Were you surprised Thor’s dramatic transformation in Avengers: Endgame? The whole world was. But according to Anthony and Joe Russo, that was the point.
Warning! This story contains spoilers for characters in Avengers: Endgames.
Rocket calling Thor a “melting ice cream cone” was intended to be funny. We’re supposed to laugh at our broken hero’s expense — at least a little bit.
But many fans don’t think Fat Thor is funny at all.
While the fat trope in film and television is usually accompanied by endless hurtful jokes and ends with a body transformation only movie magic could pull off, that’s not what the Avengers: Endgame directors were going for. Quite the opposite, actually.
Joe and Anthony Russo recently defended their decision to portray Thor as an unkempt, overweight alcoholic. What it comes down to is this: The Snap didn’t just affect those who disappeared. It affected everyone left behind, too. Even the seemingly invincible would-have-been king.
Thor may be a god, but he’s not immune to grief. What kind of movie would Endgame have been if it didn’t show just how deeply The Snap — and everything leading up to it — impacted even the world’s greatest heroes?
If you lost your home, your parents, and everything you cared about — including your magic hammer, obviously, oh, and your brother also — you’d descend into darkness, too. The God of Thunder’s coping mechanisms when faced with so much loss all at once just happened to be beer, food, and video games. Someone out there is going to relate to that on some level.
Director Anthony Russo wants fans to know that Thor’s physical appearance wasn’t changed for the sole purpose of comic relief. In fact, it was a decision essential to Thor’s character arc.
Even though there’s a lot of fun to be had in the movie with his physical condition, it’s not a gag. It’s a manifestation of where he is on a character level, and we think it’s one of the most relatable aspects of him. I mean, it’s a very common sort of response to depression and pain.
While movies don’t always need to be realistic, they do need to be relatable. A character who went through as much as Thor has and didn’t fall apart in the aftermath would have been much more worrisome than the result we saw onscreen.
If Thor, upon regaining confidence and reclaiming his power, had instantly returned to the God of Muscle we all know and love, that would have sent the wrong message. The Russos kept him chubby and solemn for a reason.
Sometimes people — and gods — break. Even wielding your weapons again after years of believing you were no longer worthy won’t immediately reverse your pain or its side effects.
If Thor ever returns, it may take time before we see him get his god bod back. Maybe he and Peter Quill will bond over workout routines as they fly aimlessly through space looking for, I don’t know, Eternals? Asgardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: The Bromance. I’d watch it.
Though we’re not sure what’s in store for our favorite heroes in the MCU, one thing’s for sure: Despite all this, there are plenty more smiles to share, tears to be shed, and films that will shatter stereotypes… and box office records.