When it was initially announced at 2019's San Diego Comic-Con, Thor: Love and Thunder promised to be unlike anything Marvel Studios has done before. Even as director Taika Waititi describes this as more of a "second Ragnarok film" than a traditional fourth Thor movie, its placement in the God of Thunder's franchise still makes it a senior year installment. On that note, Love and Thunder is the first time Marvel Studios is going beyond a trilogy for a solo franchise, but likely not the last.
Marvel Studios has waited until late in the game to give fans their first looks at upcoming Phase 4 movies much in part due to the pandemic's impact on filming schedules, post-production work, and flimsy release date placements. Thor: Love and Thunder felt these delays throughout the entirety of its production and into its promotional push, and eager fans were left hyper-analyzing trailer patterns to no avail, as the Taika Waititi-directed film comfortably smashed The Incredible Hulk's marketing record.
After nearly two months of dead-end speculation, the Thor: Love and Thunder trailer has arrived. Without further ado, here are ten Easter eggs, hidden meanings, and plot details from the fresh footage.
The trailer opens with Thor literally growing up before fans' eyes.
A young Odinson sprints through a forest as he ages into a teenager and eventually an adult. That teenage get-up is straight out of the comics, as Thor rocks his winged helmet alongside his bright-colored pants and cape. This is reminiscent of Richard E. Grant's Classic Loki from Disney+'s Loki, a Variant of the trickster god who dons a campy and comic-accurate version of Loki's suit.
The adult Thor that follows appears to be wearing his Thor: The Dark World threads, as evident by the gold plating on his chest.
Anybody else kill that guy?
Even though it's been three years since Avengers: Endgame broke the box office, its consequences are still being felt throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is especially apparent in Thor: Love and Thunder, as the title hero finds himself on the road to recovery following Thanos' defeat.
That recovery begins with a training montage, as Thor is seen busting out some battle rope alternate waves with a massive chain while rocking a "STRONGEST AVENGER" trucker cap. Looking closely, it even appears that Thor adjusted the wording on that cap himself. While core day is ongoing, Thor narrates that he needs to "figure out" who he is.
This mission continues where Avengers: Endgame left the Avenger. During that film, a depressed Thor reunites with his late mother, who insists he be himself moving forward:
"Everyone fails at who they’re supposed to be, Thor. The measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are."
Thor leaves Endgame carrying this mantra, as he passes the throne of Asgard to Valkyrie. This trailer indicates that moment is far from finality, as the mighty one is still figuring out who he is come Love and Thunder.
Retired Thor's Mad Titan Parallels
Once he's back in shredded shape, Thor appears on a mystery planet as he watches a sunset. Shortly before this, Thor is seen planting Stormbreaker into the ground, symbolically leaving his warrior mentality at the door.
As revealed by the film's official synopsis, the God of Thunder is enjoying "retirement." Moving forward, he is focused on using his once "battle"-ready hands for "peace."
Thor's new lowkey lifestyle calls back to Thanos's ending from Avengers: Infinity War. Just as Thor plants Stormbreaker and proceeds to watch the sunset, Thanos hangs his armor up like a scarecrow before soaking in The Garden's rays.
Guardians of the Galaxy
We all know who's in charge.
The fan-favorite Asgardians of the Galaxy reunite in multiple frames of this footage, highlighted by Chris Pratt's Peter Quill. Star-Lord is sporting a fuller beard compared to his previous MCU appearances, while Pom Klementieff's Mantis shows off a new green emblem in the middle of her forehead.
The full Guardians roster shows their faces at the end of the footage. Dave Bautista's Drax stands alongside Karen Gillan's Nebula, Bradley Cooper's Rocket, and Vin Diesel's Groot, still in his teenage years.
New Asgard Flourishes
The space refugees have come a long way since Surtur decimated their planet.
New Asgard makes its return halfway through this trailer, freshly coated in a color palette much more akin to the Asgard of old. The city is populated with more houses, buildings, and attractions, making it feel like a lived-in residence rather than the makeshift state that New Asgard was in Avengers: Endgame.
Speaking of those space goats, they actually have a comic origin.
These chariot-pulling creatures are known as Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. They date as far back as 1976 and have had over 50 appearances in Thor comics since then. On the page, these mythical space goats possess unique powers, such as the ability to damage Mjolnir and pull Thor's chariot at super speed.
That super speed can be seen via a white streak among Olympus' skyline.
Russell Crowe's Zeus and Olympus
Yes, you read that correctly.
Thor: Love and Thunder will officially bring the Greek gods into the fold, completing the mythology trinity alongside Moon Knight's Egyptian lore and the previously-explored Norse mythos from earlier Thor films. The gravity-bending home of these Greek gods, Olympus, can be seen in numerous frames of this trailer.
Russell Crowe's Zeus doesn't show face in this footage, but his presence is felt throughout. The God of the Sky wields his famous lightning bolt as he addresses an auditorium of Olympians. Shortly after, Thor's team of Jane Foster, Korg, and Valkyrie are escorted along an Olympus walkway, and a Colossus-of-Rhodes-sized statue of Zeus can be spotted in the distance.
Team Thor arriving at Olympus can mean one of two things: either the God of Thunder is enlisting the assistance of the God of the Sky, or he is coming with a grave warning. After all, Gorr the God Butcher's wrath is specifically tailored to those residing in Olympus.
Gorr's Path of Destruction
While Gorr has yet to be seen, this trailer makes it clear that the "God Butcher" moniker is backed by action. One of the trailer's most cinematic shots comes on a snow-ridden planet, as Korg and Thor analyze the carcass of a slain beast.
This frame is a recreation of a panel from Gorr the God Butcher's debut comic issue, Thor: God of Thunder #3. In this run, that slain beast is Falligar the Behemoth, the patron god of the Galactic Frontier. If Love and Thunder is following the comics, Falligar's corpse is evidence of Gorr's presence and the first of many on the God Butcher's hit list.
As Peter Parker says in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Thor "was a myth" before he became part of his "physics class" curriculum.
Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie continues that vibe in this trailer. Just as T'Challa brought Wakanda into the United Nations at the conclusion of Black Panther, a suited King Valkyrie represents New Asgard at an energy conference that includes countries like the United States, China, and Italy.
Valkyrie's expression indicates she can't be bothered by the politics of her new role, but is present nonetheless. Alongside her is Miek, sporting his new formal attire.
Mighty Thor's Debut
The money shot in this trailer comes after the electric title sequence. The Mjolnir that was shattered back in 2017's Ragnarok soars into frame and ends up in the hands of Natalie Portman's Jane Foster.
Jane's transition into the Mighty Thor was confirmed back at SDCC 2019, when director Taika Waititi bestowed the iconic hammer to Portman on-stage. This brief frame is the first official glance at Jane's new Asgardian alias, and the repaired Mjolnir indicates that this Mighty Thor will have risen to power in the time after the events of Ragnarok.
Hemsworth's Thor's expression makes it clear that this is news to him, meaning audiences will be figuring out Jane's changes alongside the title character.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.