Thor (2011)

Thor (2011) annotations

Release date: 6th May 2011

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Screenwriters: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne
Story: J. Michael Straczynski, Mark Protosevich

00:00-05:00

Paramount and Marvel logos.

We open in almost darkness, just headlights.

Thor (2011) opening shot
Thor (2011) opening shot

The music here is called Chasing The Storm. Like the rest of the score, it was composed by Patrick Doyle.

Titles on screen tell us we’re in Puente Antiguo, New Mexico. The film did shoot in that state, but that town is fictional. We will see more of it later.

The first person we really get to see is Stellan Skarsgård, as Erik Selvig.

Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig in Thor (2011)
Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig in Thor (2011)

Selvig was created for the film, and has since been introduced in the comics, as a doctor for SHIELD.

Stellan_Skarsgrd-1Skarsgård is a renowned Swedish actor, appearing in films such as Good Will Hunting and the Pirates Of the Caribbean series. He told Superherohype:

My agent called and said that Kenneth wanted me to be in it, and of course, I’ve always wanted to work with Kenneth as a director and then Natalie Portman was in it as well and I worked with her on “Goya’s Ghost” and I fell in love with her back then, so I was really looking forward to working with her again.

On a laptop screen we see Van Allen Belt and some globes. The Van Allen radiation belt are layers of radiation that surround the Earth.

Then Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis.

Kat Denning as Darcy Lewis in Thor (2011)
Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis in Thor (2011)

Lewis was also created just for the film.

72305_kat_dennings_rDennings is the star of the sitcom 2 Broke Girls. She’s appeared in films such as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Charlie Bartlett. She told Movieline:

I’m just really grateful, honestly, to be in a movie like this, with the people that are working on it. I’m just really surprised that I didn’t get cut out. [Laughs] But, yeah, just really excited about it. It’s not like Darcy was in the comic books so I can’t really say if she’s coming back. I don’t know, if she’s needed, then absolutely I will.

They are sitting in a 1971 Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer, a high mobility, all-terrain vehicle.

Then they climb on top, and we get a better look at Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman.

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster in Thor (2011)
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster in Thor (2011)

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_84 Jane Foster comes from the comics, although her story is very much part of Thor’s secret identity that they excised from the MCU God of Thunder. She was a nurse at the hospital where Thor worked. She was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. She first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #84, September 1962.

Natalie-Portman-Talks-MotherhoodPortman was a huge star when she appeared here. The actress had just appeared in a string of acclaimed films, in particular Black Swan in 2010. She had made her debut in 1994’s Leon The Professional. She told Dose.ca:

“[Kenneth Branagh] and I talked a lot before we started about how to make Jane a realistic scientist on screen and not just make her like Denise Richards in Bond, who wears glasses and so she’s a real scientist. We talked about how real scientists are like artists: They are able to imagine things that aren’t there. And to give Jane this sense that she’s sort of frazzled and she’s often thinking in abstractions.”

They chase the anomaly. And they hit a body.

Then more titles.

Then we’re at Tonsberg, Norway, 965 AD. It’s a real place, but this isn’t it.

 Like many of the scenes in this film, it’s studio and CGI, created at Raleigh Manhattan Beach Studios – 1600 Rosecrans Avenue, Manhattan Beach, California. It was the home of Marvel Studios at the time.

We hear voiceover. It’s Anthony Hopkins. We will see more of him.

The music here is called Prologue.

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 9.38.41 PM
Frost Giants in Thor (2011)

And we are introduced to the mythology. Starting with the Frost Giants.

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_112Front Giants, or a version of them, exists in Norse mythology. Based on the Jötnar, they are usually portrayed as the main adversaries of the Asgardian Gods, although their relationship is far more complex than that – and will be so in this film as well.

They exist in the comics too, playing a similar role, and are long standing villains in the world of Thor. In the comics, they are portrayed (usually) as more giant.

They first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #112 (January 1965), and their look was designed by Jack Kirby, but as they were based on other source material, no writer gets a credit.

The Frost Giants attack humanity.

A light arrives from the sky. Note that the light has rainbow elements. Again, something we will see more of later.

The Asgardians arrive. Front and centre is Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins.

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 10.03.53 PM
Anthony Hopkins as Odin in Thor (2011)

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_85Odin is a key figure in Norse mythology, a powerful god who is also the father of Thor. He is also bearded and has one eye.

