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5 best and 5 worst things about Fat Thor

Avengers: Endgame brings a ton of changes to the MCU. It heralds the introduction of Marvel's complex concept of time travel, jumps forward five years into the future, and wraps up events with the Infinity Stones, which currently remain shredded to atoms and "unusable," at least for the time being.

In addition to major events like these, the movie also provides an impressive amount of character development. Prominent Avengers like Iron Man and Black Widow are killed off in heroic fashion. Others, while still alive, end up in retirement before the film wraps up, as is the case with Captain America.

One of the most shocking character evolutions to take place in the film, though, is Thor's abrupt turn for the worse over the five years that elapse after Infinity War. Sulky, depressed, and overweight, by the time we catch up with him again in New Asgard, the God of Thunder has lost much of the bravado that earned him that moniker. The new iteration of the character, commonly and somewhat coldly referred to as "Fat Thor," immediately turned heads for a variety of different reasons. Let's break down some of the best and worst things that stand out in this latest progression of Thor's arc.

Worst - A lightning rod for criticism

It took all of five seconds for the negative feedback on Thor's new physique to start rolling in. Many fans who went into Endgame trusting Marvel to provide thoughtful, culturally sensitive material were a bit surprised when they found the King of New Asgard overweight and a laughingstock because of it.

That's not to say that Thor can't provide comic relief. He's been doing that ever since his first movie. But the problem didn't primarily lie with the fact that Thor was overweight in the first place. He was dealing with some pretty serious PTSD and depression, which makes the overweight angle a perfectly reasonable line to take. Rather, it was the often crass, purposeful digs at the "melted ice-cream" appearance, all for a cheap laugh, that really put things over the top for many viewers.

Best - Continuing to reset the character

By the time Avengers and Thor: Dark World rolled around, the one-dimensional aspect of Thor's character as a musclebound hero was getting old fast. Thor actor Chris Hemsworth agrees. The early manifestations of the son of Odin were powerful and all, but there just wasn't much substance there… that is, until director Taika Waititi arrived on the scene.

Thor: Ragnarok reinvigorated the Thor franchise with a humorous energy that thrilled audiences across the board. The threequel strips down Thor's story to its emotionally raw underpinnings and provides the perfect springboard to carry the character through his vengeful mission in Avengers: Infinity War.

In Endgame, the Fat Thor narrative twists the story even further, dragging the Asgardian to all new lows before ultimately bringing him some long-awaited emotional resolution. The developments in Thor's story from Ragnarok through Endgame didn't seem possible in the early days of the second phase of the MCU, and the entire affair stands as a testament to the inherent potential that the character possesses.

Worst - A straight-up alcoholic

Thor's penchant for alcohol is well documented. Right from the beginning of Thor, Odin's son is portrayed as that classic Norse-themed rough and tumble warrior who enjoys a pint on a regular basis. However, his boozy adventures have typically been couched in the context of revelry and celebration or even contemplation. It isn't until Endgame that things take a turn for the worse.

By the time the Avengers catch up with Thor in New Asgard, alcohol has come to play a central role in his depressing new circumstances. While other elements like carb-heavy snacks and video games have their place, beer is clearly the poster child of his morose, disconnected new lifestyle. It's so integral to him at this point that, in spite of all of Rocket and Hulk's exhortations for him to help them "for the greater good," it's ultimately the promise of a good brew that coaxes the God of Thunder out of his heady retirement. From beer to Bloody Marys, there's no doubt that Thor takes his alcoholic obsession to all new lows in Endgame.

Best - Relatable

Thor is an alien. He can fly around the universe using the Bifrost. The guy survived floating through space until the Guardians of the Galaxy picked him up in Infinity War. And yet, over the years he's become one of the most oddly relatable characters in the MCU.

In spite of the rather exaggerated nature of everything he does, the truth is, Thor has had some very human struggles over the years, a fact that is on full display during Endgame. He'd suffered heartbreak and emotional trauma more than once leading up to the film, but it's in Endgame that we come face to face with a Thor that is truly relatable. As he grapples with his emotions, struggles through depression, and faces the consequences for his actions it becomes easier than ever to connect with the god on entirely new levels.

On a more practical note, his hefty appearance also creates new frontiers. As ScreenRant argues, Thor's new bod opens up a whole new world for cosplayers to connect with their favorite Avenger without feeling inadequate in the process.

Worst - Misplaced priorities

Heroes always have their low points, but Thor's is pretty darn low. He spends the bulk of Infinity War off on his own side quest in the hopes of coming back with a weapon that could ultimately turn the tide — and it almost does, too. When we get to Endgame, though, Thor isn't just distracted by his own motivations and plans, he's completely lost his way. Throughout the earlier part of the film, he continually makes poor decisions and prioritizes his own needs over everyone else's.

