Thor: Love and Thunder is only a couple of months away, and fans are more excited than ever to see how it will expand the lore of the MCU. Last month’s teaser trailer gave us a brief look at some of the new characters that this film will explore, including Zeus and the freakin’ gods of Olympus! Coupled with a few other official shots from the film, it looks like Thor and crew might be traveling to Olympus for some sort of Council of the Gods. This is extremely exciting, but it’s also caused some of us overly-nerdy fans to ask questions like, how do all of these gods fit into the MCU?
And more importantly…are they all just cannon-fodder for Gorr the God-Butcher?
Because we know that Gorr (played by Christian Bale) is set to be the central villain of Thor: Love and Thunder, and he’s out for blood. More specifically, god-blood. In the comics, Gorr began his crusade to wipe out all the gods after they failed to intervene in the suffering of his people and the death of his wife and child. This bloodthirsty crusade extended to not only the gods of his homeworld, but all worlds, taking him across galaxies and spanning several millennia as he left a wake of dead gods in his path. So what does this mean for the MCU?
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In this feature, we’ll be taking a deep dive into all the “gods” which have currently been established in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ll tally up everyone who might be on Gorr’s hit-list, and how their various domains and kingdoms intersect. Because for the longest time, the Asgardians were the only super-powered beings who were revered as gods in the MCU, but recent properties such as Eternals and Moon Knight have changed that.
So hold on (and don’t get too attached) as we dive headfirst into the “pantheon of gods” in the MCU!
THE ASGARDIANS OF THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
Our first stop on this magical mystery tour brings us back to the first gods we ever met in the MCU…the Asgardians.
First introduced in 2008’s Thor, the Asgardians are the gods of Norse mythology. For the millennia of pre-history leading up to the Marvel films, the Asgardians ruled over the Nine Realms…nine individual planets that, while located in separate parts of the universe, are connected by the branches of Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil, also known as the World’s Tree, connects these nine planets to each other like exits on an interstellar highway. The realms include Midgard, Jotunheim, Svartalfheim, Vanaheim, Muspelheim, Niflheim, Nidavellir, and Alfheim. So far, the Thor films have taken us to all of these planets except for Alfheim, the home of the Light Elves.
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While Earth has seemingly always been under the jurisdiction of Asgard, it doesn’t seem like King Odin ever bothered to drop by that often. In fact, throughout all of human history, it seems like the Asgardians only really interacted with the Viking people of Norway. Maybe it was because they liked the way they swung hammers and drank mead, or perhaps it was because the other Earth cultures had their own “gods” to watch over them. Either way, it seems like Odin and his overseers have been fairly hands-off throughout much of Earth’s history.
So, I don’t know…maybe Gorr has a point??
Of course, all of this changed when Thor arrived on Earth at the beginning of the original Thor film. 28 movies later, the beautiful realm of Asgard is no more…having been destroyed in the events of Thor: Ragnarok. The survivors have fled to Earth under the leadership of Thor and Valkyrie and established the city of New Asgard near modern-day Norway. While all the Asgardians have some level of superhuman abilities, the only main characters left surviving are Thor, Valkyrie, Loki, and Lady Sif, who is confirmed to make an appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder.
In addition to that, we will add Jane Foster to the roster, since she will be taking on Thor’s godly powers in the upcoming film.
An official still from Love and Thunder recently showed Valkyrie and Jane Foster sitting in what looks to be the same Olympian scene from the teaser trailer, which adds further evidence that we will see a large gathering of the gods in the upcoming film (There’s also another figure in this shot that is extremely exciting to see, but more on her later!). All of this seems to point to the fact that the gods of the MCU might have had more interaction with each other than we ever realized.
Trailers for Thor: Love and Thunder have also shown a battle taking place in the streets of New Asgard, so it looks like things are about to even worse for the surviving Asgardians when Gorr the God-Butcher comes a-knockin’!
Our next stop on this godly tour brings us to the Eternals, which are synthetic beings created by the Celestials to protect humanity.
Starting with the very first human civilization of Sumeria, the Eternals have been in the background of human development and are the true figures behind many of the gods that ancient civilizations worshiped. For example, Gilgamesh (Don Lee) is clearly the source of the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest recorded stories in human history. Similarly, Icarus (Richard Madden) is the source of the Tale of Icarus, Sersi (Gemma Chan) is modeled after the Greek sorceress Circe, and Thena (Angelina Jolie) is the inspiration behind Athena, the Greek goddess of war.