All those features have been taken by the comic book version of Odin. He is the father figure who exiles his own son to Earth.

He was created by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #85 in October 1962.

hopkins-sir-anthony-hopkins-32162823-500-555Hopkins was entering his sixth decade in acting when he signed up for Thor (2011). His remarkable career has had many highlights from The Silence Of the Lambs and The Elephant Man. Previous to this, he had starred in Woody Allen’s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. Hopkins told Screencrave:

“I’ve always been a fan of Ken’s. I’d never read… I’m not a geek, you know. But it turned out that it was the most enjoyable film I’ve been involved in for a long time and I could care less about anything. And then to work with Ken, he just pushed the right buttons to get me to give of my best. And I really value that in him, because I’d gotten lazy. He’s one of the best directors I’ve worked with so that was the principle reason.”

 There is a massive fight between the two armies.

05:00-10:00

Odin takes down the King of the Frost Giants. His name is Laufey and he’s played by Colm Feore.

Colm Feore as Laufey, the King of the Frost Giants, in Thor (2011)
Colm Feore as Laufey, the King of the Frost Giants, in Thor (2011)

Laufey is also a character from Norse mythology, although portrayed as a female, not a Frost Giant, and the mother of Loki.

The film’s Laufey is a lot closer to the comics, where he is male, and is the King Of the Frost Giants. He is also the father of Loki.

Like the other Frost Giants, he debuted in Journey Into Mystery #112 in January 1965, designed by Jack Kirby.

9-1-NUVO-Magazine-Spring-2006-colm_feore_page_2_image_0002-366x560Feore has had a number of action and genre roles in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Face/Off and more. He’s also had memorable TV roles in 24 and House Of Cards.

And we see an Asgardian take the Frost Giant‘s source of power.

 

What is the source of the Frost Giants‘ power? It’s called the Casket Of Ancient Winters, and one of many energy wielding glowing things in the MCU. It appeared in the Thor comics in the mid 80s.

We are taken to Asgard. A CGI creation, of course.

We meet young Thor, played by Dakota Goyo, and young Loki, played by Ted Allpress.

As Odin causes permanent psychological damage on his sons, we hear The Sons Of Odin.

We also get our first glimpse at Mjölnir, Thor‘s hammer.

Mjolnir, Thor's Hammer in Thor (2011)
Mjölnir, Thor’s Hammer in Thor (2011)

Mjölnir, the hammer, is a distinctive part of Thor in Norse mythology. It has appeared with Thor ever since in the comics, which added that only those who are worthy are able to use it, and that it tied to Thor’s secret identity.

We are taken to a huge ceremony. The music here is called A New King.

We finally get to see him – Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor (2011)
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor (2011)

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_83Thor is, of course, a key figure also in Norse mythology. A god of great strength and might, with associations with thunder and lightning.

In the comics, his origins are completely different. A partially disabled medical student named Donald Blake found Thor’s hammer in a cave. Finding he was able to use it, it turned him into Thor. It was very 60s superhero – he had limitations that could be overcome with super powers – like Daredevil’s blindness. In the late 60s, it was revealed that Blake had always been Thor, and he had been banished from Asgard to be taught humility and also because Odin is a terrible father. Although there was early talk about incorporating Donald Blake into the film, there ended up being no secret identity aspect to Thor.

Thor first appeared in the modern Marvel comics in Journey Into Mystery #83, August 1962. His creation is credited to Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Larry Lieber.

0f078df751261d9fb5bcc69eb52bee54Hemsworth was almost a complete unknown to US audiences when he was cast in Thor (2011). He was in 189 episodes of Australia soap opera Home And Away, and a small but very memorable role in Star Trek. He told Superherohype:

My very first audition sucked (laughs), and I didn’t actually get a call back. That was it, and then a few months later, I somehow got an opportunity to have another go, and I came at it with a different attitude, and was determined not to mess it up this time, and had four or five auditions and in the end, one Saturday morning got a phone call from Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Feige and Craig Kyle, the guys at Marvel, and said, “Congratulations, you got the part!”

That hair? It’s a wig.

Lots of people auditioned for Thor. Hiddleston we mentioned, as did Liam Hemsworth, Chris’ brother and Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan’s son.

There is a deleted scene where Thor and Loki share a moment before the ceremony.

