[SPOILERS for Thor: Ragnarok ahead.]
Thor needed to lose his hammer for the narrative of Thor: Ragnarok to be effectively told, according to the film’s co-writer Erik Pearson. The God of Thunder is back for his third solo outing – this time, however, it’s as if he is stripped down of everything that made him Marvel Cinematic Universe’s ultimate demigod. That includes Asgard, his signature hair, and even his trusted weapon, his hammer Mjolnir.
In the time since Chris Hemsworth was introduced as the Asgardian Prince six years ago, he was almost always with his hammer. Made from a special metal from the heart of a dying star, only he can lift and command the Mjolnir (well, he and Vision), as it only follows the whim of someone worthy of the power of the God of Thunder. Thus, when director Taika Waitit made the bold move of actually destroying Mjolnir early on in Ragnarok – leaving Odinson without its assistance for a huge chunk of the movie – fans were understandably shocked and confused. It seems the decision to make the Mighty Thor move forward without his main weapon wasn’t made lightly, either.
Speaking to CBR in light of this week’s release of Ragnarok, Pearson revealed that the main goal here was to leave Thor stripped of all his usual tools – so that he might find the strength within him and learn not to rely so much on the power of his hammer:
“Thor is born a handsome, rich, strong prince with a magical hammer. The only way we had to bring him down was by taking away his hammer, by stranding him on this strange planet, imprisoning him. We had to put his back up against the wall because he’s so powerful. We put him up against forces that he wasn’t fully prepared for. And, also, the lost confidence of losing his hammer and whether or not the hammer is his power, or whether he wields the power of the hammer – we’ve put a lot of doubt into his heart. That was more of the hero’s journey of finding the confidence in himself to rise up against all this crazy stuff that’s happening to him.”
Despite being a very comedic film, Ragnarok does place Thor in legitimate danger, to the point that it seems like he’s almost doomed to fail. However, his determination to move on without Mjolnir, escape from Sakaar and eventually try and save Asgard from Hela – without losing his sense of humor in the process – is really what makes him relatable now, more than ever. Sure there are times that he seems like he is losing his confidence, especially during his intense fights with the Goddess of Death. As his father Odin reminds him however, he is not the God of the Hammer. As it turns out, all Thor needs is a little motivation and guidance from his father to fully use his power, save his people, and ultimately earn his seat at the Asgardian throne.
After Thor: Ragnarok, who knows where the God of Thunder and his people will end up. Wherever that might be, fans can relish the fact that the threequel kept its promise of reinventing Thor – not just via the film’s tone or aesthetics, but its narrative. For such a long time, it felt like Odinson was always the least relatable of the Avengers because, as Pearson pointed out, he almost had everything. Even as he goes through the trials and tribulations of Waititi’s film, it seems like the character comes out of it as a better version of himself, even without his famous hair and hammer.
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