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60 facts you didn’t know about Marvel’s Thor

#37: Frog Thor was originally going to be a duck.

Six decades ago, Norse mythology was reborn.

Having found success with characters like the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby wanted a new hero that could outshine them all. No mere mortal would do. They needed something bigger, grander, and more powerful. They needed a god.

Both men, particularly Kirby, had delved into mythological stories earlier in their comic book careers and they decided that Thor — with his mighty hammer, impressive powers, and loyalty to mankind — had the makings of a superhero. But Marvel was also the studio that made a point to give their heroes regular, human frailties. Even though he was a god, Thor would be no exception. When the hero debuted in the August 1962 issue of Journey into Mystery, he was given an Earthly alter ego in Donald Blake, a doctor who was physically weak and walked with a cane.

Journey into Mystery #83, art by Jack Kirby.Marvel

In his first story, the American doctor is visiting Norway when a spaceship lands, revealing several stone men from the planet Saturn. Blake hides from them by fleeing into the hills and taking shelter in a cave. It is there that he finds a stick, which turns out to be Mjolnir in disguise. When he strikes the stick against a surface, he transforms into the Mighty Thor!

While Thor’s origin would change over time and Donald Blake would eventually become less important, the very first Thor story contained many of the elements still with the character today. Jack Kirby’s grandiose costume design for Thor was already in place, as was the look of his hammer. The inscription on Mjolnir — “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of… Thor!” — was there as well.

The story also set the stage for what Marvel’s unique brand of mythology would look like. Thor may have been a Norse myth, but his first villain wasn’t some ancient sea serpent, they were aliens who flew in a futuristic spacecraft. Lee and Kirby (as well as scripter Larry Lieber) made clear that mythology in the Marvel universe would be a mix of fantasy and science fiction, which would give Kirby, and artists to come, the freedom to create the grandest, most opulent new worlds in the entire Marvel lineup.

Sixty years later, Thor is still going strong. Not only did Thor: Love and Thunder have the biggest opening of any Thor film, but new ground continues to be broken in the Thor comic books thanks to writers like Jason Aaron, who recently gave Thor his most impressive and successful run since the 1980s.

And so, to give Thor the reverence he so clearly deserves, Inverse has delved into decades of archival interviews, hours of podcasts and comic-con panels, as well as DVD extras and commentaries — and even a bit of good ol’ Norse mythology — to find 60 enchanting bits of trivia about Marvel’s “God of Thunder,” beginning with why he, in the pantheon of all ancient mythology, was the hero chosen as mankind’s godly protector.

60. Thor co-creator Stan Lee said that the origin for Thor came from his and Jack Kirby’s desire to create a hero that was “bigger and better and stronger” than their current roster of heroes. “It occurred to me that the only thing we could do, perhaps, is come up with a god. I thought it would be fun to make a god a hero,” said Lee. After considering the Greek gods and Roman gods, Lee said he “stumbled” upon the Norse gods and liked them because they were less well known. He ultimately chose Thor because he liked the idea that Thor could create storms and because the hammer was an interesting weapon.

59. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby co-created Thor along with Lee’s brother Larry Lieber in 1962, but prior to that, both Lee and Kirby separately created different versions of Thor. In 1950, Lee included a club-wielding Thor among a group of gods that defended Olympus in the fantasy series Venus. As for Kirby, he created two versions of Thor for DC. The first was from 1942’s Adventure Comics #75, where an evil Thor fought the hero Sandman. The other was from 1957’s Tales of the Unexpected #16 where Kirby drew — and possibly wrote — a story called “The Magic Hammer,” where two men find a hammer that controls the weather. One man uses the hammer to get rich as a rainmaker until Thor comes to Earth to reclaim his weapon.

Thor’s actual first comic book appearance pre-dates the Marvel universe.DC

58. The name of Thor’s alter ego, Donald Blake, was chosen by Larry Lieber, who scripted Thor’s first appearance in Journey into Mystery #83. In a podcast interview, Lieber explained that he chose that name because he thought it sounded like the name of a doctor.

