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Avengers: Endgame Might Have Quietly Revealed A New Thor

Whosoever wields this hammer, if she be worthy...

Among many major changes to the MCU teased by Avengers: Endgame may be the arrival of a new Thor — and, if recent comic history is any indication, the next hero to wield Mjolnir may very well be a woman. (via The Hollywood Reporter) Please be advised that major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.

At Endgame's conclusion, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) departed Earth to go on cosmic adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy, leaving the survivors of Ragnarok and the wrath of Thanos peacefully settled in the Norwegian community of New Asgard under the rule of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). In his absence, it's likely that Asgardian assistance will be needed to deal with some terrestrial threat in the future, and Endgame gives us a couple of pretty strong candidates for taking up Thor's mantle. Now, you'll recall that Captain America took Mjolnir back in time with him to return it to its native timeline along with the Infinity Stones acquired during the Avengers' time heist. 

Does this mean that the mighty weapon is excluded from future MCU appearances? Yeah, not so much. Any number of plot devices could be employed to bring the hammer back, many more of which have opened up since — thanks to the new, spoiler-y Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer — we know that the denizens of the MCU are now aware of the existence of the Multiverse. So, assuming that Mjolnir makes its way back to the MCU Prime timeline one way or another, who might be worthy of wielding it?

The first possibility: Jane Foster. Natalie Portman appeared as the character in Engdame for the first time since 2013's Thor: The Dark World (although she didn't even have to shoot any new footage to do so), prompting many fans to speculate that the MCU could take its cue from the recent comics timeline in which Foster — during a period when Thor Odinson had, well, lost his worthiness — picked up the hammer to become the new Thor. The storyline, which began in late 2014, saw Foster (who had been diagnosed with breast cancer) mysteriously called to Mjolnir, which had been abandoned on the Moon after a battle between Thor and Nick Fury. Enlisting the aid of Heimdall to seek it out, she found that wielding the weapon not only gave her the power of Thor, but the strength to battle her illness. 

Unfortunately, becoming Thor had the side effect of purging all foreign substances from her body — including her chemotherapy drugs — causing her cancer to advance with every transformation. She was eventually able to convince Odinson to return to active duty once more, resuming her treatment and giving up the superhero life.

How likely is it that Portman will herself return to active duty in the MCU to take on the heroic mantle? We're going to have to say not very. Although the actress did appear on the Endgame red carpet — which many fans took as a signal that she was ready to return to the Marvel fold with more than just a cameo — it's tough to imagine her signing up for such a physical (and almost certainly recurring) role, one which would place untold demands on her time. As recently as 2016, Portman indicated that she was "done" with the MCU, and the fact that recycled footage was utilized for her Endgame appearance actually makes this seem more likely than not.

The second possibility: Valkyrie. Thompson brought a strong presence to the character in Thor: Ragnarok and Endgame, and the warrior's being left in charge of the Asgardian settlement by Thor himself suggests that future appearances are all but certain. There's precedent for Valkyrie's taking on the mantle in the comics, as well: during a 2009 storyline in which X-Men nemesis Magneto attempted to use Mjolnir to take over the world, an alternate universe version of Valkyrie managed to put a stop to his plot, and was subsequently seen to be wielding the hammer in her home universe in the first issue of the New Ultimates series.

Of course, the MCU Valkyrie's path to becoming the new Thor would be wildly different — but given that Thompson has quickly become a fan favorite (and that her character appears to have given up the hooch after the events of Ragnarok), the smart money says that she will be the one to fill the void left by Odinson as he ventures out into the cosmos with his favorite rabbit and the rest of the Guardians. In a recent Los Angeles Times interview, the star even teased that Thor 4 — which would be the first four-quel for any of the main Avengers — may already be in the works. 

"I heard that a pitch has happened for [another Thor film]." Thompson said. "I don't know how real that intel is, but I hear that the pitch has happened. I think the idea is Taika [Waititi] would come back [to direct]." Of course, she didn't offer up any more details on this supposed pitch — and if she has been approached about her character taking on the lead role, she's not pulling a Ruffalo by spilling the beans. But we think that this is as likely a scenario as any: Valkyrie, who is bisexual, would represent a great opportunity for Marvel to move an LGBT character into the spotlight, as head honcho Kevin Feige has recently expressed strong interest in doing. Also: Earth needs a Thor, and Valkyrie is just as strong-willed, capable in combat, and downright badass as Odinson himself.