Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, community interaction, general heathenry, and modern life on my heathen path, which is Asatru.

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Marvel's Girl Thor

The voice to text fail inviting me to the new Thor movie called it Girls Sore. Before seeing the movie today, as I was having my morning coffee, which is my usual time to raise coffee toasts and listen internally for anything the gods might want to say, I was thinking about this movie. I was hoping it would be good of course, but also thinking about what I knew of the plot which from trailers and social media sounded is a little silly. I was also thinking about how much it has rained this summer, much needed and welcome rain just like when the other Thor movies came out in the theaters. When I raised a coffee toast to Thor I could hear him in my mind. (This is Gnosis Diary so yes, there is personal gnosis! )  It doesn't matter if it's silly. What matters is people are thinking about him. Some people might decide to learn more and find the real Thor. It's better if people come to Thor having to unlearn a few things than never come to him at all. 


Hereafter follows my thoughts after seeing the movie. This post contains major plot spoilers. You have been warned.

Expectation 1: Jane

Jane Foster (ugh, can't stand her) wields the hammer. Social media says her arm muscles are CGI. At least one of my friends thought the movie needed a trigger warning for cancer. So, I was warned: Jane gets cancer.

Jane in the movie: 

I actually liked Jane in this movie! I haven't liked her in any of the other movies. Seeing her faced with a real life decision brought on by ill health-- to try to live longer or to really live-- made her a relatable human character.

And Jane taking up the hammer was not all about "woman must become strong by becoming man" like I had dreaded it might be, either; it actually worked well in the story. Jane's motivation for becoming a superhero was the same as Deadpool's actually: to defeat cancer. Deadpool did it better but it worked here too.

I still would have liked a female Thor movie to be Thrymskvitha instead of Thor's girlfriend getting the hammer, but in this movie they actually made the plot of Jane getting the hammer work and make sense. At first Jane was just trying to survive any way she could, just like Deadpool. Later, after seeing how much she could help people by using the superpowers the hammer lent her, even though it would have been better for her survival to let the hammer go, she chooses to help. In both cases she was making a choice anyone of any gender could relate to and it wasn't about the hammer as a phallic symbol, it was just about superpowers. So I think this movie worked just fine. 

Expectation 2: Thor / Hemsworth

Social media says Chris Hemsworth put on a lot of bulk for a biopic in which he plays Hulk Hogan, and so he has that level of muscle in this movie. So, Thor in post- Fat Thor phase has apparently turned his fat into solid muscle; presumably that was harder for the actor who plays him since Hemsworth wasn't actually fat when he played Fat Thor. I expect there will be some in-universe explanation for the added musculature.

Thor in the movie:

Yes, the explanation for how he looks now was in the first scene he appeared in, which was right after the initial scene establishing the villain's origin story. Hemsworth has a full nude scene in this movie and what is shown off is very nice to look at. One great character touch that made this scene an "awww how sweet" moment for fans who noticed: Marvel-Thor has a tattoo on his back that says "RIP Loki." 

Thor appears in way more scenes than I expected and he kicks butt way more than I expected. I was pleasantly surprised that the movie wasn't all "woman good, man bad" but instead gave both characters plenty of great screen time, for both the fighting and the character moments. Marvel-Thor in this movie is both strong and good, and he not only fights well but has matured into a kingly character. When he goes to New Asgard where Valkyrie is acting King, and there is a scene of people all talking at once and not accomplishing much, it's Thor's voice that has the power and authority to create instant silence, come up with a plan, rally everyone with a pep talk, showing he's the real king and everyone knows it. Right after that someone goes wrong because he is having an issue with Stormbreaker because of the four way love rectangle between Jane / Mjolnir / Thor / Stormbreaker, but it doesn't diminish the Thor character, it just establishes something he will have to overcome, which he does by the end. And far from just being a butt kicking hero, the way Thor defeats the villain is by talking to him and convincing him to choose love and good, so the Marvel-Thor character has really moved past being just an action hero and has become wise as well. There is no doubt that even though this movie was hyped as being all about Jane, Thor is still the real hero of the story. And he's not just a good looking fighter but a genuinely good person too. This is a very positive portrayal of Thor. I mentally heaved a sigh of relief as I was leaving after the show. 

Expectation 3: jokes and silliness

Expecting a lot of jokes. Don't know whether to expect jokes I will laugh at or cringey jokes, or maybe a mix. Expecting a light tone even during fights and serious scenes like some 80s / 90s action movies.