57. In an introduction to a Thor cartoon, Stan Lee said that, when they were developing Thor, he wanted to depict a way of flying that included “a visible means of propulsion.” To do that, he thought of putting a strap on Thor’s hammer so that he could spin the hammer like a propeller and then let it go, allowing Thor to take flight.

56. Thor’s hammer is made from the fictional metal Uru, which was a substance created by Lieber. In a conversation with Marvel comics editor and writer Roy Thomas, Lieber recalled a conversation they’d had once about Mjolnir: “I was in the office, and you came in. You’d been poring over Bulfinch’s Mythology or something, and you said, ‘Larry, where did you find this ‘Uru hammer’ in mythology?’ And I said, ‘Roy, I didn’t find it; I made it up.’ And you looked at me like, ‘Why the hell did you make it up?’ You went and found the hammer’s original name, Mjolnir.” Lieber also explained that he gave the metal a short name to make it easy on the letterer.

55. In an interview at San Diego Comic-Con in 1970, Jack Kirby was asked what his favorite comic had been to draw during his time at Marvel, and The Mighty Thor was his answer, saying, “I got a kick out of doing the Norse legends, which I researched and I kind of did my version of it… They felt that Thor ought to have red hair and a beard and I just thought, ‘That’s not my Thor.’ So I just went my own way.”

54. Lee said he enjoyed writing Thor because “I could use ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ and that kind of flowery language.”

53. During Thor plotting sessions, Stan Lee would use a yardstick as a stand-in for Mjolnir. As Marvel writer and editor Roy Thomas wrote for The Hollywood Reporter, “[Stan’s] method of working was to give an artist the bare bones of a plot and have him/her flesh it out with exciting drawings, to which he would then add dialogue, he used every trick at his disposal to inspire them to tell the most visually exciting story they could. He’d race around his office like Quicksilver, or bound into furniture like the Hulk, or brandish a yardstick like Thor’s hammer, to get across what he wanted to see on a page.”

52. Thor debuted in Journey into Mystery #83. Up until this point, the comic had been an anthology series, but after issue #83, Thor starred in every issue until Journey into Mystery was retitled The Mighty Thor with issue #126 in 1966. According to Marvel writer Gerry Conway, the reason why it took so long for Thor — and other characters like Dr. Strange — to get their own titles was that Marvel publisher Martin Goodman didn’t want to pay the postal registration fee required to distribute a new title. Instead, he’d just have a new character, like Thor, take over a preexisting book.

51. Whereas other superhero alter egos like Peter Parker or Clark Kent would always be an important part of their stories, Thor’s secret identity, Dr. Donald Blake, began to fall away pretty quickly. As far back as 1968, Stan Lee remarked in an interview, “We’ve gotten many letters from readers who say, ‘Hey! We haven’t seen Dr. Blake in a while.’ So, we’re trying to see how we can get back to that a little bit. Although I will admit I myself would like to just keep him Thor and keep the stories as they’re going. It makes it easier and more palatable to me.” In 1984, Thor lost the alter ego entirely, though the character of Donald Blake has returned on occasion.

50. Thor’s rivalry with the Hulk dates back to their first battle in 1965’s Journey into Mystery #112. While that fight was inconclusive, Stan Lee has said Thor is stronger. In a 2016 YouTube interview, Lee was asked who would win in a battle between the two and he responded, “I would have to say Thor because, as strong as Hulk is, he’s still a mortal, but Thor is one of the Norse gods.”

Journey into Mystery #112, artwork by Jack Kirby.Marvel

49. Written by composer Jacques Urbont for the 1966 The Marvel Super Heroes cartoon series, these are the lyrics for the song that introduced the show’s Thor adventures:

Across the rainbow bridge of Asgard
where the booming heavens roar
you’ll behold in breathless wonder
the God of Thunder, Mighty Thor!