This is immediately made clear when Rocket and Hulk arrive in New Asgard to find that the "king" is closeted away playing video games and only interacts with his people in order to restock on beer. And what about when he time travels to Asgard with Rocket in order to extract the Aether from his old flame, Jane Foster? He crumbles in fear as soon as the rubber hits the road, needing Rocket's tough-guy pep talk to help him turn a corner. While he does eventually regain his confidence and shows that he's still worthy, there's no question that the first half of Endgame is a bit of a rough ride for the Son of Odin.

Best - Bonding with Mom

Of course, if we're going to pick on Thor's cowardly behavior in the halls of Asgard, we also should point out that it ultimately leads to one of the brightest spots in his arc: his unexpected reunion with his mother — who's currently deceased back in his own time. Frigga's encounter with her son is heartwarming as she quickly sees through his thinly veiled excuses and gets him to confess that he's "totally from the future."

The encounter is already emotional as Thor breaks down in tears while his mother encourages him on the very day that he knows she's going to die. "Everyone fails at who they're supposed to be, Thor," she tells him. "A measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are." It's exactly the call to action that the hero needs, and it comes at just the right time. Her speech marks the turning point for Thor to rise to the occasion and face the challenges he's been avoiding head-on.

Worst - A bully

For all of his heroics and character development over the years, Thor really is still a gruff warrior at his core. He approaches problems with a "break it first and clean it up afterward if you have to" mentality. It's precisely why he went off in search of a bigger, badder weapon when Thanos arrived on the scene. If he could outgun his opponent, he knew he could win by sheer brute force. But, while his strong-handed approach to life has been instrumental on multiple Earth and universe-saving occasions, there's one moment in Endgame that exposes how nasty Thor's belligerent, competitive attitude can get when he's off duty.

When Rocket and Hulk arrive at Thor's cloistered hut in Norway, the trio of heroes catch up on the past five years and discuss future plans while Korg and Miek play Fortnite off to the side. At one point, Korg informs Thor that "NoobMaster69" is giving him a hard time again, at which point the God of Thunder grabs his friend's headset and delivers a thundering string of threats, including literally flying to the person's house, tearing off his arms, and shoving them up his posterior. The little spurt of cyberbullying exposes the fact that, while Thor's brazen approach to life may work out well in the hero department, when it comes to the regular, everyday stuff he sometimes ends up looking like a bully.

Best - Staying fat

While Thor's weight gain starts as a symbol of how far the Asgardian has fallen, it ultimately ends up being an integral part of his journey to self-realization. As he regains his confidence and poise throughout the movie, his body stubbornly remains as stout as ever — even if his beard does get a fantastic, braided overhaul in the electrifying sequence before the fight with Thanos.

According to Hemsworth himself, there was a point when Thor was supposed to go back to his slimmer appearance, but the actor fought to keep things on the heftier side, explaining that "I enjoyed that version of Thor. It was so different than any other way I played the character. And then it took on a life of its own." Writer Stephen McFeely backed up this sentiment, saying, "We leave him in that state at the end of the movie. Even though he's emotionally resolved… We fix his problem, and it's not his weight." In other words, Fat Thor isn't a negative, it's simply a natural side effect of his story — an arc that ends on a tremendously positive note by the conclusion of the film, weight issues aside.

Worst - Out of shape

While the Son of Odin is always a heavy hitter whether he's sporting a beer gut or not, when you break it down, all the extra weight and years of inactivity in Endgame do seem to take their toll on the Asgardian's ability to keep up. For instance, he falls asleep during important meetings and is distinctly slower as he lumbers around — Hemsworth filmed scenes with weights on his hands and ankles to change the appearance of his walk. He also doesn't make quite as big of a splash in the final battle as he did, say, when he arrived in Wakanda in Infinity War. In fact, this time around he finds himself so outmatched by Thanos — sans the Infinity Gauntlet, no less — that he ultimately needs to be bailed out by the Mjolnir-wielding Steve Rogers.

Of course, it's natural that he'd be a bit rusty after taking five years off and packing on so many pounds. There's no question that the effects of his lackadaisical lifestyle ultimately ended up hampering his battlefield prowess a bit. The question that does arise, though, is even if the weight remains in the future, will he have had some time to condition himself back into his heavy-hitting glory?

Best - An Asgardian of the Galaxy

For all of the ups and downs of the Fat Thor character throughout Avengers: Endgame, hands down one of the best things about the entire film is his final decision to join the Guardians of the Galaxy. While his presence will be missed on the Avengers, the thought of an overweight, self-confident Thor, unhampered by responsibilities, traipsing around the cosmos with the Guardians in search of adventure is the definition of awesome. The thought that the entire scenario will be overseen by the offbeat genius of director James Gunn makes it that much more appetizing, too.

From adding some sizable muscle to the team to potential inner conflict with Star-Lord over who's really in charge, the possibilities are tantalizing. We'll have to wait and see if the Asgardians of the Galaxy really will be a full-length feature affair or if it'll just be a passing nod as Thor heads on into the unknown elements of a fourth solo film. Then again, maybe we'll get both. Here's hoping.