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One Part of ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Emotionally Wrecked Me

Thor stands in a battle stance, beckoning his enemy to attack.

Thor: Love and Thunder is here, and with it comes a story of love and loss in a way that I don’t think any of us were expecting. Our Kaila Hale-Stern wrote up the review for the movie and nailed everything about this movie that works. It’s funny and a good time, but will punch you in the gut in a way that leaves you just sitting in a theater and questioning why you’re sobbing after a Thor movie.

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Maybe it’s just specific to those of us who sadly get it (and not in a fun way of getting it), but this movie just sticks with you and stays in your mind and heart long after you’ve left the theater, for a specific reason, so let’s get into it.

**Spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder lie below.**

Thor throwing lightning at Gorr

I went into Thor: Love and Thunder expecting to laugh, which I did, but I didn’t expect to cry. For so many, they saw the first reactions to the Taika Waititi movie and assumed it meant Thor died, when the reality is that Taika Waititi gave us a real and grounded story of love and loss mixed in with the godly world of Thor, and it just hit in a way none of us were expecting—especially not me, someone who would watch these movies with my dad (especially Thor: Ragnarok) and then I was suddenly confronted with a story about cancer and loss and fatherhood all rolled into one. Which left me bereft and crying in the theater in a nearly uncontrollable way.

It’s not that the movie is so incredibly sad that you can’t enjoy it; it’s just that it hits in a way you might not be expecting, especially if, like me, you are part of the dead dad club and/or have a cancer story in your life. It just exists as a way of helping us all grief, and I wasn’t expecting the ugly sobs that hit me not once but twice after both my screenings of the movie.

Fathers and daughters

Realizing that this movie was about Thor getting a daughter and about the love fathers and daughters have for each other wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, which is probably why I was a wreck after seeing it both times. In the beginning of the film, we see Gorr pray to the gods to save his daughter, and when she dies, he begs the gods for help, and they continue to mock him, which is why the Necrosword knows that it can possess Gorr. He becomes the God Butcher because of what happened with his daughter and is driven by his anger.

On the flip side of that, at the end, we see Thor reasoning with Gorr and making him realize that he can have one wish at Eternity, and it can be to give his daughter a second chance at life instead of wishing for the death of the gods, so when he does, Gorr realizes that his daughter will not have a father. A dying Jane and a dying Gorr both realize that her father figure can be Thor, and thus, our titular Love and Thunder is actually Thor and Gorr’s daughter. (Played by Chris Hemsworth’s actual daughter, India Rose Hemsworth!)

We also get to see a bit of Heimdall’s son, Axel, taking his father’s place among New Asgard, and it’s just a theme of kids with their parents that works and makes the movie feel both incredibly grown up and yet something young kids can watch and enjoy with their families.

Facing a battle with cancer

One of my favorite things about this movie is the way that Thor begs Jane to fight. I was Thor. I was the person sitting and wishing and hoping that the person I loved would pull through and be fine, and putting my own feelings first because I couldn’t imagine a life where I didn’t have them. That’s what Thor is doing in that moment. That’s what he is begging Jane for. Yes, it’s so she can live and have a life, but it is also very much because Thor doesn’t want to be alone. That was me with my dad. I wanted him to fight and pull through no matter what it did to him, because it’s my dad and I didn’t want to lose him.

This movie does such a good job of marrying these two aspects of the world together that it feels like it was written for those of us in the dead dad club, and I am sure that anyone who has lost a significant other might feel the same way for the Thor and Jane arc. But it just blended together in a way that I kept sitting and sobbing in the theater after my first watch through, and when I thought I’d be okay after the second, I sat and cried in the same way again.

I know he didn’t go out in a battle worthy of the gods, but my dad fought with his cancer, and so I’ll think he’s in Valhalla and living amongst the gods, just as Jane Foster is. So I lied, it’s multiple parts of this movie that will wreck you, but it’s fine. We can all cry together.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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