Of all the Marvel dudes, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is probably the one character who has changed the most in the past decade. While this sounds absurd, in terms of how Hemsworth plays the character, there’s almost nothing similar from 2011 Stoic God-Thor to the 2019 hilarious Big Lebowski-Thor. Tony Stark may have gone on a personal journey that saved him from becoming a permanent douchebag, but Thor went on a journey to just become a regular guy. Which is why loving Thor’s new dad bod might be the most emotionally satisfying thing in Avengers: Endgame.
(Yeah, there are spoilers ahead for Endgame. But you knew that, right?)
There’s a point early in Avengers: Endgame, where it seems like there’s no way the movie is really doing what it’s doing. Wait? It’s five years later? The Hulk is just nice and woke now? The movies are all going to be set in 2023 from now on? Smartly, Endgame makes you think that all of this stuff — including the Thor’s Dad Bod — will be undone by time travel shenanigans, but, in the end, that’s not what happens.
After feeling like he was a failure, Thor wallows in sorry, drinking an unreasonable amount of beer and playing video games with Korg and Miek. As a result, he ends up getting out of shape. Tony has switched from calling him “Point Break,” to “Lebowski,” and Thor’s sweatshirt does look like it could really match a rug that might tie a room together. The thing that’s great about Dad Bod Thor though is that there’s no point where we get a huge training montage where Thor gets back in shape. He doesn’t magically become his old self again. During the final fight with Thanos, Thor is — more or less — still Dad Bod Thor. He’s started braiding his beard and he does not give a shit if you care. Though some fans have been angry about perceived body-shaming of Thor, co-director Anthony Russo told EW that Thor’s Dad Bod “Is a manifestation of where he is on a character level, and we think it’s one of the most relatable aspects of him. I mean, it’s a very common sort of response to depression and pain.”
At the end of the film, Thor reflects that he’s finally becoming “who he is” versus “who he’s supposed to be.” This single sentiment, more than anything is comforting for all sorts of dudes and dads. The totally jacked Adonis-bodies of everyone from Chris Evans to Chris Hemsworth are more than enough to make an average guy looking for a good t-shirt feel like shit. (It’s also possible these body standards are bad for teenagers, too.) But, Dad Bod Thor is the antidote for this. Sure, it’s reasonable to assume that after the end of the movie, Thor gets a Bowflex and starts working out on that spaceship with the other Guardians of the Galaxy.
That’s not the point though. In Infinity War, it made a modicum of sense for Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord to be the subject of “fat guy” jokes. This is mostly because in real life Chris Pratt did a very public transformation from the guy in Parks and Recreation to the jacked dinosaur-wrangler in Jurassic World, and then, of course, Star-Lord in the first Guardians of the Galaxy.
Dad Bod Thor is this journey in reverse. It’s a superhero saying that he can be a superhero and still have a beer gut. This might not be the most health-conscious message in this — or any other — universe. But it’s totally the superhero 30-something and 40-something guys can relate to the most. In our heads, all of want to be Tony Stark on some days or Captain America on others. Avengers: Endgame proved that the reality for most dudes is Dad Bod Thor.
And that’s totally fine.
Avengers: Endgame is out in wide release now. As far as we know, there is no post-credits scene where Thor gets a Bowflex.