Thor 4's best new characters may explain the film’s biggest mystery
Of course, this film is going to have magical goats, but here's what that means.
Thor: Love and Thunder is bringing the God of Thunder’s goats into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Set photos from the highly-anticipated Thor: Ragnarok sequel recently confirmed the film's inclusion of the two animals (known as Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher, respectively) — much to the joy of Marvel fans everywhere.
A new batch of set photos from Thor: Love and Thunder have leaked online this week as well, and featured in several are the animatronic parts/physical stand-ins for both Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. The photos reveal little about how large the goats’ presence will be in the film, but a look back at their history in the Marvel comics may tell us quite a bit about what role they could play in Thor: Love and Thunder’s story.
The Mighty Thor
We know that Thor: Love and Thunder will incorporate elements from Jason Aaron’s The Mighty Thor run in the comics — including Jane Foster’s battle with cancer and her transformation into "Mighty Thor." Natalie Portman will be returning to the MCU as Jane Foster in the film and it has been confirmed that Love and Thunder will, indeed, see her become a new version of Thor.
But Jane's transformation may not be the only element from The Mighty Thor comic that shows up in Love and Thunder. Notably, both Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder are featured in Aaron’s Mighty Thor story, and they play an interesting role in the comic book arc.
Worthy Companions — In the Marvel comics, Thor rides a chariot pulled by Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. The two goats are worthy steeds for the God of Thunder, as both possess super-strength, can fly at incredible speeds, and can travel between the Ten Realms. They were introduced in the Marvel comics in 1976's Thor Annual #5 and have served as strong companions for Thor over the decades.
During Aaron’s Mighty Thor run, Toothgnasher was even entrusted by the God of Thunder with guarding a powerful version of Mjolnir from an alternate dimension. The goat died trying to keep the hammer from falling into the wrong hands but, thankfully, was later resurrected.
We know that Thor: Love and Thunder will feature the return of Mjolnir in the MCU, but no one quite knows yet how the hammer will return. However, Jane only becomes The Mighty Thor in the comics by lifting Mjolnir, and one has to assume that her transformation in Thor: Love and Thunder will happen through similar means.
Is it possible that Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder are somehow tied to the film’s re-introduction of Mjolnir? With Marvel's multiverse on the horizon, do both these magic goats and Thor 4's version of the hammer hail from an alternate dimension? If so, could they even be introduced as Jane’s steeds instead of Thor’s?
All questions we will, unfortunately, have to wait to get our answers to.
The Inverse Analysis — It's well known at this point that Thor: Love and Thunder is taking elements from several of Jason Aaron’s Thor stories. That includes the film’s use of Gorr the God Butcher, a villain from the comics who made his first appearance in Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder run. So it definitely doesn’t seem out of the question for Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder to serve a similar function in Love and Thunder’s story as they did in The Mighty Thor comics run.
Thor: Love and Thunder is written and directed by Taika Waititi though, so it’s equally possible that he’s using the goats in the film in his own unexpected, totally original, and hilarious way.
Thor: Love and Thunder will be released in theaters on May 6, 2022.
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