Jokes in the movie:

Nope! Not cringey. The silly parts were fun. There were not a whole lot of jokes and the ones there were mostly did not happen during the fight scenes. The serious plot elements about cancer, love, and death were woven through the whole movie and the silly parts felt like actual comic relief and not like extraneous witticisms shoehorned into the story.

Other points about the movie:

This is a popcorn movie and it was fun. I loved the goats! I loved how the ending wrapped up both the villain's plot and the Thor and Jane plot, and also what happened with the hammer and the axe. The explanation for how Jane gets the hammer is kind of subtle but it makes sense, and it also sets up the later scene where Thor can temporarily pass his powers to a group. 

The only part that really made me cringe was when the Marvel-Thor character says "damn." Because as a heathen I take that word seriously, and it was the Marvel-Thor character, a character based on one of my real gods, who says it. And he says it about his own hammer! The hammer he had clearly wanted back, that he respected as a judge of his own worthiness as shown by an earlier scene where he picks it up briefly and says "just checking." Throughout the movie, the hammer and axe had been treated as characters with their own will, emotions, and personalities. Therefore in this scene he is not talking about an inanimate object but an animate one, who can understand him. It's an offhand comment put in as conversational emphasis in a scene that was actually about Jane, but to me it was an emotionally wrenching moment that the Marvel-Thor character seems to forget ever happened. I would have liked the scriptwriter to either leave that out or have a scene later where he is sorry and takes it back. To me this was not just a bad moment but a plot hole. After the script established that Thor was jealous of Mjolnir being with Jane and Stormbreaker was jealous of Thor wanting Mjolnir back, Thor can't just reject Mjolnir and then have the hammer come back to him as if nothing happened. He should have apologized to Mjolnir and done some sort of god magic to lift the curse before he could wield it again. 

Real life Thor would never reject his hammer, of course. But at least the Marvel-Thor character got it back. Be assured, my fellow pagans and heathens: my gnosis is that there is no lingering damnation or even a bad vibe from this outside of the movie. Even inside the movie there is a resolution because Marvel-Thor gets the hammer back, so it's all OK both in the movie and in real life. 

The Gor the God Butcher character and plot demanded some shitty gods so the villain would have a reason to turn against all gods. The scene where Gor decides his god is bad did indeed feature a baddy, but everything about that scene was also subtly undermined in a way that set up the ending. Gor and his daughter die in the opening scene and Gor hears a voice whisper "come to me" across the desert, so he goes and finds a paradise full of water and fruit. There he also finds the god he followed in life. This god is suprised to find Gor there and is very clearly not the god who whispered to Gor. This god laughs at the idea that Gor is going to get an eternal reward, but he already has. Gor is in a water filled afterlife. If he just ignored the laughing sun god and didn't try to kill him he would have gotten to stay in the afterlife paradise, and maybe he would have eventually met the god or goddess who called to him. Gor never seems to realize this. However, by the end he is ready to pray to Infinity, and his prayer is answered. So perhaps Infinity was his true goddess all along. It's not spelled out or spoken in the movie but despite the whole plot about the bad god the movie ends up confirming that some gods are good (and not just Thor.) 

Expectation 4: RAIN!

I already know Thor approves of this movie in a "it's about me, it doesn't matter what's in it" sort of way, because he has brought rain, just like he did every time American honored him with a movie. I expect more rain soon. 

Rain in the movie:

There was a line where Gor's bad god laments that "no one asks us for rain anymore." But we do! Pagans and Heathens do ask the gods for rain. I ask Thor for rain! And he delivers it. But this line is fine because it's clear when the bad sun god says "us" he really means him. No one asks the shitty god for rain because he's a shitty god. And obviously the good one is Thor. 

Rain in real life:

It rained on my way to the theater! The local newspaper had predicted a zero percent chance of rain yesterday, but on my way to meet a friend for the show some drops started hitting the windshield. The light rain was still falling when I was walking into the cinema. I expect more rain this week, and hopefully the rest of the summer monsoon season. Maybe all year! 


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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, and the updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Erin has been a gythia since 1989. She was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. She also writes science fiction and poetry, ran for public office, is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Sunday, 24 July 2022

    Thank you for your review. I still don't think I'll go to the theater for this one, but it sounds like one I can record later in the year and actually watch on TV.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Wednesday, 27 July 2022

    You're welcome! It's fun, definitely watch it when it comes on TV.

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