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The questions we still have after Thor: Love and Thunder

So are magic weapons alive, and also really petty?

Thor (freaking jacked) sits relaxed aboard the Milano in a tank top in Thor: Love and Thunder Photo: Jasin Boland/Marvel Studios
Joshua Rivera (he/him) is an entertainment and culture journalist specializing in film, TV, and video game criticism, the latest stop in a decade-plus career as a critic.

One of the more surprising things about Thor: Love and Thunder is how (seemingly) self-contained it is. There’s always a chance that a later MCU film might suddenly make this stand-alone cosmic romp balloon in significance, the way 2013’s Thor: The Dark World took on greater meaning years later, when Avengers: Endgame premiered. But for the most part, Love and Thunder is just a goofy road trip on a Goat Boat.

But by the ending of Thor: Love and Thunder, we do still have some questions. After all, what hope could mere mortals have in understanding the affairs of gods?

Are Mjolnir and Stormbreaker alive?

Thor yelling at Mjolnir in Mighty Thor #703 (2018) Image: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman/Marvel Comics

While the idea that Thor’s current weapon and his former one are sapient (and that Stormbreaker is a weirdly jealous creeper) seems like a gag made up for Love and Thunder, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir actually does have a comics history of awareness! Long story short, Mjolnir isn’t just magic metal and godly enchantment, it’s implied that it contains the god Tempest, Mother of All Storms. It doesn’t really communicate, but it does have a preference for Jane over Thor, as illustrated by the Jason Aaron/Russell Dauterman Thor comics that inspired a lot of Love and Thunder.

Stormbreaker’s jealousy over Mjolnir is more of a movie-original gag than an extension of this comics lore, but it is an enchanted axe with a handle fashioned from one of Groot’s arms, so the idea that’s it’s similarly alive, or at least aware, is not that far-fetched.

Wait, Hercules is also a comics character?

Yes! A very important one for Marvel. In Greg Pak’s Marvel Comics circa the mid-2000s and onward, the character became more closely associated with the Hulk — Pak’s The Incredible Hulk briefly became The Incredible Hercules when Hulk was out of commission for a while after the World War Hulk story. (It’s a long one.) But originally? Like, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby originally? Hercules was introduced as a rival to Thor, and a very fun one at that.

This is the route Love and Thunder appears to be going when it introduces Hercules in a post-credits scene, and given that he’s played by Ted Lasso breakout Brett Goldstein, it will almost certainly be a good time.

Is Jane Foster really dead?

Yes! She’s in Valhalla!

Marvel has a Valhalla?

Just like it has (had) an Asgard! Like most mythical realms in the Marvel Universe, Valhalla is a physical place you can get to, but not easily.

Could Jane come back for future MCU movies?

She certainly returned from death in the comics. Jane actually becomes the new Valkyrie, a character more in line with the mythological Norse beings who guided warriors to the afterlife when they died. (Most Marvel stories depicted Valkyrie much like Tessa Thompson’s character — one of a cabal of lady-warriors absolutely devoted to wrecking house.)

Granted, making movies is tricky business, and there’s no guarantee that the stars will align to bring Natalie Portman back in the future if she’d prefer to take another extended hiatus from the MCU. So consider Valhalla a nice little vacation for Jane, but one that could end at any time.

Who is Eternity?

Look, it’s best to just stick with what the movie tells you. In Love and Thunder, he’s basically a wishing well. Let’s leave it at that.

Come on.

OK, fine. Eternity is the abstract embodiment of the universe — every universe manifests as a being known as Eternity, and Eternity is the greatest being in that universe. Above him is the Living Tribunal (you glimpse a statue of the three-faced Tribunal in the Love and Thunder trailer) and that dude is the one who keeps order in the multiverse. Both of these guys are kind of a storyteller’s alarm system: If they show up, it’s a Marvel story’s way of telling you things are getting serious, and may change for good by the time the story is done.

Also, he looks freaking sick.

Eternity from The Ultimates (vol.3) #4 (Feb. 2016) Image: Kenneth Rocafort/Marvel Comics

Is Gorr’s child really named Love? What’s her deal?

Can’t really help you there! She is entirely a creation of Love and Thunder, given superpowers by Eternity. There’s no telling what that means, but the sky’s the limit! Or maybe the multiverse is. Clearly defined powers would be nice every now and then.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.