In 1965, Urbont was brought into a meeting with Stan Lee to talk about the upcoming Marvel Super Heroes cartoon, but Lee was stunned to find out that Urbont knew nothing about Marvel or his characters. To reassure him, Urbont said, “Mr. Lee, I know what you’re thinking, and if I were in your shoes, I’d be thinking the same thing. But just get me some source material — one or two comic books — and three days later, I will have songs that are so terrific you will wish you’d written them yourself.” Nearly 50 year later, Lee said pretty much exactly that by saying in a 2004 interview, “I wish I could claim to have written the lyrics, because I think they’re brilliant, but alas, I didn’t.”

48. The character Valkyrie first appeared in 1970’s The Avengers issue #83. According to writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema, the character came about because Thomas had told Buscema, “Let’s do a female Thor.”

47. In an interview with the Stan Winston School, Lee said that he intended to make Jane Foster and Lady Sif the same person. “[Thor] was in love with a nurse on Earth [Jane Foster], but he was also in love with the goddess Sif in Asgard. Sometime later on, we would learn that the nurse, Jane, and Sif were the same person, that Odin had put a replica of Sif on Earth.” This idea was abandoned after Lee stopped writing Thor in 1971. However, beginning in 1975’s The Mighty Thor #236, Jane and Sif merged into one person because Jane was dying and Sif saved her life. They would not be fully separated again until eight years later.

46. While it wasn’t official, 1972’s The Mighty Thor #207 was part of the first Marvel/DC crossover. As writer Gerry Conway explained to Syfy Wire, he and fellow Marvel writer Steve Englehart — who wrote a Beast story for Amazing Adventures #16 — secretly coordinated with Justice League of America writer Len Wein to pull it off. In the same month, all three comics had their stories take place at a real-life Halloween parade in Rutland, Vermont. They told stories that intertwined with each other and featured each other’s characters in the backgrounds of their comics. None of their editors knew about this and, according to Conway, DC editor Julius Schwartz was so mad about it that he nearly fired Wein.

A page from The Mighty Thor #207 (art by John Buscema) and Justice League of America #103 (art by Dick Dillin).
Note the rear float on each page.

45. Aside from Thor and Odin, the first person to wield Mjolnir in a Marvel comic was Jane Foster. In 1978’s What If? #10, Jane took the place of Dr. Donald Blake in Thor’s origin story. When hiding from “Stone Men from Saturn,” she hid in a cave and found the stick that was actually Mjolnir.

44. In What If? #10, Jane Foster’s Thor was named “Thordis.” While it was based on a real Scandinavian name, the fans hated it and when Jane Foster became Thor again in 2014, she was called “The Mighty Thor” instead. In defense of the name, writer Don Glut told Inverse, “I think a couple of the other names we came up with — and wisely discarded — were Thorina and Thorette.”

43. In the second volume of What If? comics, two other female characters would take up the mantle of Thor as well. In 1990’s What If? #12, the X-Man Storm became Thor, and in 1994’s What If? #66, Rogue picked up the mantle.

42. The first extended run in the standard Marvel continuity where another character picked up Mjolnir began in 1983’s The Mighty Thor #337. In the issue, the horselike alien Beta Ray Bill defeated Thor and claimed Mjolnir for himself. In an interview, The Mighty Thor artist and writer Walter Simonson explained that he crafted Beta Ray Bill’s origin story entirely around the idea that he would be worthy of lifting Mjolnir, so he made the character a selfless protector of his people. While the inscription on Mjolnir was there from the very beginning, this was this storyline that introduced the idea that only if someone was worthy could they pick up the hammer. This essentially reinvented Thor as a character and led the way to other worthy characters picking up Mjolnir.