We see a couple of women in Thor‘s life.

Sif, played by Jaimie Alexander.

Jaimie Alexander as Sif in Thor (2011)
Jaimie Alexander as Sif in Thor (2011)

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_102Sif in Norse mythology is a goddess and Thor’s wife.

In the comics, Sif is an Asgardian and an often romantic foil for Thor, and a great warrior herself.

She first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #102, March 1964. Her creation is credited to Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.

539e0593ad4e2a1c3b132e79f8637bf1Alexander was best known for her TV work such as Kyle XY and Nurse Jackie before her role in Thor (2011). She told Collider:

I read some comic books back then, and my brother has a bunch of Avenger comic books, so I met Walt Simonson recently, and I totally geeked out and I think he thinks I’m a freak, but it’s totally fine. He’s way cool. So it was kind of neat because I find Sif a lot stronger that Wonder Woman, so I’m really pleased that I got this role and um, yeah. And you know, as you can see, she’s covered. It’s no slutty costumes, you know, no boobs sticking out, any of that stuff. She’s just a strong female, and I think that needs to be done for a lot of young women out there.

Then his mother Frigga, played by Rene Russo.

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Rene Russo as Frigga in Thor (2011)

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_92Frigga, in Norse mythology, is based on Frigg, the wife of Odin, and the highest ranking Goddess. Although she is not Thor’s mother.

In the comics, she is Thor’s step-mother, and a warrior in her own right. Her marriage to Odin was his plan to bring to warring parties together. Odin basically forced her into it, and is a terrible husband.

She first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #92, May 1963. She was created by Robert Bernstein, Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott.

fca3af1bf2dfe4dc395ba68886824bb2Russo was best known for several blockbusters in the 90s, such as Outbreak, Get Shorty and The Thomas Crown Affair remake.

Frigga was introduced earlier in a deleted scene.

Odin looks on, extremely judgementally. As a good father would.

Thor looks over at his mates, collectively know as the Warriors Three. They are played, from right to left, by Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas and Ray Stevenson.

Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas and Ray Stevenson as the Warriors Three in Thor (2011)
Tadanobu Asano, Josh Dallas and Ray Stevenson as the Warriors Three in Thor (2011)

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_119 The Warriors Three were made up for the comics, and don’t appear in Norse mythology. They are Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg. In the comics, they were three bickering warriors who often provided some comic relief (and muscle when needed). They also drank a lot.

They first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #119, August 1965. They were created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 5.33.33 PMTadanobu Asano plays Hogun. He is a Japanese actor, and a leading man in several Japanese films before his casting in Thor (2011). He would go on to appear in films like Battleship.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 5.31.20 PMJosh Dallas plays Fandral. The American born actor had spent years actin on stage in London, and was still relatively unknown when cast in this role. He would star in the TV series Once Upon A Time, and due to scheduling conflicts, would not return for the sequels.

ray-stevensonRay Stevenson plays Volstagg. The Irish actor had had a successful career playing tough guys, including the Punisher in Punisher: War Zone, as well as roles in The Book Of Eli and The Other Guys.

Sif and the Warriors Three were originally to be introduced before Thor. That scene was cut.

Loki looks on too. He is played by Tom Hiddleston.

Tim Hiddleston as Loki in Thor (2011)
Tim Hiddleston as Loki in Thor (2011)

Loki is also from Norse mythology. He is a shapeshifter, often malicious and a combatant of Thor.

In the comics, Loki and Thor became brothers (or half brothers) and rivals. He is one of Thor’s original arch-enemies.

He first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #85 (October 1962) with Odin. He was created by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Larry Lieber.

9291592d32211997451e90de7f7e9abcHiddleston was just beginning his rise to fame, having been best known for his TV work such as Wallander and minor roles in films such as Midnight In Paris. Hiddleston actually auditioned for the role of Thor.

Odin mentions Mjolnir was forged in the heart of a dying star. This is a change from both the comics and Norse mythology, where it was crafted by dwarves.

Down in the bowels of the castle, two soldiers walk through Odin’s vault, because Odin is terrible at securing extremely powerful weapons, and two uncredited extras are just able to wander in, walking at normal pace.

What objects they pass have all been unconfirmed, but there is very strong speculation. They are:

Purple orb is the Orb of Agamotto (related to Eye of Agamotto, the amulet of Doctor Strange).

