With the anniversary of the RIGHTFUL highest grossing movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame, passing last month, it reminded me just how awesome that movie was. Not that I needed a reminder, but still, it was cool to watch all the clips and GIF’s.
Part of why this movie was so damn good, was the characters themselves. Every storyline hit perfectly because, while we’re talking about God’s and super soldiers, they all come off as relatable in their own unique ways.
And arguably the most relatable, realistic story in that entire movie was Thors arc. Starting at the end of Infinity War, the God of Thunder had the most realistic depiction of depression I’ve maybe ever seen in a movie like this. Here’s a refresher: At the end of Infinity War, Thor has a chance to kill Thanos and prevent him from snapping away half of existence. But, due to the fact that Thanos killed Thor’s best bud Heimdall to start the movie, Thor wanted revenge.
And what happened? His need for revenge gave Thanos the opening to defeat the Avengers and send us all home on a somber not. Also giving us the infamous line…
Now, imagine you were in Thor’s boots for a minute: You had a chance to save the universe, but you selfishly decided to get revenge instead. And in doing so, you’re partly responsible for the deaths of BILLIONS. Even for a God, that’s a lot to handle. I mean, look at him once he realizes what’s happened!
So the next time we see him in Endgame, he’s a sad, sad man.
I’m not going to run through the entire movie or even the beginning, but basically they hatch a plan to go get Thanos and fix everything and when they get there, of course, things don’t go the way they want. Thor overreacts, like a depressed person would do when realizing the ONE thing that could have made him happy can’t happen, and slices Thanos’ head clean off. And you know he’s still stuck on what happened at the end of Infinity War because when asked why he did that, he says…
NOW is when we get to the real depressed Thor. The Thor that people criticize Marvel for because, well, he looks like this.
Question: What happens to the majority of people when you are depressed? Sure, some people lash out at everyone and turn into angry shrews. Some people even turn to violence towards themselves or others, but that majority of people go the route Thor goes in this movie. You just stop caring.
He turned into a drunk recluse, let himself go and uses humor as a defense mechanism to not deal with what’s making him sad. His friends, Korg and Valkyrie, are extremely realistic as well! They both know Thor is severely depressed, but instead of coming up with some cockamame plan to cheer him up or having some emotional conversation to get him to talk about his problems, which isn’t realistic at all, they don’t know what to do. They’re just…there.
Valkyrie knows Thor is going through it and, while she clearly feels terrible for him, she doesn’t know how to help. And I’m not sure if any of you realize this but THAT’S HOW IT IS IN REAL LIFE! Your friends don’t just have the magical words to say that’ll cheer you up and realize it’s all “not that bad” and you can get through this. While in almost every movie there’s that friend who knows exactly what to say or do to cheer up the main character, the sad reality is that no one really knows how to cheer up a person going through depression. Especially not on the level Thor has it. HE IS PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR BILLIONS OF DEATHS.
And when it comes to Korg, he’s the guy who just knows he has to be there for his buddy. Just be around to give him company. He knows Thor doesn’t want to talk about what happened (he tells Banner not to bring up Thanos). He’s letting his friend go through it because he, like I said, doesn’t know how to help. All he knows is that Thor is his friend and he needs to be there for him. THAT’S AS REALISTIC AS YOU CAN GET!
But what do Marvel fans say? “Me no want sad, fat Thor. Me want strong, angry Thor! THIS SUCKS!” Shut the hell up. Do you not understand what they’re doing? Marvel gave us a human storyline through the eyes of a God…and it made all the sense in the world.
And then you get the “Well people were cracking jokes about Thor and I didn’t like that because they were turning depression into a punchline!” Ummmm, have you ever been depressed around your friends? What do they do? Try to make you laugh! Stark calling him Lebowski or Rhodey saying he had cheese wiz in his veins are just friends poking fun at each other. You can clearly tell there’s no malice or ill intent in their words. They’re literally just trying to cheer up their friend.
Throughout the movie, Thor gets closer and closer to his breaking point. When he and Rocket go back in time to Asgard, that’s when everything comes to a head (and of course they land back in time on the exact day that his mom is murdered. Jeeze. The guy can’t catch a break). He and his mom, who knows he’s future Thor, have one of the best emotional conversations in the MCU where she basically tells him it’s okay to fail sometimes.
And then one of the most feel good parts of the entire movie is when Thor reaches out for Mjolnir, his hammer, not sure if it will come to him. Mjolnir only can be wielded by those who are worthy and Thor, at this point, thinks himself anything but that. But Mjolnir obviously comes soaring into his hand and Thor realizes that he’s still worthy. After all the mistakes he’s made and regardless of how bad he feels about himself, he’s still worthy.
And at the end of the movie when the gang is trying to figure out who’s going to snap with the Stark Gauntlet, Thor steps up and when Stark tells him he’s not ready, Thor pleads with him saying “let me do..something”. Those are the words of a man who just wants to show that he still has some sort of worth to his friends. You can hear and see the pain in his voice. That’s about a realistic as you can get.
But not only do we get Thor’s raw emotion, you see Tony actually caring for his friend. He knows Thor is in no shape to do something of this magnitude. He’s trying to protect Thor from himself. Stark stripped away all the jokes and got real with his friend for a minute.
So all THAT is what makes Thor’s story so great. It shows that no matter what mistake you make or how bad you feel about yourself, you’re still worth it. It also depicts how real people act around someone who’s going through some shit. If you want to solely focus on the fact that they gave a God man tits and a Big Lebowski rip off, go ahead. I’d rather focus on the fact that Marvel showed that even a God can get depressed, but at the end of the day, no matter what happened, you’re still worthy. To me, that was a pretty cool message.