thunder’s climax, we visit Eternity, which is an immortal being rather than a place. Before Gorr gets his wish from Eternity, we see a temple honouring some of the universe’s oldest powers.
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There are statues honouring What If…?’s Uatu the Watcher, Death, Infinity, and the Living Tribunal who was briefly glimpsed in Multiverse of Madness. Given that Eternity, Infinity, Death, and Entropy were the four entities that forged the Infinity Stones, they all make Thanos look like one of Ant-Man’s ants.
It was cameos galore in Love and Thunder, and while we’re bummed Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster was cut, there were plenty of A-list appearances. Making their return from Ragnarok was a trio of stars playing Loki, Odin, and Thor. Back for more are Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth respectively.
There’s a sense of irony that the often forgotten Luke Hemsworth is playing Thor and recanting the events of Ragnarok. Cate Blanchett’s Hela was a big part of that story, and before the curtain falls, we get that long-rumoured cameo from Melissa McCarthy. Sporting Hela’s horns and evil cackle, she’s New Asgard’s very own acting Goddess of Death.
Long Live Loki
Thor has lost A LOT over his 11 years in the MCU, with Jane Foster now being etched on the list of fallen heroes. One of the most tragic deaths was Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, who kicked the bucket (for real) during a noble sacrifice at the start of Avengers: Infinity War.
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A 2012 version of Loki escaped with the Tesseract to head up Disney Plus’s Loki and presumably meet Thor at some point, but as far as Thor is concerned, the God of Mischief is dead. When Zeus makes Thor bare all in Omnipotence City, we see a giant tribute to Loki. The tattoo features symbols including Loki’s horns, the words “RIP Loki,” and a broken heart.
A Frosty Reception
Even though we’ve largely moved past the Blip and Thanos’s impact, the Mad Titan is immortalised in New Asgard by an ice cream shop called Infinity Conez. The play on words homages the Infinity Gauntlet – featuring a giant ice cream covered in sweets to represent each of the Infinity Stones.
Infinity Conez has become a point of contention among fans, as some have pointed out it’s a bit odd to honour the madman who tried to wipe out half of the galaxy. As one said on Twitter, it would be a bit like opening an ice cream shop in memory of Hitler.
Another hole in Thor’s heart is the loss of BBF Heimdall. Idris Elba reprises his role in the second post-credits scene to tease Thor 5, but back in the realm of the living, we meet Heimdall’s son. Thor knows him as Astrid, but now, this rebellious teen goes by Axl. Rock music is the lifeblood of Love and Thunder, and just like the movie’s soundtrack of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, Astrid’s new name is a tribute to Axl Rose.
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Axl’s room is a shrine to Guns N’ Roses, but you’ll also spot a poster for a rock metal band called Mad Titan as a nod to Thanos. Much like Gorr’s daughter, Axl harnessing the same powers as his father teases his potential MCU future. We’re looking at you, Young Avengers.
Lady In Waiting
The old Thor cast makes a triumphant return thanks to both Stellan Skarsgård’s Eric Selvig and Kat Dennings’ Darcy Lewis crossing paths with Jane. However, the big surprise is Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif. After being a major part of the first two movies, Sif was MIA when it came to Ragnarok.
Sif sitting that one out was probably for the best because you’ll remember the Warriors Three were killed off by Hela. Thor responds to Sif’s distress signal and finds her by the downed beast, Falligar. She’s a little worse for wear and missing an arm, but by the time we get to the end of the movie, Sif is helping train the young Asgardians. Watch out for her in the inevitable Thor 5.
Keeping It In The Family
There were a lot of kids in Love and Thunder, but two mean more to our lead actor than most. During Korg’s opening monologue, we saw a running Thor age up into the man we know today. Hemsworth has two twin boys called Tristan and Sasha, and in this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-cameo, we see a running Tristan.
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The family ties don’t end there. With a much larger role, Gorr’s daughter is played by India Rose Hemsworth. The movie ends with Thor and his adoptive daughter, Love. If you question how the pair have such a great dynamic, it’s because Hemsworth is likely used to her tantrums in real life.
The second post-credits scene is the one that really sets the stage for the future of more mythologies in the MCU. After finding out that Zeus has survived a lightning bolt through the chest (go figure), the head honcho of Olympus turns to his son for help. Ted Lasso’s Brett Goldstein plays Hercules – who’s not to be confused with the Disney or DC characters of the same name.
Introduced in 1965’s Journey Into Mystery Annual #1, Hercules is well-matched with Thor and wields a golden Adamantine mace as his weapon. Similar to Age of Ultron introducing Wanda Maximoff, expect Hercules to be sticking around for a while.
As well as being a long-time frenemy of Thor and a potential LGBTQ+ hero, Hercules has led his own comics series and even becomes an Avenger further down the line.