The arc of Thor Odinson in “Thor: Love and Thunder” was secretly teased in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Finale”. The arc of Thor in the MCU was something of a disjointed one, in large part because the MCU unfolded after “Thor” and “Thor: Kingdom of Darkness.” Marvel hired Taika Waititi to reinvent the franchise, and he happily agreed: “Thor: Ragnarok” was the end of one era and the beginning of another.
Stylistically, the trailer for “Thor: Love and Thunder” makes it clear that this film is indeed a spiritual successor to “Thor: Ragnarok”, albeit with a wider range of emotions. This time, Waititi draws inspiration from the classic Jason Aaron comic book arc, in which Jane Foster possessed the power of the Mighty Thor after Odinson became unworthy. She knew that “there must always be a Thor,” and so she took on the burden of filling the void he left. Something similar seems to be happening in the MCU, although there’s a very different reason why Thor’s traditional role is currently unfilled; it’s because Thor is trying to find a new role in the galaxy. As for him, his Avengers days are far behind him.
Related: Moon Knight Creates a Big Challenge for Thor: The Villain of Love and Thunder
It is curious that this process of reinterpretation is hinted at both in “Avengers: Infinity War” and in “Avengers: Finale”. There, Thor received a powerful new weapon called the Thunderbolt, which, in his opinion, could kill Thanos. Stormbreaker is a fascinating weapon adapted from comics and has a unique appearance; it is both a hammer and an axe. Symbolically, its design represents the conflict underlying the story of Thor’s Phase 4; the hammer is traditionally used for construction, and the axe for destruction. Thor must decide whether he wants to be a warrior or find a way to turn into a kind of builder.
No matter how uneven Thor’s arc is, in a certain sense this conflict—the question of whether Thor will be a warrior fighting for Asgard or one who builds a kingdom—runs through the entire franchise to the present. Ironically, at first Thor was too much like his father Odin—or rather, the man his father was when he led Asgard to plunder the other Nine Worlds. Odin considered Thor the warrior unworthy, and from that moment Odinson began to search for himself anew. He seems to have achieved some success by the time of Thor: Love and Thunder, even using the Thunderbolt simply as a way to travel through space, and not as a weapon.
From a mythological point of view, the weapon of a god or hero usually serves as an image of their character or arch. In fact, there are deep parallels between Thor’s Thunderer and the weapon used by Perrin in Robert Jordan’s cult series The Wheel of Time, where he was torn between using a hammer and an axe. Thor’s Stormbreaker weapon combines these two qualities, perhaps hinting that Thor will finally accept the duality of his nature. “Avengers: Infinity War” and “The Avengers”; Both “Finales” teased this transformation of Thor, who becomes both a builder and a destroyer, a warrior and a king. It will be interesting to see how this will be reflected in “Thor: Love and Thunder”.