The Mighty Thor #337 from 1983, art by Walter Simonson.Marvel

41. As for Beta Ray Bill’s monstrous appearance, Simonson, who based the head on a horse skull, told i09 that he was trying to subvert the traditional notions about the appearance of heroes and villains. He explained that, as a storytelling shortcut, villains were almost always made ugly. “I thought it would be kind of fun to put this on its head,” said Simonson. “When I designed Bill, I made him look like a monster.”

40. Beta Ray Bill was almost named “Beta Ray Jones.” As Simonson told The Jack Kirby Collector back in 2004, he wanted the character to have the name of an everyman and almost chose Jones but decided against it because a lot of Marvel characters already had that last name. He ultimately landed on Beta Ray Bill because he liked the alliterative qualities of the name.

39. After Mjolnir was returned to Thor, Beta Ray Bill was given his own weapon, Stormbreaker. Simonson tells Inverse that the basis for the weapon’s name was “meant as a tribute to the works of [science fiction and fantasy writer] Michael Moorcock. His albino protagonist, Elric, carries a black runesword called Stormbringer.”

38. Beginning with 1983’s The Mighty Thor #340, Walter Simonson began the yearlong “Surtur Saga,” which saw the villain Surtur try to bring about Ragnarok, or “the end of all things.” Considered to be a landmark Thor storyline, Simonson actually began plotting it 14 years earlier, when he was still a student at the Rhode Island School of Design.

37. In 1986’s The Mighty Thor #364, Loki turns Thor into a Frog, but according to artist and writer Walter Simonson, it was originally supposed to be a duck. As he explained in a 2021 interview, Simonson had plans to turn Thor into an animal, and he wanted it to be a duck to pay tribute to Disney comic book artist Carl Barks, who created Scrooge McDuck. However, he changed it because there were so many duck characters at the time, including Daffy Duck, all of Disney’s various ducks, and even Howard the Duck at Marvel. So, Thor became a Frog instead, much like the classic story of a prince becoming a Frog.

36. In the very next issue, when frog Thor — or “Throg” — is reunited with his hammer, Simonson included several pages of the frog lifting the still full-sized Mjolnir. In an interview, Simonson said this was intended to be a direct parody of 1965’s The Amazing Spider-Man #33, where Spider-Man must summon the strength to lift giant machinery off his back.

Pages from The Mighty Thor #365 from 1986, art by Walter Simonson.

35. Simonson also created the Time Variance Authority — which plays a major role in the Loki TV series — during his run on The Mighty Thor. In an interview where he explained the origins of the TVA, the Tennessee-born Simonson explained that he named the organization after the Tennessee Valley Authority, a New Deal-era program to help bring electricity to rural areas. Simonson explained that his father, a soil scientist, often praised the real-life TVA and, as a result, Walter Simonson grew to love those initials and reused them when he created the Time Variance Authority.

34. Simonson’s legendary run on The Mighty Thor concluded in 1987; after that Tom DeFalco took over writing the book. In a 2021 YouTube interview, DeFalco explained his surprisingly pedestrian approach to the character, saying, “I always looked at Thor as like a deli owner. His father has this nice little deli, and he wants his son to inherit the business, [but] the son looks at the deli and says, ‘OK, Pop, but we’re going to franchise.’” Whereas Odin simply wanted to protect Asgard, Thor wanted to do more by protecting Earth and the rest of the universe as well.

33. 1988’s The Mighty Thor issue #390 featured Captain America lifting Mjolnir for the first time. When asked about the genesis for the idea on The Epic Marvel Podcast, writer Tom DeFalco explained, “Walt Simonson introduced the concept that, ‘If you’re worthy, you can lift the hammer’ … [artist Ron Frenz] and I thought about it, we said, ‘If there’s anybody in the Marvel universe who is worthy, it’s got to be Captain America.’”