The Tablet of Life And Time. This ancient artifact had written on it, a chemical formula that would grant someone immortality and great powers. It first appeared in a Spider-Man comic, and was also owned by Doctor Strange.


10:00-15:00

The moving eye in a case is the Warlock’s Eye. In the comics, it was the weapon of Thor foe Harokin.

Odin decides to take a really long pause between the words “I declare you…” and “…King” even though everyone knows what they are there for, and we can only assume he is taunting his son, because he is a terrible father. In the end, that pause ends up ruining several lives.

It is also worth noting that Odin is making everyone stand for the entire ceremony.

A Frost Giant attacks the vault’s soldiers. He actually comes out from behind the Warlock’s Eye. Great security, Odin.

We assume those two guards died.

Odin then senses the Frost Giant that has, we assume, been in the castle for quite some time. Odin is terrible at detecting Frost Giants in his own home.

Enter the Destroyer.

The Destroyer in Thor (2011)
The Destroyer in Thor (2011)

Journey_into_Mystery_Vol_1_118 The Destroyer is taken from the comics, and the filmmakers do a great job of bringing the fantastic look to life. It is a powerful, magical armour, created by Odin, to fight more powerful foes. It has featured for decades in Thor storylines.

He first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #118, July 1965. He was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.

He kills several Frost Giants.

Just before the second Frost Giant is killed, there is the slightest glimpse of a golden glove. It resembles The Infinity Gauntlet, a vessel of infinite power when used to hold the six infinity gems. It comes from the comics, used most prominently by Thanos in the miniseries The Infinity Gauntlet in 1991. It will play a big role in the films to come.

Odin, Thor and Loki survey the damage. Odin points out to Thor that he is not King, and that his plan to delay saying the word King has worked out.

Thor is comforted by Loki, then Sif and the Warriors Three.

Thor mentions they are going to Jotunheim, home of the Frost Giants. The same is derived from their home in Norse mythology, and is used in the comics as well.

Fandral talks about how they get to Earth. It’s an allusion to the Rainbow Bridge, which we will see later.

There was an extended version of this scene

They cross remarkable CGI vistas. The music here is Ride To Observatory.

15:00-20:00

They encounter Heimdall, played by Idris Elba.

Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor (2011)
Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor (2011)

Heimdall exists in Norse mythology, and plays a similar role. He is the gatekeeper of Asgard, keeper of the Bifrost/Rainbow Bridge and has incredible sight and senses. Those are characteristics that carried over to the comics version of the character.

He first appeared, alongside Loki and Odin, in Journey Into Mystery #85, October 1962. He was created by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Larry Lieber.

00c15e3626ae92e343c4ed9f233e098eElba broke out in a big way in the HBO TV series The Wire. He quickly rose to the A List, starring in films such as Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and Pacific Rim. Elba told BlackFilm:

“It’s an actor’s dream and not just an actor’s, but like a boyhood dream, to be a in a superhero movie or play a superhero. I did it when I was a kid, Spider-Man, climbing up and down walls and stuff.”

And they enter the Bifrost – also known as the Rainbow Bridge. This also exists in Norse mythology, and is the bridge between the human world and Asgard.

In the comics, the Rainbow Bridge also exists, but it’s just a literal (albeit magical) bridge that looks like a rainbow, where people walk along. Not a zapping teleportation ray as depicted in the film.

The music is To Jotunheim.

And the team arrive on Jotunheim. Another CGI vista, and no location.

They encounter Laufey.

The music is Laufey.

20:00-25:00

Thor strikes. And the fight is on.

The music is Frost Giant Battle.

Hogun has a mace with spikes. In the comics, his weapon was a normal mace.

Sif has a double sword. Her comics counterpart was known for her sword.

Fandral, like in the comics, has a normal sword.

The only one to deviate is Volstagg and his axe.

Loki also uses his projection powers. something else he has done in the comics.

He also discovers he is impervious to the touch of the Frost Giants. There is nothing in the comics about the effects of being touched by a Frost Giant. But it’s good shorthand for telling us something is up with Loki.

25:00-30:00

Thor and team manages to defeat many of the Frost Giants and a massive beast.

Odin arrives, and drags the team away. Why does he bring a horse? Is he hoping to just put another creature in danger? What an terrible horse-owner.

