If you’ll forgive the Thor pun, introducing time travel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was like trapping lightning in a bottle. But after Avengers: Endgame, there’s no stopping stories from time-hopping all over the MCU’s space-time continuum.
While time travel might get stale after a while, it could also introduce some extremely fun storylines in the months and years ahead — stories that offer Marvel fans the chance to pick apart a character and their backstory. In fact, one fan theory suggests Thor: Love and Thunder will use this new plot device to dissect the God of Thunder’s complicated past and uncertain future. Here’s how it might play out.
Love and Thunder and Time Travel — Redditor u/TheMediocreCritic suggests Thor: Love and Thunder will be a sort of torturous road trip through time exploring Thor’s past.
We already know the villain will be Gorr the God Butcher played by Christian Bale. According to this theory, Gorr will live up to his name, butchering and slaying whatever gods get in his way, including Thor. (Good luck with that, Gorr.) What does Gorr have against Thor, aside from feeling territorial about their rhyming names? Perhaps it’s an ancient vendetta, one that Gorr aims to exploit and avenge.
If there’s a significant old wound, then simply physically butchering Thor won’t be damaging enough. Gorr will want to psychologically destroy the Thunder God, too. While there will be plenty of combat, Gorr’s true plan is to take him, A Christmas Carol-style, on a tour of his past in the hopes of exposing just how unworthy of his title he truly is.
This theory posits something of an It’s A Wonderful Life plotline, except not so wonderful at all. Gorr will show Thor all the destruction he’s caused and how the entire universe would be better off without him. Thor has already spent a while feeling unworthy in his stance, so Gorr’s torture would be insult to injury.
Stop! Hammer Time — Not to be lost in all of this is Thor’s sacred weapon, Mjolnir. Thor’s iconic hammer was broken by Hela during Thor: Ragnarok. Time travel shenanigans could easily fix that. Indeed, time travel shenanigans already fixed that, albeit briefly, with the return of Mjolnir in Avengers: Endgame.
If this Redditor’s time travel theory pans out, then we’re expecting something similar: Gorr bringing a past version of Mjolnir to the present. But what if it’s left to gather dust because Thor doesn’t feel worthy of carrying it?
Good news there’s another worthy somebody standing by.
The Inverse Analysis — Assuming the time-travel story plays out, it offers a simple way for Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster to wind up with Mjolnir in hand, and Thor in title. That’s one problem solved. How about the problem of Thor recovering from brutal time travel torture?
Stripped of his title and classic weapon, and confronted with his own past, Thor could undergo a rebrand and try to discover himself all over again — perhaps with the aid of a group with their own mixed history, The Guardians of the Galaxy.
While this time travel plotline may read more like fanfiction at the present (if you’ll forgive such a loaded word), it’s important to remember that time travel has already impacted the MCU in a massive way, plunging it ever deeper into its status as a fully-formed sci-fi universe. If this “time-travelling road trip” plot isn’t used in Thor: Love and Thunder, you can at the very least definitely count on something similar happening in Loki.
Thor: Love and Thunder will be released in theaters on May 6, 2022.