If there’s one good thing to have come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s recent faceplants Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Secret Invasion, it’s that Thor: Love and Thunder has enjoyed a bit of reduced flak; that’s not to say Thor’s fourth outing didn’t deserve the derision it did get, of course, but the internet forgetting about is still a solid blessing for everyone involved.
But now, with rumors of Thor 5 beginning to make the rounds, along with Taika Waititi’s return no less, the specter of Love and Thunder may start drifting back toward Marvel fans and cause measurable anxiety, but only for those without any faith in the future.
Indeed, if Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespearean take on Chris Hemsworth‘s lovable Asgardian can transition into Waititi’s more lively version, and if Thor can go from The Dark World to Ragnarok, there’s no reason to believe that Thor 5 can’t offer a far more refreshing experience than Love and Thunder did, and with the Multiverse Saga cracking Kevin Feige’s mythos wide open with every other project, the possibilities for greener pastures are endless.
But what could Waititi — or whoever ends up getting the reins for Thor 5 — do with Thor to possibly accomplish this?
Now that Thor is officially a father — to a small but battle-ready daughter, no less — as of Love and Thunder, a story permeated in what would no doubt be Thor’s gung-ho dad energy would be a knee-slapping breath of fresh air.
Further, such a story would have the opportunity to improve upon what Quantumania tried to do; even if the blueprint of Scott and Cassie’s father-daughter relationship was quite strong, having a larger-than-life character like Thor exercise the art of parenthood/Avenger-rearing on a younger child would make for some much more engaging shenanigans, and if Love ends up getting to Cassie’s age by the time we see Thor 5, that dynamic could go even further.
A trickier relationship with combat
A companion possibility to the enthusiastic dad route, Thor’s warrior ethos has defined him across many a film, but now that fatherhood has entered his list of responsibilities, can he afford to risk leaving his daughter orphaned if the unthinkable were to happen?
Love seems capable of holding her own in combat, to be sure, and we assume that would only be more true as she gets older. But, a child who’s a capable fighter is still a child, and losing Thor in combat would be the start of a rather harsh arc for the character. Furthermore, if Love gets to be Cassie’s age by Thor 5 and ends up developing a love for combat in her own right, how might watching her father die in combat make her re-evaluate what she believes in?
And this is all without considering Thor’s own long-standing love for his life as a warrior; what might the conflict between parenthood and a draw to the battleground look like, and might it ultimately decide whether he ends up making it to Valhalla, as a hero of his caliber no doubt deserves?
Reunion with Loki
Putting Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston side-by-side in a pair of capes has always been a surefire recipe for MCU gold, and a brotherly reunion would not only be wildly entertaining (and that’s without even considering how Loki would be as an uncle), but rife with emotional potential.
Loki will have gone through the second season of his own show and who knows what else by the time Thor 5 arrives, and let’s not forget that this Loki didn’t directly experience any of the events after 2012’s The Avengers; so, not only will Loki have been on a life-altering journey by the time he potentially sees his brother again, but it’s far from the same journey that Thor had watched him take before his death in Infinity War.
Indeed, the emotions and dynamics that would come from this reunion would make for franchise royalty with just one scene, and Marvel would be deeply unwise to not explore it further.
Take to the stars
As an Asgardian, Thor is just as, if not more comfortable taking on quests across galaxies as he is helping out on Earth, and Thor 5 could be a real opportunity to full-send Thor as one of the MCU’s most prominent cosmic heroes.
There would more than enough material to get inspired by; Thor has already teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the MCU, and also has a comics history with the Eternals – some of whom are currently circling the cosmos to warn other members of their species about the truth surrounding Emergences and the Celestials.
Perhaps Thena, Makkari, and Druig could be the source of Thor’s next team-up, and with that gang poking their noses where the Celestials don’t want them to, it would be no great leap to assume that Galactus wouldn’t be far behind in that chain of events, which in turn would allow for the planet-eater’s showdowns with Thor to make a glorious jump from the comic book page to the big screen.
And, of course, we can’t talk about the future of Thor without giving a nod to Hercules, the Olympian warrior enlisted by his father Zeus to go and kill Thor for his transgressions in Omnipotence City. We only caught a brief glimpse of Brett Goldstein‘s character in the mid-credits scene, so the only way is up.
Hercules and Thor go way back in the comics, with the two mythology icons having first tangoed as early as 1966, although back then they were feuding over a woman; a development that probably couldn’t anchor a whole story, but would be more than enough for a cheesy scene or two depending on how their relationship plays out.
Indeed, though Hercules is currently being recruited to murder Thor, the curmudgeonly comedic chops of Goldstein would make for a fantastically entertaining foil to Hemsworth’s Norse himbo, and we could very well see a future where the two of them are forced to team up early on, only for Thor 5 to turn into the MCU equivalent of a buddy cop movie.
Beyond that, we know that Hercules has been a prominent member of the Avengers during his time in the comics, and if he ends up under Thor’s wing in Thor 5, he could very well succeed Thor as the mythological Avenger whenever the Asgardian meets his end.