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This Thor: Love And Thunder Gag Is A Deep-Cut Reference To Norse Mythology

Contains spoilers for "Thor: Love and Thunder" 

Every huge summer blockbuster worth its salt needs a comic relief or an animal sidekick, and if the stars really align, these are the same character. However, since virtually every character in "Thor: Love and Thunder" can pull double duty as comic relief, the movie is free to take a fairly relaxed approach with the traditional "cutesy animal character" trope.

When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) semi-accidentally wrecks an alien temple early in the movie, the planet's peaceful residents lavish him with the passive-aggressive gift of two giant, screeching goats. While Thor himself is immediately a big fan, the Guardians of the Galaxy are precisely as thrilled about the presence of these unruly creatures aboard their ship as you'd expect — so soon, threats are made and weapons drawn. Funnily enough, it's ultimately Thor himself who manages to pacify the creatures by indicating that he might eat them. 

The animals are, of course, Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, Thor's goats from Norse mythology. Fans loved seeing the surprising characters when they first appeared in "Thor: Love and Thunder" trailers, but you might not have realized that the seemingly throwaway gag about eating the poor creatures actually has its roots in ancient myth. 

The mythical Thor has been known to eat his goats

Much like in "Thor: Love and Thunder," the mythological goats — whose original names are Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr — act as Thor's locomotion when he travels the realms (via Skjalden). Despite this, the mythical God of Thunder has been known to slaughter his trusty goats and feast on them on occasion. 

Fortunately, the goats are far from ordinary animals, so being eaten isn't quite as fatal for them as you might think. As long as their skin and bones remain, Thor is able to bring Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder back to life — though if the bones are damaged, the revived animal will still have to deal with the broken bone. 

As such, the MCU Thor's semi-accidental eating-themed comment might indicate that the goats know Norwegian mythology far better than he does, since they immediately go dead silent after hearing it. Luckily for the goat duo, this Thor doesn't show any desire toward actually eating the poor creatures ... at least, in this movie.