Of All the Heroes in the MCU, Thor Changed the Most From Beginning to ‘Endgame’

The arc of Marvel characters has always been something to behold, mostly thanks to the MCU having the ability to do character development over dozens of movies. Deciding which one had the best evolution is always subjective, though. Most people might do a quick thought of Tony Stark for having the greatest impact and change from Iron Man to Endgame.

Other fans disagree and think Thor had the greatest sense of change. Much of this comes from going beyond the comic book page and bringing some reality into the movies.

Most interesting of all is Thor and Tony Stark seemed to have similar trajectories, yet with different outcomes in the end. Best of all, Thor’s story is not quite done, and maybe the same with Stark.

Thor’s evolution throughout the MCU

Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth | Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

No one should think Reddit is mostly loaded with half-baked ideas about big franchise movies. Once in a while, one can find some truly brilliant thoughts about the MCU and how well-thought-out the movies really are.

A recent thread offered a lengthy description of how Thor had the greatest trajectory in the MCU, albeit also paralleling Tony Stark up through Infinity War.

The thread starter makes a good point: “They pretty much start from the same spot: brash, arrogant heirs who wantonly cause violence and destruction. And their arcs take a very similar path.”

It really is quite the revelation how much Stark and Thor were initially alike in temperament. Once the snap occurred, though, things went in a decidedly different direction. Thor felt a more tremendous sense of guilt, hence giving him mental illness in the process.

Stark held together a little better, if having to give his life to make things better and even give redemption to Thor.

Giving Thor PTSD made a fantastical superhero relatable

There was no smarter decision than to make Thor suffer from PTSD from the battle scars of the snap. When placed in the proper context, one can see just how much of a mental weight it all was on Thor.

Even if some people carped over making his depression slightly comedic in Ragnarok, there was also a definite serious side. Seeing Thor overweight and growing a massive beard presented Thor as all too human after all, something emotional for audiences as well. Blending it with a little Taika Waititi comedy was just the right blend.

Once Tony Stark gave up his life for the others, one could say he did this to help Thor find elements of peace. However, as one commenter on Reddit says above, it was Frigga telling Thor he was a martyr for Asgard that seemed to take him out of his depression.

If this parallel between Stark and Thor is compelling enough, the story likely does not stop there. Everyone knows Thor will be in upcoming Love and Thunder, giving rise to whether he truly is healed or still has more evolution to who he is.

What will Thor be like in ‘Love and Thunder’?

No one really knows yet what Thor will be like in Taika Waititi’s Love and Thunder, a movie not yet in production due to COVID-19 film delays. Many fans are hoping Thor will look clean-cut again (yes, including a short haircut) and looking buff.

He may still have some unresolved feelings considering he probably feels guilt over Tony Stark having to give his life for all the other Avengers. Will Thor have to grapple with a death guilt complex next? Also, Thor has to exist within a world now where half the world returned to life.

Since reports are Love and Thunder might be the last time everyone sees Chris Hemsworth as Thor, some kind of bookend is likely. The irony is if Thor goes into the sunset, Tony Stark might return in some capacity eventually. If rumors hold true of Robert Downey Jr. returning in Disney+’s What If…?, it would give a new shape to the original narrative.