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The Fan Theory That'll Have You Looking Twice At Jane Foster In Thor: Love And Thunder

Contains major spoilers for "Thor: Love and Thunder"

"Thor: Love and Thunder" saw the long-awaited return of Natalie Portman as Dr. Jane Foster. In the film, we finally get to see how and why Jane becomes the Mighty Thor, epic costume included, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) is out to slay all deities across the universe and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) needs all the help he can get. Although the film has plenty of fun and heartwarming moments, as well as a great soundtrack, the reason behind Jane's dramatic transformation proves sobering. The astrophysicist has cancer and her prognosis is looking grim.

Her newfound powers are actually connected to Thor and Jane's breakup. Before going their separate ways, Thor imbued Mjolnir with an enchantment to protect Jane. In her weakened state, the hammer calls out to Jane and reforms, granting her the strength of a god. Even as she fights her way past shadow monsters, Jane is clearly warring with herself as well. Facing an avalanche of emotions, the character navigates her new title with nerves of steel, and Portman's nuanced performance is one of the best parts of the movie. Unfortunately, Mjolnir isn't enough to save her in the end, forcing Thor to reevaluate how he wants to spend his life.

Although her death is presented as an untimely twist of fate, some viewers think that a key plot point in "Thor: The Dark World" contributed to Jane's illness.

Did Jane's encounter with an Infinity Stone give her cancer?

Marvel fans will recall that Jane briefly played host to the Reality Stone, also called the Aether, in "Thor: The Dark World." The Aether was later extracted from Jane's body by the Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) before being handed off to the Collector (Benicio del Toro) for safekeeping, although it was acquired by Thanos in "Avengers: Infinity War." As its name suggests, the Reality Stone is capable of disrupting the laws of physics, but it's also an incredibly powerful object that has proven harmful to those who come into contact with it. After the events of "Thor: Love and Thunder," some viewers on Reddit are convinced that Jane's connection with the Reality Stone is what led to her cancer diagnosis.

"I'm surprised this wasn't the actual explanation for her cancer in the movie, it just felt like the perfect opportunity," said Reddit u/Ed_Derick_. Although it's not explicitly confirmed in the film, the theory does make sense. On the other hand, Jane's diagnosis could come down to genetics, as her mother passed away from cancer in the comics (via Marvel Database). Reddit u/cocoprezzz thinks it could be both, writing, "I think it very well could have been a result of the reality stone. Coupled with genetics, that's why [it] hit her super hard."

Although Jane ultimately passes away, we know that she got into Valhalla, so it's possible that her character will return in some form down the line. This is how things turn out for her in the comics, though it remains to be seen whether Jane will similarly be resurrected on the big screen.