Thor: Love and Thunder’s MCU connections

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios' THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios' THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved. /

Connectivity runs throughout Thor: Love and Thunder, as it is both the fourth solo Thor outing and the 29th Marvel Cinematic Universe feature. Contains Thor: Love and Thunder spoilers.

As a follow-up to Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame, Thor: Love and Thunder picks up where the franchise last left the God of Thunder – hitching a ride with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Valkyrie is now king of New Asgard, where she generates revenue by setting up the town as a tourist stop. Under her rule, they built an ice cream shop called Infinity Conez and enlisted the Asgardian acting troupe for local entertainment.

The theatrical players reprise their parts from Ragnarok; Luke Hemsworth as Thor, Matt Damon as Loki, and Sam Neill as Odin. While the Ragnarok play retold events from Thor: The Dark World, Love and Thunder pays homage to Ragnarok, recruiting Melissa McCarthy to stand in as Hela, looking ridiculously comical with the Goddess of Death’s outlandish headgear. Taika Waititi probably already has his Gorr actor picked out for the next movie.

The director steps in front of the camera again as Thor’s Kronan rock bestie, Korg. For fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Korg’s hysterical “tales of Thor” recaps are a nice complement to Luis’ hyper humorous storytelling in the Ant-Man series. When Korg first speaks of Thor’s conquests, he briefly mentions courting a pirate and a wolf woman. Could the latter somehow connect to the upcoming Werewolf by Night Disney Plus Halloween special? The feral female is played by Elsa Pataky, Chris Hemsworth’s wife.

During Korg’s retelling of Thor and Jane’s love story, we are shown that they started to fissure from one another with Jane focusing on her work and Thor getting called away by Nick Fury. The former Director of SHIELD is listed on Thor’s phone as “Nick Furry”. Not many of Thor’s heroic companions from Earth are namedropped in this mostly off-world adventure, but Fury surely would not appreciate this unbefitting misspelling.

While Samuel L. Jackson only popped up in the first Thor’s end-credits tag, other Thor regulars make their way back to the franchise after missing out on Ragnarok. Not only does Natalie Portman return as Jane, but also Kat Dennings’ Darcy, Jaime Alexander’s Lady Sif, and even Stellan Skarsgard’s Selvig drop in for a bit of love and thunder. This is the first Thor movie without Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, but you can discern a R.I.P. Loki tattoo on Thor’s bare back.

One of the most surprising appearances is Idris Elba in an end-credits cameo as the deceased Heimdall. The Heimdall void, in Love and Thunder, is filled by the introduction of his son, who likes to go by Axl. How Heimdall found time to make a family was previously unexplained and unexplored. Yet Heimdall’s last second entrance in this film marks him as one of the few characters to attend all four Thor features.

A centerpiece of Love and Thunder is Team Thor’s drop in on Omnipotence City, which is a type of Mount Olympus. Thor mentions some of the most powerful gods that reside in Omnipotence City, like Hecules and Ra. Ra is widely known as an Egyptian God, knitting a fine thread to the recent Disney Plus miniseries Moon Knight. The show featured several Egyptian Gods, although Ra does not enter into the narrative. Perhaps this is a way for the Fist of Vengeance and the God of Thunder to hook up in the future.

Also in Omnipotence City, sitting right in front of Valkyrie and Jane is a god that looks like it came straight from Wakanda. Could this be the Panther Goddess Bast, and if so, will we see this god in the next MCU film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in this form? Bast is first mentioned in the original Black Panther, where her physical representation took the shape of a giant panther.

Lastly, and most strikingly, two Celestials are seen in Omnipotence City as Thor and friends escape from the wrath of the gods. As explained in Eternals, the Celestials are not concerned for individual people or planets that host billions, but rather existence as a whole, which matches with Zeus’ indifference for the welfare of humans and even low-level gods.

Gorr’s mission is to make a wish from Eternity. This is the first MCU appearance by the visually stunning and comic accurate cosmic being. Eternity also has ties to Celestials, and is even more powerful; if the Celestials created the Eternals, then it is likely that Eternity (and Infinity) formed the Celestials. Gorr’s emergence in front of Eternity is reminiscent of Thanos confronting a young Gamora in Soulworld after he snaps his finger in Avengers: Infinity War.

One of the statues at Eternity’s gate looks like it could be the Watcher, who was the glue that held together the animated series What If…?, voiced by Jeffrey Wright. Another statue, that almost falls on the kidnapped children, will look familiar to fans of the Eternals movie. Arishem the Judge is one of the antagonists of that film and it would make sense for the Celestial Arishem to be immortalized in stone since he is credited as one of the original architects of the universe.

In order to have a chance in the fight against Gorr and his shadow monsters, the God of Thunder bestows the abilities of Thor to the Asgardian kids. His speech echoes Odin’s words in the first Thor movie, when his father declares that only the worthy can lift Mjolnir and possess the power of Thor. Similarly, Thor’s commandment to Mjolnir in a flashback, to always protect Jane, clarifies how she becomes the hammer’s keeper.

Looking forward to the possibility of another Thor movie, the gods will likely seek revenge on the Avenger/Guardian as Zeus sends Hercules after Odinson. Brett Goldstein portrays the “strongest god” in a mid-credits stinger; a solid casting decision if they are looking for an actor that parallels Chris Hemsworth’s tough yet comedic tone.

In the very end of Thor: Love and Thunder, Jane ascends to Valhalla, where she is welcomed by Heimdall. This is not the first afterlife experienced in the MCU. King T’Chaka resides in the Ancestral Plane as seen in Black Panther and Marc Spector visits the Field of Reeds in Moon Knight before making his way back to Egypt. Will Valhalla serve as Jane’s final destination or will she somehow find her way back to the god she loves in an impending installment?

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What did you think of all the connections in Thor: Love and Thunder? Did you spot any others? Let us know in the comments below.