The MCU has a set of characters known unofficially as the Big Three. Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. While the first two have always had a pretty solid, well-constructed character arc, the God of Thunder underwent a few...technical difficulties. He was nobody's favorite Avenger in the beginning, and Thor: The Dark World is regarded as one of the worst MCU movies.
Nevertheless, Ragnarok and Infinity War managed to give us another view of the Asgardian. Now, there is no doubt that Thor is definitely many people's favorite Avenger. He has made many appearances and has had many critical scenes as he transformed from a greedy, reckless prince, to a wise, heroic king. With that said, here are the 10 most important scenes for Thor's MCU journey.
10 Life-Changing Banishment
By now, the world is so used to seeing the heroic, humble Thor that it's easy to forget his dim-witted past self. His first major step towards his MCU future began amidst his disobedience towards Odin as a result of his attack on the Frost Giants and the breaking of the centuries-old peace treaty between Jotunheim and Asgard. Odin rescues him and his allies from the frozen planet and brings him back to Asgard where a screaming match ensues between father and son.
The all-father calls his son a "vain, greedy, cruel boy", who replies with "you are an old man and a fool!". Odin decides to punish his future heir to the throne, by... banishing him from the planet and stripping away his powers. It was this banishment that led him to Earth, to S.H.I.E.L.D, to the Avengers, and to become worthy. It was essentially Thor's version of Tony Stark's "captured by terrorists in Afghanistan" phase.
9 Worthy at last
After spending an entire movie trapped in New Mexico with no powers and no ability to wield his trusty Mjolnir, Thor is confronted by the Destroyer, Asgard's giant deadly sentient suit of armor, controlled by Loki. At that moment, he finally proves his worth by sacrificing his life for his friends, as he encourages his brother to kill him instead of them.
Unfortunately, Loki does just that as the God of Thunder is put into an apparently lifeless form after he's attacked by the Destroyer. However, by proving his worth, he managed to summon his mighty hammer, at last, retaining his life and his powers. This was the exact moment he became the hero we now know. From that point on, his worthiness has never been at stake.
8 The death of Phil Coulson
Yes, everyone knows Coulson's death was so real that he's spent the last five years leading a team of S.H.I.E.L.D agents all over the world. That is not an issue when it comes to The Avengers. Not only do the heroes not know of his survival, but his "death" was what first gave meaning to the word "Avengers". However, only one of them actually witnessed him go down and only one was directly related to the killer. Both of these are Thor.
Loki had just trapped his brother in the unbreakable cage when Coulson stepped in to save him. But he's known as the trickster god for a reason. While Coulson aimed at Loki, the real Loki sneaked up behind and stabbed him, right in front of Thor's helpless view. This act is what ultimately led Thor to the Battle of New York, where he officially became an Avenger.
7 Foreshadowing 101
Some of Age of Ultron's most interesting scenes were the heroes' nightmarish visions, given to them by Wanda's mind-meddling powers. Unfortunately for the Avengers, recent MCU movies have proven that these were more than mere dreams. This is especially true with Thor. Coincidence or not, the son of Odin experiences a strange encounter with a creepy-looking Heimdall, who says the following: "I see you leading us to Hell [...] We are all dead, can you not see".
Thor then gets a split-second glimpse of the Infinity Stones and of a red-faced, Paul Bettany-looking image. A vision of Vision. Sure enough, future MCU events saw the Avengers create the heroic Android, Hela invading Asgard, and Thanos killing half of all Asgardians (three-quarters if you include the snap). Unfortunately for him, everything he saw came to a real-life tragic conclusion.
6 Loss, death, and destruction
Thor: Ragnarok saw a major shift in tone to the hero's previous standalone outings, by turning a Shakespearean, brooding franchise, into a colorful, laugh-out-loud comedy. Nevertheless, there was still room for a lot of character development. One scene, in particular, turns Thor's world upside down in a matter of minutes. With Doctor Strange's help, the Asgardian brothers manage to find Odin. Much to their dismay, they don't spend a lot of time with their century-old father, as he finally dies.
