Avengers: Infinity War writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explain Thor's inconsistent power levels in the movie. Teaming up with filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo for the third time, the Marvel creative team was tasked to execute MCU's culminating narrative which will wrap up in next year's Avengers 4. While the writing duo did a great job with Avengers 3, there are some pressing questions that weren't explained in the film, including just how powerful Odinson is.
For the God of Thunder to be basically useless in the opening scene of Infinity War while his people were getting murdered posed a lot of questions regarding his power levels, especially since Thor: Ragnarok just established that he's become more powerful - more so than Odin. The confusion only got worse when he was able to withstand the power of a star in order to reactivate the forge for Eitri to create his newest weapon: the Stormbreaker.
Sitting down with Collider to talk all things Infinity War, Markus and McFeely answered some of the most pressing questions from the film, including Thor's confusing power levels. The two candidly admitted that it wasn't something that they've specifically thought about during the process of writing the film, nevertheless, Markus was able to give a well-thought-out explanation.
I think he's very durable. Like I think, literally, his flesh is very hard to break. That's why he can survive in space, that's why he can take that thing in the star. But you can still drain him of energy, you can still knock him out, you can still hurt him. So I think it would be very hard to wreck his body, but I think, you know, he has stamina and his stamina goes up and his stamina goes down depending on what he's been through.
So from the sound of it, it seems like Thor and Thanos have already traded already blows even before the movie opened. It's important to note that by the end of Ragnarok, Thor and his ship full of Asgardians were caught off-guard when the Sanctuary II suddenly sucked their vessel, leaving them no time to come up with a plan. And between his initial bout with Thanos and his intense fight with Hela, it's certainly possible that he just didn't have enough gas in his tank when the time came to face the Mad Titan.
While the notion didn't come up during the writing process for Avengers: Infinity War, Markus' explanation fits well in Marvel's code of humanizing their characters. Thor, who's a God, can also be depleted and tired, just like any normal human being. This makes him compelling, and compelling characters have always been the backbone of the franchise. This also adds weight to his short but meaningful talk with Rocket where he spoke about all the personal tragedies that he's endured. Surprisingly, it was one of the most emotional moments for Odinson in his 7-year MCU history.
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