All of this makes sense within the context of the Eternals film, but it starts to get a little confusing when the Thor: Love and Thunder trailer established that the Greek gods exist within the MCU. Are there two Thena’s in the MCU canon? Did the Eternals ever hang out with Olympians?
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The comics have tried to address this identity crisis by explaining that the citizens of Greece simply mistook the Eternals for the Olympian pantheon of gods since they have similar powers. But rather than correct the issue, Zeus simply made a deal with the Eternals that they would serve as the Olympian’s representatives to the Greeks, and Zues and his homies would just chill up in heaven doing god-stuff. It’s unclear if this is the direction the MCU will take, but our guess is that we might get a more simple explanation.
After all, Thena is the only member of the Eternals who was explicitly stated as being the inspiration for a Greek god in the MCU, so maybe she just spent some time with Zeus and got looped into the Greek pantheon by accident?
Either way, the Eternals have had a lot of interaction with Earth’s early civilizations, including Sumeria, Babylon, the Mayans, and the Gupta Empire. They were most definitely considered to be gods by these cultures, which definitely puts them on Gorr’s radar. In addition, we know that Earth was not the only planet where Eternals were stationed! The post-credits scene of Eternals introduced Starfox (Harry Styles), the brother of Thanos, and seemingly confirms that Thanos was an Eternal as well!
With all of this in mind, there could be any number of planets in the galaxy that have their own Eternals, and all of them could be on Gorr’s chopping block. After all, the Eternals film established that the TRUE purpose of the Eternals is to protect a planet’s intelligent lifeforms long enough for a Celestial egg to be born, destroying all life on the planet. So again…maybe Gorr is right??
Surviving Eternals include Sersi, Thena, Makkari, Kingo, Phastos, Druig, and Starfox, and all of them are currently in space. We would be surprised if they showed up in this Olympian scene in Love and Thunder (since they seemed busy with their own predicament at the end of Eternals), but anything is possible!
KHONSHU AND THE EGYPTIAN GODS OF MOON KNIGHT
Recently, the Moon Knight series on Disney+ just blew the doors wide open by introducing the gods of Egypt into the MCU!
While other gods like the Asgardians and Eternals are just superpowered beings that come from space, the Egyptian gods work differently. Moon Knight establishes that these beings actually come from a separate dimension known as the Overvoid, and that they mainly operate in earthly matters through human avatars. This is a much spookier origin than we had previously seen in the MCU before.
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In Episode 3 of the series, we learn that the gods of Egypt have a governing body known as the Ennead, who meet in the Great Pyramid of Giza via their avatars. When Khonshu the moon god is brought before the council for misusing his powers, the Ennead chastise him for his garishness and we learn that they had banished Khonshu once before for nearly revealing their secrets. It’s safe to say that the other Egyptian gods aren’t as flamboyant as Khonshu is, and that they don’t expose themselves on Earth very often. Their avatars are simply used to channel their voices and aren’t running around in fancy mummy suits getting attention like Moon Knight.
In fact, the series revealed that the Ennead has chosen to mostly abandon mankind because mankind has stopped worshipping them. In his trial, Khonshu criticizes the gods for abandoning Earth and living in opulence in the Overvoid…a criticism that Gorr the God-Butcher would probably share.
So again…maybe Gorr is right??
In this series, we learned that the Ennead was once composed of nine members, but only five remain. These are Tefnut, Horus, Isis, Osiris, and Hathor, but we only ever saw them act through their avatars. The only gods that we saw physically were Khonshu, Ammit, and Taweret. Khonshu is, of course, the god of the moon and is the source of Moon Knight’s powers. Ammit is a god of the underworld, and was killed in the season finale. Taweret is the lovely hippo goddess of childbirth and fertility.
It is unclear if we will see any of these gods show up in Thor: Love and Thunder, but it’s certainly possible. It would be interesting to see these trans-dimensional beings occupying a booth in the Olympian meeting, and if they do show up, it could be in their god forms or via their avatars, so keep your eyes peeled for familiar faces!
BAST, THE PANTHER GODDESS OF WAKANDA
Remember that other character pictured alongside Valkyrie and Jane in that Thor: Love and Thunder shot?! Well, that was none other than the panther goddess Bast!