Laufey and Odin in Thor (2011)
Laufey and Odin in Thor (2011)

There’s a bit of Asgardian stuff being said here. Thor calls the Frost Giants the Jotunn. Both terms are essentially interchangeable.

He also mentions the Nine Realms. This is a core part of Norse Mythology. We will meet more realms, but it is the wider universe, and Asgard is one of the realms.

Odin decides on his course of action. The music is Banishment.

Father of the year Odin then shoots his son in the chest with his own weapon and banishes him to another realm. And then throws his hammer after him.

“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” In the comics, this is inscribed on the actual hammer.

And we’re back at the start of the film.

30:00-35:00

Darcy tasers Thor.

They drive off as the hammer crashes in New Mexico.

Now – this ties in with the Mjolnir being discovered at the same time as Iron Man 2 (2010). So the events of that film just ended.

They take Thor to a hospital. There’s not many real locations in this film, so it’s frustrating we don’t know this one.

Jane and co. admit Thor into a hospital and he’s not happy about it. The hospital interiors are likely a set.

He starts a fight with the doctors.

Before he’s sedated, he was just about to call himself the mighty Thor. The name of the longstanding Thor comic was The Mighty Thor.

There was an extended version of this scene.

We cut to a Dodge D-Series driving through the desert.

The music we hear is Hammer Found.

It’s being driven by an unnamed character, played by J. Michael Straczynski.

Straczynski co-wrote the story for Thor (2011), and it probably helped that he wrote the Thor comic for many years, starting with Thor vol. 3 #1 in September 2007. Straczynski also created Babylon 5, co-wrote World War Z, and had other fantastic comic book runs including The Amazing Spider-Man.

Here we are in Puente Antiguo. The whole town is a set, built at Cerro Pelon Ranch, 5527 State Highway 41, Lamy. The ranch, under various names, has been used for many film sets.

It’s pretty amazing as a set. Note the 7-Eleven.

We see Jane and team’s lab. It’s an equally spectacular set. It helps that Branagh managed to shoot this in one take, with great sunlight.

They discuss the Einstein-Rosen Bridge. It is a real thing, and essentially the name for a wormhole, named after Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen.

Jane and Erik talks stars, including the constellation Ursa Minor.

A scene was cut here featuring Frigga pulling Odin up on his terrible parenting.

Thor wakes up restrained. But he escapes.

Jane and team go to the hospital to find Thor gone.


35:00-40:00

And they get in their car and plan. Then they run into Thor.

Back with the hammer, more townsfolk appear. They try several things, including chaining it to a car.

The driver is Stan Lee, in his required cameo.

Stan Lee in Thor (2011)
Stan Lee in Thor (2011)

Agent Coulson arrives in a scene we saw in Iron Man 2 (2010). He is played by Clark Gregg.

Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson in Thor (2011)
Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson in Thor (2011)

Clark Gregg This is Gregg’s 3rd appearance in the MCU. We last saw him in Iron Man 2 (2010).

According to Zack Stentz, hey were unable to get Nick Fury due to contract negotiations with Samuel L Jackson. It led to an expanded role for Coulson here, which led to more screen time in Iron Man 2 (2010) and everything else to follow.

Jane gives Thor a shirt that says Donald Blake, MD. This is a reference to Thor’s early secret identity in the comics.

Back on Asgard, Sif, Loki and the Warriors Three, discuss plans.

Loki, with no trouble getting past Odin’s rubbish security, and touches the Frost Giant’s Casket.

And Loki is revealed to be half Frost Giant. Although many of the particulars have changed, in Norse mythology Loki was also half Frost Giant. This ties closer to the comics where Laufey is Loki’s father.

40:00-45:00

We flashback to Odin finding baby Loki.

Odin reveals that he took Loki, in hopes that it would unite the two kingdoms one day. So Odin is basically a baby thief, worse still that his father wasn’t even dead or anything.

Odin collapses.

Back on Earth, at Isabela’s Diner. It is also just part of the set and not a real place.

Darcy makes a reference to Facebook.

They hear about Thor’s hammer and plan to set off.

Erik mentions that Thor’s stories resemble those he heard as a child. Erik is Scandinavian, and that is where the Norse mythology originates.

They leave Thor on his journey.

45:00-50:00

As Jane looks back at Thor on the main street, we can see a sign welcoming back the local football team. They are called the Vikings, of course.

Back at their lab, they are being raided by SHIELD.