32. While Simonson introduced the idea of others being worthy enough to wield Mjolnir, he told a Comic-Con panel in 2010 that he disagreed with some of the choices made by other writers as to who was worthy, specifically when it came to Captain America and Superman (the latter of which picked up the hammer in the 2003 Avengers/JLA crossover). Simonson remarked that, since Mjolnir is a deadly weapon, Superman couldn’t be worthy because Superman doesn’t take lives. As for Cap, he said he’s “too patriotic. He’s too much a symbol of America to be chosen by this Norse artifact.”

Captain America lifts Mjolnir in The Mighty Thor #390, art by Ron Frenz.

31. The first live-action Thor was portrayed by actor Eric Allan Kramer in the 1988 TV movie The Incredible Hulk Returns. Naturally, the movie featured a fight between Thor and the Hulk, which the Hulk won fairly easily.

30. Donald Blake was a character in the TV movie, but he was not Thor’s alter ego. Instead, Blake was a student of David Banner — the Hulk’s alter ego — who found Mjolnir and Thor’s tomb in a cave. By holding Mjolnir and shouting “Odin!,” Blake could summon Thor at will, who would then appear and have to do Blake’s bidding.

29. In an interview with Yahoo!, Kramer revealed that “The Incredible Hulk Returns was really a backdoor pilot for a Thor series.” The show would have depicted an Odd Couple-like relationship with Thor and Blake, but the prospects for the series were ruined by a TV strike.

28. For a period of a few years in the 1990s, Thor was outshined by one of his spinoff characters. The character Eric Masterson was a human deemed worthy to lift Mjolnir and held the mantle of Thor for a time. He later took on the name “Thunderstrike” and received his own series from 1993 to 1995. The book was canceled because Marvel consolidated its titles, but, according to Tom DeFalco, when the book was canceled, it was outperforming the combined sales of both The Mighty Thor and The Avengers.

27. Years before Spider-Man began teaming up with other versions of himself, Thor did, but it was only meant as a joke. In 1991’s The Mighty Thor #440, Thor teamed up with a future Thor as well as Beta Ray Bill. On the cover of the issue, it said, “And now… The Thor Corps.” In an interview, writer Tom DeFalco explained that the issue sold really well, and, afterward, “The sales department comes to me and says, ‘When are you going to do a Thor Corps comic book?’... I said, ‘That was a joke!’” Regardless, Thor Corps eventually became a four-part miniseries.

The cover of The Mighty Thor #440, artwork by Ron Frenz.Marvel

26. A decade before Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man, he and Stan Lee teamed up to pitch a Thor movie to Fox. In 2006, Raimi recalled the meeting in an interview with Variety, saying, “It was thrilling to be with Stan Lee and hysterical the way that we had to explain who Thor was to executives… walking out of there [we were] going, ‘We didn’t get it! They think it’s gonna be some Hercules movie or something!’”

25. In December 1999, the comics magazine Wizard held its first “Superhero Showdown” to determine the strongest hero in comics. The magazine chose the 64 strongest characters they could, then, over the next six weeks, tens of thousands of fans voted in a single-elimination tournament. The final four were Thor, Phoenix, Superman, and The Silver Silver. The final battle was between Thor and Phoenix, and the fans decided that Thor was the ultimate winner.

24. When a new version of Thor was introduced in the Ultimate Marvel Universe in 2002, he was portrayed in such a way that he might be just a crazy person who thinks he’s a god. Writer Mark Millar said that fellow comic book writer Grant Morrison gave him the idea to base Ultimate Thor on David Icke, a former soccer player and sports announcer who believes he is the son of God.

23. Around the year 2000, Thor was being pitched as a live-action TV show on UPN. Speaking back in 2001, Marvel TV producer Rick Ungar said, “Thor, right now, is nowhere at this moment. The script did not get picked up for a pilot. So we’re looking at what we want to do with it.” There were also plans for two Thor cartoons that were abandoned. One was from the early 1980s, and the other was from 2008. According to Eric Rollman, president of Marvel animation back in 2008, Thor was part of “Marvel’s strategic plan to follow each of our tent pole feature films with an animated series.”

