Sure, “Fats Thor” jokes are problematic, however Fats Thor isn’t an issue
Avengers: Endgame revives one thing that’s been lacking from Marvel team-up motion pictures since Age of Ultron: foolish moments between the heroes that aren’t totally pushed by the hunt for a MacGuffin. A few of these moments, primarily based on a dramatic new search for Thor, aren’t sitting properly with followers.
[Ed. note: This post contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.]
Originally of Endgame, we uncover that the Decimation has hit Thor the toughest out of all of the Avengers. That is smart: He’s been bleeding associates, framily, and homeland since Thor: Ragnarok, and he was powerless to cease Thanos from personally killing his brother Loki and his pal Heimdall. Thor blames himself for the whole snap, as properly; if he had simply minimize off Thanos’ head when he had the possibility, perhaps he may have stopped the inevitable.
It’s a heartbreakingly human second for the God of Thunder, and although everybody reassures him that it’s not his fault, anybody who’s made a mistake that harm somebody they care about is aware of that gained’t assist.
We choose up with Thor 5 years after the snap. Hulk and Rocket go to “New Asgard”, a seaside Norwegian city the place the remaining Asgardians slowly rebuild their lives, to recruit him for the Avengers’ time heist. They first run into Valkyrie, who gestures to an enormous pile of kegs when requested how Thor’s doing. Today, he solely leaves his home for beer.
When Thor lastly reveals up, it’s clear he’s stopped taking good care of himself. His beard and hair are lengthy and scraggly, he’s sporting a unclean bathrobe, and he’s gained a substantial beer stomach. He’s visibly buzzed, and spends his time taking part in Fortnite together with his fellow gladiators from Thor: Ragnarok, Korg (performed by Ragnarok director Taika Watiti) and Miek.
Hulk lures the warrior again into motion, however again at Avengers HQ, Thor continues to drink closely, passing out in a gathering after drunkenly rambling about his ex-girlfriend and crying about his mother. The remainder of the group can’t assist however discover Thor’s transformation, and moderately than attempt to assist their hurting buddy, they joke about his new physique.
Endgame’s portrayal of Thor’s new look has provoked robust reactions from viewers, some accusing the movie of fats shaming by taking part in a fats physique (and signs of despair or PTSD) for laughs. However merely together with a fats character isn’t inherently problematic. I’ll admit, I laughed when the brand new Lebowski-eque Thor was revealed — Hemsworth has bodily comedy chops, and it’s humorous. Most of the jokes at Thor’s expense are mean-spirited and must be criticized, however, crucially, they don’t trouble him. He’s the freakin’ God of Thunder, why does he care what a speaking raccoon thinks about his physique?
By the point the battle towards Thanos rolls round, Thor regains his confidence and, extra importantly, absolutely owns who he’s. He undergoes an emotional transformation that’s totally unrelated to his bodily adjustments.
What actually bought me on this selection for Thor was that, when his associates wanted him, he cleaned himself up and stood up straighter, however he didn’t magically grow to be ripped once more. He took a bathe, braided his beard, and placed on a brand new go well with — or the equal when you’ve got a magic hammer — and he regarded rattling good, beer stomach and all.
Endgame brings Thor full circle in a manner that’s fairly shifting. Within the unique Thor, the son of Odin is … somewhat little bit of a fuckboy. He’s conceited and combative, and struggles to grow to be worthy of Mjolnir after being exiled to Earth. He ultimately proves his worthiness, however spends the following a number of movies grappling with what precisely that worthiness means, particularly after failing to avoid wasting his mom.
Thor sees Frigga once more in Endgame, throughout his soar again in time to retrieve the Actuality Stone. She instantly is aware of that he’s from the longer term, however not due to his bodily adjustments. She will be able to see it in his eyes. She is aware of he’s hurting and reassures him that everybody fails at dwelling as much as their expectations.
“The true measure of an individual,” she tells him, “is how they succeed at being who they’re.” He’s then summons Mjolnir; Hemsworth’s supply of the road “I’m nonetheless worthy!” is among the most emotionally resonant moments within the film, and probably within the MCU. Frigga’s parting line, reminding Thor to eat a salad each on occasion, felt extra like a mom’s well-meaning-if-annoying recommendation moderately than a fats joke.
Whereas some might even see Thor’s Endgame persona as a caricature of a drunken oaf, there’s nuance to the efficiency that complicates the learn as pure problematic comedy. Extra importantly, Thor doesn’t see the commentary as fats shaming. He takes Frigga’s recommendation to coronary heart. He acknowledges that he’s not a frontrunner and he doesn’t need to be. When Captain America (lastly) picks up Mjolnir in the course of the ultimate battle, he lets him hold it. After defeating Thanos, he arms the King of Asgard title over to Valkyrie and takes off with the “Asgardians of the Galaxy,” proudly owning who he’s meant to be — a lovable rogue.
A number of of the fats jokes in Endgame had been merciless and pointless (perhaps we didn’t want a cheese whiz dig), however finally Thor’s arc takes him from a tragic, damaged man to somebody who absolutely is aware of and accepts himself, with out treating his weight acquire as an issue to be rectified. Hopefully Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. three lean into Fats Thor, permitting him to maintain rocking his dad bod and ignoring the haters.