As with all movies on this website, our goal is not to provide a complete synopsis of the movie, but rather to document how the movie relates to the meaning of life. With that said, be forewarned, there are still spoilers ahead.
Thor: Love and Thunder is one of the latest Marvel movies to hit the screens—directed by Taika Waititi, starting Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Christian Bale as Gorr, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster aka the Mighty Thor.
Now you might be wondering, what does a Marvel movie have to do with the meaning of life? Well, Marvel movies seem to increasingly talk about meaning and purpose as the films get more intense, needing to continuously outdo the last. As such, deeper topics are discussed. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol II is a great example of this phenomenon. Or, if you're a conspiracy theorist, perhaps Disney is just trying to force us to live more meaningful lives in order to make more money. More meaningful lives = longer-lasting lives, right? Longer-lasting customers = more money long-term (provided those consumers stay addicted to your product, which we surely are through products like Marvel). They did give us Soul, after all, the only movie on endev42 to earn a perfect score on the Meaning of Life (MOL) index. More on this Disney conspiracy in future blog posts.
In Thor: Love and Thunder, we have the a premise we have seen elsewhere in the science fiction world through shows such as Stargate; super powerful beings pretending to be gods. However, this film, as its name suggests is also about love, and how love can bring meaning to an otherwise meaningless life. Thor, despite saving many worlds and many lives, still feels something is missing (love of course). He has purpose, but his life is somehow meaningless without this.
The movie starts off with Gorr, a follower of the god Rapu, watching his daughter die as Rapu sits in paradise doing nothing to help him. Gorr comes face to face with Rapu and renounces him as a god. Rapu has the following words of wisdom for Gorr.
Rapu: Suffering for your gods is your only purpose. There is nothing for you after death. Except death.
Now your meaningless life finally does have a purpose. To sacrifice yourself to me.
But before Rapu can sacrifice Gorr to himself, Gorr kills Rapu with the Necrosword which called out to him giving him a new purpose—to kill all gods.
Thor, who will become a target of Gorr's ire, is at one of his lowest points in life and is given the following advise by one of his companions:
Star-Lord: I've been lost before. But then I found meaning, I found love.
Thor will have to find his own way out of depression, but how does that saying go? 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Korg also has a similar conversation with King Valkyrie:
King Valkyrie: I don't know if I want that again. (referring to love)
Korg: Is that because you lost your girlfriend in battle and never forgave yourself? And now, you're just trying to find answers in the bottom of a bottle, or some meaningless dalliance, which only serves to numb the pain instead of bringing you real happiness or satisfaction?
King Valkyrie: Yeah. Something like that.
This is something many of us can relate to. When life gets tough or we lose someone or something we love, we try to down our sorrows with a bottle of whiskey or rum, or our drug of choice—e.g., Ben and Jerry's Half Baked ice cream, or even worse, zero calorie organic seaweed snacks. Yet, what do those empty vices solve?
Thor to Jane later in the movie:
Thor: When I first met you I was unworthy. I was unable to pick up that hammer. But you taught me there is no greater purpose than to help those in need. You made me worthy.
Though Gorr lost his daughter and Thor lost Jane, in the end both would choose love over hate. The two enemies, Thor and Gorr, come to terms with each other. Gorr gives up on his quest to kill all gods and instead asks Eternity for his daughter back. Thor holds Jane while she dies and in that moment promises to take care of Gorr's daughter as he dies. Thor loses the love of his life, but finds new love through raising a child.
What is this story trying to tell us about the meaning of life? Life in a sense, has no meaning without love, and no purpose without something to live for (such as Thor saving humanity for the thousandth time). We cannot find meaning at the bottom of an empty bottle.
We rate the movie:
Overall - 8
Meaning of Life Relevance - 7
Uniqueness – 4
If you saw the movie, tell us what you think. What did we miss?