A promotional image from the 2008 would-be Thor cartoon.Marvel

22. X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn was the original director signed on for the first Thor film. In an interview in 2007, he said that Marvel pitched the film to him as being like “Gladiator with Norse mythology.” In 2008, he dropped out of the film because his holding deal expired.

21. Thor director Kenneth Branagh was a Thor fan as a child, telling The Los Angeles Times, “Growing up, my single comic book passion was Thor… From my time in Belfast as a kid, that’s the first time I came across that comic, really, exclusively, I don’t know why, but it struck a chord. I was drawn to it. I liked all the dynastic drama.”

20. Before Chris Hemsworth was cast, an early frontrunner for Thor was Grey’s Anatomy star Kevin McKidd. Marvel concept artist Charlie Wen even created concept art depicting McKidd in the role.

19. Chris Hemsworth did not get a callback after his first audition for Thor. Earlier this year, he told Wired, “I auditioned for Thor… and I didn’t get a callback. I think my audition sucked… Then my younger brother auditioned and he got very close. He got down to the last five people and then didn’t get it. They were like, ‘Look, he’s great, but he’s a bit young.’ My manager then said, ‘Well, he does have an older brother.’” After that, Hemsworth said he auditioned for Thor a few more times with a “different attitude,” since his brother had gotten so close and because he’d had a few more roles under his belt by then, giving him more experience and confidence.

18. Between his first and second Thor auditions, the 2009 Star Trek movie came out, which featured Hemsworth as the father of James T. Kirk. According to Hemsworth, Star Trek was instrumental in him getting Thor, as he told Vanity Fair, “Star Trek had come out, Kenneth Branagh had seen it. I do think it helped in many, many ways. I think [Star Trek director] J.J. Abrams and Kenneth had a conversation.”

17. Loki actor Tom Hiddleston also auditioned for the role of Thor and did so in an American accent. Ultimately, Kenneth Branagh chose him for Loki, saying to Entertainment Weekly, “Tom gave you an impression that he could be ready for anything, performance-wise. Tom has a wild imagination, so does Loki. He’s got a mischievous sense of humor and he was ready to play.”

16. Stan Lee often joked about wanting to play Odin in Thor.

15. Loki was always going to be the main villain in the 2012 Avengers film. Not only was the God of Mischief the villain in 1963’s The Avengers issue #1, but plans for him in the film existed before Marvel had even hired a director. As Joss Whedon told Thrillist, “Marvel was like ‘Look, Loki’s gonna be the villain, he’s going to get an army from space, and we’re gonna have a big ass battle in New York, because this is Marvel, and New York is Marvel’s town.’”

14. In Thor: The Dark World, Chris Hemsworth improvised the part where he hung Mjolnir on the coat rack in Jane’s apartment. Director Alan Taylor cited this as one of his favorite moments in the film.

13. Stan Lee’s favorite cameo was with Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In it, he plays a veteran who tries Thor’s liquor, which had been “aged for 1,000 years.” In the next scene, Lee is being carried out while mumbling “Excelsior!” As for why it was his favorite, Lee explained at a Rhode Island Comic-Con panel that it was his only cameo that consisted of two scenes, as opposed to just one.

12. In 2014, The Mighty Thor writer Jason Aaron began his storyline that saw Jane Foster, who was suffering from cancer, become Thor. In an interview, Aaron revealed that he was partially inspired by the original Thor origin in Journey into Mystery #83, where Donald Blake, a man who walked with a cane, picked up Mjolnir and became Thor. “The idea of transformation [was] built into that character from their very first appearance,” explained Aaron.

11. Aaron also noted that, in the earliest Thor stories, if Thor was separated from his hammer, he would turn back into Donald Blake. This is yet another element he reintroduced in his “Mighty Thor” run, as Jane needed Mjolnir to prevent her from reverting to her ailing human self.