First mentioned in Captain America: Civil War, and then expounded further upon in Black Panther, Bast is the panther goddess worshipped by the people of Wakanda. Though Ryan Coogler’s movie never featured the goddess in the flesh, it did portray her as a massive panther figure with glowing eyes during the exposition at the beginning of the film. The image from Thor: Love and Thunder confirms a previous rumor that actress Aksoia Sabet would be playing the African goddess in the movie, and we could not be more excited!
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Interestingly enough, Bast does share a connection with the gods of Moon Knight, as she is an Egyptian goddess in real life mythology. According to Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica, Bast is actually a half-sister to Khonshu! It’s unclear if this will be the case in the MCU, but the writers of Moon Knight did say that they considered including references to Bast in the series at one point. This creates some really interesting questions, because Bast is the goddess who gave Wakanda the heart-shaped herb, allowing T’Challa and countless generations before him to receive the power of the Black Panther.
So, does this mean that the Black Panther is actually the avatar of Bast?! Just like Moon Knight is the avatar of Khonshu?!
That theory remains unconfirmed, but it’s interesting to say the least. Of course, this image of actress Aksoia Sabet from Thor: Love and Thunder might mean that she is playing the avatar of the panther goddess instead, or she could simply be the goddess herself, able to switch between a panther and a human-like form. As of right now its unclear, but we are definitely interested to see this character interact with the other gods!
The Celestials are perhaps the truest gods in the MCU. As the oldest race in the Marvel universe, they predate the Big Bang and are responsible for the creation of all life in the cosmos.
Celestials were first introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy, and their history was greatly expounded upon in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Eternals. The Celestials that we’ve seen in the MCU are Arishem the Judge, Jemiah the Analyzer, Nezarr the Calculator, Hargen the Measurer, Eson the Searcher, Tiamut the Communicator, Ego the Living Planet, and the severed head of an ancient Celestial known as Knowhere.
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Interestingly, Gorr the God-Butcher does actually share a connection to the location of Knowhere in the comics. The weapon that Gorr wields in the Jason Aaron series is called All-Black the Necrosword, and it was actually the weapon that was used to sever the Celestial’s head in the distant past. It’s unknown if the films will be tapping into this lore, but it’s safe to say that these planet-sized thicc bois are definitely going to be on Gorr’s naughty list. In addition, it was revealed in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 that Peter Quill is half-Celestial, so there’s a good chance that Gorr will want his head too. Half-gods still qualify, right?
I mean, Peter literally calls himself Lord for crying out loud!
As mentioned earlier, Gorr’s biggest complaint about the gods is that they fail to intervene in the affairs of the galaxy, and that has never been more true than with the Watchers.
The Watchers are omniscient beings that observe the multiverse…but do not interfere. They represent everything that Gorr hates, and we can be sure that they are in his Burn Book. Some fans actually think that the giant skeleton pictured in the Thor: Love and Thunder teaser is one of the Watchers. In the comics, as Thor followed a trail of dead gods in his search for Gorr, he came across several bodies that had been tortured. If the film decides to go in that same direction, this body could be one of the Watchers that Gorr once captured and interrogated.
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The first time we saw Watchers in the MCU was in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, and they were expounded further upon in the What If series. The only one that we know by name is Oatu, who broke his creed by intervening to save the Multiverse in that series, but we know that there are at least several others out there in the universe.
There is a distinct possibility they could show up in the upcoming Thor film, so keep your eyes peeled!
Outside of this list, there are plenty of other beings in the universe that could be considered “gods”. In one gorgeously cinematic shot of the trailer, Thor and Korg are seen standing before a massive slain beast that is pulled straight out of a comic-book panel in Thor: God of Thunder #3. In this comic, that slain beast is named Falligar the Behemoth, and he is the patron god of the Galactic Frontier. If Love and Thunder follows the comics, Falligar will be one of several corps that Thor finds in his search for Gorr.
Of course, we know that since we are going to see Zeus and Olympus in this movie, there is a very good chance that we will see other Greek characters from the Marvel comics, including Ares and Hercules! Other beings that might be considered gods are the Collector and the Grandmaster, as well as several of the entities in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. While there are other beings in the MCU that could be considered gods, this list tallies up the biggest ones that we know about. We’re excited to see Thor: Love and Thunder dive deeper into this world when the film releases in theaters this July!
Thor: Love and Thunder releases only in theaters on July 8th, 2022
What gods are you most excited to see? Is there anybody that we missed? Let us know in the comments and share your theories with us on social media!
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