As many of you know, the God of War Ragnarok trailer just dropped a few weeks ago, and it’s got the whole Internet talking. The fine print is, they are not talking about how insanely good the game looks. They are not talking about how it will further the intense dynamic between Kratos and his son, Atreus (also known as Loki).
Rather, it seems the one thing the world is focusing on is the fact that Thor is thicker than a Snickers. Well, time to deep dive and see just how accurate this version of Thor is to the legends he is based on and why having an opinion on the matter is okay, even if some people disagree with it.
The Marvel Influence
It is easy to say that the small amount of people who immediately freaked out seeing Thor rocking a Dad bod were people who were weaned on Marvel’s Thor, which many of us were. Many of us had this image of Chris Hemsworth as being the ultimate Thor, but you also need to understand that sex appeal is a huge part of business.
Marvel is not going to sell action figures if the guy doesn’t look like an Abercrombie model. Their Thor is a product of modern society, and that is okay. But that doesn’t mean it is the ONLY way Thor can be represented.
Let’s go deeper.
On the other extreme, some people are thinking that Thor being rather rotund in the new God of War is a callout to his PTSD weight gain in Avengers Endgame. While that may be a fun idea to play around with, that is not the case here. Thor’s weight gain in Avengers was to show his trauma, and the version of Thor from God of War Ragnarok seems to be fairly accurate, just based off some texts (calling him brawny) and poems of the time.
Reality is, Thor is described in writings as a red haired, bearded lightning God, but outside of artistic interpretation, we know nothing. Photos did not exist and texts are all we had to go on. But at the end of the day there are numerous examples included below implying a man of girth, though some may envision him differently.
At the end of the day, we are dancing with mythology here, so for anyone to say that they have ‘evidence’ of a ripped Thor or a fat Thor are just lying to your face.
So what do some of the legends say?
What The Actual Legends Say
From the mouth of Google:
Even though we are used to seeing the handsome Chris Hemsworth as the Thor in Marvel movies, but in Norse mythology, Thor is described as a barrel-chested ugly man. … In fact, the only time MCU got Thor’s appearance somewhat right was the fat Thor version of Chris Hemsworth that appeared in The Avengers: Endgame.
What we need to understand about the above quote is that Google gathers all the information on a subject across a myriad of work and gives answers that are straight and to the point, cutting through the clutter. So Google scoured all its own information (which is to say, everything in history about Thor) and it provided the above answer when asked “was Thor fat in Norse mythology.”
And then you have this Reddit thread where everyone was agreeing that Fat Thor in Endgame was his most accurate representation yet.
Let’s look at another recent video game interpretation of Thor for more answers…
God of War Thor vs. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Thor
This representation in God of War Ragnarok is obviously not Thor’s first step into video games. Let’s take a quick look back at his most recent gaming appearance in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and compare it to his look in GOW.
As seen in the sick rap battle above, AC Thor seems to fall more into a safe, middle ground (though that wide leather belt would do a fine job containing any beer gut). The first thing you will note by comparison is God of War Thor looks like he would mess sh*t up way quicker than AC Thor would. We need to understand that size does equate to power. A man who is stocky tends to have the power of an oxen behind him, and that weight puts a heavier Thor at a huge advantage, pun intended.
Look at prime Butterbean if you don’t think size means power…
… or strongman and world-beating deadlifter Eddie Hall (a shoe-in to play Thor in a God of War movie?)…
But all that aside, note that the Assassin’s Creed version of Thor is not shirtless and ripped with six pack abs. He is more a representation of a somewhat stocky guy with a solid build. Also note how he is not blonde and beautiful (that is the “Marvel influence” again), but rather, almost has Dad vibes. But it could also be said AC Thor doesn’t look “fat” and that is fair, too.
But in Norse mythology, some of the most telling facts about Thor are his love for drink and his love for food. Hell, in one myth Thor drinks half the ocean, which surely implies a man of larger size.
But none of us can say outright any of us are “correct”. The truth is, until an actual photo of Thor, a mythological God, appears, all we can do is what we have done up to now, which is speculate.
And if the video above is how you imagine Thor, don’t let anyone take that from you because that is kinda magical in its own way.
One thing we have seen in the last week as a result of Thor’s dad bod is people coming out on social media and similar platforms saying they won’t buy the game because Thor be ‘Dummy Thick’. Let’s humor this side for a moment, because regardless of how you feel about it, everyone has a right to their own opinion, and again, all of this is conjecture.
The Argument for a Ripped Thor
Some people game to live vicariously through other characters. For some people, it can be about stepping outside of their reality to embrace the insane and over-the-top. While weight-shaming a video game character might seem a bit harsh, some people want their escapism to be just that:
And seeing one of the golden gods from mythology have a body that may look imperfect in some ways can make that escapism tougher. Some people want their icons and heroes (and in this case, villains) to look – in a word – ‘Super’, and that is okay, too. Even in Norse mythology, the prior mentioned example of Thor being called “a barrel chested ugly man”, could honestly imply him being ripped with massive pecs. But again, all conjecture.
The argument of wanting Thor to be represented as ripped comes down to how we see ‘Gods’. We are trained subconsciously to imagine a “God” (especially in mythology) as large, ripped, heaving warriors carved from stone.
Even our own religious iconography reflects that same ideal. You never see Jesus with a gut, but what do we know? So the idea of seeing a larger man as still powerful can be foreign to some people, and that can be understandable. Ultimately, people who want a ripped Thor have the right to want that. And maybe Fat Thor will win them over in due time. Only time will tell at this point.
The reality of this debate comes down to one thing and one thing only, though…
Wait to Judge the Game On Its Actual Merits
Whether we see Fat Thor as a good thing or a bad thing, people need to reserve judgement until they have played the game and seen the actual character and his arc, myself very much included. Because as of right now, we are a world divided.
No matter what you think about how Thor looks in Ragnarok, this is going to be one of the biggest games of the generation, and will most likely silence any doubt with its grandeur, turning “Chonky Thor” into just another weird online outrage that gets washed away and forgotten about.
I guess we will see when God of War Ragnarok drops in 2022…