10. Gorr the God Butcher, who first appeared in 2013, also harkened back to Journey into Mystery #83. As writer Jason Aaron explained in his blog, “The first bad guy ever named in a Thor comic was called Gorr,” as one of the “Stone Men from Saturn” in that book was named Gorr (another stone man was named “Korg”). As for Gorr’s “God Butcher” title, Aaron saw that as the character’s “nickname,” as Gorr was a serial murderer of the gods.

The original Gorr from Journey into Mystery #83, art by Jack Kirby.Marvel

9. Part of the reason for the tonal shift in Thor: Ragnarok was Chris Hemsworth’s personal disappointment in his performance in Thor: The Dark World. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Hemsworth said, “I wasn’t stoked with what I’d done in Thor 2… I didn’t think I grew the character in any way.” Heading into Thor: Ragnarok, he said he wanted to “break the mold,” so he told director Taika Waititi, “I’m really bored of Thor.” To which Waititi responded, “I’m really bored of Thor too.” From there, they “dismantled the character,” making him more humorous and unpredictable.

8. Director Taika Waititi said he viewed Thor: Ragnarok as being like Martin Scorsese’s 1985 film After Hours, “but set in space,” as it’s a story about “a guy who’s just trying to get home.” He also compared it to the part in Clueless where the main character is trying to get home after a party.

7. In addition to voicing and performing the motion capture for Korg in Thor: Ragnarok, director Taika Waititi performed the motion capture for the part of Surtur.

6. The wild color palette and overall production design for Thor: Ragnarok was, according to Kevin Feige, an “unabashed love letter” to Jack Kirby. On the commentary track for the film, director Taika Waititi said of the planet Sakaar, “Through this entire world, there’s all this Kirby art everywhere. … It made me really happy to be bringing his spirit and his designs into the film. … I’ve been a huge fan of his since I was a kid. Not only the shapes but the colors as well.”

5. In a 2018 interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Chris Hemsworth said that he’s stolen a total of five hammers from the sets of his various Marvel films.

4. We have Taylor Swift to thank for the screaming goats in Thor: Love and Thunder. In a recent interview with Insider, director Taika Waititi explained that “[Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder] were never meant to be screaming. The goats were always going to be in there because they are in the comics, but we didn’t know how they would sound. Then someone in post-production found this meme of a Taylor Swift song that has screaming goats in it. I didn’t even know that existed. So I hear the screaming goats and I just felt it was awesome. A lot of people think it’s me screaming. It’s not.”

3. While the goats were first brought into a Thor comic in 1976, their origins date back much farther. As writer Steve Englehart tells Inverse, “Thor had flirted with actual Norse mythology, but I wanted my run to go a lot deeper. So I researched the mythology, and there they were.” Englehart discovered that, in the Thor mythology, two goats named Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr — which translates to teeth-barer and teeth-grinder — pulled Thor’s chariot across the sky, so he renamed them Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher and worked them into the comic. In addition to that, there’s a joke in Thor: Love and Thunder where Thor says they can eat the goats, which also dates back to Norse mythology, as Thor was able to eat his goats and then revive them as needed.

2. Taika Waititi considered having the Guardians of the Galaxy reappear at the end of Thor: Love and Thunder, but ultimately decided against it as he felt too many movies have “the cavalry coming at the end.” Instead, he just wanted Jane to reappear.

1. Bruce Dern’s 2013 black-and-white Nebraska might influence Thor 5. While a fifth Thor film is likely a long way off, Taika Waititi was asked about future Thor plans in an interview with Insider. He said, “I don’t know what would be next. I would definitely do one, but only if Chris did it. But it would need to be something surprising... like making just a $5 million movie with no fighting at all, just Thor on a road trip. Like Nebraska.”

While Waititi was likely joking, with things like Clueless, After Hours, and viral Taylor Swift videos influencing his previous Thor films, there may actually be some truth to this.

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