‘Age of Ultron’: Some Were Disappointed Thor Didn’t Die in the Film

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had plenty of twists and turns over the course of its more than 20 films. One thing it didn’t feature a lot of? Shocking superhero deaths. Most of the core Avengers team made it through the majority of the MCU films unscathed.

That eventually changed, but before then it didn’t stop fans from speculating on when some of their favorite characters might reach their untimely ends. 

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, some fans expected Thor to die. Let’s take a closer look at that film, Thor’s overall arc, and the fan theory that Thor was going to die in Age of Ultron

What happens in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

In Age of Ultron, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create an AI so powerful that it becomes sentient: a robot known as Ultron. With Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver assisting him, Ultron attempts to take over the world and destroy the Avengers. After much death, destruction, and the creation of an android known as the Vision, the Avengers defeat Ultron. 

The movie was the final MCU film directed by Joss Whedon. It also featured the debut of Paul Bettany’s Vision. Previously, Bettany had displayed the voice of Iron Man’s AI system known as JARVIS. The villainous Ultron was portrayed by James Spader. 

While the heroes won in the end, it wasn’t a win without sacrifices, though. The events of the film and the way in which the battle ravages the fictional country of Sokovia have lasting impacts. The Avengers’ actions lead to calls for government regulation, which sets off the plot to Captain America: Civil War. 

Thor’s MCU character arc

Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth | Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

‘Age of Ultron’: Taking Out 1 Useless Character Wouldn’t Have Changed the Movie At All

Few characters in the MCU grow as much as Thor did. When we first meet him, he’s an arrogant god with a powerful weapon. Throughout the films, he learns humility, He battles unbeatable foes (Loki and Hela) and wins against them anyway.

He integrates himself into a team of mortals — the Avengers — and becomes more like them in the best ways. We see him lose everything at the hands of Thanos, only to redeem himself in Avengers: Endgame by helping to defeat him. By the end of his arc, he’s no longer the king of Asgard, but he’s at peace and searching for a new identity. 

What makes Thor so compelling as a character is that he’s essentially immortal. He almost can’t be destroyed. That said, many fans thought it would have been a good narrative choice for Marvel to kill him off in Age of Ultron

What fans wanted to happen in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

According to CBR, a popular fan theory floating around prior to Age of Ultron’s release was that Thor would die in the film. He didn’t, of course. That plot point fell to Quicksilver.

In retrospect, it made sense: Quicksilver was a newly introduced character who also existed in Fox’s X-Men cinematic universe. Offing him wasn’t too surprising. 

Fans were disappointed, however. While it would have been an abrupt end to Thor’s run in the MCU, it would have shown that the world had serious stakes. Looking back over the MCU’s Infinity Saga, it was rare that a major hero died. Thor’s demise would have put the entire fan base on alert: anything could happen to Marvel’s heroes during the next go-around. 

The MCU eventually delivered its major death scenes when Black Widow and Iron Man sacrifice themselves in Avengers: Endgame. And Thor dying in Age of Ultron would have robbed fans of the impressive Thor: Ragnarok. Thor dying may have been an unexpected wrinkle in the film, but it’s safe to say the MCU was better off for it not happening.