SHIELD, or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. They are the Marvel comics and MCU version of every espionage and security agency rolled together. We last saw them in Iron Man 2 (2010).

SHIELD take everything, leaving Jane, Erik and Darcy to contemplate their next steps on the roof of their building.

Whilst on the roof, they look over at the town. There is a billboard on the town that says Land Of Enchantment…Journey Into Mystery. Land Of Enchantment is the state motto for New Mexico, and Journey Into Mystery is the name of the comic where Thor first appeared, and had many adventures.

Erik talks about knowing a scientist who was an expert in Gamma Radiation. It’s clearly an allusion to the mythos of the Hulk, and could be Bruce Banner himself or Samuel Sterns, aka The Leader.

Back on Asgard, Sif and the Warriors Three find Loki on the throne.

The scene where Loki becomes king was cut.

Erik investigates Thor.

50:00-55:00

Erik comes across a book about Norse mythology.

Thor goes to a pet store and asks for a horse. The pet store worker is played by Isaac Kappy.

Jane ends up giving Thor a lift anyway.

Odin is in a coma, in a very ornate chamber. Loki and Frigga discuss the obscure purpose behind Odin’s actions.

At the site of the hammer, SHIELD have set up a small base.

Thor enters, knocks out two guards.

Thor enters, knocks out two guards. The music here is called The Compound.

55:00-60:00

He then fights the rest of the guards.

There is one guy who picks up a bow and arrow instead of a machine gun.

Coulson gets an update from Agent Jasper Sitwell, played by Maximiliano Hernández.

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Maximiliano Hernández as Agent Sitwell in Thor (2011)

Strange_Tales_Vol_1_144We never really get a in focussed shot when he first appears. Which is a shame because he is one of more connected elements of the MCU, going on to appear in more films, short films and TV as this character.

Jasper Sitwell appears in the comics, a high ranking SHIELD agents alongside Nick Fury, having many adventures and even running SHIELD at one point.

He first appeared in Strange Tales #144, May 1966. He was created by Stan Lee and Howard Purcell.

urlHernández is best known for his TV work, including series like The Americans and The Last Ship.

Coulson then gets an update from another guy. It’s Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 3.00.17 PM
Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye in Thor (2011)

Tales_of_Suspense_Vol_1_57 Hawkeye is a real mainstay of The Avengers. He was a troubled youth who learnt archery at a circus, and a minor villain to begin with. He later became a hero, joining the Avengers in their second incarnation in the comics.

He first appeared in Tales of Suspense #57, September 1964. He was created by Don Heck and Stan Lee.

fa3524d592ce3a5eefab67dbc74ad17eRenner was very much still on the rise when this film came out. He had broken through with an acclaimed performance in The Hurt Locker, and The Town. He was not credited for his appearance in this film, but his appearance was made public before the film came out.

Thor continues on and finds his hammer. He is stopped by an unnamed agent, played by Bobby Sosthand. Sosthand is better known for his stunt work.

And twist! He’s not worthy.

60:00-65:00

Heimdall looks on from Asgard.

Jane tells Erik and Darcy what she saw.

They look over the book Erik found, with references to Mjolnir, Loki and more.

Foster quotes science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke. He is perhaps best known for the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Back at the compound, Coulson questions Thor.

Thor and Agent Coulson in Thor (2011)
Thor and Agent Coulson in Thor (2011)

Then Loki turns up.

The music we hear as Thor is sorry is called Loki’s Lie.

Loki tries the hammer, and of course fails to lift it.

65:00-70:00

Coulson meets with Erik. He claims Thor is Donald Blake, a researcher. Coulson knows its a lie but lets him go. The Blake name is another nod to his comic book identity.

Erik takes Thor to a bar. The bar is a strip club called Cheeks, 2841 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe.

The song playing in the bar is Walk by the Foo Fighters, from their 2011 album Wasting Light.

There was also an extended version of this scene.

Loki travels to Jotunheim. As everyone has worked out, he’s the traitor. And he strikes a deal with Laufey.


70:00-75:00

Loki returns and faces Heimdall.

Heimdall and Loki in Thor (2011)
Heimdall and Loki in Thor (2011)

Back with Jane, in her campervan. Erik and Thor return.

They go for a chat by a fire. The music we hear is Science And Magic.

