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We Now Know What Thor’s Loki Tattoos Really Said in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

Close-up details on Thor's Loki tattoos on his back in 'Thor: Love and Thunder'

Back when the first trailers dropped for Thor: Love and Thunder, sharp-eyed fans spotted that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) was sporting some rather intriguing ink. In the scene where Zeus (Russell Crowe) magically strips Thor down, we could see a blurry set of tattoos on Thor’s back. What was clear was that at least some of the tattoos were a tribute to his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who died in Avengers: Infinity War. Loki’s trademark horned helmet loomed large in the center of Thor’s back, while fans zooming in discerned “RIP Loki.” Watching the movie, we get to view the tattoos a little more clearly, but the details are still lost. Thankfully, makeup artist Matteo Silvi has our backs, with a new look at Hemsworth’s.

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The Twitter account @thorlovethundernews posted two pictures that show the tattoos in all their glory, including one that features director Taika Waititi apparently surveying what his chaotic vision has wrought. We can now see that Thor’s permanent Loki memorials were even more extensive than first thought, and that he’s also honoring others that he lost.

The images come courtesy of makeup artist matteo__silvi on Instagram, who appears to have been taking “tattoo continuity” pictures for the production, presumably so that they could be redone without major changes. Silvi cheekily notes in his caption that there’s also “Some director photobombing my continuity photo.” According to IMDb, Silvi has worked extensively with Hemsworth, acting as his personal makeup artist for Love and Thunder and both of the final Avengers films, as well as on Men in Black: International, Extraction, and Spiderhead.

Now that we have close-up images of the tattoos, tons of details emerge. Beyond Loki’s helmet and a prominent RIP LOKI between Thor’s shoulders, there seems to be an image of a gravestone with a broken heart on it. Another larger broken heart is positioned on Thor’s lower back, and below that, a banner that says REST IN MISCHIEF. On his left side, Thor’s grief is driven home with a boldface text reading BROTHERS, along with what looks like a single rose. On Thor’s right side, he has an intricate scroll inked with the names of everyone he’s loved and lost in the last few years of Marvel Cinematic Universe events. The names on the scroll read, in order: MOTHER , FATHER, HEIMDALL, LOKI (with what appears to be a flower or some other symbol by Loki’s name—Twinfinite thinks it’s a question mark, so perhaps even now Thor wonders if Loki can really stay dead), TONY, and NATASHA. While this tribute is very touching, I think it’s rather optimistic of Thor to imagine his list is going to end there, considering the scroll wraps up.

Thor's tattoo in Thor Love and Thunder

Thor’s tattoos feel equal part poignant and cheesy. They have a kind of scattershot quality, the kind of tattoo you go and get on impulse when you’re drunk and then just keep adding to. Waititi has also seemingly wanted Thor to have some ink mourning Loki as far back as Ragnarok, when Thor was meant to have an RIP LOKI tattoo on his arm that didn’t make it into the movie. And yet, while they might not be masterful works of art, they feel very Thor, that is, impulsive and bold, wearing his broken heart on his sleeve (erm, back). They also showcase the depth of his emotion for the people he’s loved and lost, a recurring theme for the character in Endgame and Love and Thunder. Now that we’ve seen the tattoos, it’s actually hard to imagine him not having them. They’re a fitting tribute to the most important absent people in Thor’s life.

Now, we’d pay a lot of money for the Loki Disney+ show’s Loki variant—who is a Loki from an earlier timeline—to get to see all of these tattoos in his honor someday. He’s not the same Loki who died in Infinity War, but he’s made some personal progress on his own, and we imagine he’d be touched. As soon as he stopped teasing Thor about them.

(via Thor: Love and Thunder News on Twitter, images: Matteo Silvi on Instagram, Marvel Studios)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.

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