Right before his death, he had warned his sons that his presence had kept a previously unknown evil daughter away. Sure enough, not a minute later, the Goddess of Death herself arrives and immediately destroys Thor's "irreplaceable" hammer. And right after that, Thor and Loki are knocked out the Bifrost mid-travel and end up in Sakaar, where Thor encounters his avenging friend, Bruce Banner. That is a lot to process in just a few minutes.
5 Not the God of Hammers
Audiences were shocked when Hela effortlessly crushed Mjornir with her bare hands. Until that moment, it seemed as if both man and hammer were inseparable. But just because he lacks a flying mallet, doesn't mean he stops bearing the title of "God of Thunder". The third act of Ragnarok sees Hela unleash her wrath on Asgard. A short fight between brother and sister sees Thor be bested by the Goddess of Death, at which point he slips into a dream of sorts and meets his dead father.
He proceeds to give him the advice that allowed him to prove his full potential and become the strongest Avenger (sorry Hulk). "Are you Thor, the God of Hammers?", Odin asks. Thor wakes up, his body overloaded by lightning. He then throws Hela aside, and charges into her army as Led Zepplin blares in the background.
4 Homeless planet
Thor: Ragnarok's ending is particularly bittersweet. While the heroes manage to defeat Hela and save the Asgardian race, Thor is forced to summon Surtur to bring about the complete and utter destruction of his beloved homeworld, until nothing but dust remains. Besides all of this, the most important piece added to Thor's ongoing story is something that had been teased since the very beginning of his first solo movie.
After Odin's long-enduring reign, and a brief period where Loki poses as his father, the rightful heir to the throne finally becomes king of Asgard. Because, as Heimdall reminds him, "Asgard is not a place, it's a people". It's best then not to think about what happened during his very first day as leader...
3 Attack on the Statesman
Thor has one of the most tragic stories out of all the MCU heroes. Loss is synonymous with him. As he evolves throughout the years, he also keeps losing family and friends. By the end of Ragnarok, he had lost his mother, father, Asgardian friends, hammer, right eye, and his home. Apparently, that was not enough for the mighty God, as shown by the sudden appearance of Thanos' ship.
Infinity War starts with half the Asgardian people having been slain by the Mad Titan. Not long after, we see Thor watching helplessly as both his best friend and his brother are killed by Thanos, before the God of Thunder himself is left alone, crying on Loki's corpse, as the Asgardian ship starts to crumble all around him.
We just wrote two entire paragraphs on the fact that Thor’s hammer wasn’t the source of his power, he just had to realize that to tap into his full potential. Then again, his full potential was never proven to be his full potential. Infinity War confirms this theory, as Thanos easily overpowers Thor in Infinity War’s opening scene. As powerful as he is, he did not expect to have to face an Infinity Stone-wielding titan so soon.
He clearly needs an extra boost for round two. He then travels to Nidevallir, the birthplace of Mjolnir, where he encounters Eitri, the only surviving member of the dwarf race, ever since Thanos wiped out the rest of the population after building him the Infinity Gauntlet. The dwarf builds Thor a weapon of the “Thanos-killing” kind. A Bifrost-summoning, Groot-handled axe. Stormbreaker.
1 He should have gone for the head
As Endgame approaches, we keep reminding ourselves of where we last left our heroes in the latest Avengers movie. Pretty much everyone was last seen in a state of great pain. However, besides maybe Tony Stark, Thor's Infinity War journey ended the worst. Upon the destruction of the Mind Stone, Thanos' mission appeared to have come to a fortunate end. Then he used the Time Stone to retrieve the stone, and all hope seemed lost.
But the God of Thunder arrived in the nick of time and thrust his super-axe through Thanos' chest. The universe was saved and vengeance was served, thought Thor as he verbally provoked Thanos. Unfortunately, he didn't go for the head, and a Stone-filled Gauntlet snapped, killing half the universe. This will have undoubtedly caused the hero to suffer from a serious case of survivor's guilt. Here's hoping he still has some willpower left to try and redeem himself.