That tree is spelt Yggdrasil, and yes, it’s part of Norse mythology.

They also discuss the Hubble Space Telescope. The power telescope has been in Earth orbit for twenty years, revealing the stars to us.

75:00-80:00

Thor lists realms – Midgard (Earth), Vanaheim, Jotunheim and Asgard.

The Warriors Three and Sif make plans to find Thor. It leads to a summons by Heimdall.

Loki watches as the Bifrost is activated. And Sif and the Warriors Three arrive on Earth.

SHIELD are alerted to the disturbance and Coulson sets off…in an Acura ZDX.

There’s an extended version of this scene, with more of the Warriors Three.

Thor, Jane and friends are oblivious, as Loki summons The Destroyer.

SHIELD agents watch the Warriors Three and Sif, and make some pop culture references.

Xena Warrior Princess was a TV show about, well, a warrior princess, and she was dressed not unlike Sif.

Jackie Chan is a Hong Kong Martial Arts superstar on the big screen.

Fandral is called Robin Hood. Yes, the folk legend, but Fandral was actually based on the Errol Flynn version of Robin Hood.

They are reunited with Thor, and he discovers Loki‘s lies.

80:00-85:00

On Asgard, Heimdall is confronted by Loki. Loki over powers him.

Coulson, Sitwell and SHIELD are at the arrival site of the Asgardians, as the whole town see a disturbance in the sky.

The Destroyer arrives on Earth.

Sitwell asks if it’s a creation of Tony Stark‘s, aka Iron Man, the guy who usually creates awesome armours in the MCU.

The Destroyer attacks the SHIELD agents than attacks the town.

The music here is called The Destroyer.

He blows up the 7-Eleven.

Sif and Warriors Three fight back, but the town is pretty much destroyed.

There was an extended version of this scene, with more evacuating.

85:00-90:00

Thor offers to sacrifice himself to save his friends. The Destroyer knocks him out but doesn’t kill him.

The music here is called Forgive Me.

Odin, who banished Thor in the first place, sheds a single tear, possibly out of regret for all this happening due to his direct actions or his poor parenting.

Turns out, Thor is now worthy. Mjolnir comes to life.

It reaches Thor with a massive bolt of lightning. And the power of Thor is back.

Thor (2011)
Thor (2011)

He makes quick work of The Destroyer.

The music here is called Thor Kills the Destroyer.

There was a version where Erik Selvig was injured, but it was cut.

90:00-95:00

SHIELD arrives. Thor calls Coulson ‘Son of Coul’. It’s a play on Asgardian naming traditions. Thor’s last name is Odinson.

Thor takes Jane flying.

Loki lets in the Frost Giants, led by Laufey.

They wait for Heimdall, who fights Frost Giants to open the Bifrost.

Thor and Jane kiss, and the Asgardians are off.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.14.20 PM
Thor and Jane in Thor (2011)

Frost Giants enters Odin’s chambers. Frigga defends him but is knocked down.

Twist! Loki kills Laufey.

He almost wins but Thor returns. And with that, the two brothers finally fight.

The music here is called Brothers Fight.

95:00-100:00

Their fight takes them to the Bifrost. Loki’s weapon is engulfing Jotunheim and Earth.

Loki and Thor in Thor (2011)
Loki and Thor in Thor (2011)

After a gruesome battle, Thor pins Loki with his hammer.

To save Jotunheim, home of his former enemy, Thor sacrifices his ability to travel to Earth.


100:00-105:00

Odin arrives to save his son. Singular. He only sticks one arm out. At least he didn’t bring a horse this time. Which also suggests he was in that much of a hurry. He also got dressed quite nicely.

And Loki lets go, floating into the unknown.

The music here is called Letting Go.

At some point, any point, Odin could have started pulling his sons back in. Instead he leaves one to kill himself, and in many ways goads him into it. Great dad, Odin.

Back on Earth, all the disturbances have gone.

On Asgard, the warriors share stories over food. Sitting to Sif‘s left, and a couple down from Fandral‘s right, is Walt Simonson, a comic book creator who oversaw one of Thor’s more memorable runs from 1983-1987. Also in the scene, but we couldn’t spot them – are Ralph Macchio, a former Thor editor, and Louise Simonson, who wrote Thor.

Thor and Odin share a moment. He says Odin is a good father, followed by how he has a lot to learn.

Then with Heimdall, they look in on Jane.

The music here is called Can You See Jane?.

105:00-110:00

And Chris Hemsworth gives us a wry smile as we fade to credits.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 8.17.00 AM
Thor (2011)

And after the illustrated titles, we finally get the film logo title.

The music here is called Earth To Asgard.

Titles in Thor (2011)
Titles in Thor (2011)

The Foo FightersWalk plays over the credits.

And the credits end with – ‘Thor will return in The Avengers’.

Post credits scene

The post credits scene was written and directed by Joss Whedon, who would write and direct The Avengers (2012).

Erik Selvig is in some facility. He encounters Nick Fury, played by Samuel L Jackson.

Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury in Thor (2011)
Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury in Thor (2011)

Samuel L JacksonThis is Jackson’s 3rd appearance in the MCU. We last saw him in Iron Man 2 (2010).

Erik mentions the Foster Theory, named after Jane.

Fury shows Erik the Tesseract. It is the first time we’re seeing it (although it was alluded to in Iron Man 2). We will find out more about it in the films to come.

The Tesseract in Thor (2011)
The Tesseract in Thor (2011)

At the time, speculation was it was a Cosmic Cube, an interstellar artefact of immense power. We will find out more, and it will turn out to be something else entirely.

And then Loki appears.


What did we think?

What a wonderful film this is. Who would have ever thought Thor would work, but Branagh and everyone else has made a great film. There is so much to like, but what is most impressive is the tone of the film – they managed to make Thor, this strange god, work in this world. In many ways, Thor has never been better used than here.

They pull off the Christopher Reeve/Superman trick. They found a wonderful charismatic unknown, and they built a powerhouse team around him. Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skargard all bring the acting chops. And Hiddleston…more about Hiddleston later. But Hemsworth pulls off being the centre of the entire film. It’s notable that when it came time to cut, The Warriors Three get the short straw. He didn’t need a cast of quirky characters around him to carry the film.

There’s so much Reeve in Hemsworth. His comic timing – his pratfall of being backed into by a car, smashing cups on the floor – are all fantastic moments. His inherent likability is matched only by Tom Hiddleston‘s raw nerve of a performance. By the end, when the real Loki is revealed, it looks like Hiddleston is really losing it. He is the stand out star of this film, and it’s no wonder that he shot straight into stardom. And an actual Marvel villain with half a a plan. Not really enough has been made of Marvel’s wonderful casting team.

One last standout performance we want to note is Natalie Portman. She is effortless, in coming cross strong, smart and so human. Its no wonder she can carry multi million dollar blockbusters in her own right. And through her, they’ve made the mythology feel grounded, and the science feel inclusive. No small feat.

Branagh brings a wonderful touch. He gets pigeonholed into serious Shakespearean work, but he’s always had a lovely sense of humour. That he’s able to mix it with the cosmic and make it work is a treat. That he pulls off so many stunning shots of desert vistas – not just the CGI work. The camera work is fluid and energetic. This isn’t a stage play, it’s a blockbuster.

Is there faults? The story seems to take place in one day, so there’s a lot going on, and not all the emotional arcs make sense if you think about it. Asgard, and the Frost Giants tip their toe into silliness, although not long enough for it to do real harm to the film. and yes, it’s a small story in the end, but on reflection, and in the context of the other Marvel and superhero films, it actually feels refreshing.

Maybe the biggest crime is we didn’t get to see enough of the characters we love. Branagh didn’t return, but one wonders what would have happened if he continued this fish out of water story. The Warriors Three and Sif and Heimdall. Jane’s search, this epic love story spanning across the realms. Oh well, we got Avengers instead.

Best Bits

  • Hiddleston and Hemsworth. What amazing finds.
  • Portman. A super-duper star.
  • Branagh. He rises to the occasion and then some.
  • The jokes land. He needs a horse.
  • The sets, the costumes. For a cheaper Marvel film, it looks like the best one yet.

Not best bits

  • Odin’s parenting
  • It probably would have unbalanced the film, but the Warriors Three and Sif were cool. If only they weren’t so interchangeable.
  • Some of the Frost Giant fighting, just CGI bashing CGI, has dated poorly.
  • Speaking of which, that impending war never really seemed that impending, the larger threat of the Frost Giants meant very little.
  • Odin just falls over, and then just gets better?

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Dramatis Personae


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